FUNNY: Suggested Tech Writer's Certification Test

Subject: FUNNY: Suggested Tech Writer's Certification Test
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 00:25:17 -0800

WARNING: The following message is funny.

----The DeYork Institute for Higher Knowledge----
---Technical Communications Certification Test---

1. Are you willing to spend the rest of your life
pecking out incomprehensible manuals for
illiterate, subhumans? For hostile aliens?
For people who have sub-atomic attention spans
and galaxy-sized egos? For people who do not read

2. How often do you have to rotate the prepositions
on a gerund? Change the tense filter?
Get a new torque verb installed?

3. Are you generally considered dull, unpleasant,
or smelly?

4. Can you accurately use the word "ubiquitous"
in a sentence that makes sense to someone
outside the marketing department.

5. Develop a comprehensive on-line help system for
a new enterprise database system using a piece
of chalk and a head of lettuce. You have three
days and must submit a status report every hour.

6. Can you recite all the fonts in the alphabet?

7. Do styles make you horny? Sweaty? Sleepy? Grumpy?
Doc? Sneezy? Dopey?

8. Write a massive technical reference manual about
an esoteric, rarely used, and universally loathed
programming interface in a week. Errors will not
be tolerated. You must work with a SME who cannot
speak, hates your gender, and smells like warm

9. A SME approaches you and complains about the
quality of a document you wrote.
What do you do?

A) Kill him/her with a laser printer.
B) Listen carefully to his/her complaints and then
humbly admit you are pond scum, unworthy of
the greatness of the SME.
C) Say to the SME "Quit Scully-ing me."
D) Write some methodologies and process documents.
E) Quit your job and become a deep core driller.

10. You are assigned to a project that is painfully
boring, excruciatingly mismanaged, horribly
underfunded, and regularly deadly. What do you do?

A) Kill your manager with a laser printer.
B) Crack, babes, and booze!
C) Work hard to make the world a better place.
D) Complain and whine everyday to the person in
the next cube about stupid everyone is and how
you have worked in the industry forever and
know everyone.
E) Pray to God for a reorganization.

11. State your feelings in 100,000,000 words or
less how you feel about one or two spaces
after a period.

12. Two tech writers are traveling at 110 kph.
It is a Wednesday and there are two crows
pecking away at a dead rat in the middle of
the street. The first tech writer leaves the
bathroom on his way to the weekly status
meeting. The second tech writer leaves the
kitchen on her way to the same meeting.
If the first writer is interrupted by a
belligerent QA dork and the second writer is
attacked by blathering, incompetent vice
president, compute the odds of either writer
being able to reproduce without serious birth
defects. Use the formula:

Meeting (crows + vice presidents)
QA dorks (management buzz words - velocity)

13. What did you do with your last copy of that
magazine STC sends you.

A) I used it to kill a laser printer.
B) Mmmm, fire.
C) I Read it cover to cover extracting amazing
insights such as "How to Milk Clients for
More Money When You're Diagnosed Clinically
Brain Dead after a Serious Car Accident." and
"The Amazing World of the Letter 'N'" and
"The IRQ and You: How Hardware Interrupts
Have Hurt the Timeless Art of Communication."
D) I left it in the men's room at a rest stop.

14. Are you or have you ever been a member of an
executive review committee.

15. When confronted with a user interface that is
confusing or causes brain cancer, what do you do.

A) Kill the developers with a laser printer.
B) Immediately demand to be promoted to a position
with the title "Concerned Advocate for the
Tender Users."
C) Point gun a foot, pull trigger.
D) Demand more memory for your head. Those 1x9
70 ns implants just can't compete with the
new DIMM brain.
E) Eat more fiber in an effort to ward off the

16. Do you enjoy obsessing over the mundane?

17. Is your soul in torment? Your shakrahs out of
balance? Your aura in flux? Your fabric softener
not giving you that spring fresh feeling?

18. Tell me now how do I feel? Am I getting fat?

19. Do you have a really bizarre hobby like collecting
pizza boxes or genetic engineering?

20. Do you like it when you make people feel dumb?
Are you currently dumb?

Thank you for your interest in being a technical communicator. Your
results will be tabulated and locked in a vault in South Carolina. If
you wish to know your results, send $129.99 to DeYork Institute.

The DeYork Institute is not responsible for death, dismemberment, or
general protection faults due to your decision to be a technical
writer. By taking this test you agree not to hold DeYork Institute
liable for any homicidal tendencies or changes in your genetic
composition. Those who are currently or considering illicit drug use
are advised to buy some firearms and move to a trailer park. Your
mileage may vary. Do touch the glass, the snakes are depressed.

Have a nice day.

- Andrew Plato
Dean DeYork Institute

Get your free address at

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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