RE: Seeking Feedback on Picayune Footer Nit

Subject: RE: Seeking Feedback on Picayune Footer Nit
From: "Wilcox, Rose (ZB5646)" <Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 10:33:19 -0700

Eric Dunn writes:
Certainly. If you can have both go for it. If the people who make the
are open to suggestions and value your opinions give them the benefit of
design experience. But if they have expressed a preference and indeed said
something had to be done in a particular way, then when raise their ire by
arguing? Perhaps it's the difference between suggesting and convincing.
alternate solutions but you shouldn't be trying to convince anyone of

Actually I believe that a professional should be respected for their
expertise. Those who know me know that I am a full-fledged "technical"
technical writer with a background in programming who produces excellence
writing, but I am pretty well-rounded and have not ignored design. It is
one of the qualities that I can bring to my clients. There is nothing wrong
with coming down on the side of quality. And I do know my clients well
enough to suggest a winning solution. I was more posting to see if there
were any ideas I hadn't thought of and for sort of a reality check. From
the postings, I got a few new ideas, had my old ideas, found I was not alone
in the world in being concerned over design, and got a few slights from
those who don't care about it! Very entertaining!

over it and they wouldn't get all frustrated if the client insisted.

Since Eric has chosen below to make our private conversion public, he seemed
to react to my frustrated tone in my post to the list. I find for myself
that being able to express my frustration to other tech writers is usually a
good venting of steam. In Eric's case, it seemed to be a red flag. I did
not intend to bait him.

<<I'd even argue in this case, "What's so bad about the design?" I think
those that think a file name on the cover page is sufficient have an awful
of misplaced faith that a document, once printed out, retains it's cover
and frontmatter.
The documents are usually available in softcopy around the network, so that
is rare around here, but it does happen, so it is point well taken. I am
using Word 97, and it does have update on Print. I don't think it has
update on Save. Is that in the newer versions of Word? I admit I lost my
Word edge during my management years and have yet to get it back. But I
will get it back. :-)
I think it is a misplaced faith that these documents will have the right
path name on them. Even if I set "update on Print", the document can be
changed by the author or authors. And if I don't set update on Print, they
will have to manually update it if they choose to move the document within
the network drives. If they write the document, move it to the correct
network drive, print it without changing update on print, then it will be
the correct path name. That is a lot of Ifs.
My solution is going to be to put the path name in the footer for these
clients and make sure they know that there is no guarantee the name will
remain correct. One reason I am sure of that is that I am *using* source
documents with incorrect automatic references in the text and in the footer.

There is no programmatical way to make up for bad process.
My comments were taken a little harshly by the original poster. (and all was
hopefully smoothed over in off-line correspondence. Do please continue to
questions on the list Rose. ;-) ) They weren't meant to insult or suggest
is not an issue worthy of discussion. What I am adamant about is that the
subject is not worth stressing out over. The original poster seemed
frustrated and annoyed. Even the "Here I'm forced to use Word..." pointed to
futher job frustration in my view.>>

Hey, Eric, I was upset because of oldtimers disease. I thought you were
Eric Ray and I was confused why Eric was being so harsh with me. I really
value Eric Ray's opinion. I have been on and off of this list (based on
time available and job interest) since 1995. It would take a little more
than your attitude to get me off the list. Like I said, my frustration and
annoyance was meant for a tech writer audience. You don't know me, so you
assumed that I would take that frustration out on my clients. I wouldn't be
making top pay and successful after 18 years in the biz if I did that.
I am frustrated on this job for many, many reasons. You are free to
interpret my frustration any way you wish. I don't think your judgments
about what to stress over or not have any validity to me, as you don't know
the entire picture.
I will continue to post to the list as usual, but am less likely to vent on
the list, due to the extreme reaction that you had to my venting. I don't
want to trigger you again, and I will not correspond with you in private, as
apparently you think it proper to bring private correspondence to the public
forum without permission.
Now everyone will know about my oldtimers disease. I don't care if they
know about my stress levels. My true friends know my quality and my
longevity and my ability to handle clients. And honestly, everyone will
pretty much get glimpses of my oldtimers disease on this forum, so no real
harm done.

Pulling one's hair out over small issues will only quickly lead to
like our friend Annonymous recently was having. Leave from work due to

Luckily, I have a lot more support than Anonymous seem to have had. But
apparently not from this forum. That's okay. Not only do I have several
tech writer friends from previous jobs, but I have a great group of friends
in Real Life. Some of them roll their eyes when I talk about technical
stuff from work, but they love me. And I do have a couple of friends who
are developers who have similar frustrations. When I lead groups of tech
writers, I used our little team meetings, and informal get togethers, so we
could all blow off steam together. Then we would put a positive spin on it
with the clients. I believe if you don't have a place to blow off steam, you
will get crazy.

Seems to me it was an open and shut case. Client wants it, put it on a
line so it doesn't bump other footer content, get finished template approved
client, get on with life.

Yah, it was pretty much. The only mistake I made was reacting to your
"Tina" comment. Everyone else was pretty civil about it, whether or not
they agreed or disagreed with my concerns.

I wish you peace like a river. I hope you continue on the list, too.

Rosie A. Wilcox

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