RE: David Pogue's column - New York Time

Subject: RE: David Pogue's column - New York Time
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 2005 11:28:03 -0500

Arroxaneullman said...
> As a former Marine, I have a feeling this is partially due to any
> Marine's self-inflated perception of his/her role in the universe. ;)
> Yes, many people think writing is easy, so technical writing must be
> just as easy. That's like saying sewing is easy, so making all your
> clothes is easy, too.
> Loan the Marine a book on Technical Writing. Ask him to read it and
> then come back to you and tell you that you don't earn your keep.
> direct him to some of the job boards so he can see what technical
> writers do aside from "just write."

In response to Melissa's...
> On another note, I am working on a project with a Marine who insists
> job is EASY! He can't understand why I get paid what I get paid...
> blah blah. Does anyone else ever have this issue come up, where you
> slighted for making what you do look so easy? Is it not the point of
> tech
> writing to take what is difficult and make it look, or at least read,
> easy?

I was going to advise a different approach from Aroxanne, but one that
requires a little more care to pull off.

Own the Marine's comments--acknowledge and take pride in them. Then turn
around and remind him that he and his fellow brothers and sisters of the
Corps make their job _look_ so easy that nearly every kid in America
grows up wanting to do their job before they get out of elementary

Get "in his face" in a good-natured way and show him that while you
respect the danger he and other Marines face, your profession is your
beachhead and he'd better come at you armed with more than bluster and
bravado if he's going to even get a toehold with that kind of candy-ass
argument. <grin> You'll probably find that you gain a lot of respect
from him if you can defend your "turf" without resorting to insulting or
demeaning his training and duties. And you might even be able to have a
little fun in the process.

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