Re: (2) Blues and Manufacturing

Subject: Re: (2) Blues and Manufacturing
From: Linda Hughes <lhughes -at- NOVAMETRIX -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 13:43:53 -0400

>blurb about the blues

The only occupation I've found equally as diverting as tech writing was
my seven years as a professional college student. I've been a waitress,
bartender, cook, travel agent, office manager, print shop production
person, industrial engineer, public relations writer, reporter and
probably a few other things I can't remember off hand. Point being: it's
all the same.

We all get up in the morning, go to work, come home, go to bed. My
personal opinion: the only difference is the company you work for and
the people you work with, and those can be fixed when necessary. Tech
writing offers two things few other jobs can--first, an opportunity,
even a necessity, to keep learning. Second, a decent living while doing
something we love. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I didn't
write, there was a huge, aching, hole in my life. I gave up my job, my
apartment, and a lot of money to go back to full-time school at 31. I'm
a full-time tech writer now, and having seen firsthand how life is, it
just doesn't get any better.

For the gentleman who began this topic (sorry, I deleted your name long
ago): I see only two possibilities. To quote my Economics professor,
"vertical or horizontal enrichment."

(1) Vertical: You are ready for that jump up to management, even knowing
that you won't write as much.
(2) Horizontal: Either you can try to enrich your life with more (i.e. a
teaching job) or make a sideways move to another/different job.

Gut feelings are important. Good Luck :)

>Which leads me to the current George Mena-induced manufacturing thread.

He's right: any kind of manufacturing exposure is extremely valuable to
a tech writer. That's where the word technical comes from, I believe.
Having spent five fascinating years as an Industrial Engineer, up to my
elbows in metal chips and cutting fluid, I can say the experience was
very valuable. It may not apply to medical hardware/software, but the
mindset
is still there. OK, I was that rarest of species, an engineer who could
write (which is how I got here in the first place), but I wouldn't have
traded that experience for anything
else, and consider it equally as valuable as my later degree in
journalism and years spent as a reporter. In one sense or another,
"making stuff" is the end goal of every job, every company, every
healthy national economy.

In a philosophical bent,

Linda Hughes
Novametrix Medical Systems



P.S. Many thanks to the 10 or so people who answered my question about
Frame to Word conversion. Conclusion: it doesn't work well on 5.5, if at
all. It's nice to know the problem wasn't something I did or didn't do.
I've archived the Filtrix and mif2rtf information and will see if I can
get the company to spring for a conversion program. FYI: an import patch
for Word to Frame is currently available on the Adobe website.
Hopefully,
export will be next.


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