The Perfect Tech Writer’s Letter to Santa

Cheryl Voloshin doesn’t want anything more than peace, love and understanding for the holidays, but as they say, “the devil’s in the details.”

Dear Santa,

First, let me thank you in advance for what I’m sure will be prompt delivery.  I understand how important it is to be clear about expectations no matter how difficult the challenge, so let me start there. What I want for Christmas is peace, love, and understanding.  I feel that last year’s requests went unanswered because I was vague, and no one’s going to say I don’t learn from my mistakes.  (No one besides my cat, anyway.)  Let me explain what I mean.

Peace.  When I ask for peace, what I mean is peace and quiet at work.  I’d wear the noise-cancelling headphones my mother gave me, but the last time I did that I wound up with 26 voice messages by the end of the day and an unintentional screaming match with my boss. So, I’m going to address exactly the behaviors in my coworkers that need to go away for me to have the peace I need to focus.  Please grant Natalia in cube D5120 beautiful, long natural nails.  I can tell you exactly how many words per minute she types with her acrylic tips.  Please grant Reg in cube D5119 freedom from perennial allergies.  My secret Santa gift of Claritin didn’t seem to work (and quite frankly, his ingratitude should put him on your naughty list).

Love.  I want love, and (unlike Elton John and Robert Downey, Jr.) I don’t think it’s impossible.  I want love in the form of endless praise for the elegant genius of my written words.  I don’t want any more tweaks, edits, rewrites, or two cents from anyone.  I write manuals that make the whole world sing and people should just love them, hold them close and gaze at me (the author – BTW, a byline would be nice too) with rapt admiration. I’m just sayin’.

Understanding.  I need people to understand me and my needs.  My need for peace, quiet and unquestioning admiration aside, I also just need others to fall in line with my style choices.  For example, I don’t want to argue about one or two spaces after end punctuation.  Right is right.  Two spaces were good enough for my grandmother in the typing pool at Woolworth’s and it’s good enough for me.  I don’t think that justified text is a justification for ignoring this space requirement. We’re professionals, right?  We know how many spaces we should use. Two spaces is the only right choice, so it will be the choice I always make, no matter what any defective style guide says.

So, that’s it, Santa. Peace, love and understanding the whole world around…anywhere I go…for anyone I see.  That’s my simple wish.

Wishing you a happy, healthy holiday season and looking forward to my stuffed stocking!

The Perfect Techwriter

Cheryl Voloshin

Cheryl Voloshin is a technical/freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She would never (ever) intentionally rob a team of their will to live and is so utterly dependent on external validation that failure is never an option. Like her stuff? Contact her by email or connect via LinkedIn or Google+

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