Re: Epilog to Urgent Ethical Issue

Subject: Re: Epilog to Urgent Ethical Issue
From: Doc <doc -at- vertext -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003 08:30:19 -0400

On Wed, 07 May 2003 13:53:48 -0700 (PDT), "Bonnie Granat"
<bgranat -at- editors-writers -dot- info> wrote:
>Company is dealing with the problem of the author who
>lifted text. "We can't publish that," said my editor in
>a conference call Tuesday night.
>The company will be speaking to the offending author,
>who will not be fired, at least at this writing.
>I will be continuing to work for the company, and I am
>getting ready to add it back into my resume!
>Bonnie Granat

Hi Bonnie-

I know I'm late with this comment but I've been otherwise employed for
a while.

Over a decade ago I was developing some manuals for network utilities
when a surprise project popped-up. The president of the small company
I worked for decided that it would be a good thing to produce our own
network reference manual.

I was tied up in one project and the two writers who worked for me
were agonizing on another so I told him that it was not possible in
the time frame he wanted.

He already had a solution. We had a networking expert, I'll call him
"Bill", who was willing to produce the material, we would just have to
edit it. Bill was really good. He knew everything. But he was a
prototypical geek. He did not suffer fools gladly. I was on good terms
with him having figured out that if I played the student come to sit
at the feet of the master, he would deign to impart his knowledge.

Two weeks later, Bill hands me a document on a floppy disk. It was 250
pages of network reference. Before I did my line-by-line, word-by-word
edit I ran it through the spell checker. It was absolutely clean.

I settled down to the job, but after a few pages I had an uncanny
feeling. I reached over to the shelf of red books, my library of
NetWare documentation, opened the most likely book and it matched ...
perfectly. Word for word the file was the exact content of the NetWare

I went for coffee, put my feet up and thought ... then I had to laugh.
I wandered up to the bosses office giggling quietly to myself.

"How's it going," he said.

"Let me ask you a question first," I replied, "Does Bill have an
eidetic memory?"

It took a moment for the light to dawn.

"Oh s**t," he said.

"Oh yes," I replied.

Just another tale from the doc crypt.

The VerText Company
South Hamilton, MA

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." - G.K. Chesterton


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