RE: Tech writing course in vo-tech curriculum

Subject: RE: Tech writing course in vo-tech curriculum
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <SGallagher -at- akonix -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 14:57:06 -0800

I think it's more noticeable when times are tough; but it always
annoys me. *Not* that I'm opposed to someone entering tech writing
from the back door; I did so myself. But, yes, it often seems as
if writing is what to do if you don't know what to do.

This vo-tech thing doesn't strike me that way, tho, Maggie --
well, other than the online help bit and I'm thinking "what
the heck are auto mechanics and shop workers gonna do with
Robohelp???" But even then, I suppose the modern meaning of
vo-tech is more all-encompassing than it was 500 years ago
when I was in school and all the vo-tech kids wore ducktail
haircuts and rolled their cigarette packs up into their tee
shirt sleeves.

You started my way-back machine and I remember being the new
and only tech writer at a company when the contracting group
asked me to interview a "writer" they wanted for a specific
project. So I did. And they asked. And I said I had no
confidence that she could string two coherent words together.
They said, "That's okay. She's married to the projet manager
so she'll be able to get all the information she needs."
<sigh> Not even tough times to blame. <sigh>

And the real rub is that most of the people in hiring positions
can't really tell the difference and we all get the bad name.

sgallagher -at- akonix -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Secara, Maggie [mailto:Maggie -dot- Secara -at- indymacbank -dot- com]
> Does it strike anyone else as annoying that when times get
> hard, half the
> laid-off world seems to get all Louisa May Alcott and decides
> they can "be a
> writer"? "I know, I'll be a tech writer!" they say. An
> actual aptitude for
> either writing or technology doesn't seem to be on the list
> of must-haves,
> for some reason.

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