Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Bad information turns simple plan into a hassle

I had the simplest of simple plans, and because of bad information it nearly became a mess.

Fortunately, I found a workaround; still, I’m not happy about it.

Basically, I have to prove my ability to design news pages for a job interview. In my last job, at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, I was just a copy editor with little input into page design issues. At my previous newspaper, the Vero Beach Press Journal-Stuart News, I was into inside page design in a big way; the copy editors did both jobs.

But I had thrown out my Press Journal page designs and, in fact, found a printout I had made of one page. But I needed more. I had designed business pages and the 2004 election pages for the paper, but they’re not available online.

The solution was to drive to the Indian River County central library in Vero Beach and print out the microfilms. I had to be sure I had designed the pages I was taking, of course, and had a dim memory of the stories I had edited and set up.

The day before, I had called the library to be sure I could print out the microfilms. I was told they had the microfilms, but did not have the ability to print, but that the genealogy department had a printer I could use. I was switched to the genealogy department, where I was told that they did have a working printer I could use.

So one morning I drove on I-75 north to State Road 60 east and arrived at the library a few hours later, just before opening time. When the doors opened, I went in, went upstairs and found the department, then explained my presence.

A woman showed me where the microfilms were, and I took the ones I needed and walked over to the reader.

There was a laser printer there with the dreaded words: “Out of Order.”

In fact, they did not have a printer, but the parts were on order and would arrive in a few days. Needless to say, I was upset.

I left and drove to the Press Journal, where I was told that they didn’t keep the microfilms longer than a year, and had I tried the library?

I decided to try something. So I went back to the library, loaded up the films and began photographing them with my iPhone’s camera. I shot several and then left for the return home to Ellenton.

It’s very annoying to get incorrect information. I would have been less upset had the printer gone down between the time I made the call and the time of my arrival, but it was clear to me that someone dropped the ball.

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March 8, 2010 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, The jobless chronicles | , ,

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