words of wisdom

In any case, it’s just a tiny mistake, and hardly one to make you get “the boot!” If you’re threatened with this, tell your boss or HR manager that you have plenty of supporters out here who want you to keep your job!

I have worked in an office for 25 years, including a publishing house.  Here are some quick tips for avoiding the boot:

1.  Always cover your back – get it in writing.  If Jasper signed off the quiz, do you have email confirmation?  If so, wave it in your boss’s face – Jasper’s fault, not yours.

2.  Double check everything before letting it out of your hands.  If you’re still not sure, get a colleague to look it over – fresh pair of eyes and all that.

3.  Copy your boss (and anyone else you can think of) into anything which could present a problem later – that way, s/he can’t deny responsibility, because s/he saw the email and had an opportunity to prevent any problem arising – and by copying other people in, they also know that your boss has received it.

4.  Keep changing jobs – if you don’t work anywhere for very long, they can’t figure out how inept you are.

5.  (and most importantly) Hire a good freelance proofreader.  It just so happens that I am just starting out as a freelance proofreader, so I’d be happy to assist any time you need it.

Best of luck!

With regard to modelling yourself on your superviser… That’s fine but what might also help is if you could find a good mentor who’s been in the business for some time, knows the pitfalls and how to avoid them and who has alot of contacts.  A bit like the challenging but positive relationship that Miss Haversham and Thursday Next had in “The Well of Lost Plots”.  I wish I’d had a mentor – I was very much like you when I was young and a mentor would have helped me greatly.  It’s also a good idea to read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey.  It’s published by Simon & Shuster but you can’t have everything.

Oh, and stay away from fires and old cars with dodgy back axles.  Always good advice, I’d say.


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