Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Everyone Makes Mistakes; Some Are Just Correctable Faster Than Others

from the whoops dept

It happens to everyone sooner or later. Somehow, you make a "big" mistake at work. One that everyone notices. For example, you accidentally send out thousands of acceptance emails to all applicants to a top law school while training a new employee how the email system works. Of course, in some cases, it's quite easy to fix very quickly -- and that's especially true online, where you can respond in seconds. However, one newspaper discovered how problematic it is in the offline world when they simply forgot to deliver two newspaper sections to all subscribers yesterday, leading them to add them to Friday's paper, along with the following apology:
"You'll notice today's paper is significantly larger than a usual Friday because yesterday's paper was proportionately smaller. Inside you will find Thursday's C and D sections, along with your Friday fare. These two sections were inadvertently left out of every paper yesterday. Yes, it's hard to believe. Suffice it to say that it won't happen again and we sincerely apologize for dropping the ball."
Probably not a fun day at work for some people yesterday at that particular newspaper, though at least the note makes it sound like they had a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 4:12pm

    Great newspaper slogan: "Yesterday's News Delivered Tomorrow!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    BC Wilson, Apr 7th, 2006 @ 7:14pm

    Holy Cow! This is a good thing!

    Imagine that, a real apology! Not the usual lame and insincere: "Sorry if this was an inconvenience."

    We all make mistakes, Good for these guys, fessing up ASAP!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Daniel.son, Apr 8th, 2006 @ 2:13am

    "it won't happen again"

    ...sounds to much like a boast and boasting often leads to the eating of words.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    mark, Apr 8th, 2006 @ 8:04am

    easy rule I follow

    You can deal with problems:

    1) before hand (preventative)
    2) at the time of
    3) NEVER

    Everyone tries to prevent mistakes but we all make them. Acknowledge it with a touch of humilty and move on. If you try to wait it out to deal with it later it never works.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Devboy, Apr 9th, 2006 @ 8:23am


    I like it when people actually acknowlege their faults. If you screw up, people are more likely to forgive you if you don't try to foist lame excuses off on you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Devboy, Apr 9th, 2006 @ 8:24am

    Re: Yep

    Or learn how to understand sentence structure, first and third person. Doh!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    ehrichweiss, Apr 9th, 2006 @ 3:48pm

    done it myself..

    I used to work for a local alternative newspaper and I was in charge of a huge part of production including the back page that had a lot of classified adverts and our comic strip. One day everything that could go wrong went wrong..fonts weren't being added to the PDF like was required, some fonts in some of the ads simply wouldn't work with Quark and I had to find useable substitutes, images were the wrong size/dpi, etc. These were back in the days when moving a gfx box 1/128th of an inch could make NOTHING print and a lot of newspapers were still doing paste-up. Well after getting the page built and ready to go somehow I got distracted and put the previous week's PDF on the disk we sent to the printer. This wouldn't have been a problem cause we could have emailed the real back page out except it took them 4 hours to process our paper usually and so around 8pm that night, long after I was anywhere near the office, I got a call from the tech there telling me that she had the wrong back page and that she hadn't noticed until they'd already printed 5,000 papers and what did *I* want to do about it. I wanted to die, that's what I wanted to do. By the time I got ahold of the publisher to find out whether to take the monetary hit for the papers already printed, the entire run had been printed which made it impossible to simply write off. I took a LOT of hell that next day but it wasn't so bad that they did anything other than give me the typical "HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED!!?!?!?" I've seen much, MUCH worse in my time since then. Hell, that newspaper this past year ran the same cover that we had created my first couple months there...I call that a disaster cause it's easy to print an apology for missing a comic strip and issue a credit for the classified adverts, but a cover is a whole different game.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    elaine, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 2:02am

    This is somethihg that other firms should imitate and I am not pertaining to the mistake. I think that this is a classic example that sometimes admitting that you made a mistake is the best thing to do rather than pretending you didn't do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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