Yesterday, I had to edit a letter at work.
My boss has a very casual style of communicating with our clients. We don't have any form letters to speak of, everything is pretty personalized. It's one of the things I like most about him because our clients really like that personal touch. He has a wicked sense of humor and often uses it in our letters.
He's working on another business venture, though, with someone else. As this starts to move forward, I am getting letters and whatnot to send out. Not a problem, I'm happy to lend a hand.
What is a problem, though, is trying to edit this other guy's work. He writes coherently enough, but it's so....corporate sounding. Very stiff and formal. I printed the letter out only to discover he had used a size eight font.
But, when I increased the font to a more readable 11 or 12, it spilled waaaaay over onto a second page.
He doesn't like 2 page letters.
So my only option was to edit.
Very precarious position to be in for me. I don't mind hacking MY work up, but I don't like hacking a superior's work. Yet, there are some things that MUST get fixed before going out. It's a fine line for me. Fixing those glaring errors and tweaking just enough of the rest of the letter so it suitable for human consumption.
Somehow, I doubt that real editors have any qualms about telling writers when their work sucks. I doubt they walk the tightrope between making something readable and preserving the author's delicate ego.
Bottom line: I'm soooo not cut out to be an editor!
On a completely unrelated note, when I ran out at lunch yesterday, the police had an entire BLOCK barricaded off and officers were running around with RIFLES. Yes, RIFLES. This was a mere FOUR blocks from my office. (where I spent the whole afternoon alone.) Never did find out what was going on, but in this small town that was BIG news lemme tell ya.
What I don't understand, though, is why so many people took it upon themselves to stand around on the corner watching. HELLO??? Men with GUNS are roaming the neighborhood. So obviously they are looking for someone dangerous. I'm sorry, but if these people are stupid enough to stand around gaping near a crime scene, then they kinda deserve it if they get hit with a stray bullet or are taken hostage.
I'm thinking of having some kind of contest on Mother's Day. Stay tuned for more details!