Friday, March 13, 2009

Reporting for duty...

I’ve been wanting to post some pictures of my new kitchen color, but it’s been rather slow going this week. Just as I’d finally purchased all my paint, brushes, tape and protective plastic tarps, I got a call from my proofreading liaison at the bank where I used to work – time for annual report proofreading! Yippee! That was actually meant to be a sarcastic “yippee,” as I find proofreading 40-plus page annual reports rather boring. However, it IS extra money, and we can certainly use a little extra money right now…

For some reason, these annual reports get longer and longer every year. Perhaps because all the branch associations keep merging together – they’re creating larger and larger branches with more to report. Back when I worked at the bank, there were about 40 separate branch banks, which meant 40 separate reports. They were about 30 pages each, but they all had the same basic “template” – so I only had to proofread all 30 pages ONCE, and then as each annual report crossed my desk, I would proofread the “unique” parts of each one, and make sure the correct numbers had been plugged into the correct places. So I handled all 40 reports by myself – although sometimes I would take a few home with me and add a few extra hours to my timesheet for that week.

Now, though, even with half as many reports to proof, the current proofreader at the bank acquires outside help to finish all the reports. This is mainly because the powers that be (whoever they are) have decided that EVERY page of EVERY report needs to be proofed. And with all these mergers, those pages keep multiplying. After I left the bank, they started creeping up into the 38-, 39-page range… and then they reached 40 pages… the last few years they’ve mostly been between 40 and 45 pages… and then when I got my first report this year, I was rather startled to see that it was a full 55 pages. I figure eventually ALL the associations will merge into one giant bank, and when that happens, I’ll be looking at a 300-page annual report… it’ll be the annual report book…

What I find amusing is how many “financial” people think they know grammar and punctuation and style and sentence structure better than those of us who’ve actually been PAID for our knowledge of such things. It seems like every year there’s a CFO who doesn’t agree with some of the changes I’ve made on his or her report, and therefore decides it “should” stay as is. I remember one time when I noticed “affect” or “effect” (I can’t remember which one) switched for the other word – and granted, the affect/effect choice is a tricky one, and often sends me to the dictionary just to make SURE I’ve used the correct one. So I can definitely understand the confusion. But after I corrected the document to the proper word, the CFO called to say he was pretty sure he had it right the first time (he didn’t) and decided it should stay the way it was (which was the WRONG way). It’s rather aggravating when someone refuses to trust your decisions, especially when you know more about the subject than they do. I mean, I would never attempt to rework your financial statements – how about you quit trying to be an editor?? But hey, it’s not MY annual report… if you want to showcase your errors, that’s fine with me… :)

Anyway, it looks like the annual reports are over for another year, so I was able to start painting the kitchen the other day. Actually, I’m only doing the strip of bare wall over the cabinets in the kitchen, and then I’m painting one wall in the eating area – I picked out a pretty bright red color, so I don’t want it to be overwhelming. Too much of it might look a little crazy. But I think just a few accents will look awesome – it adds a little bit of character. Hopefully it’ll all be finished by tomorrow, so I’ll get some pictures up soon.

And speaking of the painting, I want to get one more coat on above the cabinets, so I’m off to paint… hope everyone has a good weekend!


G said...


You just beat me out for the world's most sleep-inducing job.

Early on in my state career, I had to inspect microfilm (overall about 1000+ rolls).

But proofing financial reports, you win. I can't even read two pages of one without my eyes glazing over.

To quote Wayne and Garth: I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy. :-]

Good luck with the painting.

Lisa said...

Hahaha! :) I often think that the only people who actually READ annual reports are proofreaders, and people suffering from insomnia. (Which kind of makes me wonder if anyone would NOTICE a few misspelled words or misplaced commas... :))