RE: A wee story for you...

Subject: RE: A wee story for you...
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 09:34:21 -0400

I got a big kick out of this story.

Firstly, this tech writer messed up by not being a part of techwr-l.
Otherwise, he'd have known who that "Plato" guy was.

Secondly, when the consulting tech writer shows up in a late-model BMW (or
is that a Lexus ;?), alarms should go off. Off course, it could be his mom's
. . . my mom is a programmer, no IT, that is, a developer, well, maybe it's
an avid gardener, but she's an SME and qualifies for the luxo-sport German
car. Me? An '86 Yugo on it's third set of fenders, and the color of the
doors doesn't even match (or did it come that way from the factory? I don't
recall.). But, I digress . . ..

The biggest sin the tech writer in question committed, I think, is getting
caught in an elaboration on his resume. Hehehehe. I wish Andrew had
interviewed him and broadcast the resulting squirm via a web cam. Beyond
that, I sorta feel sorry for the guy. I mean, I empathize. Obviously, the
guy is a FrameMaker loser like me, or maybe worse, a Ventura or Interleaf
guy. I mean, look at his attitude towards Word. Obviously, he needed

Then, his timing was clearly off. Clearly. A new techno-wiz-bang project was
being launched and his only concern was choosing the right format and
toolset for the deliverable. What a maroon! I go through this all the time.
I get the doc done in Xerox Ventura 2 in the GEM operating system. Then,
when the buffoons whine that they need online deliverables in Linux that the
customer can localize, I laugh riotously. What idjits they are to want the
format of the deliverable considered up front as a part of the whole
project. What are they thinking that a tech writer should be concerned about
their slice of the pie, just do it! Nagdabbit. Worry about the rest later.

But, I wasn't there. So, I trust this guy has learned his lesson, that the
new job flipping burgers probably pays more than his own tech writing gig,
and his period of unemployment did not scar his wife, six kids, and pet St.
Bernard too badly.


sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Plato [SMTP:intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com]
> > > Or to elaborate, "Because the things we manage are so much
> > > more important than technical writing, we therefore can make
> > > better decisions about anything, including technical writing,
> > > than a technical writer can."
> >
> > How do you figure? The writer interrupted an important meeting with an
> > issue that was relevant only to him. From the way that the story is
> > told, I get the impression that he was out of his depth, and, instead of
> > listening and maybe picking up some information, he was more concerned
> > about trying to take control of the discussion.
> That is correct, Bruce. It was not so much the question as the timing. We
> were
> trying to nail down the core issues of this project. There was some very
> serious debate going on about company policy and network usage - which is
> common in any security project. While I understand what this writer was
> trying
> to do - highlight the tech-doc issue - it was not the time to discuss
> that. We
> needed the information captured first. Format and presentation were not
> relevant at that moment.
> My moral was to remind all writers that what concerns you, does not always
> concern others in your organization. Most people think that when they hire
> a
> tech writer, that person will take care of the documentation issues.


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