Re: The one question I hate the most

Subject: Re: The one question I hate the most
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 09:26:54 -0400

> You could, of course, answer this way: "I need it to complete my plan
> for taking over the world!" Try using your most Brain-like voice.

They would probably appreciate it, too. :-)

Seriously, though, "What do you need it for?" is a perfectly valid
question, and is easily answered. If the answer is obvious, you
shouldn't have to stumble over a reply. Just blurt it out. "I need it
to properly run the product I am documenting." or "I need it to test
out the API and validate what I'm writing." or "I need it to do my
job." (although the last one might not go over well, as it can be
taken as a snippy reply).

Look, you're a tech writer. You ask seemingly stupid questions of
engineers all the time ("what does this thing do?", "why did you
implement this like that?", "why won't this run on my machine?")... As
you are to engineering, so IT is to you. It's called reciprocal
compensation. ;-)

Bill Swallow


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