I did some edit work on Qiana's document, running the screen capture program a couple of times for Dr. Swarts' usability test while I did it.
This sign, on the back of the door to the restroom at Helios gave me a flash back today:
|Each Employee's Hands Must Be Washed Thoroughly, Using Soap,|
Warm Water, And Sanitary Towel Or Approved Hand-Drying Device,
Before Beginning To Work and After Each Visit To The Toilet.
The NC Department of Environment
and Natural Resources
Division of Environmental Health
As a young boy of 16 or 17, living in the small town of Jacksonville, NC, about 115 miles from Raleigh, and starting my first job ever at a Burger King, I remember seeing this very same sign there, and thinking, "Wow. That comes from Raleigh — the capital."
Fast-forwarding 30+ years, living in Raleigh for 26 of those, let me just say, "It's not all that."
I tried to e-mail Dr. Swarts an approximately 20MB-sized file via Roadrunner's e-mail web interface. It didn't take too kindly to such a large attachment attempt — they do have a limit, but I don't know what it is. After churning for almost two minutes, it came back and said, "File invalid or empty."
Let's just say that as a technical editor, with a scale of 1 meaning it sucks to 5 meaning it rules, that message would get a big fat 1 for assessment in four of nine quality technical communication characteristics: accuracy (it's not at all accurate — the real problem [I assume] is that the file is too big), clarity (the fact that I've had to put "I assume" in the previous comment), completeness (it doesn't tell the user how to address the problem), and task orientation (the information is not presented from the user's point of view).
Here's my own accurate, clear, complete, and task-oriented message back to Roadrunner:
I witnessed a brief conversation between two guys who both had earbuds in, which looked strange. Presumably, they both had their attached devices turned off or paused. It made me think of etiquette in the 21st century.
Mid-afternoon, I took a break from editing and worked on my blog for a little while. Mark Z. dropped by, and sat at the table next to me.
Late afternoon, back form the beach, Joe checked in by phone, and we made dinner plans for after his run.
As I was just about to exit the back door, I heard someone yell, "John," across the room. It was Mark, the photographer from NC State, who took our pictures for the newsletter.
I met Joe at 6:30 for dinner at CiCi's, which we followed up with coffee at Caribou.
Tommorow is my first day of classes for the Fall '06 Semester. The semester officially started last Wednesday, but I only have Monday classes.
And, boy, do I have Monday classes. I have one from 3:00 – 5:45, followed by my second one from 6:00 – 8:45.
It'll be a long day every Monday, but it only puts me on campus one day a week, and since I'll only be working (at IBM) on Tuesdays and Thursdays through April of '07, it still gives me nice "time off."