May 30, 2006

the once every decade MFU

This is not the kind of post that makes clients feel warm and fuzzy. So if you are one, go read about my puppy. For everyone else, let me describe how much cosmic energy I am devoting to remaining hyperaware these days to stave off the MFU--Major Fuck Up.

It happens to me about once a decade. Always has. The first time, I was 24 and it was only after printing thousands of magazines (printing was a big deal in 1986) for the New York State Board of Education--me having done the typesetting and layout in PageMaker on a Mac (was it a disk-swaping 512K or SE back then, I can't remember), as well as the photography, the editing, and managing of the production--that the head of Grants Development who wrote an article for the publication noticed her title read: "Director, Office of Grants Develoment and Procurement" - develOment. develoooooment.

Besides that, it was perfect, but close enough for jazz doesn't count in publishing.

The next time was 1996 and it was my first big contribution in my new director of corporate comm position at the now-defunct Systems Techniques, where I talked them into letting me design and print catch-all folders, classy die-cut ones, that we could use for press kits, presentations, proposals, etc. In other words, I was trying to help the company grow up a little from stapled handouts. And the resulting die-cut, classy folder was beautiful, except that no one who proofed it--including yours truly--noticed that the name of the company had a typo in it on the front inside flap: "Sytems" Techniques. Clear as day. How the heck? Amazing how that shit shows up like neon once you have 10,000 printed and stacked in boxes.

Ingenuity is the mother of CYA, so I spent the next months, whenever I had free time, cutting the flaps off the folders and turning them into presentation covers we could use as fronts and backs with our binding machine to dress up our presentation handouts. Not exactly a perfect solution, but it beat tossing them in the garbage. My very forgiving CEO started using the folders anyway: "Hell, I didn't notice it," she said, "I doubt anyone else will."

Now it's 2006, and I've always been one with a keen sense of time, just ask George, and I can feel that little MFU devil on my shoulder at least twice a week --> "Hmmm, something seems amiss, did you forget anything? double check, triple check and watch what you say..."

Maybe blogging this will break the curse, the jinx, the repetition compulsion -- whatever it is -- or maybe I'll just have to be thankful that small print runs don't cost what they used to, and print on demand makes fixing screw-ups easier.

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