Introducing: Professor Tom Cruise

Whenever I teach technical writing or business writing, I bring my good friend Tom Cruise into the classroom. The following scene from Jerry McGuire is a good introduction into the process and potential consequences of using writing to challenge the status quo in the business environment. He faces a crisis, becomes reflective, becomes expansive in his writing, writes with an audience in mind, and then polishes and publishes it for all to read.

Then he gets fired.

Of course, eventually it works out, and he finds true love with that woman who won’t stop squinting. He goes on something of a Hero’s Journey and finds a way to do his job more ethically and with more joy. Certainly it’s a cheesy movie, but I think this sequence is at least as entertaining as most technical writing textbooks.

(This clip does begin with some swearing, and may not be suitable for work…ironically?)

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