Thursday, March 20, 2008

Karma's a bitch.

In the improbable event that one of the 5 people who read this thing doesn't actually know me, I'm going to tell you that I write for a living. No, nothing glamorous like novels or screenplays, or sizzling exposes for the New York Times. I write advertising. Ads, brochures, websites, radio and tv spots, all that intrusive (if I've done my job right) crap that muscles its way into your already cluttered brain. As a professional writer, I abhor typos and misspellings. The signs at the supermarket highlighting "avacados" and "chedder" drive me insane. When my daughter sends out cover letters without hitting spellcheck and shows them to me after the fact, I lecture her about the anal-retentive potential employers who will rule her out for forgetting a period. I get a "gotcha" feeling of perverse satisfaction when I find a typo in the middle of a 500 page novel. So when I was online the other day googling flights to Albuquerque and a discount flight site cropped up hawking flights to Albequerque, I practically vaulted onto my high horse.

I clicked on the link, went directly to "contact us" and asked them how I could possibly trust my travel plans to an outfit that can't even proofread a banner ad. Then, I went back to my online job hunting. You see, I left a very good job in my home town at age old-enough-to-know-better and moved to San Francisco. Now, I have to find employment before my freelance runs out and George Bush's recession comes crashing down on us like a cartoon anvil.

So there I was, perusing job postings, hurling my resume into cyberspace, sharing my curriculum vitae with a bunch of strangers probably half my age who have no way to appreciate my dogged work ethic and quirky personal charm, and doing my best to keep the faith. I downloaded the pdf from my website and was about to attach the resume when I saw it.
Like back fat on a starlet. Michael Jackson's nose. Or Lady Macbeth's damned spot. A typo, smack in the middle of the page. Senior copyriter, no W. Yes, I had checked the resume and rechecked it, and lived with it for months, and sent it out to dozens of probably anal-retentive potential employers without ever noticing the error.

Of course, I immediately called my web designer and had her insert the missing W. Now, I am crossing my fingers that all the people who have seen my resume are too busy to notice, or too nice to pick at the small stuff. When my daughter reads this, it will make her day.

PS. I just got a lovely email from the CEO of the online travel company. He thanked me for pointing out the typo which they immediately changed. I proofed my gracious response three times before hitting send.


Anonymous said...

Hey ... are you coming for that beer?


Yours Truly said...

Unfortunately, this is an old post. Just linked it because it fit the topic. I met my cousin in Santa Fe
a year ago last May, I think before you and I became online friends. But you know I'm game next time I'm in your neck of the woods.

Derbhile said...

Fair dues to you for being brave enough to admit to your typos. I did the same recently. I sent a letter to nursing homes, with a proposal to teach creative writing class. I read the thing backwards and forwards, took every possible step. Then I got a call from a nursing home, sniffily saying there was no email address. The letter had started life as an email, so I had written, 'you can reply to this email.' Think it was due to a subconscious resentment that I had to send a letter at all, because most of the nursing homes have no email address. A silent cry of protest. Not carelessness at all - oh no!