RE: Fortune cookies

Subject: RE: Fortune cookies
From: "Sarah Stegall" <sstegall -at- bivio -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 2009 11:33:05 -0700

In the late 90s I was working for a small start-up, where I had a lot of
trouble getting reviews back from programmers and engineers. This was
especially true of the "warnings" section. So one day, I slipped in a
warning: Do not run with scissors. I was trying to see how many of my
readers actually read the stuff they were signing off on (very few, as
it turned out). When it came time for the final draft, of course I took
that "warning" out.

A message came back from the President/CEO ordering me to put it back


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sstegall=bivio -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2009 8:21 AM
To: David Neeley; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Fortune cookies

Two stories:
1. A former coworker had previously worked as tech writer for a
manufacturer of pneumatic nail guns. This was way back in the early or
mid-1980s when they were still rather new. The instructions specifically
stated to use nails no larger than a specific size. Inevitably, the
company would get jammed nail guns for warranty repair -- complete with
oversized nails in place as the cause of the jam. My former coworker
said that one of the managers suggested adding a warning in the
documentation, "Do not use nails larger than the size specified here or
else jamming will occur. If you do use oversize nails, #%#&*$^ you, it's
your problem because we told you not to!"
And no, they didn't add THAT warning -- though I'm sure many of us on
this list would LOVE to add a VERY direct warning to some of our own
stuff to not do this or that or product damage or worse may result.


Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
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Fortune cookies: From: David Neeley
Re: Fortune cookies: From: poshedly

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