TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:RE: Into the Frying Pan From:Deidre Guy <DGuy -at- hcad -dot- org> To:"techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 1 Oct 2015 13:04:17 +0000
Wow different city and state same problem. I feel your pain. :)
On Thu, Oct 1, 2015 at 8:22 AM, Chris Morton <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi All,
> *BACKGROUND:* I'm but one publications specialist on a very large
> scale, corporate-run program in contract with New York. Although the
> corporation is known worldwide as an entity intimately involved with
> business documents, it has no official style guide. Well, marketing
> kinda sort has one... but then we've come across several variants on
> our own. And they even formally published one in 1988 that was offered
> for sale; it smacks of very early DTPitis (I was part of the DTP vanguard at the time).
> Our four-person publications department has a lot resting on its
> shoulders, and is (not) being managed by a person who has never run a
> pubs department before. Like half of our small dept., she's been on
> this job less than one full month and is learning as we go along. (Yet
> there is no time for that, as the horse is already out of the barn.)
> (BTW, corporate has equipped each of us with a single, tiny monitor,
> so attempting to speed edit with two docs up side-by-side is a real
> challenge, never mind the fact that we're all stuffed into study
> carrels (not even a normal cubicle). Some are on Office 2013, others
> 2010, so there's no telling why the disparity in system images and
> As with any state gig, I suppose, many things are in a quandary (I
> previously saw it while on a Deloitte project withe the CA Dept. of
> Workers' Comp.). Apparently several deliverables were already supposed
> to have been created and approved, including an overall outreach plan
> that includes many items pubs is charged with creating.
> Last week the pubs manager was still taking a leisurely approach to
> that doc, thinking that we only needed to have it roughed out, that
> the state would help us finalize dates and whatnot. It was up to us to
> first discover, then appropriate and thoroughly rewrite, a similar
> plan created in California for a sister program in that state (it was
> written by a bunch of youngsters who still write as if to impress
> their university professor.).
> No SME was involved, so much of the translation of that doc was by
> guess and by golly.
> Surprise! As of Tuesday afternoon, the state was up in arms that the
> plan had not already been finalized, submitted and approved.
> From the roll of her eyes, sighing, and other body language clues, the
> pubs manager knows she's in over her depth but continues with the struggle.
> *PROBLEM*: The version of the 15-pp doc I had created, minus dates,
> was carefully formatted in Word with section breaks, numbered headers
> and a TOC (plus a lot of other pro touches). Unbeknownst to me, it was
> sent around to other departments for markup. There was little
> agreement among the players there, and several did not use Track Changes to mark it up.
> Yesterday morning I was urgently (everything's become URGENT!)
> instructed to sit in on a Webex call with two SMEs, who wanted to do
> yet another line edit. I was supposed to help guide them, collect
> inputs, and then magically assimilate all changes into a perfectly
> formatted, state-"presentation ready" doc by 2:30. The SME conference
> lasted until noon, and I'm required to "punch out" for an hour lunch (I cut my lunch break way short anyway).
> But I soldiered on, being less than pleased with the resultâalthough I
> gave it the yeoman's effort.
> BUT... I found out later in the afternoon that, once I was done, pubs
> mgr had given it to another in our department to reformat it from Arial 11 pt.
> (the true corporate std.) to Arial 10 pt.(what the pubs mgr. found in
> a some PPT, origin unknown). That would have thrown off all of my
> careful page breaks and other typesetting finesses. I didn't see the
> final product before it went back to the state for their OK.
> *SOLUTION*: Other than getting the heck out of there ASAP, what
> process could we have employed in the intra-departmental doc review so
> as to maintain the integrity of the Word doc each step of the way?
> (I've considered distributing a PDF and letting others comment on it,
> but we don't so much as have access to Acrobat Pro. Corporate endorses
> CutePDF, but I've never worked with it. Would the standard Acrobat Reader suffice?
> What other methodologies have worked for you in such a situation?
> Thanks much,
> > Chris
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy
> and content development | http://techwhirl.com
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as daniel -dot- friedman42 -at- gmail -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
>http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> and info.
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com