Re: When a Bad Manual Wins...

Subject: Re: When a Bad Manual Wins...
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 1996 07:04:03 PST

When doing work that's going to make a polyester purse out of a sow's
ear, there are a series of things that I do to help keep me moving:

1. Play the radio during work. It helps drown out my internal grumbling.

2. Play recorded books on the drive to work. This no longer works for
me, since I now work at home, but it allowed me to shed the "mounting
stress as I approach work" and the "lingering stress after I leave"
effects.

3. Reassess the work. Are you accomplishing what you've been asked
to accomplish? If not, you should try to figure out an alternate
plan. If you ARE getting the work done, and the problem is that
the work is a hack job, do a nice neat hack job and don't worry
about might-have-beens. There is a place for hack jobs.

4. Hire a contractor or a temp. Outsiders care less. They'll do
the same work cheerfully, since they aren't haunted by might-have-beens
or worries about your usual standards. If you ask a contractor
to do a rude hack job, you'll get questions about what war gamers
call "victory conditions," and then they will do the work to your
specifications. (The good ones will give you their considered
opinion about how well or poorly your approach is likely to work,
will point out what other options might exist,
and may bow out if the project is too bone-headed, but in general
the clients are the ones who have to live the the results, so they
calls the shots.)

-- Robert
--
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


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