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:Re: Question on record-keeping From:Tom Lange <Tom_Lange -at- DELL -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 12 Dec 1996 09:44:00 CST
I don't know who sent this question because my mail system only shows
the list address and the message does not have a signature block.
But the answer is yes, several times, in my case. The CYA
documentation that I keep (all source material and all reviews) has
helped in both personal situations and corporate situations.
I worked for very difficult VPs in two different companies. Both of
them liked to "attack" any discrepancy they could find, especially the
written word. Anything that did not meet their preconceived ideas was
wrong. The information I and the other writers retained saved us from
significant chewing and outright firing on more than one occasion.
I have also had situations where one engineer or developer gave me
data and later another one from another group questioned it. Using
the marked up copy, I was able to get the second individual to talk to
the first one. Of course, the result of them talking was a completely
One time in one corporation and twice in another corporation I
received calls from the legal department. The legal type said, "pack
up all published and unpublished material including all notes,
telephone logs, etc., and we will have someone over tomorrow to pick
it up. A customer is suing the corporation."
The CYA material showed the sequence of changes to the product in
question between one release and subsequent releases. This material
helped get all three suits dismissed.
These are just some of my many war stories from my twenty plus years
in the technical writing business.
tom_lange -at- us -dot- dell -dot- com
Just one Texan's opinions.
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Question on record-keeping
Author: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU at dell_unix
Date: 12/12/96 6:03 AM
Regarding CYA docs - I usually keep them around for far too long, just in
case someone ever does come back to me and wants to know who in the heck
came up with whatever.
My question for the list is, has this ever happened?