Re: nice way to word a nasty warning

Subject: Re: nice way to word a nasty warning
From: John Blessing <jblessing -at- PTD -dot- WABCO-RAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 12:43:32 -0400

Although I think that Tim is correct about adding authority, I also think
that sounding too authoriarian forces the reader either a) to skip over
your warning because it has the ring of beaurocracy and no beaurocracy can
enforce its own rules or b) to find your warning laughable because it
sounds like 007 will bring you down if you have an unauthorized
screensaver. People will be all too willing to defy something that is

John Blessing
-----Original Message-----
From: Merrick, Tim [SMTP:tim -dot- merrick -at- LSIL -dot- COM]
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 1999 12:25 PM
Subject: Re: nice way to word a nasty warning

Why sugarcoat it? Say what needs to be said and give it some authority. If
possible and applicable, set a policy. Here is my take at it:

"To enhance productivity, the Ministry has established a standard
configuration for office computers. Employees shall not change this
configuration without the assistance of the Technical Support Group.
Downloading screensavers or other software from the Internet is prohibited
without proper authorization. Users who make unauthorized changes to the
standard computer configuration will receive a lower priority for technical

I realize this is a bit wordy. But it establishes the reason for the
standard config, provides as stern warning against tampering, and
a specific consequence of violating the policy.

Tim Merrick
Technical Publications
LSI Logic Storage Systems
(316) 636-8011
tim -dot- merrick -at- lsil -dot- com <mailto:tim -dot- merrick -at- lsil -dot- com>

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