Re: The ethics of tech writing; Why quit?

Subject: Re: The ethics of tech writing; Why quit?
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2013 13:42:47 -0400

On Tue, 04 Jun 2013 12:31:31 -0400, Gregory P Sweet <gps03 -at- health -dot- state -dot- ny -dot- us> wrote:

I find it interesting that people would consider quitting a viable option
when asked to do something unethical. Why not simply refuse and then let
them fire you if they are so inclined?

My wife the quality engineer quit and was fired several times, sometimes over refusal to obey a direct but illegal order.

The last time she quit was over safety. She had become the de-facto safety engineer, and was involved in day-to-day fire-fighting work. Not only did she have to do the usual ad-hoc testing, where someone wanted sudden results for a test that took several hours (and also wanted a particular result), but she also extinguished several fires. Actual fires. Words to management accomplished nothing.

So she quit. A week or two later an extruder exploded, putting molten plastic everywhere, and burning the faces off a couple of guys.

All I've seen for craziness in TW is the request to document the product the way that Marketing says it should work, even though the intended functionality is beyond state of the art or beyond logical possibility.

Long ago, far away in a land that Prime forgot...
DCB (frightened new artistic employee): "I'm afraid of the computer."
DLC (seasoned TW): "Come over here. I'll show you how it works."
DLC presses keys. Nothing happens. DLC waits, presses more keys. Additional nothing happens.
DCB: "Oh, now I see. It doesn't work!"
DCB leaves DLC's office, happily understanding that computers offer no threat.
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