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Internet Sourceline

"Fired"!

So I post the following to the internal board:

 

Now, up front, let me say the following things: 1) I post this message because I am concerned about the future of iSourceline, and 2) I'm astounded at and aggravated by the subject matter, so please forgive the tone of what follows.

You guys /seriously/ need proofing. I was astounded and appalled by the press release I saw this morning. I was told that there's an outside firm you're using for pr, and they do their own proofing. This blows my mind. If you're paying them anything, fire them and get your money back. Come to think of it, if they're doing it for free, consider paying someone who knows what they're doing.

I've brought up English issues before, and was told "oh, that's just for internal stuff, we're not that concerned". That already bothers me, but fine. But at the time I said, "oh, but I thought there was something else public, but I can't remember what." So, that press release makes it blaringly obvious (how the hell does "key area's of interest" get past [supposedly] professional editors?), but here was what I was thinking about: the current placeholder at www.isourceline.com.

If I were to quote the second to last paragraph of that thing in an article, I'd quote it like this:

"As we being to position our selves [sic] at the door...where behind that very door resides [sic] the news & media moguls whom we see [as] unfit of the level of respect they carry, as well [as] whom we see [as] unjustifiably an outright disgrace to the news & media industry-it is time we knock at this very door."

Wish I could just print it out and hit it with a red pen, because it'd be easier, but here's how it would look if I proofed it:

"As we begin to position our selves [1] at the door...where behind that very door resides [2] the news & media moguls [2] whom we see [3] unfit of [4] the level of respect they carry, as well [5] whom [6] we see [7] unjustifiably an outright disgrace to the news & media industry-[8]it is time we knock at this very door."

[1] "ourselves".
[2] Singular/plural mismatch. Moguls reside, mogul resides.
[3] "we see as unfit".
[4] Awkward. Perhaps "undeserving of".
[5] "as well as".
[6] Awkward. Perhaps "those we see".
[7] "we see as".
[8] Em-dash.

And those are just errors I saw, and I'm not a professional editor. I just pay attention to the language. If you had any editors over the age of 8, they should be catching these things, and more. And it's not just even errors: someone I showed this to said it'd be better rewritten as the following:

"As we approach the door, we know that behind it are the media moguls not deserving the respect they attain as they disgrace their own industry. We are ready to knock on that door."

Much cleaner. And he's not a professional editor, either. He's a guy who knows how to read. And speaking of comments by people I know, here's a selection:

"Sheesh, that sentence is maddening."
"I can't even read that whole press release, Greg. It hurts."
(as part of my discussion on whether the "whom"s in that sentence are correct) "Yeah, the problem isn't the 'whom's; the problem is that everything around them is so wrong, they sound wrong too."
"'We have the intentions of incorporating the technology of tomorrow into the content of today.' ...With the grammar of 1783."
"They need to throw that entire paragraph out and start from scratch."
"That looks like it's been babelized from portuguese."
"Greg, if this is a magazine/writing gig and they're this fucked up, run."
"Their pr firm must be in Uruguay."
"...but this tripe is not worth this much debate, I say."

And again, these are not people who edit for a living. These are just intelligent people who know how to read.

If you're a magazine or news service, it doesn't matter. Either way, good writing is your lifeblood, and it's folly to blow it off. This is like a painting company with peeling paint on their storefront. How many web design companies do you see with bad web sites? Not many, because they're either a) insignificant or b) quickly out of business. Because, if you're a web design firm, you damn well better have a good web site. I mean, obviously. So if you're in the business of writing, /everything/ you send to the public damn well better be perfect.

I mean, let's not even talk "perfect". Let's just say "well-written". I'm astounded that it takes me, just some guy sitting in front of a computer in Chicago, to tell you this.

 

This gets me "fired" immediately. I get this in reply:

 

Good Afternoon. It is with great regret that we must inform you that you have been relieved of your future duties from Internet Sourceline, Inc.

After careful consideration, we feel that it is in the best interest of both our company and yourself that this action be taken. Your departure from ISL is effective immediately.

The accounts that lead to this matter have been listed below:
- Usage of profanity in your latest post at the Intranet WWWBoard.
- Lack of professionalism used when suggesting ideas towards the company in a public medium.
* Both issues are direct violations of guidelines listed throughout the intranet.

Note: Due to this e-mail, your ISL e-mail address will remain active for the next 24 hours or until a response is issued.

We wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Internet Sourceline, Inc.

 

This is entertaining for a number of reasons. The few that amuse me the most:

1) I was told a few times that I shouldn't hold internal materials to the same standard as public materials, yet here I am offending "corporate" because I'm using profanity in the private board. (In fact, even that single profanity was probably within their guidelines, even if it had been public, which it wasn't. Here's my full reply about that, if you're interested.) And besides, what "public medium"? I put it on the internal board where maybe 12 people saw it. If they saw it at all before its probable deletion.

2) It's kinda hard to fire me when I'm not actually getting any work yet. I think I'll call up Richard Pryor and fire him for use of profanity.

3) So I was fired because "we don't like your kind around here, son." Or, to look at it a different way, because of my attitude. Which is pretty funny, coming from "Internet Sourceline: News With An Attitude". Maybe "News With An Attitude (As Approved By Corporate On A Case-By-Case Basis)".

Next: Love That Parody!

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