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To the Unknown Technical Writer at Mr. Coffee

Dear Unknown Technical Writer at Mr. Coffee,

Let me begin by saying how pleased we are with your company's product, the Mr. Coffee Coffeemaker, VB Series (color: black). As a replacement for a previous Mr. Coffee 4-cup coffeemaker, our new VB Series coffeemaker is truly an improvement in our coffee-making life.

Thank you, Unknown Technical Writer at Mr. Coffee--I feel so odd not being able to address you as Sir or Madame, as I don't even know how you prefer to be addressed--for providing clear and concise instructions for how to clean our new coffeemaker; following your pointer to "refer to the parts diagram" while washing the various parts was a stroke of brilliance. I also enjoyed your enticement to "Enjoy it!" once I knew my coffeemaker was ready to use. As a former technical writer myself, I can only imagine how hard you had to fight to keep that exclamation point in the copy after many rounds of edits.

I would also, Unknown Technical Writer at Mr. Coffee, like to extend my sympathies for the heavy hand--and I can only assume this hand had a lawyer attached at the other end--insisting on inserting troubleshooting steps that can, if we can be honest one writer to another, only be described as stupid. If someone needed to look in your tightly crafted manual to search for the solution to a problem described as "THE COFFEEMAKER ONLY BREWS WATER", that person really shouldn't own a coffeemaker at all, much less one of such quality as a Mr. Coffee Coffeemaker, VB Series (color: black).

As so, Unknown Technical Writer at Mr. Coffee, I sympathize at your plight when, after reading this theoretically impossible problem (really? a machine that magically creates water) you were forced to insert into your Framemaker file the "Possible Cause" of "There are no coffee grounds in the filter basket". I would love to buy you a beverage of your choice, as well, for the capstone "Solution" ("ADD DESIRED AMOUNT OF COFFEE"), but I fear you may now be lost to us in a cultist compound of some kind or, worse, management.

But, should this message reach you, Unknown Technical Writer at Mr. Coffee, kudos to you and your work. In your honor, I will complete the steps in the "Adding Water and Coffee" section, and then proceed directly to "BREWING COFFEE NOW" so I may enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. Salut!


  1. Truly an homage paid from one to another within the craft, but none the less, an interesting read for layman.

  2. Brilliant. Especially the part about the exclamation point. I am sure that writer fought, tooth and nail, to keep said exclamation point.



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