Wednesday, February 01, 2017


Sometimes I question my career choice.

Then, of course, I remember I didn't really choose it at all. It just kind of happened. When you have a degree in something spectacularly useful, like my Modern Literature degree, you can pretty much pick your path to financial success--it's true. But somehow I just found myself as a technical writer some twenty-five years ago, despite the fact that I didn't know much about computers really at all. But I knew some engineer types, I could fog a mirror, and I could use Microsoft Word to edit some hardware specifications, so I was in. I think they also asked me if I was proficient in AutoCAD 10, a query to which I nodded and smiled knowingly, despite a sneaking suspicion that AutoCAD was one of those robot taxis from Total Recall.

And then I was off and running. Filing things. Folding D-size papers origami-like into something that would fit in a letter-size drawer. Distributing Engineering Change Orders in bulging manila folders that the responsible parties would ignore. I was happy there in my first office job, taking innumerable cigarette breaks and playing minesweeper while no-one was watching. Hanging out with my Bulgarian co-workers who also seemed never to do any work. And then one day the place went under. Possibly due to some shady goings-on with the CEO. Or possibly because no-one did any work. Never was quite sure.

And somehow, all these years later, my skills are a rainbow of XML, structured authoring, training video creation, Git source management. The Cloud. I find myself reading discussion boards about serif vs sans serif fonts in user manuals. Two spaces or one after a full stop. I have opinions about those things, which no-one should really care about.

Did I have a point here? Not sure. Maybe a cautionary tale.

I do miss the Minesweeper though.

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