sad tale - response

Subject: sad tale - response
From: Miki Magyar <MDM0857 -at- MCDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 13:19:08 -0600

Matthew Bin told us of his trials with a disgruntled ex-employee SME and his attempts to improve the user doc, "which, when it is written in understandable English,
is full of speculations, excuses, and snarkiness."

Matthew, my heartfelt sympathies. You may have hit a brick wall, but there's one thing you might try that's worked for me. First, you must realize you will never change this bloke's view of the world, you, or his work. So don't try. Instead, put yourself on his side - "It's a real pain, but I've been ordered to do this, so we might as well get it over with. Here's the stuff they told me to put in..." hand him a list of specific questions or blanks to fill in, with your guess as to what it should be. Grumble a lot about the unfairness of it all as you prod him to give you data. Make it clear that *something* has to go in there, and it's either going to be his input or your best guess. But don't criticize his work or point out its flaws. Instead, indicate that you are confused (implication is you're too dumb to understand). List the two or three possible interpretations of his garble and ask which is correct.

This may not work, but it's worth a try. You may find that having a mutual 'foe' ('them') is enough to allow him to actually communicate with you.

Good luck!

mikim -at- mcdata -dot- com

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