August 22nd, 2003

grandma

Things that make you go "Ack!"

So I get a call from one of our guys on the East Coast. "What's this I hear about the docs for the next project being done in India?" Since I just bought a new car, you can imagine my reaction. I told him I hadn't heard anything, but would check with my boss. I was remarkably sanguine about it.

I managed to catch Jeffery and ask. He said it sounds like a rumor. He had been looking to get us an extra writing resource or two, since we're so swamped. They told him they might let him have some from the division in India. The problem with that was that they couldn't do it. They were used to being spoon-fed, just getting stuff written up by AEs, then massaging and formating. We work opposite to that. Here, the writers run the product and try to understand it, interviewing the developers for the details on what it does. What's bad is when we don't have a version that works, as yet! Or working test cases. Then it's just sitting down with the developer and asking a LOT of questions. And getting screen shots from him, since we can't actually get them from the product, if it's not working. And then there's the command-line stuff, which usually is someone in the my office saying "Oh, by the way, we wrote this QEL/script/Unix command that you might need to document... It's about that formal. And then when we get everything written up, we give it to the AEs. ;-) Opposite to the rest of Cadence.

Wow, these guys must have cushy jobs. I don't know if I've ever had a tech writing job like that. Mine has always been hands-on in the extreme. Okay, that resolves my question on how they would manage to do documentation with something developed in San Jose, and the writer in India. And basically, it means that it wouldn't work. So if they try it, and, say, lay off the two of us, it will be a complete disaster for a product that's currently very important to the company. So if anyone has common sense (so rare in business nowadays, I admit), they won't do it. But hey, if they do, they deserve what they get (which won't be pretty, and end up costing them lotsa bucks).
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Dancing Thru

When I HAVE to spend a LOT of money...

I notice that when I have to spend a lot of money on major purchases ranging from a new fence to car repair (or car purchase), I have an interesting rebound effect with my finances.

I buy myself some small self-indulgence (it was a filet mignon that I had for dinner last night, yum!), and then go make a large contribution to some charity. Last night, I pledged $120 to KTEH, the local public TV station, who like a lot of folks around here, is in Dire Straits. I'm still working at the moment, and I pay almost $50 a month to the cable company just to get decent TV, so surely I can throw money at the local station who broadcasts decent stuff *for free* on the regular airwaves.