Greetings loyal readers,
We're finished with the July issue right now, and I thought it would be fun to share with you a little bit of my last few days in the office, which, until I started writing this week's blog, have been entirely devoted to proofreading the issue. If you've never experienced the utter joy that is reading the same material over and over again, looking for the tiniest mistakes, let me paint you a most wondrous picture of what a single day of proofing is like. Remember, to get the full effect, imagine you've been doing this for at least four days straight.
7:50 A.M.: It's a brand new day at the office, and I'm excited. Every morning, when I have basically a full day of proofing ahead, I always think it's going to be the most awesome thing. Don't get me wrong, I love proofreading, probably unhealthily so, but I don't love seven hours of proofreading just like I don't love seven hours of eating ice cream or watching movies. This is a fact that escapes me every time, and this morning is no different. I make my tea, grab my little green ruler (courtesy PPC/greatStuff!), and happily get to looking for errant apostrophes and mis-compounded words.
8:05 A.M.: I remember my coworkers do not make a lot of mistakes. There isn't even a comma splice to be seen anywhere. Still, spirits are high. I have my tea and Pandora, so life is basically perfect.
9:15 A.M.: I've been through about five documents so far, and have made maybe three corrections. I have about 17 more files to go through, some of which are inordinately long (think 20+ pages). Once I'm through all those, I go through them again in a black and white layout, and once more in color.
10:30 A.M.: My concentration is starting to falter. Sentences that say something like, "The sweatshirt is a 50/50 cotton/poly blend," occasionally end up reading like, "the sWeetshirrts are 5,000 poppy blenfs." This understandably slows me down a bit, partly because I can't stop wondering what a sweetshirt with 5,000 poppy seeds blended through it would be like. Some kind of amazing sweet-bagel hoodie? The world may never know ...
11:10 A.M.: I've been reading the same sentence for at least 10 minutes. Each time I restart it, it's completely new to me, such is the state of my memory at this point. It's like a mini Groundhog Day [link], but with less lessons about life and more "The water bottle has a snap-closure top."
12:30 P.M.: I thank every God I know, and some that I don't, that it's lunch time.
1:30 P.M.: After the lunch break, it's a little hard to get started proofing again. It's a bit like jumping back into a freezing pool again after you've just dried off. You know you'll get used to the water quickly, just like you did the first time, but the memory of the chill that drove you out of the pool isn't exactly leaving anytime soon either.
2:45 P.M.: I take small pleasure spinning in my chair in circles for a few minutes.
2:47 P.M.: I feel kind of dizzy.
3:25 P.M.: Sentences that used to appear as "the sWeetshirrts are 5,000 poppy blenfs," now are reading as "ALL FEAR THE HORNED DEMI-GOD GRONDAK, LORD OF TERROR AND ALL STINGING INSECTS, MAY THE SOULS OF CHILDREN TREMBLE AT MENTION OF HIS CURSED NAME. ALSO, THE FLEECE IS A 50/50 COTTON/POLY BLEND, AND FEATUTES A HIDDEN ZIPPER, RIBBED, ELASTIC CUFFS AND A REALLY NICE HOOD. SIZES S-5XL."
4:15 P.M.: This is the time in the day where my coworkers begin worrying, my mumbled whines about semicolons and Grondak feasting on my spirit causing moderate alarm. Sometimes Kyle will indulge me with a story about bourbon or Depeche Mode (sometimes combining the two if I'm in an especially sorry state), and other times Charlie will be burnt out too and challenge me to a match of "Name the Most Presidents" or "Where's Mike's Wallet?"
4:25 P.M.: At this point in the day, I get this weird surge of energy, where I feel like I could work forever. The feeling lasts about five minutes, when I'm off and out the door for the lovely hour-plus commute home.
CHARLES PLYTER FACT OF THE WEEK: Charlie has an iPhone now, and it's turned him into a kind of iMacGyver. Any problem you have, he can probably solve it with the iPhone, so long as it can be looked up on slower-than average net connection or requires the use of "practical" apps that recreate things like a level or dog whistle.