Calling the IT Department

We’ve all had those days: the network is doing something strange; an application you use every day suddenly decides to reject your password; or you’re trying something new and the system just isn’t accepting it. If you’re a dedicated techie, it’s likely that you’ve learned how to work with the information technology service representatives or technicians in your area. However, just in case you’re encountering difficulties and aren’t certain what the IT person needs to know to help you, here are some helpful hints to make your life–and that of the IT guy/gal–more productive. Continue reading

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Calling in Sick

I hate to do it: calling in sick means a day of lost productivity, tasks not completed, projects delayed. However, it happens. We’re not immune from serious illnesses or the common cold. As I’m nursing myself through a cold, I thought I’d share some thoughts. Continue reading

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Writing Requirements: The Home Edition

A lot of technical writers get experience helping engineers or other technical subject matter experts respond to requirements through proposals, design documents, or documenting actual finished products. Requirements, of course, are a list of things that a customer wants a new product or service to do. However, what if you find yourself on the other side: developing and writing those requirements? Today I’ll provide a high-level explanation of the process, seasoning the discussion with examples from activities you might already do at home. Continue reading

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Complacency is the Enemy

In business and life, getting too comfortable with a good situation can often doom it. Pick your state of being–steady job, interesting task, happy relationship, clean home, what have you–if you pause too long to relax, something will come up to make you regret resting on your laurels. More often than not, as one of the pop icons from my generation put it, someone will ask, “What have you done for me lately?” Continue reading

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The Forms Must Be Obeyed: Taxes for the Freelancer

The most eye-opening thing (financially) to being a freelancer is that you get paid in full by your employers/customers–no taxes taken out–and then you have to set aside money from whatever you’re paid and write quarterly checks to the government for estimated payments (this is for U.S. citizens–unfortunately I have no idea how things work elsewhere). I’m starting to gather up paperwork to close out my 2018 tax year, so I thought I’d walk you through some of the basics. FAIR WARNING: I am NOT a tax attorney, CPA, or financial professional, so I highly recommend you contact one if you have questions about your taxes. Continue reading

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