I’m brand, spanking new to the world of technical writing, but one of the first things I learned is that those who do it are referred to as technical communicators, which is something I’ve since come to increasingly understand and appreciate. It’s also what’s at the heart of the LASTC Lunch Forums, what they’re really all about: communication. Sure, we shoot the breeze a bit about what’s new with the Norwegian Black Metal or our favorite fish at the Long Beach Aquarium, but the real nitty-gritty is the exchange of information, whether it’s resume tips, job listings, the latest hard & software, corporate etiquette/diplomatic office finesse, or simply how to break in to the industry to begin with, which is something I personally — and I imagine perhaps many others out there also — keenly yearn to grasp sometime in the not-too-distance future.
When I first started going to these LASTC functions and get-togethers, I didn’t understand 99% of what anyone was talking about. I felt like an idiot. What’s with all the jargon..? The references, tech-speak, crazy wiki nomenclature? I thought I’d never get it. Maybe I never really will. But these days, I find myself able to follow nearly 97% of the conversation (on a good day even as much as 95%), and I don’t feel like quite such an idiot, at least not to the same degree of resounding, damning totality. And this is 100% due to the abundance of information so freely available at the various Lunch Forums I’ve had the good fortune to attend. Everyone’s been so gracious about answering my frequent and — to me, at least — alarmingly stupid questions, and because of their generosity I feel I’m finally starting to get at least a foothold in my quest for a new career. And for someone like me — a neurotic plethoraphobe armed to the teeth with sob-story excuses and procrastination techniques honed over a lifetime of OCD — this is saying a lot, and I am truly grateful.
In a nutshell: the Lunch Forums are great. They’re fun, tasty, helpful and informative. At the moment they’re being held monthly in Burbank, Duarte and Torrance, so please check them out when you have a chance. If these locations are too far away or otherwise inconvenient for you, and you would like to see a Lunch Forum started up in your area, please contact us. Perhaps you’d even like to be its official coordinator..? Either way, let us know, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.