Continuing training vs. EOL "user" docs

Subject: Continuing training vs. EOL "user" docs
From: Guy McDonald <guym -at- DAKA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 08:35:30 -0800

Thread formerly called: "writing and liability"
>Sue G: I'm responding to ask for clarification of Guy's ideas and to add
some input of my own. (Well, OK, in retrospect, a *lot* of input of my own
<g>) Sorry I left so much of Guy's original post in, but the words he uses
are important.

GUY: Thank you Sue, now that you've buttered the bread... I'll answer you
questions. I suppose you have a 10 pound sledge waiting in the wings for
next week??!! <<<<LOL>>>> ,-)
SUE G: Guy, what I think you're saying is that we need desperately to
include input from the user into our work and that, in some industries --
but not hardware and software -- it's possible that the user could replace
the techwriter in the documentation process. Is that right???

GUY: "Kinda sorta" Sue. I am speaking of the difference in training an
existing employee vs. a direct hire from your "user pool". You can analyze
existing employee(s) and their performance record(s). You can not analyze
this with your industry short of a call for resumes. Therein lies the
difference between a training doc & a "user doc". 'nuff said :)
SUE: And, thanks for the glowing complements to the computer-related tech
writing industry, but...

GUY: There is no "but...." after you contemplate what I said above.
That's why I couldn't draw conclusive argument that would relate to your
industry (computer related). BTW, I appreciate the insight you provided
into the computer-related tech writing industry. Like I told you Friday,
your comments shed light on the current situation in your field. Your
comments were well worth the read Sue... who cares whether you became a
little wordy. ,-)

Overcoming the "twinkie eating kid who blends into a computer workstation"
mindset is important for your branch of the profession. Apparantly, not
only did Billy Boy grow up and get married, so did the computer-related
tech writing industry. <s> Fascinating & nice to hear. Thanx!!
SUE: How many of us have ever actually *met* someone who uses our
product???? How many of us have ever seen our product in-use in a
situation???? How many of us have performed a task analysis in the last
year??? I don't see a whole lot of hands out there! ;-)

GUY: This comment (string of questions) *disturbeth me*. Sue is raising
an issue that obviously bothers her and one can easily see that she cares
about the profession. My open question to any who didn't "raise hands"
(with follow-on statement) is:

How the hell can you folk conduct business in good conscience? And if you
say "Guy, my company will not allow me to interact with the user", I
respond to you "your company is all f&#k'd up on that issue. Fix it."

If the "fix" is leaving that company... so be it. Some aspects of job
satisfaction and professional (personal) pride transcend financial
remuneration. Don't think "yeah right, bullshit" unless you have walked
this path. It's a happy & content pathway to follow.
SUE: So, Guy... I *think* I know what you mean. But, as far as you're
singling out the computer industry as an exception, I think you're
way off base!

GUY: Oh poo pooh on you Sue :))))) Now that I've hopefully answered your
questions, do you still think I'm "way off base"??? Otherwise, we'll take
this off list while I 'splain what my definition of "writing for industry"

Guy McDonald
guym -at- daka -dot- com

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