Technical Writer Comic Strips
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Dilbert: Your second paragraph is pointless and confusing. Let's just delete it. Tina: I'm a highly trained technical writer. What makes you think you can do my job better? Dilbert: That might be a trick questions, but I'm pretty sure the answer is paragraph two.
The Boss, Tina the Tech Writer, Asok the Intern and Ratbert sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "I want you three to write the department newsletter. It's an important, high-profile assignment." Tina says, "I am an experienced technical writer. You have placed me on a project with an intern and a rodent." Tina continues, "MY next raise will depend on THEIR performance." Asok says, "I'll do the sports page!" Ratbert says, "I'll be the topless model on page two."
The Boss sits at his desk. He says, "Tina, we need to set measurable objectives for you." Tina responds, "I'm a technical writer. How can you measure good writing?" The Boss says, "Everything is measurable is you try hard enough." Tina asks, "Is that your well-measured opinion?" She continues, "Or is it the dogmatic babbling of a manager in total cognitive surrender?" The Boss comes back with, "For example, we could measure the number of words you type." He adds, "We'll have to subtract words you delete. That way we won't motivate the wrong behavior." Tina is now at her desk, typing. She has written, "In this edition of Tina's hourly newsletter, I compare our projects to various types of wood."
Boss: You need to edit the product warning from seven hundred pages down to one. Tina: Oh, that's rich. I'ma professional technical writer, and you're telling me how to write? Boss: Can you cut it down to 500 pages? Tina: Sure, if you want it to be total rubbish.
Tina the Tech Writer, Asok the Intern and Ratbert sit at a conference table. Tina says, "Let's get one thing straight before we start writing the department newsletter . . ." Tina continues, "I'm an experienced technical writer. You are an intern and a rat, respectively. Therefore I will be the editor." Asok says, "I have no skills whatsoever. Therefore I'll be executive editor." Ratbert asks, "Is 'publisher' taken?"
Tina the Tech Writer sits at a table with Dogbert. Tina says, "I'm a lowly technical writer now, but my goal is to become a famous novelist." Tina continues, "My plan is to write witty and scathing e-mail messages about co-workers until a publisher gives me an advance." Dogbert says, "They might expect you to write a book at some point." Tina yells, "Blood suckers!"
Phil the Ruler of Heck tells Tina, "You are guilty of being a technical writer with an unnatural attraction to an engineer." Phil leads Tina into Heck and says, "It's not a major sin, so you only go to Heck. I'm Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light." Phil leads Tina to a desk and says, "Sit down and type, 'I proactively leverage my synergies,' a hundred times." Tina screams, "No-o-o!!!"
Tina asks Dilbert, "Did you review my draft documentation yet?" Dilbert sits at his desk and replies, "Uh . . . I'll get to it soon." Tina says, "That's what you've been saying since July!!" Tina continues, "I know I'm only a lowly technical writer and you're a big important engineer . . ." Tina screams, "But is it too much to ask for you to glance at the fruits of my labor?!!!" Tina grabs Dilbert's tie and yells, "Five lousy mintues is all it would take to validate my value on this planet! Read it, you fetid pile of compost!!" Dilbert opens a binder and says, "Okay, okay! I'll read it right now!" Dilbert says, "These pages are blank! You've been bluffing for months!" Tina looks nervous. Tina says, "I think I'll go have a yummy compost salad with delicious fetid cheese." Dilbert says, "I'm going to look up those words."
Dilbert says, "A technical writer misinterpreted the acronyms in my draft technical paper." Dilbert says, "But that's okay because my pointy-haired boss will turn it into content-free bullet points and show it to idiots." Dogbert says, "I like stories with lots of idiots in them." Dilbert says, "Glad to help."
Tina: My boss, who knows nothing about technical writing, told me to cut my 700-page product warning down to 500 pages. He doesn't appreciate my art. Dilbert: Sounds like both of you are idiots. Tina: This will go smoother if you stop talking.