Wednesday, October 15, 2014

You had one job.


You know the jar guy and the label guy at Aunt Nellie's blamed each other. Mrs. Key said she would believe the jar guy. Someone put something in a machine ass backward, and the label is the same shape upside down as it is right-side up, but the jar isn't. Were it the jar, the beets would go shooting off the bottom. And the cap would try and fail to be twisted onto the bottom. Nope, label guy all the way.

Hey, I've made plenty of mistakes in my professional career. About twenty years ago I approved a book cover to print that was missing the title; I assumed it was just part of the separation that didn't make it on the blues. Surprise! Thousands of books arrived a few weeks later with no title. We had to send them back to get the title embossed. At high cost. Somehow I kept my job, at least until we all got laid off. (I wasn't the only one making expensive mistakes at that company.)

So I understand that everyone makes mistakes, and most of us with jobs can get away with one or two. Brain surgeons, policemen---they have to be perfect every time. It's a lot easier to be an editor.

Anyway, I imagine the foreman at Aunt Nellie's looking at the many jars with upside-down labels:
Manager: "How many we got?"
Label Guy: "Uh... ten thousand."
Manager (pauses, thinks; then): "Send 'em to Walmart. People will buy anything at Walmart."
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