My First Day as a Technical Writer

I arrived in the late afternoon after my wife had confirmed my condition as an absolute idiot but she did give me some pretty good advice. She told me to get struck dumb after the hellos were dispensed with and LISTEN to every word they said. I have this tendency to talk more than I listen.  Well that was all very well but she didn’t know that they were all, how to put this delicately, “interesting.” When I eventually found out where the entrance to the building was I rang the bell and rang the bell and initially thought that it was a stunt and there was a covert camera beaming pictures of me trying to get into the building back to the classroom. After ringing desperately 16 times or so I got the door opened by what looked like a film star and again I thought I had ended up at the wrong place. After managing to say my name and what I was doing there, she told me to follow her. This is what I did, in the wake of a very expensive perfume. She waited for me at a T-junction and waved towards a dimly lit corridor. She abruptly turned around and left me to venture on by myself.

It was so quiet and a little eerie at first and eventually I came to the end of the corridor that ended up at the entrance to about four doors. I poked my head into the first one on the left. When my eyes got accustomed to the dim lighting I saw this guy, well it looked like a guy, in the lotus position but he was lying on his back on what seemed to be a kind of gurney you see in hospitals. I thought maybe he was dead and rigor mortis had set in and he had fallen over onto his back. Suddenly this deep voice boomed out next to my ear asking me if I was looking for him. That was the most successful and fastest heart checkout I have ever had. I must have swung around with terror in my eyes because he could see that I wasn’t a frequent visitor to horror movies. Shlomo calmed me down and suggested a drink of water. He seemed to change his mind and told me to follow him. We entered his office and he opened a cupboard and took out two glasses and a bottle of Glenmorange, a very good single malt whisky. He poured two glasses and we wished each other l’Hayim and a sort of blessing on the new book. Technical writing suddenly took on a completely different structure and I could definitely get used to this.

While we were sipping the soothing Scotch, I asked Shlomo what that guy was doing in the room that I stumbled on. I was told it was Alon in his normal thinking position. It seems he was the chief engineer and after collecting a few bugs from the QA department he retires to that room and assumes his thinking position for an indeterminate amount of time.

Shlomo introduced himself as none other than the VIP sales. He thanked me for coming so promptly and moved his chair to his computer and signaled me to sit down.

I moved around his large desk and slid into his chair. He had the worst screen I had ever seen and was amazed he wasn’t already blind. I raised both my arms into what I imagined to be the initial tech writer attack position and froze. All that I could think of was, “What on earth do I do now?”

Luckily for me, Shlomo asked me if I wanted to see the machine first. That was what saved me. It was hidden under this soiled sheet. My first impression was that the control panel was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. Shlomo called for one of the engineers to come over and get ultra sounded and within five minutes I was seeing what looked like an ultra sound in living breathing color. Shlomo explained that this was the first machine that displayed the results in color.

The machine was a truly amazing piece of equipment. They had taken a powerful PC and added electronic boards to act as the interface for the probes. Everything else was done by the software application running on the PC. If they wanted a new function it was all software which could be upgraded onto the Internet. The feature that really impressed me was that it was completely digital and connected to the Internet. Therefore, the pictures could automatically be routed to another machine just like it where the radiologist was on duty. This meant that the radiologist could be anywhere in the world. When I played with the machine I sent the pictures to a Mrs Cohen at a hospital in New York City!

We wrote the book and on my last day there I told him that in my humble opinion the machine was under priced and the panel was really ugly. I suggested they get a genius to design a new panel and double the price. We said our farewells and I left.

Next issue: Did It Work Out? 


1 comment

Paul Bernstein 6 year, 8 month ago

Young Michael..When do we get Episode II?

Keep up the good work.