Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- OKVOTECH -dot- ORG>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 14:19:33 -0500

> The question was: when faced with someone who has misrepresented themselves
> as a technical person, what do you do?

So, in other words, the question should have been:

"When faced with someone who has misrepresented themselves as something
they are not, what do you do?"

Which would have produced horror stories about writers who claimed to
have experience, degrees, blah blah blah that they did not have -- but
since you brought up the whole "technical writers must be SMEs" mess,
you can hardly blame those who continued it.

But if you really want an answer to your question... either fire them or
train them depending on how serious the lie and how serious the need.
And make sure your expectations are more clearly worded next time you
hire someone -- if you want a technical writer who is ALSO an SME in a
particular subject, you should specify that, since obviously much of the
world (or at least much of techwr-l) doesn't assume they are one and the

Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Dept. of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, OK, USA

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