RE: Thank God for good documentation

Subject: RE: Thank God for good documentation
From: MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 14:47:18 -0400

Tom Murrell [mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com] sez:
> Despite the fact that I'm an avowed war-monger, it occurs to
> me to suggest that
> there were some people on the receiving end of those bombs
> who weren't the least bit
> happy with the documentation in this situation.

Well, you can extend that as far as you want to. There were
probably people on the ground who were really pleased that
the bunker-busters did their assigned job and didn't require
said ground-pounders (foot soldiers) to open the bunker the hard way.
There were probably civilians who -- given the chance to reflect --
might have been pleased at having it over quickly and in a
contained fashion, rather than a pitched battle with artillery
and other munitions from both sides that could have strayed
into non-combatants.

> And pardon me for saying so, but I think a flippant attitude
> where lives are at
> stake is, at least, inappropriate.

I think it's a case of "know your audience". A little flippancy
can keep them awake and off-guard, to let the serious message
shine through because of the contrast. I used to joke all
through my first-jump courses because people absorb info better
when they can relax, than when they have been clenched like
a knot all morning.

"I used to start these sessions by telling the class that
there are no stupid questions. Actually, there are stupid
'What happens if your parachute doesn't open?' is not a
stupid question. The answer is that you have another parachute.
'What happens if your second parachute doesn't open?'
Well, now, that's a stupid question. [all eyes follow as hand
dramatically goes "WHUMP" on the table] That's what happens,
and if you couldn't figure that out, you might not be qualified
to be here. Rethink.
'Can you breathe up there?' Well, that's kind of a dumb question,
too. If you can get past those two, all the other questions
are legit. It's always better to ask down here than to be up
there, wishing you'd asked."

"Some of the instructors like to tell you that it's important
for you to pay attention to learn how to control your
parachute, so that you land in the soft grass and don't hurt
yourself. I, on the other hand, just want you to know how to
steer away from the parking lot... and no [holding up hand to
forestall the obvious next question], I won't reveal which car is mine."

"If you feel that there must be more that you need to know
than what I've shown you, please be assured that I am very
strongly motivated to keep you alive and safe... I hate paperwork."

Of course, "I hate paperwork" works better if they don't know
that I'm a writer....


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