Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I am so excited--I actually have WORK to do today! Who would have thought that such a thing would make me happy? I have to read a 130 page document, prepare comments, collate other people's comment and prepare a snappy memo by next Friday. While it's not like I'm under a lot of pressure, I want to take a big bite out of reading the report today. The problem is that when it comes to reading reports, I tend to do it very slowly. Why so slow? Because it is tremendously boring! Also, it turns out that this report, while substantively very good, only rates a B- (or less) in the syntax/grammar/flow category. I read like an editor, rewriting as I go, so what would normally take me an hour to read will take much longer (I am a fast reader). I usually spread the reading out over a couple of days so I don't kill myself.

This is where I earn my pay, though. I will take a B- report and, in this case, turn it into a A or an A+ report, which our office can be proud of--and for which the contractor may claim 100% of the credit. I'll get a mention in the acknowledgements, but that's all. After this round of comments, the contractor gets another crack at rewriting the report (that's the second draft). I get to comment on the second draft and then the contractor prepares the final-final-final. All contractors HATE the second draft, but I've yet to have a contract that didn't desperately need a second round of edits. And the more they protest? The more I am sure that the report will need a second draft. This report is a case in point. Ten pages in, I knew that it needed a massive re-write, though the substance was fine. It was so crowded with unnecessary words obscuring the meaning, it just wouldn't do. Those extra words destroy the flow and don't add any information.

Anyway, I am working on a longer story about my distant past (fifth grade!), but I won't have time to finish it today, or maybe not even tomorrow--because I have to work. Hooray!

Grateful for: work.

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