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You Know You’re Blogging Too Much When…

At work I’m writing an instructional packet for new contract employees so they can get their bearings when the arrive.  The hardest part about working for the government is… actually getting started working for the government.  So this guide is intended to provide step-by-step instructions to take new employees through the rigmarole of acquiring all the things they need (ID card, background check, email access, etc.) in order to actually become valid, useful contractors who are actually allowed to use a computer.

This little project of mine has been set aside for the past month or so, and when I looked at it again yesterday, I realized my approach was slightly… unconventional.

Case in-point:

So I think I might be calling new employees kleptomaniacs with an uncontrollable affinity for chocolate and peanut butter.  Oh, and apparently they’re also coffee addicts whom I’m encouraging to slack off on company time.

Here’s another:

Okay another coffee reference.  And now they’re clumsy, to boot.  I can explain this…

And again:

Uhhh…. Am I not-so-subtly suggesting – in a work document with my name on it, no less – that the acronym CAC sounds uncomfortably close to another “c” word?? (Hint:  rhymes with clock but then say it with a Boston accent.)

I can just hear the questioning now…

“So, were you actually intending to call our new employees junk food kleptos when you wrote this?”


“Accidents happen, but do you really think it’s wise to imply that all new employees are clumsy, over-caffeinated oafs who are bound to destroy any original documents we give them?”


“Do we really have to tell you that it’s inappropriate to allude – even subtly – to anatomical objects in a professional document?”

But I can explain all of this.  Really, I can.  See, in college the writing professors always tell you to “write what you know,” right?  Well:

  • I have already divulged in my side-bar that I’m a sucker for all things chocolate, peanut butter, or a combination of the two.  Well put it an egg shape, and I’m helpless to resist.  Everything tastes better when it’s in the shape of an egg.
  • Coffee?  I try not to like it.  I really do.  But I just can’t seem to stop the Starbuck’s spending spree.  And do I spill?  Only once or twice a month.
  • And is it immature to think that CAC sounds like another word when you say it out loud?  Think about it:  “Insert your CAC into the keyboard.”  “Make sure you don’t leave your CAC sitting out on your desk.”  How could your mind not be in the gutter?

All-in-all, I’m pretty proud of the document.  I will justify my unorthodox writing by stating that we actually want new employees to read and understand what’s written there.  If it’s not at least slightly entertaining, they’ll never get through it.  Since this isn’t an “official” company document (a disclaimer that is prominently displayed at the beginning of the guide), this should be okay.




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I think your new calling is a “technical writer.” I’ve never been so excited about fingerprints!

Jo Jo

Ha! How funny, I would laugh out loud if I were the one going through this process and reading these instructions. Way to make something boring way more fun!


Thanks! Hopefully my bosses agree. :)

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