RE: I can't imagine where this portrayal came from...

Subject: RE: I can't imagine where this portrayal came from...
From: "Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)" <Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 09:50:15 +1100

I'm a technical writer.

And I'm proud to have Tina as our representative!


Because she is at least shown as component at her job - as all technical
writers are - of course.

Let's be honest the PHB (pointy-headed boss for Management) Catbert (for HR)
Dogbert (for consulting) and even Dilbert (for Engineers) all come off a lot
worse in terms of being role models for their various occupations.

Is Tina treated with disdain by the other comic characters (did I really
just say that - referring to a comic character receiving disdain from other
fictional non-existent people - someone call me an analyst....;-) and does
that actually reflect truthfully, if slightly bitterly, on our own position
within those companies dominated by engineers and PHBs? Sadly yes.

When cuts are to made often "support staff" are identified as the dead wood
- and we don't make the product, we don't sell the product, "all" we do is
tell people how to use the product.....which as all engineers would point
out is intuitive to use!!!! (no matter what the product - from nuclear
missiles to software - "they just click the button, enter the information,
and realign the gyroscopes, and then recalibrate the doozulls!")

So by including us in the Dilbert strip as an identifiable sub-culture
member of his "office world" Mr Adams is paying us a compliment....

regards and thanks,
Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes
Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au

(61) (03) 9301-1695

Melbourne Central, Level 34.99,
360 Elizabeth Street,
Melbourne 3000

-----Original Message-----
From: Vickie Camgros [mailto:vcamgros -at- persistence -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, 13 February 2002 4:10 AM
Subject: Re: I can't imagine where this portrayal came from...

At 4:24 PM +0000 2/12/02, Darren Barefoot wrote:
>I just discovered that the Dilbert site has been revised, and it
>includes a cast of characters (it may have previously, but I never
>looked before). The following is the frighteningly-accurate description
>of Tina the Tech Writer:
>"She's the technical writer in Dilbert's engineering department. Tina
>believes any conversation within hearing distance is intended as an
>insult to her profession and her gender. She strives to maintain her
>dignity while surrounded by engineers who don't have a proper respect
>for her work."
>Ah well, if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? I mean,
>after all, I couldn't stop myself from phrasing that with a "the
>" statement. Dignity, schmignity. DB.

When Scott Adams created Tina the brittle tech writer, she was
supposed to be a one-off. Adams got so much angry mail about the
character, largely from technical writers, that he decided to make
her a recurring character.

If I recall correctly, he ended that anecdote with "Sometimes I *love* my

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