Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dead or Alive?

I've been a bit lax recently with my blogging, since most of my mental energy has been taken up with obsessively editing my manuscript and synopsis. As a former editor in the medical publishing industry, it's nice to actually care about what I'm editing -- as difficult and time-consuming as it is -- especially after reading this article (see below).

I couldn't help but laugh. Although the article is indeed tragic, it put me in mind of the sheer boredom I experienced while editing medical journals for a publishing company in Montreal. It was my first job after graduating from journalism school and a far cry from what I'd envisaged when I first decided on journalism. One of the heights of excitement in the office was the debate over 'urinary tract infection'. Is there a hyphen? Is there not? Medical textbooks say no, but Canadian Press style says yes. I say: who cares?

Luckily, most of my colleagues were also young, impoverished j-school graduates and we entertained ourselves by passing around the office collection of DRE and frost-bite photos (and if you don't know what DRE stands for, you'll have to look it up yourself!).

Hours of editing dry medical text meant it was very hard to stay alert. My colleague D often used to fall asleep at her desk and we perfected the hand-on-cheek, pencil-in-hand nap, jerking awake when someone approached our desks. I can almost understand why it took someone five days to discover that poor worker's body!

(Thanks to Jen for sending me the article.)


Criss said...

This is so utterly depressing!!!

If I suffered a heart attack at work, the students would notice... but they wouldn't let anyone know. If they told the office, they'd jus send a sub. If they keep quiet, they get a free day!

KimB said...

Guh, wouldn't he smell after 5 days?