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Have a sense of humor about typos

It’s every newspaper editor’s nightmare. You work on a project – a special section, or hey, even a regular, every-day edition of a newspaper. You make sure everything is perfect – all the T’s are crossed, as it goes – and pling! You submit your final, let’s-go-to-press-with-this-thing version. Then you wait. You wait for your baby to turn into words on a page and you cross your fingers, hoping you and your staff got everything right. Down in Rifle, we just published what’s called The Guide. It’s a 44-page information piece, geared for people who are living or visiting western Garfield County. It has information on each town from New Castle to Parachute, including the inside track on favorite hiking trails, what to do when it’s hot, when it’s cold, and when it’s somewhere in between. It’s got contact names and numbers for the police, the fire department, all of the towns’ chamber of commerce members, stuff like that. We took more than a month collecting information for The Guide, and after several very late nights writing, editing and formatting pages, we hit our drop-dead deadline, and actually even beat it by 15 minutes. And, as if by magic, a day later we had more than 10,000 copies of The Guide. We looked through it. It looked good and fine. No glaring problems. No major omissions. Still, I walked around in sort of a permanent cringe. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. There was so much information in this thing – so many addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses. Could we have actually achieved perfection?It was all going swimmingly until I got “The Call” two days post-print. A man named Brian (not his real name) left a message on my voice mail, and he was none too happy. We hadn’t done it intentionally of course, but we had listed his home phone number by accident under one of our more intense government departments (I’m purposely keeping this vague to protect the innocent – namely, Brian). Suffice it to say, you wouldn’t want to be receiving calls at home from people attempting to call this department. Once I got Brian’s message, I could finally stop cringing, and called him back, apologizing profusely. “I’m mortified,” I said. “We’ll pay the fee to change your phone number for you.”Brian was great. True, he was not happy, but he also had a good sense of humor. No, he didn’t want to change his number – he’d had it for more than 25 years. But we agreed that we would cross out his home number on any copies of The Guide that we could, replacing it with the correct number. I wish I knew the formula for perfection, but I haven’t quite got it yet. And neither have the computer gurus. Yes, you might be able to correct your spelling with a software program, but nobody’s been able to figure out how to correct a missed keystroke – yet.Carrie Click is the editor of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle. Her column appears in the Post Independent on Tuesdays. You can reach Carrie at 625-3245, ext. 101, cclick@postindependent.com. Carrie Click is the editor of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle. Her column appears in the Post Independent on Tuesdays. You can reach Carrie at 625-3245, ext. 101, cclick@postindependent.com.


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