Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Satisfaction Guaranteed or No Money Back!

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I. Introduction

1. Thank you for purchasing our product. This would be the part where the manufacturer was supposed to include a series of dire warnings regarding the hazards of improper use – don’t operate while intoxicated, don’t ingest, the usual – but frankly, the manufacturer couldn’t care less about this documentation. At least that’s the impression we technical writers got from their attitude toward our work. The very fact that this manual got past them indicates the value they place on it.

2. Which is just as well, because, seriously, what idiot actually reads the manual? We all know the manual is for looking up solutions to problems that crop up along the way, not for Reading Carefully Before Using. We tech writers aren’t idiots; we know better than to expect your attention for as long as it takes to read a whole goddamn manual when you want to just start USING THE $%#@ PRODUCT ALREADY.

3. The manufacturer was in a similar rush: to GET THE PRODUCT RELEASED ALREADY so they could start tallying profits, none of which would go to the lowly technical writers. We were just subcontractors, after all, no one whose opinion on quality of documentation should be taken seriously. So we apologize for the slapdash, half-assed manual you now hold. Deadlines are deadlines, you see.

4. So if you find this minor work of literature inadequate, join the club. Perhaps you will consider communicating your displeasure to the manufacturer, such that next time, we might have time and motivation to do our assigned task properly.

II. Product Features

1. We haven’t a clue. No one from Engineering deigned to talk to us for more than a few seconds, and the people from Marketing don’t know a gasket from a griffon vulture. So we’ll tell you what we know: it’s kinda beige-ish, has a power cord that connects in the back, so we suppose it’s supposed to use electricity somehow, and it comes in a nice box.

2. The people from Marketing kept waxing orgasmic about something called a “user interface,” which, for all we know, could mean anything from a bunch of colorful stickers to a full-blown holographic environment. You tell us if you ever figure it out, OK?

III. Setup

1. Probably you’re supposed to plug it in somewhere. After that, we’re kinda fuzzy on what to do. But it’s a good bet you don’t want to operate heavy machinery with this thing in the way.

2. If something bad happens while you’re trying to set up the product, it wasn’t our fault. Blame lies squarely in the lap of the ninnies in Marketing and Management, who ramrodded this pathetic excuse for a manual through the wasteland that once was Quality Control. Please sue them.

IV. Maintenance

1. Shower regularly. Floss daily, preferably twice. Always wash your hands after using the toilet. Make sure you drink enough water, and don’t overdo it on the carbohydrates. Exercise routinely. As far as the product’s maintenance, your guess is as good as ours. Just in case, get some lubricating oil; if it’s of no use on the product, you can use it to clean the high-powered rifle you will be driven to purchase and use on the aforementioned ninnies. Not that we are suggesting anything.

2. Keep the product away from corrosive substances, such as NY State politics.

V. Troubleshooting

1. Hoo boy. Ya got us there. Package the damn thing up and demand a refund, along with the amputated genitals of senior management.

VI. Upgrades

1. We haven’t the foggiest. There is no way could even know whether upgrades are relevant to this product. It might be disposable, come to think of it.

VII. Congratulations! You’re now as ready as we ever were to use this product! We wish you as much enjoyment as is relevant. After all, it might be a do-it-yourself immolation kit. “Enjoyment” is probably the wrong term for that. “Success” might work better here. Either way, good luck.


Written by Thag

August 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm

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