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Melinda has an overactive reviewer. Such people have become fascinated
by Tech Pubs. This is no sin in itself, but such people have no proper
outlet for their interest, and thus they tend to turn their peripheral
involvement in a project into a three-ring circus by over-reviewing
and acting weird.
The only cure is to ask them if they'd like to write something. A
manual, an app note, a journal paper. Tell them that, because they're
expert and because they've taken an interest, you'd really like to
get them published, but they'd have to play ball and submit to the
editorial process and stick to their schedules.
Such a proposal usually has one of two outcomes:
1. They do the work, learn a lot about the Pubs department, and things
proceed on a more even keel thereafter. Plus, you get a document
you had no staffing for.
2. They don't do the work and tend to hide from you thereafter.
Either way is an improvement.
The guys who suddenly become fascinated with publishing are often on
the brink of burnout, though this isn't always true. They're having
trouble focusing on their own work, so they tend to go off on tangents.
(Burned-out employees don't avoid all activity. In fact, they can
be demonically obsessive about anything except what they're being
paid to do.) Such people can sometimes do really good documentation
work, and god knows they need a break from their daily grind.
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139