Re: Are manuals and help read?

Subject: Re: Are manuals and help read?
From: Len Olszewski <saslpo -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 1994 09:49:06 -0500

Karla McMaster talks about the profession we all ply (or to which we


> I, like Bonni, have heard over and over that no one reads the manual (or
> anyway. If I really believed that, I would look for another type of
> Still, it gets discouraging to hear your profession denigrated every time you
> turn around.

When you say the word "profession", it means more than just "job". It
implies a professional attitude. To me, this means understanding that I
do not control the actions, attitudes or opinions of others, only my
own. If people denigrate me based on the actions or products of others,
I really don't care; the areas under my control are all above reproach,
and I welcome a closer examination of my work or my habits by anybody.

Blow off people who criticize by category in ignorance of the specifics.
Or educate them, if you have the time and energy.


> Perhaps new titles can remove some of the sexism that I see inherent in the
> technical communication industry...

Titles are a symptom rather than a root cause here, I suspect. Removing
sexism from tech communication, and from the culture at large, will
require continued education of those who practice, condone or otherwise
abet it, and a persistent and assertive refusal by those who suffer it
to be a victim to it. Well-documented and expensive litigation to
redress the worst cases doesn't hurt, either 8^).

Many times you get what you are willing to accept. This doesn't excuse
the people who offer you too little, but it also means you should raise
your expectations and sharpen your bargaining skills. My two bits, all

|Len Olszewski, Technical Writer |"Don't use the imperative!" |
|saslpo -at- unx -dot- sas -dot- com|Cary, NC, USA| -Rhetorical contradiction |
| Opinions this ludicrous are mine. Reasonable opinions will cost you.|

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