Saturday, June 23, 2007

This is going on your permanent record, young man!

Or,how to truly burn your bridges at work.

We have a limited pool of paginators at work. I've been there nearly six years. Jean was there, quit for about a year and came back. And there's Kid.

Or, rather, there was Kid.

Kid got another job. His last night at work was Thursday. It didn't occur to me or anyone else that he might take advantage of it being his last night to pull a rather nasty prank.

Kid did, among other pages, the comics page Thursday night. He printed out a proof sheet and I copy edited it. It looked fine. Jesse, who was in charge Thursday night, saw the page and told Kid to send it. Apparently, he then made some modifications to the page.

I didn't find out until I was at work Friday afternoon and Kelli asked me to come into the office. She kept saying, "you're not in trouble." Then our publisher came in and Kelli explained what happened.

Kid bolded certain letters in a "syndicated column" to spell out a message: "Carol is a fat stupid bitch." In case you were wondering, I'm the only Carol in the newsroom, and as far as I know, the only Carol at work. So, yeah, that would be me.

So, here's how I feel about this:

Kid, you have burned your bridges. If you ever want to get a job at this paper again, I'm sure it won't be in the lifetime of anyone who works in this newsroom. I know that you think your new job is so wonderful and everything, but do you think it will last the rest of your life? Do you think it will last if your new employer gets wind of what you did?

I had to tell my kids what happened. They are upset. My husband is upset, which is saying a lot. I feel sorry for you, but especially sorry for your kids. I can only hope you are raising them better than you were raised, but I doubt it. This wasn't a very "Christian" thing to do.

Not only have you burned your bridgeS at The Messenger, but you risk every job you apply for where you will have to list The Messenger as a job reference. When asked, "would you hire this man again?" what do you think the answer will be?

This wasn't just a simple prank. You tampered with a publication. This won't go away when people toss their papers. This newspaper gets copied to microfilm and archived. People will be able to go to the library 100 years from now and see this.

The head of the company that owns The Messenger knows what you did. It isn't just me, just the people in the newsroom, just our publisher - you ticked off a lot of people.

I wonder what your new employer will do if they find out about this incident. I don't think I would trust a new employee who is liable to go off like this. What will you do if they correct you there? Make changes to the ads you are doing?

Because the only thing that I can think that I did to you to tick you off is to do my job. My job is to look at the pages and make sure there aren't any errors and everything is correct style-wise and so on. Apparently, this displeases you to the point where you would pull such a juvenile prank. Well, I'm sorry. When you have a job, part of the job is to do the job right. If you didn't make mistakes (which everyone does, it's part of being human), I wouldn't correct you. So just grow up.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's a funny, funny world

The other night, I put an AP story in the paper that told about how the Kellogg company is reformulating some of their food to be more healthy or changing marketing for food aimed at the 12-and-under crowd. Then I went to Wal-Mart after work and saw this:

Way to go, Kellogg's!

I was going through the drive-thru at KFC/Taco Bell on Saturday behind this vehicle:

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be prudent in the case that your canoe is longer than the back end of your little pickup to perhaps put it on top? When I was a teenager and Dad would take us canoeing, we would put the canoe on top of the pickup or the car - not in the trunk of the car or back of the pickup.

And to top it off, they've got a little grill and a bunch of other crap in there. It's just sad.

And, last but not least, the weekend special at the Otho Convenience Store. No, you aren't reading this wrong, it's exactly what it says: Cheeseburger Eggroll. Bon appetit!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Truly, a mixed bag

That was yesterday. The morning was pretty quiet, but then the mail came. Kent was waiting for the mailman already, and soon he came back across the street. My check had arrived. There was also an unexpected letter with a monetary gift from a semi-anonymous source. We know who it is, but they haven't given us their address since they moved, so we can't write to them.

So, we all went into town and I cashed the check and money order. Kent got some of the money so he could buy his Chantix refill. He restarted on that today. I kept out money for this month and next month rent. I called our landlord to let him know that Kent would have the money. We did a little grocery shopping and Kent took me to work.

That was the good part. Now for the rest of the story.

Shortly after I got to work, all the servers went down. I mean every last server that we store stuff on. Our IT guy is on vacation, so we were relying on our webmaster (not trained in networking) and a guy from Creative Services (I don't know his networking abilities). Finally, they got the servers back.

Unfortunately, at about the same time the servers returned to service, our AP server went down. However, we didn't realize this for about 3 hours. I was covering the obit desk and copyediting local stuff. I also took a half-hour supper break during that time. It was around 8 p.m. that we figured it out.

So, we called the webmaster at home and he came in. He really didn't know what to do, but kept trying various things. We called the AP and asked for stuff to be resent, which they did, but we didn't get it. Finally, I called the AP tech people and had them talk to the webmaster directly. Soon after, things started working again.

Unfortunately (again), this was after 10 p.m. The news side is supposed to be done by 10:30 p.m. We were nowhere near done. The other paginator (Kid) got his pages done and left. I still had my two pages to finish, and for some reason my computer wasn't communicating with the printer. I tried sending the obits page four times. Finally, we tried it from another computer and that worked. So, I had to send the region page from another computer.

This was also the third time that our new temporary editor was working, so she was trying to do pages 1A and 3A. I helped her finish them and we finally got them sent around 11:37 p.m. The printing plant called to say we would have to resend 1A, but then they called again to say it was okay. *shrug* Whatever. I fixed one thing that I saw and resent it anyway, because I would be leaving as soon as Kent came to get me.

This isn't even the end of the story. During the evening, the sports photographer said that CU was down. I tried to log in, and could, but she said she could log in but not do anything. I didn't have time to pursue that, so I dropped it. Webmaster D says that the Powers That Be are revamping the software and it's going to be down off and on.

He also asked me to be sure to try to update the Web site. I have it set as my home page in IE on my Mac. I clicked on the Home button, and it didn't load, didn't load, didn't load. Finally, my Mac froze and I had to restart. I would say that was proof the site was down.

I finally left at midnight.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Wheels again, for awhile

Monday evening, while I was at work, Kent bought a 1986 Chevy S10 Blazer for about $400. It runs, a bit rough, and has a few quirks. I guess for $400, we should be happy with what we have.

I'm concerned that it won't continue to run for long, though. One of the quirks is that it jerks or shudders when switching gears. Since that's what Donna's van was doing before the transmission went out, I'm afraid it's a bad sign.

I still haven't received my loan check - although the mail hasn't arrived yet today and there's still hope.

I guess that's enough whining for today. Tomorrow is the Blanden's 75th anniversary celebration. Cayla really wants to go, and I really want to take her. I also want to go to the Cemetery Walk, but we'll have to see.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Update on car situation ... again

So, last week Donna came up with the name of a guy who would buy my car for junk - he's going to part it out. So, I sold it for $50 - thinking it's better than trying to fix something that could cost more than the car is worth. He also bought Donna's van, because the transmission went out.

On Saturday, Kent sold his car for $300 - way less than his original asking price, but better than nothing. The guys were looking at the car when Donna brought me back from Frontier Days so I could get ready for work. She drove me to work then, and we went out the road that leads to Highway 169. Guess what we saw? Yep, Kent's former car, sitting on the side of the road with the hood up. We had advertised it for sale with a bad transmission, he reminded them that the transmission was bad - it would pop out of gear. They drove it anyway. Guess it's their problem now.

So, we officially have no cars. Kent's supposed to look at one tonight - the guy is going to drive out from Manson. I'm not thrilled about having a gas guzzler-type vehicle, but I guess it would be better than nothing. I do have a great support system for getting rides - so far, but I can't rely on my sister and friend forever. There's that whole "wearing our your welcome" bit.