Monday, December 19, 2016

345. Ego

If there is one trait in a person that I have grown to hate, it’s ego. I hate it when people are so blindly sure of themselves that they make sure to tell everyone how great they are. It’s a huge turnoff for me. I can’t stand to be around people like that.

In high school, I had to do a project with this girl who always had to question everything I did. It was incredibly frustrating. If she thought I had forgotten something, she’d automatically assume I did something wrong, even before I could explain myself. I remember one time she thought I forgot to bring something to class, and she questioned if I had forgotten the necessary thing back in my dorm. I didn’t. I just had it in my bag. It was incredibly frustrating. I remember on another project we worked on, she had made a mistake, but I caught it before we had to turn it in. I got a tepid thanks for that.

I’ve learned that we all make mistakes. And while some people don’t make as many, or else it’s someone’s job to make sure those mistakes are corrected, stuff is still going to happen. I judge a person a lot more on how they handle mistakes than if they make any. If a person just yells about a mistake that was made rather than tries to figure out a way to improve on it, I get angry.

I know there’s the infamous “tits” headline during my time at the Marshall Independent. I wrote a preview story for the upcoming SMSU volleyball match. I wasn’t working that evening, so the two other people on the desk would be responsible for editing and the desk. I was happy to not have that responsibility. The subhead (text below the headline) was supposed to have read “SMSU prepares for its rematch against Concordia,” but somehow, a t made its way in front of the its.

As you could expect, a lot of people thought I wrote the article. It got some viral traction online and I was pissed. I knew my editor was pissed as well. I forgave him, but only after he bought me lunch. I’m glad I can laugh about that now. It took me a while, but I got over it.

I get that in the newspaper business you have to be a little bit more on top of the errors, especially if you’re at a large paper, but show me another profession that throws its work in front of a ton of eyeballs on a daily basis.

I remember that I once got an email from an irate parent that we didn’t cover a certain sport enough. I was so pissed about that. What a coward. They could definitely dish out the criticism, but they couldn’t bare to put their name on the letter. I tweeted about it and it got some traction. Sometimes you just have to own up to all your mistakes. I prefer a person who lets his or her warts show, instead of one who hides them, pretending they have no warts at all.

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