Re: Printers, Fonts, Networks

Subject: Re: Printers, Fonts, Networks
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 29 May 1995 14:37:50 PDT

Arlen Walker writes:

>"TT Only" is a religion a lot of people outside the publishing industry
>have, because they see it as easier, and the fonts can be as clean and
>good-looking as type 1 fonts are. And since it's supported by Microsoft,
>the logic goes, everyone in the world prefers it to any other product.
>This isn't the case, and the MS bigots in your firm had better come to
>grips with the realities of being, in this case, on the minority platform.

The problem is that the MIS people are not responsible for getting
documents written, don't know typography from a hole in the ground, and
yet manage to interpose themselves in such a way that no work can be
done. "Standardization" is their sword; ignorance is their shield.

One of the things I hate most in the world is to try to convince someone
who still centers lines of text by typing spaces in the left-hand margin
that publishing is a profession with specialized requirements. It is
very difficult to penetrate the attitude of, "I know I don't know squat
about Word, and I get by, so it must be capable of anything."

Unchecked, such people can easily ruin a perfectly good Tech Pubs
department, without ever belonging to it or having any official relationship
with it. MIS is in an unusually good position to bring work to a standstill;
better than Engineering, and almost as good as Marketing. All they
have to do is break things, or take away something that works and not
replace it. Then some headhunter gets a writer to go to a job interview
on a lark, the writer finds a place where the Information Systems people
know their place (the network isn't overloaded, there's free space on the
disks, the software runs, the printers print), and WHAM! No more department.

My brief skirmishes with MIS have always been victorious, because I
know the Secrets of MIS:

1. All MIS decsisions are political in nature; none are technical.

2. MIS is lower than a snake's belly in the corporate pecking order.
2a. MIS folds up like a house of cards when faced with serious opposition
of any kind, unless the opposition can be painted as "anti-management."
2b. Faced with rebellion in the ranks, management has a strong desire
to punish MIS, rather than the people with products to produce.
2c. MIS is aware of all this, and tends to appease loud, organized
opposition groups, especially when they drag their management into
the fray early on.

-- Robert


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