Mistakes: We’ve all made them at one time or another. And when you and/or your work are out there in the world for public consumption, it’s subject to judgment — and so are you.
For better or worse, that’s part of the deal.
If you work as a reporter at a newspaper and you make a mistake, it can be especially humiliating — particularly when people notice.
I might be giving journalists, and myself, too much credit here.
Maybe it’s not a big deal to most people. Maybe it is.
I could tell you that things like typos and spelling errors are often made in haste — that in our fervour to be fast, we make sacrifices.
Often that sacrifice is proofreading.
And those things are true. But if that’s the case, than it’s also true that we need to be more careful. I need to be more careful.
The problem is that no matter how much I, or my colleagues, strive for perfection, we will occasionally make a mistake; and for that, we are sorry. I am sorry.
Last week there was a grammatical error in one of my stories. It’s not that I didn’t know better, I didn’t just comb through the story after I wrote it like I should have. And being on a time crunch or whatever doesn’t excuse it.
You might be reading this and thinking, “Jeeze lady, get a GRIP!”
You might think this is what one might call a “First world problem.”
And I realize that in the grand scheme of things, it really is.
But there are people out there who do think it’s a big deal. I’m clearly one of them.
In fact, some people think it’s a big enough error to point it out in a letter to me, and to my superiors asking if I’m educated and questioning whether or not I went to journalism school. For the record, I did. There are people who have sent me Youtube videos called Grammar for Second Graders.
And whether I deserve it or not, that kind of thing seems a little unnecessary. I feel stupid, but I don’t think I am stupid.
I also know that no matter how much I want to spend a day in my pyjamas, feeling sorry for myself and screaming Taylor Swift lyrics at the cat, that is not an option.
I just have to own my mistake and move on.
To be clear, I’m not looking for a free pass to mess up —I’m saying that no one will beat me up for a mistake worse than I will beat myself up — but some might try.
And that has taught me a few important lessons; I can be harsh on others. I usually don’t share those harsh thoughts with them, but I think them. And maybe I should think a little more before I draw certain conclusions.
Even when it feels like people who imply that I’m uneducated are being unnecessarily harsh, they are, in their own way, trying to help.
I’ve also learned an important lesson about Vernon. I am new to town, and to The Morning Star. And this has taught me that people here care enough to point out a mistake when we make them.
In this town, no one is going to let me walk around with lipstick on my teeth or my skirt tucked into my tights. And that’s something I can live with.