Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is There No Such Thing As Quality Anymore?

Sometimes it’s really, really hard to be a Writer. Mostly because I notice the spelling and grammar mistakes in every piece of printed anything now.  And no, I don’t like being a hypocrite, because I’m sure my blog is rife with grammatical liberties, but when your spelling mistake is emblazoned across something that ends up in the hands of tens of thousands of people I’m forced to ask how it got through the cracks.

I’m also forced to consider whether anyone has told you about your mistake.  If not is it because the general public feels too shy to bring up these types of things, or is it because no one noticed until now?  If it’s the latter then I feel it is my duty to pray for this country’s future.  Because it is most certainly headed to a hell where hell is spelled with an e on the end.

When I tell you what it was that I caught (on the first read, at 7:00 in the morning, before coffee mind you) you might laugh and shrug your shoulders wondering why I made such a big deal about it in the first place.  Then again, since I know most of you are like me, you’re probably already sending me an email to find out what the company is so you can alert their marketing department of their huge gaffe.

So as you know we closed with mortgage company one.  We’ll just call them American Slacker Mortgage (or ASM for short).  ASM was probably the most frustrating company on the planet to work with and our deal actually caused multiple people to place them on a black list.  Our broker considered leaving the industry as a whole.  I was counting down the days until we could refinance out of the loan and into a better company who gave a crap about their clients.

(READ: live in the fantasy world inside my head where rainbows shoot out of a unicorn’s ass and we all skip along holding hands, singing the Smurfs theme music with a big smile on our face all the live-long day.  Then everyone pats me on the forehead because of my forced naiveté that everything is sunshine and roses…)

Anyway, about a week ago we received the letter almost everyone gets these days - that our loan was sold.  I was doing the happy dance because it would save me the trouble of refinancing in a couple years.  The new company sounded promising, they were closer to our side of the country so our checks would undoubtedly arrive faster and though I’d never heard of them before I was assured it would all work out A-OK.  For simplicity let’s just call them Our New Bank, or ONB.

We started getting mail at the new house in the past couple days (wahoo!) and yesterday we received the first statement from ONB.  The first of the next, proposed, 360 months of my life.  I opened my statement this morning.  On the return envelope there was one of those tear-off thingies under the flap.  Most of the time those are there to fill out for a change of address or similar.  This one was there to request setting up automatic payment deduction.

I was slightly intrigued (READ: anytime I can be lazy and not have to think about things like paying bills if it can happen automatically then I’m all for it).  So I sat in front of my monitor and read the request.  And then there it was.

When I see spelling mistakes I consider a couple things.  First, is the letter that’s out of place next to a letter that should have been used and was hit in simultaneous error?  Second, is the letter in question next to the space bar and was hit accidentally?

Where this spelling mistake is concerned, the answer in both cases my friends, is a resounding no.  So here’s what I received.

I counted and there are 123 words in the little two paragraph blurb.  One hundred and twenty-three words and a spelling mistake like that slips through?  Especially when word 37 is the same word and spelled correctly!

That’s it, I’ve had it with the utter lack of attention to detail in this world.  The sheer volume of laziness on this planet is astounding to me.  Like I said, I crave laziness as well but not when it comes to stuff like this.  If I released my book including a spelling error within every 123 words there would be approximately 512 spelling mistakes in my manuscript.  Who cares so little they allow something like that?

The sad truth is that the answer to the question is most people.  But how could I trust they’d even get my information correct when entering into their computer?  If they can make a mistake like that on the request for my information, right there in my face in bold purple ink, can I really have confidence in the abilities of the company as a whole?  And as much as it pains me to say it, even with all the lack of caring by ASM at least they spelled everything correctly.


Guess I hold companies to a much higher standard than I should.

Eache and every one of them.


Karen said...

David Lee Roth has your back on this one Jenn! No brown M&Ms! http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Good for him! I mean when your life is on the line (and maybe in my case it isn't so much my life swinging from wires out over the crowd but more so my house) you have every right to be thorough. I just do not get where people's heads are at these days that they simply do not care. I got 2 proof copies of my book, I read one & Matt read the other right before it printed and a friend still said he found a couple typos! That makes me insane. I know they say every book has one or two, nature of the beast and all, but I didn't want mine to have them. Higher standard I tell ya.

Suldog said...

Stuff such as you've outlined here drives me batty. I received a circular the other day, one of those that has coupons for local businesses. One restaurant offered me two meals for the price of one. How did it read?

"But One, Get One Free!"

Not only was that silly mistake made, it was on TWO coupons (one was for breakfast, the other for dinner.) Now, I realize that "T" sits next to "Y" on most keyboards, so I know how it happened, but twice? And nobody proofed it? No, thank you. They might give me paincakes.

jamiessmiles said...

I won't deal with anyplace that mispells cheques. It's the snooty Canadian in me. Canadian companies that adopt American spelling annoy me. Let the "u"s flow, we're Canadian! So yes, I get you:)

lettersfromlaunna said...

Oh Jenn, I have been patiently waiting for another post from you and you didn't disappoint me, thank you for the the laughter I needed. I've had a rough day and was excited to see you had posted.

I don't like things spelled incorrectly either, I am constantly going back and fixing errors I find on my blog... lol. Like I have nothing better to do. It just drives me batty :) So I am with you on this one :)

draagonfly said...

I second Karen's DLR comment... I was so impressed when I watched his video where he explained the brown MnM thing. Genius.

This is why I'm putting together thedirtygoose.com. My intent is to post mistakes like this (and have submissions so other people can post too) and market the crap out of that site so businesses want to go see if they're on it. Hopefully someday they'll be bragging that they've never been "goosed." :) (Forgive me if I told you all that already.) Of course, now that I have a "real job" again it will be slower getting the site up, but still working on it EACHE night! :)

Rosebud Collection said...

You know, I am a lousy speller..but let me say this..I use to use the dictionary all the time..would never send a thing out, unless it was checked. I do think spell check is making us dumber..My father would tell me, the more I read the better I will be with spelling..sure enough..but back to your case..Heck, it is a sloppy mistake, but I swear computers are making us sloppy..she/he was probably thinking the spell check would pick up any errors..little did they know..ha!
Enjoy your new home..sending you much love and blessings on your new venture..Carolyn

Almost Precious said...

Yes major corporations and big business should be on a different plateau than the average Joe Shmoe. It seems the typo may have been the fault of the bank's printers -- still, ONB should have proofed it and returned it for correction. Anymore businesses don't take the time to proof read and, if they do, can't be bothered with sending things back. Certainly doesn't say much for their attention to detail nor does it attest to their having pride in their corporation.