This past Sunday, I found myself revisiting an old habit from high school days, in that I was watching TV while doing homework. I was watching Ax Men on the History Channel, seeking relief from the inanities of my life in a world where people know what they’re doing. Alas, not this week: it seemed that all of the drama turned on someone’s stupid mistake, or an old hand’s inability to adapt to changed circumstances.
Monday was not a good day at the office. A few weeks ago, I sent reviewed and sent out a passel of about 150 drawings. Monday one of them came back because it was missing a date. An instruction manual also came back, disapproved by the client. I had drawn an illustration with colored arrows to illustrate signal flows, then used other arrows in the same colors to point out devices in the illustration. It also gave the client the opportunity to do a hunting and fishing expedition through the rest of the document, which they were previously happy with. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
This morning, the two New York tabloids, which normally try to outdo each other with witty headlines, ran the exact same headline for the same story:
This morning I got a message from a client on another project that a large group of drawings were rejected, and many of them will have to be updated. I didn’t prepare these drawings, so it’s not an immediate crisis for me, but it’s the latest in a long line of oopsies on that project.
This afternoon, my telephone rang with a call from the trenches: more glitches to be fixed. And while I can say ‘I didn’t do it’ in this case, I’ve still gotta fix it.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the horror show continues. A year and a half ago, to resolve the budget crisis of the week, the parties agreed that if they were not able to reach agreement on how to at least move things a little closer to balance, there would be automatic spending cuts (the ‘sequester’) eighteen months hence, i.e. this Friday.
And now both sides are moaning and wailing about how the sequester is a bad idea. It’ll cut teachers! It’ll weaken our defense! It’ll be the end of the world as we know it!
In reality, if you consider that entitlements and debt service are sacrosanct, you end up with about a 10% cut of everything else. Yes, it’s painful, but hardly the end of the world. But it is another example of how we have been overrun with stupid mistakes.
And it’s only Tuesday….