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:From the annals of "If I don't laugh, I'll cry" From:"Delaney, Misti" <ncr02!ncr02!mdelaney -at- UCS01 -dot- ATTMAIL -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 25 Jul 1995 15:59:00 -0500
From: Price, Becca
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 1995 2:46PM
re: this is not a toy, etc.
my first job as a tech writer, back in the mid-70s. Here am I, reasonably
fresh out of college with a degree that translates into "batchelors of
miscelaneous" -even more than the usual humanities or lit. degrees of those
days. I am the only support of a non-working and expensive (now
ex-)husband. This was my first project ever.
This is back in the Dim Dark Days, fellas, where writers *wrote* and gave
the resulting scribbles to a person who did not so much sit down at a word
processor as climb into it. Her output was reviewed and edited, then given
to a typesetter, who returned to us a mystical entity known as a
silverprint... this was converted into a proof print, which then went to
print. Final signoff was required on the proof print by 17 people in this
particular corporation, which made medical devices. Those 17 included the
cororate president and the corporate lawyer...
Standard ly, for every product of the corporation, inside each cover for
every manual, in a big bold black box, was the words "CAUTION! This device
should not be used unattended."
Proudly, I received from the printer the first print run of the manual. I
reviewed it with the proud but critical eye of the new parent. You guessed
it - one word was omitted from the inside cover page, so that it now read:
"CAUTION! This device should not be used."
The only thing that saved my job was the 17 signoffs....