Young Writer's Covert Interviews

Subject: Young Writer's Covert Interviews
From: Shelly LaRock <smlarock -at- MTU -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 18:58:11 EST

Hi all,

After working for a company this summer, I certainly have
my fair share of covert interview stories. But mine are
a little different. Being the only college student tech
writer seemed to make it harder to get the information I
needed. Fortunately, my two years as Senior News Writer
for our campus paper taught me how to get information out
of people, especially when they weren't all too willing to
do so.

I remember one day this summer I was sitting in my office
(which, fortunately, was smack dab in the middle of all
the programmers and engineers) and two of the more senior
programmers were standing outside talking about AutoCAD v.12.
It seemed as though nobody knew how to use it and they
needed to find someone who did. I had just finished a course
in AutoCAD the quarter before I went to work, so I peeked
my head out the door and said I knew how to use it, and
in no time at all they had the info they needed. From that
point on I had no problems whatsoever getting the info
*I* needed.

There were many times when I was told that someone was
just too busy doing "important" things to sit down and
give me the info I needed. One time I printed out a copy
of one of the manuals I had been working on, minus the
information I had so many problems getting, and gave it
to a few of the programmers who were "too busy". Blank
pages sure get people's attention!

Sorry I've rambled on and on. Just thought I'd
delurk (unlurk?) and add my two cents. Hope you all
have a great weekend.

Shelly La Rock smlarock -at- mtu -dot- edu
Tech Writer, Michigan Tech University
Graduating in May--will write for food.

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