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Subject:Degree PLUS A LETTER TO THE CAPTAIN From:"Hume, Patrick F" <patrick_hume -at- REYREY -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 8 Dec 1998 14:48:03 -0500
BA in English (this means even stupid people think I'm dumb as a box of
rocks. See below)
Professional Writer's Certificate
Dear Captain Ahab,
Speaking on behalf of the disgruntled crew, I've come to voice some of the
complaints many of us hold, though they are only spoken in hushed voices by
the crew when you retire to your cabin. The SS Techwhirler is traveling in
uncharted waters, reaching a breakneck pace, yet many of our most
experienced, valued, senior shipmates fear the wicked repercussions of
questioning even the most trivial of your commands. Indeed, the once strong
and stable voices of our most stalwart shipmates are never heard above the
crowd of muttering swabbies who mindlessly follow your every command. Our
ship is in peril, we must chart a course deemed both safe and bountiful for
all the shipmates.
Due to your tyrannical insistence upon a single, fool-hardy goal, we are all
being robbed of the opportunity to flourish among our brethren and take from
the Mother Sea our rightful bounty. Who will forget the time when, thinking
you'd found the great white whale, you pulled the ship alongside her and
began thrusting and thrusting and thrusting your harpoon into the beast only
to find it was the carcass of a drowned elephant. HO-HO, the crew, including
myself, will never forget your embarrassment nor the shocked look on your
face when you found the huge trunk of the great Moby Dick.
Then in the aftermath of this debacle, only one clear voice rose above the
crowd to defend your actions-the voice of Andrew Plato, who, as his name
implies, is not only one of the great thinkers of our time, he is one of the
great thinkers of all time. Though he defended you in your hour of peril,
you still saw fit to cast him adrift from our ship when you knew he could
not possibly find a safe harbor in the pitiful craft in which he was left.
Woe be the day we lost Andrew Plato. God rest his soul. I believe to the
bottom of my heart that was the day the SS Techwhirler sealed her fate.
The crowning jewel in your reign of terror, however, is the disappearance of
Dr. Lisa Higgins; a woman who has sacrificed so much for all technical
writers the world over, and received so little in return. She is of course
the Patron Saint of Technical Writers and also the Goddess of Love (what a
truly strange combination). Since her birth in 1966, a strange apparition
has appeared above Aphrodite's head in big bold letters stating: "Damn, I
wish I was Lisa Higgins, that Bitch." Although we have had the distinct
honor of serving with such distinguished shipmates, we are still confined to
our quarters, rambling on about "BA in this, or BS in that, or BS in
BS"-STOP IT ALREADY. Does any of this "mean" anything at all? I say, "NO, IT
If Dr. Higgins walked into the corporate headquarters of the great MicroSoft
and said, "I'm Dr. Higgins, Patron Saint of Technical Writers." Would that
get her a job? NO!!! The powers that be would simply say "Patron Saint of
Technical Writers-Smatron Saint of Technical Writers. Get outta here, we're
MicroSoft, and we own the world." If, however, she walked in and said "I'm
Dr. Higgins, Goddess of Love." Would that get her a job? You bet your ass,
it would. Bill Gates would probably be jealous of her salary. She could also
perform this same trick in the White House and get chased around the Oval
Office desk by the big guy with "little Bill" standing at full attention.
How far have we come as professionals?
In the final analysis, what does this talk of degrees and qualifications do
for the profession? I'll tell you, it degrades us to the point that our
entire ship is in very dangerous waters seeking the great white whale just
to satisfy your vengeful lust for the creature that took your leg. You can
have your gold coin, Captain Ahab. I for one, will not stand lookout over
the vast sea of technical documentation searching for the whale who remains
the mirror image of yourself; nor will I abandon ship. You'll have to throw
P.S. I really do have to go. My daughter's the captain of the cheerleading
squad today and she'll be really pissed if I'm late. GO BORO!!!!!
Choose your companions carefully; the water is wide.