Today in bike store happenings: 


A customer and her father have asked me to show them our bike carrier racks. I have ascertained from the customer that she wants a good, basic rack on which to carry her things for school. She has her bike with her. I have shown them our basic, everyday rack—the one we put on 90% of the commuter bikes we sell. 


ME: That's a good basic rack.

HER: Can I put a milk crate on it? 

ME: Sure you can—it'll be heavy, but if that's what you want, you can use bungee cords to attach it, or some people bolt them on. 

FATHER: But will it fit on her bike? 

ME: Looking at bike, which is a standard 700-C-wheeled commuter Oh yeah. We install about a billion of these on bikes just like this. You can leave it with us—there's a $10 installation fee—or you can install it yourself. 

FATHER: Is this the hardware? How does it fit?

ME: showing him It mounts here and here, above the axle, and then it bolts to the frame here.

FATHER: Are you sure it's going to fit? 

ME: Yep. Like I said, we install about a billion of these on bikes justs like this. 

FATHER: It's not going to sit too low? 

ME: Holding the rack where it will sit No, it will be fine. Look, it will sit just about here. 

FATHER: Can you ask one of the techs, please?

ME: Looking at my manager, who is 3 feet away Wil, is this rack gonna fit this bike? 

WIL: Glancing up from whatever he was doing. She just told you man, yes, it's gonna fit. 

FATHER: Thank you so much for translating that for me. I couldn't have understood her. 

WIL: Well, she was pretty clear, but it seemed like you were having a hard time. 

FATHER: Thank you. 

Later on, while he's paying for the rack:

FATHER: I didn't mean to offend you. I just wanted to be sure it would fit. 

ME: Oh, geez man, I understand. You just wanted to be sure. How could you know that I might know what I'm talking about? 

FATHER: Well, it's just that I wanted to be sure. 

ME: Deciding that forcing the issue will do no good.  Like I said, it's a standard rack, made for this type of bike. I think it'll work pretty well. Here's your change. Have a good one. 



* This is what Wil and I agreed, when I told him the customer hadn't wanted to offend me. I mean, why would I be offended when this is a known, historical truth? 

zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Jan. 19th, 2012 11:52 am)
For the past several years, I have taught Editing 101 (formally known as "Principles and Practices of Editing") at City College. This is the first or second course that most students entering the editing program take, and it provides an overview of How Editing Works. The students that I or the grammar instructor don't scare away from the program have typically left my nest, to go on and take specialized courses in various editorial tasks, such as copy editing, substantive editing, or proofreading, and topics, such as editing children's literature. I rarely see them again, though a few become LinkedIn contacts or DW friends.

This semester, I was hired by Polygnostic University to teach proofreading. Since PU pays a lot more than City College, I relinquished my position as the 101 instructor with CC—these are evening courses, and I really didn't want to be teaching for two evenings a week. I found another instructor for City College, and thought all was well there.

Of course, Polygnostic got in touch with me in early January to tell me they'd cancelled my course, because not enough students had enrolled (I'm still teaching the online version of the same course, so that's something). At the same time, the coordinator of my program at CIty e-mailed me urgently looking for an instructor for their proofreading course. So, figuring that some paid in-class time was better than no paid in-class time, I offered to take on the course for one semester. 

The first class last night was really neat! It's all students I've taught before, from about the past 3 years. Most seemed happy to see me. But the best moment came as one student walked in.

"Oh great," she said, "Now I know this is going to be hard!"

Poor little duckling. 

(Heh, heh, heh.)
zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Aug. 17th, 2011 11:54 am)

More reporting from a Toronto High School: It's the 1950s now, so most of the "Baby Bags" have graduated. For context, I have just edited an entire page that lists all the citywide athletic championships that the Boys' athletic teams won.

Oh authors with your casual sexism! 

When the old auditorium was converted into the Boys’ Gym, the girls inherited the smaller upper gym. The gym rang with giggles and laughter at 3:30 most days while girls played whatever sport was scheduled. The girls’ teams also participated in Hi-Jinks, the Track and Field Days and Cadet Inspection Day. It was a huge honour to be chosen as a cheerleader.  It required stamina and quite a bit of athletic ability to do cartwheels and jumps in formation. The Drum Majorettes group was also always popular.  The 1952 squad was the largest in any school that year.  They performed at the annual Red Feather Tournament of Champions sponsored by the Community Chest (later the United Appeal). It had been organized to raise funds for needy Torontonians. The Majorettes also marched at Varsity Stadium at the City Football Championships and in the Santa Claus Parade.

N.B.: This is the pre-edited version. I'm fixing up the awkward phrasing.

Giggles and laughter! The Boys' teams won citywide championships. The girls giggled and laughed. 

Oh, 1950s. 

zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Apr. 13th, 2011 11:51 am)
Well, that went well.

Prospective boss (also a colleague from my professional association) wants me to meet his boss in the second round of interviews.

Must brush up on my HTML and my knowledge of marketing, as I don't think I can acquire sufficient medical background to alleviate the boss's possible concerns by next week, but I can address some of the other areas of weakness.

On to the next meeting.

zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Apr. 12th, 2011 05:25 pm)
Job interview tomorrow, 09h30 for an actual in-house editing job that is not in textbook publishing.

I really want this one, guys.

What questions do you ask when they ask if you have any questions. I'm pretty sure it's too early to ask about bike parking.
Here's the backstory:

For a unit on Energy, my client requested like a feature that is an interview between a nominal grade 1 student and a nutritionist about what foods provide energy for school, sports etc.

I e-mailed my client and sad "I'm really, really leery of this. I think it borders on prescriptivism at the time when most kids are moving from being very intuitive eaters, to allowing external factors influence what they choose to eat. Scientifically, I think it poses a lot of challenges too, since pretty much all food will provide energy—energy and nutrients and a bit of water is pretty much what food is for. Can we maybe, instead, have an interview between a nominal six year old and an elite athlete, about how that person eats in order to have enough energy to train, compete, etc.? That way, we're being descriptive, rather than prescriptive, and we can still make the connection between food and energy. Also, it's kind of cool."

The client went for it. Hooray for good sense.

Now, of course, I need to track down an elite athlete. Pronto.

So does anyone know anyone who competes at an elite level, in some sport or other. I'm e-mailing members of the Canadian Women's Hockey Team, as well as the publicist for the Canadian Paralympic Athletes, but it's often easier to get in touch with someone if you have an "in." 

So, does anyone have an "in"?

On behalf of trying not to screw up kids' eating, I thank you.
Dear Co-workers,

No, thank-you, I didn't want or need any help unloading the dishwasher and loading all the dishes from this morning into it. How nice of the five of you who came in and out of the kitchen while I was doing so to ask me. I really do enjoy putting other people's dirty away—it makes such a nice break from my day. I especially appreciated the non-assistance from the person who saw me sorting the cutlery, and put her own dirty plate in the now-empty dishwasher, apparently unaware of the mountain of other people's dirty plates and bowls and cutlery on the counter. After all, it's a shared kitchen, so we should all do our part creating a mess for someone to clean up. And I had absolutely nothing better to do—I didn't have more than 152 e-mails to deal with, or 24 features to check, and my schedules are all totally up to date. I was just emptying and reloading the dishwasher with other people's dishes in order to pass the time.

So, thanks so much for asking the way you didn't. Your concern and fellow feeling totally made my Monday.

No love,
Number of project-related e-mails I received yesterday: 102

Number of said e-mails requiring me to do more than read and file: ≅ 75

Number of said e-mails requiring me to return a moderately thoughtful response: ≅ 51

Hours spent in meetings yesterday: 2.5

Actual tasks accomplished, not pertaining to e-mails or meetings: 2

Actual tasks needing to be accomplished: lots more than 2.



zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)


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