Wednesday, March 23, 2016

First-world problems.

Sometimes I complain just because complaining is more fun than being grateful. "Oh, look, Walmart has the Batman cereal but not the Superman cereal! My life SU-HUH-HUCKS!" And sometimes I complain because if I don't I am going to go out of my mind.

Here's the kind of thing I am complaining about at the moment. You can decide which kind of complaint it is.

1) That Darn Book - I mentioned yesterday that I was working on a book that was not too bad, but the deadline was tight. Well, things got worse soon after. I'm doing fact-checking, and the deeper I got into it the more I began to suspect the author was just pulling things out of her hinder. Every page has turned into a fight for the death and I try to verify - EACH - TINY - PIECE - OF - INFORMATION. I'm glad I'm getting paid by the hour on this rather than a flat fee, but the deadline looms and the hours are running short.

2) I'm reminded of a job I once did on a health book that had recipes. I was copyediting the book in Word, and when I got to the recipe section in back I was surprised to find all kinds of weird formatting on some, but not all, of the recipes. On a hunch I started searching online, and sure enough, the weird formatting came from stealing the recipes from someone else's Web site. Had the lazyass just copied them into the document as plain text I would have had no idea. I reported this to the editor, who asked me to flag all of the recipes that I could find in other sources -- essentially, I had to do a deep data search for every recipe in the book. And I was getting a flat fee for the job. And it pushed another job I was doing for the same company, but with a different editor, back a day while I essentially did a lot of extra work for no money, and the second editor got all pissy with me. And no one ever even suggested a bonus for saving the company from a plagiarism lawsuit. So please, don't let your children grow up to be copy editors. Not while they could do easier jobs, like nitroglycerin juggling.

3) P.S.: The goddamn book came out and got a heap of great reviews from all sorts of professionals and a bunch of 5-star reviews on Amazon. Maybe I should have just left the stolen recipes in there.

4) I have to say, my wife and my dog have been wonderful to me while I've been trying to get this project done. I expect that from her, because she's awesome, but never take it for granted. From the dog, not so much. Especially since he hasn't been feeling too well. But he's due for his checkup tomorrow, so if he's still looking ill we'll talk to the vet. I sure hope he's all right.

5) At the beginning of the day Tuesday I made a list of things to do, flagged the things I had to do, and then did nothing but this blasted book. I set myself up to feel like the day was a failure, even though I tackled the most important thing. Why do I do this to myself?

6) And you know what the worst thing is? While a lot of bullcrap was unavoidable when I accepted this current job, I could have made it easier on myself by NOT PROCRASTINATING. I let a couple of days go by while I did no work on it. See, I have an airtight means of being slothful. Say I have Job A, which I know will be dreadful, and Job B, which is less important and non-dreadful. By tackling Job B I can have the appearance of productivity while actually avoiding unpleasant duty. "I'd love to go over the top and assault the Jerries, lieutenant, but I'm busy digging this new latrine. See you when you get back."

Bleah -- that's enough about me. Why don't you complain about my life for a while?

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