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.

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