Re: Why'd that take so long?

Subject: Re: Why'd that take so long?
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 10:18:21 -0600

An exchange between Martin (MS) and me (KC) included the following:

MM> That's one of the problems, they want both. They want the content,
> want the flash and they want them NOW.

That's a toughie. But I still think they're looking more for *results*
than explanations of why you need more time.

Are there simple but striking things you can make to give them immediate
gratification, like an across-the-boards font change or something? I've
done things like that - the result is that the doc looks a LOT different,
but I didn't really get in and fix every single style.

That or simply eliminate most styles altogether. But do so in a sweeping,
non-surgical way, if that makes sense. Bottom line is, you need to get
this stuff done faster. I can ALWAYS do a better job if I have more time.
But I can still get SOMETHING done, even with a ridiculous deadline. It
just won't be as slick.

KC> > The kind of document overhauling and cleaning-up you're describing
are the
> > sort of thing that would be easier to devote time to if you had a larger
> > team, or more time. But it sounds like you have neither.

MS> This is true, but at the same time, I don't want to add to the mess.

But you might have to. Again, I've been in this situation, working with
gritted teeth while I knew I was making the doc even more of a kludge than
it had been. I hated doing it, but the doc needed to get DONE more than it
needed to be FIXED.

KC> > ...If this is intolerable to you, you should consider looking for
> > position. But I've found that every tech writing gig has its downside, and
> > in my market at least, jobs are scarce....

MS> To say the least. (BTW, we used to have something in common. I got
> in the "let's wipe out the Daleen Toronto office" layoffs. :{ )

Ouch. I feel your pain. We're now down to about 60 people, a 90% reduction
from when you were here. And I only survived because I do sales proposals
- they killed off all our original doc team, and now we have just one tech
writer. Every day that my key card still opens the door here is a GOOD
day. Glad I left the music business to pursue a "stable" profession! NOT.

Hang in there....

-Keith Cronin

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