And climb the stairs to the beach...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Morning Folks 03 26 06 My Muse is Back!

I can't believe that I have gone this long without posting to my blog, but according to the record it has been more than 2 weeks! I didn't' t know what caused me to take this unplanned hiatus, but being naturally curious and perhaps overly analytical, I decided to figure it out.

How do you go over a two week period in your life to determine what significant event might have chased away your muse? E-Mail!

First, I looked at old AOL e-mail. Lots of e-mails trying to get together with siblings for input on the wedding, e-mails with angst about what to wear, logistics of the hall, the menu, the flowers, etc.

Some fun e-mails about a birthday party for my friend Elizabeth and several fun chit chats and jokes exchanged with various loved ones.

Nothing jumped out at me. Then I looked at my work e-mail. And there it was.

The day after I blogged my last blog, I received an e-mail from a committee member with whom I have to work regularly. After I sent him the file of a just published document that took many hundreds of manhours to produce by a team of dedicated employees, containing thousands of numbers and dozens of narrative reports, this man's only comment "After 3 years'd think someone would know how to spell my *?!$&!* name!!!" (He was nice enough to substitute symbols for the word that he wanted to use, don't you think?)

This man, spells his name ending in SON and in the document it was spelled with SEN in error. Many people proofed it before it was published, but nobody noticed. But back to the gentleman...

We exchanged about 3 e-mails on the subject, Mr. SoandsoSON and I. I apologized sincerely and explained that I knew that it could be frustrating, from personal experience since my last name is spelled SEN but seldom is spelled correctly. He replied, ignoring my attempt to commiserate and adding that he felt it was personally insulting and that the misspelling of his name on a document that the whole town would see robbed him of the credit he deserved. The report was 108 pages long. His portion was 1 and 1/2 pages. In his last e-mail he almost apologized for his reaction, but not quite. And to this date hasn't commented on the content of the document, except for that one vowel.

I don't know, maybe it was a bigger deal than I think it was. But, both my first and last names are commonly misspelled. I can't spend all that energy on something so minor and one must be somewhat forgiving and flexible. But here I am 2 weeks later realizing how I allowed his lack of respect and appreciation to shake my confidence and chase away my muse!
Although the old saying "pride goeth before a fall" quickly sprung to mind when I opened his e-mail, that document did represent my last substantive contribution to my job before I retire this summer and I think I was rightly proud of it. But I allowed him to take that away, and shame on me for doing so. I was in the process of letting one little bitty error and one itty bitty man's comments define years of work.

I am proud of the job we did. I am sorry poor Mr. SoandsoSON is having trouble with his vowels. And I pity him because this particular error will be part of the official record, ad infinitum.

But today's blog isn't about him. It is really about me and how I allowed one man's self-centered remarks to affect me. And with the therapy of writing this blog, I can move on and forget about it. With my upcoming marriage I will remove all concerns about SON or SEN from my future. And on retiring I will be removing the plaque from my office wall-That "employee of the year" plaque proudly displayed, given to Suzanne Peterson. And I will take that with me when I leave and that will be proof enough for me of a job well-done.


I do worry for my sons, though, Norwegians that they are. Will they be able to handle the horrible fate they were dealt of having to deal with people making the mistake of writing their names ending in SON instead of SEN? I have faith in them, though, and I think they will be able to rise above it, overcome the adversity and soldier on!

My muse is back!

Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to have you back Suze, we missed you! I appreciate todays blog, it made me think more about the erratic nature of my own publishing and what might be behind the all to often absence of my muse. Congrats on impending retirement & wedding. Best wishes!


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