Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shit happens, that's for sure

Scott and his tractor turn up the soil.
Some of the things I like about Scott:
• while on the tractor, he tries to avoid birds' nests
• he looks good on a tractor seat
Well, I shan't go on about it. I like farmers and carpenters, and he is both, and that's all you need to hear about that.

11:26 a.m.
Coffee drank, a toasted bun down my neck in hopes of heading off the migraine trying to happen, most of the dishes washed (and Scott dried; how nice to have him beside me, lightening that load, after he’d come in from the field and had something to eat), and a fruit smoothie made. It’s a cooler day after several too hot and humid ones; I prefer this. And I’m tempted to start putting some of my bedding plants into the ground. But the wind is cold and I know I should wait till June. I know I should. Should should should.

The leaves are out. Woo hoo! And there is that scent of something that I love, whether it’s poplar or what, I’m not sure. I just love it. It's too early for the wolf willows to be flowering. 

So I go into work Tuesday morning and our receptionist is on the phone with a caller telling her we have flubbed up the caption under a photo we ran last week. We got the guy’s first name wrong, we got his home town wrong. How? How! How is this possible? I went back to my hard copies and indeed the correct information had been sent to us, and I checked what I had sent through to the page and it was wrong. Now, I had pored over the clippings and info sent, in order to glean the essentials and get the “story” right. And still I put the wrong first name and home town! It hornswoggles me and I can’t figure out how it happened. I shake my head, print a correction and apology, and vow to pay even more attention to detail, while wondering if I have early-onset Alzheimer’s or something. 

And one day, I get a columnist’s text and at the end he poses a question that he wants us to put the answer to on another page. He puts the one-word answer at the end of the text, and I read it, but I DO NOT MAKE THE CONNECTION. I see it several times and don’t realize it is the answer, and email him back to ask for the answer. He must think I’m a real dolt, and to be honest, I’m starting to agree. Clearly I am not as sharp as I used to believe I was. Not anymore.

On the other hand, if readers knew how many mistakes we correct and details we clarify before things sent to us go to print, they’d be astounded. They’d be impressed. But no one sees that, they only see the end result; they only notice the errors that get past us or that we ourselves create.

I might benefit from some brain exercises. Lumosity.com, here I come.

Maybe working in an office like that, with so much reading all day, might just overload the thinking/noticing processes occasionally. Not that I’m not a bit absent-minded at the best of times. I admit it; I am not as observant as I could be, either.

One time we received a correspondent’s report including someone’s parasailing height as 400 feet, and we managed to print it as 5000 feet! How? How! We can’t figure it out. I joke “It’s the office ghost” or “Those damn cats” (we have shop cats), but it does leave us bewildered. 

And then, to top it off, thousands of pairs of eyes see the error. That’s mortifying. I know no one is perfect, and I sure as hell am not, but still … for your mistakes to be paraded … oy! That’s hard on the pride, I tell you.

4 comments:

  1. you, at the News, are all brave souls! and yes, many hours of reading and re-reading lets one's eyes play tricks on them. Everyone should walk a mile in your shoes. Thanks for doing the job.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! Everyone at the office works hard and really cares about the paper we put out every week, so it's good to know you're out there enjoying it. - K.

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    2. Don't worry. shot happens to everybod

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