Re: any suggestions?

Subject: Re: any suggestions?
From: Peggy Schillinger <peggys -at- STLNET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 10:13:39 -0600

John Engler wrote:

> And we though we'd come up with a top 10 list called "Top 10 Reasons Not
> to Become a Technical Writer." (We'd rather call it "Top 10 Ways to
> Torture Programmers," but we thought they might take us too seriously!)
> Anyway, so I was wondering what kinds of reasons you folks would come up
> with that we could use. If you want, you can e-mail me privately and

Hi, John:

I strongly urge you to think again about this idea. Why would you take
the company spotlight to put down your profession? This is your
opportunity to promote your ideas, your responsibilities, and the good
work that you do--don't blow it on some self-deprecating humor that will
fall (believe me) extremely flat. You will lose a lot of respect.

For years, I kept a canned speech about why the Tech Doc dept is the hub
of the company and why all other depts revolved around us. My
colleagues heard this speech many times. I told the programmers that I
had deadlines and they weren't allowed to make me late; if the
documentation was finished first, they had to program according to my
software descriptions. When I sent a manuscript for technical review,
the cover memo explained that inaccuracies that came from a sloppy
review meant that the code, or UI, or dialog box had to be changed--not
the manuals. Did I win all the confrontations that popped up? Of course
not; nobody ever does. But the company respected the writers, and our
documentation quality was generally good.

Best regards....Peggy Schillinger

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