At around 5:45pm each weekday the Simon Mayo Drivetime show on BBC Radio 2 features a “Confessions” slot. This allows people to unburden their conscience for a misdemeanour that happened in the long and distant past and which they have kept secret all this time. Quite often the stories feature the confessor’s youth and a drink or two! The presenting team and their audience then decide whether they are forgiven.
Yesterday’s story broke that formula somewhat, but was no less enjoyable to hear. It went as follows:
Today our office took delivery of a new coffee machine. Why I don’t know as the old machine was perfectly OK and we knew where we stood with it. The new machine is sleek, clean and unblemished. It sits proudly on the work surface waiting to be loved. It has the usual paraphernalia of an office coffee machine. Namely two hot plates, one on top of the other, and two buttons to turn them on / off independently.
As the United States of America sits down to give thanks for everything that has come their way in the last year, the rest of the world carries on regardless. No family dinner excess and no massive shopping spree. Not for another month at least.
To prove the point that we are still hard at work, I couldn’t resist recording for posterity the very clear and concise instructions put up in our office kitchen earlier today. As you can see, people are taking a lot of notice of it!
I was recently asked to review the latest version of Dr.Explain (version 4.10.822). As a long time Adobe RoboHelp user who recently flirted with Madcap Flare, I was intrigued by what it has to offer.
It would be fair to say that to most Technical Writers Dr.Explain would not be top of their “must have” list, but I wondered why. I last looked at what the tool could do nearly 15 years ago when I was selecting a help authoring tool at a start-up. Our profession has changed immeasurably in that time, so surely it was time for another look. Could our profession’s impression of Dr.Explain be misguided?
The technical communication profession is often misunderstood. How often have you explained the process of how you produce your content only for an astonished look and an retort along the lines of, “but I thought you just wrote stuff.” So to make a point, I have turned the spotlight on other professions with my tongue placed firmly in my cheek. What I offer is my own interpretation of what they do. Enjoy and feel free to add your own.