Re: Dave Barry column on why people don't read manuals - how to make them read-- manuals...

Subject: Re: Dave Barry column on why people don't read manuals - how to make them read-- manuals...
From: Richard Lippincott <richard -dot- lippincott -at- ae -dot- ge -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 10:01:11 -0400


Greg Hamil wrote:
>I wanted to do this when I created new manuals but was shot down every
>time. On page 35 or so in a long document, have the
>"NOTE: The first thirty people who read this and call this phone number
>will receive a free $250 gift certificate."

Well, the trick is to put something in but don't tell management. Of course,
if you do that, you might want to provide a less expensive incentive for
them to call.

This will sound like an urband legend, but...

Many years ago, I worked with an old-time tech writer named George. Now
George wasn't the guy who wrote the flight manuals for the Wright Brothers
(that was another guy further down the hall), but he'd been writing for a
long time.

One day back in the '60s, George was writing a missile maintenance manual.
After writing a couple of thousand pages of very dry material, he stuck in a
paragraph that said:

"Hi, my name is George, and I wrote this manual. If you've read this far,
call me up and I'll buy you a beer. My work number is...." and he included
the number.

Eight years later, he got his first call.

Yes, he bought the guy a beer.

--Rick Lippincott
Saugus, MA


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