Re: Quote of the Day

Subject: Re: Quote of the Day
From: "Henry J. Wicko II" <henry -dot- wicko -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Mary Arrotti" <mary_arrotti -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 15:48:14 -0400

As Bill Swallow stated above:

> Respect is earned, not given.

Here is a suggestion for you when asked to "pretty up a document" and cross
their "t's." Sorry for jumping in a little late here...

Find grammar inconsistencies. Find errors in document flow, information
structure, offer where to use a table or graphic (armed with a "why"
answer), and overall suggestions on how to improve the document. Of course,
your tact, respect for them, and people skills shine here.

Go above and beyond their perception of your skills, capabilities, and
"administrative job duties." When they tell you not to worry about your
recommendations, you say a couple things: "sorry, this document is below my
standard and can't release it back to you unless it is fixed," "you want the
customer to misread that ambiguous statement???" or, "your choice
of productive comment."

Then, one day, when you are asked to look for commas, formatting, and such
-- just make her look pretty for me they say -- and, as we are often the
last line of defense for publication, take a look at the document, and find
the Scope content in the Purpose section and the Purpose content in the
Scope section, make sure you bring it up to them. It especially helps when
they have an M.B.A., Senior title, and it has passed a couple stages of
prior peer reviewing and had the content finalized. Yes, I loved the look
on their face when I showed it to them because their parting words after the
pretty her up part were"... so I can deliver it to the customer when you are

I'd leave as fast as I could if I was asked to "pretty up the document" by
that person again; I wasn't and I was glad. Cultures do exist where
Technical Writers are valued and can enhance products, business methods, the
bottom line, and save some embarrassment.

(who gets irked by the "spellchecker" comment and sorts, but loves it when
those that say it ask you for help on something critical they "need" you to
do <smirk>)

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
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Quote of the Day: From: Jim Barrow
Re: Quote of the Day: From: Mary Arrotti

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