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Friday, September 30, 2005

The Researcher Did It

So we all know that I still don't miss my old job at all. The new one is better in every respect name one (that being location. Silver Spring--meh) but, a friend of mine recently told me about an interesting incident that went down at old job that both infuriated me and had me in stitches for days. This is what happened:

Every election cycle they make these maps of the United States with relevant election dates on them. It is the job of the researcher or some other lowling to determine the correct dates for each state. This can be done by calling the Elections Board in each state and having a nice chat with some bored bureaucrat. Not a difficult task nor is it terribly interesting. Apparently, this year's maps have just come in, and a huge error unites each of the dates for each state--they're all the dates of the 2004 elections. Ooops. The super sleuths at old job immediately delved into the source of the error, determined to figure out where their careful research went awry. Oh, did I mention the insignificant detail that these maps cost 5 grand a piece? Yeah, at a non-profit. Exactly. A detailed investigation revealed no salient leads, but a high placed figure in the organization was later overheard proclaiming "It's all Kate's fault!"

Come again? I seem to have missed the part where I've been a paid consultant for them for the past four months and that I even worked on this project. I vaguely remember passing the project on to somebody else when I left, after not having worked on it since April when I had lost all patience with my professional circumstances. Even if I had tried to pass the information off as updated, surely somebody important there would have proofed it before the maps were sent to the printers, right? Surely the printers would have faxed back one of those charming little pictures known as a "proof" or sent through the mail an even cooler piece of paper known as a "blue line" (they smell like almonds, you know), yes? The fate of the maps is of absolutely no consequence to me these days, but I am slightly bothered by the fact that I was blamed for their fiasco. If you're put in charge of something you can't always expect to make things go smoothly, but taking your hands off the steering wheel and passing blame onto somebody who hasn't worked there in four months is simply poor form. But it is terrific fodder for blogs, isn't it?

5 Comments:

Blogger Michael J. West said...

Indeed it is. And why didn't I ever notice it before(?), but you're right--blue lines DO smell like almonds!

8:12 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

The only thing I miss about editing printed collaterol materials are blue lines. Lovely, lovely blue lines.

Speaking of missed loveliness, when will musical guru be back in action?

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Five grand? Five GRAND? That's crazy. Okay, maybe not crazy for corporate clients who pay upwards of $300-600 an hour for work, but for a non-profit...? How in the world could they not have someone watching over that?

You gotta be happy you left. And who knows, Silver Spring might grow on ya.

- DS

4:24 PM  
Blogger freestuff2 said...

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7:46 AM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

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7:34 PM  

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