Re: Starting over (long)

Subject: Re: Starting over (long)
From: doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 12:20:00 -0800

On Monday 23 January 2006 10:01, John Posada wrote:

> I'm not so sure that an editor would have been able to do much in my
> situation. This is because much of what is documented requires a
> considerable amount of setup. That's the whole reason why this
> deletion of the envoronment was so upsetting. For get
> to the functionality of creating custom content, you first have to
> create and setup a client. Then in that client, you have to set up an
> employee. What took me three lines to describe takes over 50 pages of
> documentation. It was at this level that I discovered my "errors".

I'm trying to identify a useful lesson from your travails, but it seems like a
Rorschach test--it brings lots of experiences to mind, but none are a really
good fit. If I had a copy of those "No one can hear you scream" error
messages that made the rounds a few years ago, I'd post it.

But the long and short of it, if I grasp what you're saying, is that you did
the groundwork, you created some canned data and an environment for
screenshots, etc, and now it's gone, while you still have documentation tasks
remaining to extend over the horizon, and you're getting tired of it. If I
(who seem to be perpetually looking for work) were you (who seems to have a
pretty secure gig), I think I would do what it takes to hang in there.
Schedule more things to look forward to--you know, like stay in town instead
of commuting, have a good meal in a restaurant after work, take in some live
music instead of taking work home...

I've been thinking of writing technical fortune cookies as a side line. Your
predicament inspired this one, hope it cheers you up. Feel free to try it
out on your cow orkers:

"Documentation is a zen garden. It is not a satisfying journey through a
collection of lush, placid leaves and flowers. It's a patch of barren gravel,
raked into a sort of order, with a hidden message of completeness that will
be revealed in the fullness of time."

Ned Bedinger
Ed Wordsmith Technical Communications


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Re: Starting over (long): From: John Posada

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