Re: How much has tech writing increased?

Subject: Re: How much has tech writing increased?
From: Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 20:19:32 -0500

At 10:32 AM 12/5/95 PST, Rose Wilcox responded to Nancy's post:

>Dear Nancy:
>I guess you shouldn't try going into a really high stress profession such as
>health professional, fire fighter, police work, or teaching junior high
>school in the inner city. I'm not saying that the stress level is low in
>tech writing, but it may be more medium. We do have to contend with
>deadlines (sometimes unreasonable), equipment failures, uncooperative SMEs,
>and lack of information, *sometimes*. But we are rarely in physical danger,
>nor do lives weigh in the balance if we flub up.

Rose, maybe lives don't weigh in the balance when you flub up. I write,
among other things, refinery and chemical plant operating and safety
manuals, and startup and shutdown procedures. People could die quite messily
if I flub up. Whole communities could be evacuated if I really flub up.

About 15 years ago, there was a train derailment in my city that
necessitated a massive evacuation because of the chemicals spilled. I write
about handling the same substances all the time. If the operators,
following my procedures, release toxins into the environment, you can bet
I'll get more than a slap on the wrist!

I also document software that controls refinery and chemical plant
processes. Again, I'd better be telling the operators the correct
procedures to follow, or all hell could break loose. I've fought fires in
refineries. I've watched a friend burn to death because nobody could reach
him, and he was where he shouldn't have been. I don't want to EVER cause
that to happen.

Win Day
Technical Writer/Editor
Email: winday -at- idirect -dot- com

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