This week, Tech-Tav sponsored our largest Israeli Author-it Users Group meeting to date. The day before the meeting, registration was complete, food was ordered, presentations tweaked and the supplies were packed up and ready to go. More than 50 technical writers from cities around the country were all coming to hear about upcoming product features and news from the latest build that I was to be presenting.
But the small tickle in my throat that I had been trying to ignore grew noticeably more irritating and my fever spiked. A rapid strep test confirmed that I was indeed infected with strep throat, was contagious and would be in no condition to get out of bed in less than 24 hours, let alone travel and give my presentation.
From a management perspective, it was really, really difficult to make the decision to be absent from my own event rather than cancel it. But because I have confidence in my employees and a network of peers that I know well, I was confident that people would teach and learn from one another. At 10PM, I was able to turn over the reins at a moment’s notice so that the show could go on.
We sponsor these free meetings because, in my opinion, better informed and trained writers benefit everyone: the writers themselves, their customers/employers and the end users who read our documentation. And that just makes good sense for our profession as a whole and for our business. Even though the agenda had to be shifted around and new presentations added at the very last minute, I was hopeful that the peer learning and sharing that was bound to take place would be of great value.