Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why don't the salesmen ever have to fix their own mistakes

I'm a freelance writer. But I also hold down a full-time writing job as the editor of a trade magazine covering commercial real estate. It's a bit of a drag, but it's provided me a steady income, and insurance benefits, for more than 10 years now.

The problem is, we're operating with a skeleton staff these days. The company laid off 2/3 of our editorial and sales staff earlier this year thanks to the bad economy. Because of this, everyone's handling several jobs at once. Mistakes slip through.

For instance, in our most recent issue, our advertising staff forgot to include an ad that was already paid for. That's a no-no at any time, but it's especially bad when every dollar counts, as it does today. The advertising staff also put in the wrong contact information on a second ad. Another no-no.

And who has to clean up the mess? The few writers left on staff, of course. You know, the folks who had absolutely nothing to do with the mistakes that were made.

For instance, I now have to interview officials at both companies that the sales department screwed over. Then I have to figure out how to weave these interviews into the stories I'm already working on for the issue. Sounds like a great time, no?

What makes all this worse is that the reason we're operating with a skeleton staff is because our sales men and women haven't been selling enough ads. And now we're all doing extra work because these same people keep screwing things up.

Nice job, everyone.

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