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Saturday October 20, 2018
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Stupid Client Quote #7899

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ShoelessJoe  | posted 03-23-2011 | Number of Votes: 32  |  Current Rating: 4.29   

A large part of our IT support is dedicated to end-user documentation. We maintain an entire web site for just that purpose. We also ensure that each site has prominent links to the appropriate documents. Part of any change includes an evaluation of the user guides, jobs aids, etc. to keep things current. For each change, the client, who fancies herself the "system administrator", request that the current user's guide be emailed to her so she can do her own evaluation. The documentation lead doesn't have the stones to just email her the hyperlink to the document and emails the entire 250 page tome each and every time.

This is the typical exchange:
Clueless Client: "Do a write-up and send it to me for review." (She can't seem to initiate a text change, only edit other people's words.)
Skilled Tech Writer: Writes a beautiful, brief, correct, and clear paragraph.
CC: Returns the text completely re-written, without any of the suggested changes.

In the end, we compare the changes recommended by the technical writers to the changes the "system admin" has submitted in a separate email, not using the document software's mark-up feature. More often than not, her voluminous, eight-paragraph, grammatically-challenged suggestions are used rather than the STW's clear, six-line, bullet instructions because the client is always right, even when they are obviously wrong.

Why do these types never retire, even when eligible?

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