Re: Back again.... looking...

Subject: Re: Back again.... looking...
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 15:36:42 -0800

On 1/11/2013 2:37 PM, William Sherman wrote:

Also, if you were a doctor or a millwright on a boiler system or a tech in a nuclear power plant, yes, I can see them needing you back to the job fast.

I had a job like that at NEC way back in 1997. They needed to get a training manual for their new (now standard) product, APHIS, a fingerprint matching system. The manual they had was over 100 pages, mostly from unnecessary repetition with little useful content. The TW before me had worked on it for several months and the training team needed to train the Hong Kong police how to use the system in two weeks. It was a hard deadline. Very little in that document provided information on how to use the system, so I wound up working from the morning until about 11 at night for most of that two weeks to get a useable 30-page manual. I'll always remember the manager who hired me at NEC saying of the TW, "He meant well; he just didn't really know what he was doing."

But a tech writer?

There are times when a TW is very important for the release of a product or for the deployment of a training team.

"Quick! Get in here! We have a rush on a tech manual for a ____. We have to write a new one and get it out tonight! We have five hours to get this procedure right or the Earth will split open!"

In 30 years, I've never seen a tech manual emergency.

I have worked on at least three.

Let's get real. If you live in Chicago and apply for a job in Dallas, you know you aren't commuting and you need to move there. Why is it their concern if you move or not, since they aren't paying for the move?

They want to make sure they are getting someone who will show up and not flake or cancel because "something better came along." People will use one job offer to leverage another.

If you are willing to travel 1500 miles to take that job, you are investing a lot more of yourself than the guy who drives down the road from 20 miles away. He is the guy who has a $40 investment in the job - the price of his gas to get there for the week. If it doesn't work out, he is out very little at the end of the week. The Chicago person is out several hundreds of dollars, and needs to make it work at least 4 months just to recoup the cost of getting there.

Or the person can be taking the job to leverage a move to get something else. I would be skeptical of someone who says that they suddenly decided to leave their state for a technical writing job. Why is that person moving in such a rush and so far away? The person I replaced at NEC wound up leaving the country, but I don't know if the NEC job had anything to do with that.

Writer Tip: Create 10 different outputs with Doc-To-Help -- including Mobile and EPUB.

Read all about them:

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @

Re: Back again.... looking...: From: William Sherman
RE: Back again.... looking...: From: Margaret Cekis
RE: Back again.... looking...: From: Cardimon, Craig
Re: Back again.... looking...: From: William Sherman

Previous by Author: Re: TCS v4: Where's Photoshop?!
Next by Author: Re: WordPress for Technical Documentation
Previous by Thread: Re: Back again.... looking...
Next by Thread: Re: Back again.... looking...

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads