HUMOR: Blame Guide

Subject: HUMOR: Blame Guide
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 12:51:04 -0700 (PDT)

In an ongoing effort to help technical writers avoid doing their jobs, I
present version of the Technical Writer's Blame Guide.


This guide is designed to help technical writers properly assess blame to
a third party when problems arise. It is the express purpose of this guide
to assist writers in avoiding any notion of responsibility. As it is
generally accepted that all technical writers are incapable of making any
kind of error.

Section 1 - Procedural Blames

"I do not have approval to do that."

"Our internationally recognized documentation methodology does not allow
for that."

"I was not properly advised that I would have to do that."

"My job description does not include such work."

"You did not submit the correct documentation plan, information mapping
summary, audience analysis. and urine sample."

"That is not the way we do things around here. Our outdated, heavily
bureaucratic procedures have suited us well for the past 20 years."

Section 2 - Style Guide Blames

"The style guide does not include a definition for this term, thus I am
not allowed to use it."

"We do not have a style guide, therefore I cannot produce any

"According to our style guide, this term has a specific usage and any
change in usage is not allowed, regardless of how astronomically stupid
our existing entry is."

"We need to form a task force (review committee, decision matrix, etc) to
analyze all possible changes to our style guide. Therefore, we are unable
to produce any useful material until a ruling from the committee."

Section 3 - Technology Blames

"Its Microsoft's fault."

"I cannot use Microsoft technologies."

"Microsoft did it to us, lets sue 'em."

"All Microsoft technologies are bad."

"I have serious emotional attachments to software, therefore I need a week
off to overcome the requirement that I use a Microsoft tool."

"It didn't work because somebody in the building used a Microsoft tool."

"I cannot complete the documentation because Microsoft's stock went up

"If we had purged all Microsoft technologies from our network and reverted
back to UNIX running FrameMaker 1.0, we could get the job done on time."

"Our Adobe products don't work because Microsoft didn't design their
operating system to work exclusively with Adobe products."

"The printer does not work not because I am completely clue less about how
to configure a printer, but because Microsoft did not design a 100%
foolproof method to plug in the device, have it read my mind, and begin
functioning perfectly forever without any further user intervention. It
also should be able to print constantly for 3000 years while floating in a
lake of molten lead."

"Although I have absolutely no comprehension of how an operating system
works, all my friends hate Microsoft technologies and therefore I am
forced to agree with them. I will therefore not be able to do my job until
all my pretty demands are met."

"Microsoft caused my impotence."

"....cannot....because of Microsoft."

Section 4 - Personnel Blames

"The manager hates me."

"The engineers hate me."

"The executive staff hates me."

"I hate me."

"Nobody wants to work with me because I tell the truth - that
documentation is merely meant to win STC awards and not be read by any

"I smell like cheese."

"I cannot work with these other writers because they simply will not
respect my tender genius."

"I really want to write children's stories, therefore I react to all work
related stress in a childish manner."

5 - Conclusion

We hope you have found this Blame Guide useful. Version will be
available in 108 weeks after we implement our internationally recognized
IBO83982000000 methodology.

Thank you.


Copyright (c) 2001, Industrial Mice Squashing International. All rights
reserved. You may not under any circumstances read, enjoy, use, ingest, or
fondle this documentation without the express anal consent of Industrial
Mice Squashing International, its subsidiaries, owners, lovers, or
loan-sharks. All content contained within this container in the exclusive
and ultimate property of Industrial Mice Squashing International and may
be ripped from your filthy little paws at a moments notice. You are not to
discuss this document with anybody, ever. The first rule of Write Club is
you are not to talk about Write Club. Please do not touch the snakes, they
are depressed. Industrial Mice Squashing International is not responsible
in any way for any emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, sexual, or
mechanical difficulties you encounter after experiencing these ideas that
are contained within this documentation. By reading this document you
agree to indemnify and hold harmless all those people who have ever done
you wrong. You are probably such an idiot that you don't deserve even
basic human rights, so just because of that, we are going to make you
agree to ship us your first and second born children after reading this.
If you don't like that, go punch a tree or something. No, not a tree
because they are sacred manifestations of the Lord Humungous. Punch a
building, unless you are experiencing heart problems, foot odor, or
general laziness associated with the use, ingestion, obsession or bonding
with Adobe products. If you have read this far, you really need a life.
But, so does everybody at Industrial Mice Squashing International. Which
you solely hold harmless, indemnify, and absolve from all forms of legal
or financial responsibility directly or indirectly related to any form of
anything that ever existed that might, someday, cause us harm in any way.
Just send us money. This offer not valid in states where more than 10%
oxygen is present in the atmosphere. Have a nice day. Get back to work,
you. You're lucky we don't fire you and replace you with a skilled


Andrew Plato
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