Friday, August 26, 2005

Random Office Venting

I'm in the middle of a rather big project right now, but I thought I'd just take a little time to rant about one thing:

A secretary in my office doesn't really appear to proofread stuff that she types.

Whether it's dictation (my boss isn't a great typist, so he still dictates into a machine and asks someone else to type it up), or whether it's taking a printed product with handwritten stenographical marks, most times she doesn't really take the time to re-read the end product to make sure it makes sense. This is annoying because it then makes that much more work for me, because when I look at the next generation of the draft, I'll see certain sentences that simply don't make sense and have to edit them yet again.

Is it too much to ask that the secretary, while making all the red-marked changes, look the sentence over again to make sure it makes sense? When someone changes the word "Defendants" to "Defendant" but neglects to change the corresponding verb from "address" to "addresses," is it too much to ask that they change that verb too?

When I was a secretarial temp in college, I made sure the edited sentence reflected change even if the editor didn't actually make them, to ensure that the result was grammatically correct and decently understandable. Many times I would hand back a new generation document that included changes the editor didn't make, like, oh, making sure the subject and verb agreed. Maybe I was just weird in doing so.

(Of course, when I was doing that secretarial work, I once made the mistake of typing "Virtually yours" as the closing remark in a letter I had typed from dictation. Of course, the phrase was supposed to be "Very truly yours." Hey, the guy mumbled it!)

Okay, I'm done venting. Back to work.


duane said...

It REALLY works my nerves when people don't bother to reread something; I don't know why, but I especially have a problem when people use "good" in the place where "well" is more appropriate. Maybe that is just the perfectionist in me, who knows; perhaps, I expect the best, because I should get it, eh?

Me said...

That is my pet peeve as well! Ugh!! I had one secretary who insisted that it wasn't her job to proofread. She didn't stay my secrtary for very long...

Also, they try to MAKE us dictate, b/c no matter how good typists we are, b/c it saves time somehow. So far, I feel weird doing it. I have to get it down though.

ThatGuy said...

I used to get unproofed copy from people here at my place of employment for almost every job I designed, and inevitably, they would suddenly find all their errors after they received the first layout proof. I would reiterate to them how it really helps ensure accuracy AND speeds up the process if they would spell check AND proofread copy BEFORE it came to me for design. "You're the designer, isn't that your job?" They would ask. "No, it isn't the designer's job to proof copy - it's your job, I would reply.

Now, I let files go to the printer with mistakes and only bring them to the attention of said lazy co-worker AFTER I get the printer's proof - thus incurring additional costs for the printer to correct the mistakes that the lazy co-worker should have caught BEFORE it ever came to me in the first place. Guess which budget it come out of? Not mine dears.