Tomorrow, a particular story runs in the paper. Alongside the story, a very important supporting document. My job: scan two documents, put them in the database.
Problem number one: I'm a children's book illustrator and, hopefully, future author. It's extremely difficult for me to leave the work I love behind at home, only go to work and scan documents. Sometimes, like today, when I go into work my real (paying) job, my mind isn't always with me.
Problem number two: Today, my mind was in New York. All day long, I was preoccupied with thoughts about the manuscript I wrote, the acquisitions meeting taking place, and discussions between editors, salespeople and the publishers. I wasn't thinking about silly documents. As a result, I only scanned one document. Twice. Then I put two copies of the same document into the database. Top it off, I left them sitting in the scanner, or on my desk, or somewhere else — I had no idea.
Later, a page designer alerted me to the problem. That's when my mind came rushing back from New York, and sent me into a panic.
The original documents were not to be found amongst the chaos of my desk. It was late, surely, the reporter who'd written the story would have left for the day, and worse yet, because I hadn't paid much attention to that assignment, I had no idea who was reporting that story, anyway, or what the documents looked like.
I. Was. In. Deep. Doo-doo.
I'm very good at playing it cool. I stood there on the outside looking like I hadn't a worry in the world. But on the inside, my mind had jumped on a plane, and was flying in circles above my head so fast, I got dizzy.
Some quick detective work led me to the name of the reporter who, luckily, hadn't left yet. I would have kissed her when I saw her except that she probably wouldn't have wanted to kiss me considering the news I had to share: I'd lost her only copies of important documents for a story slated to run in the newspaper, in just a few hours.
"Those documents? The ones for tomorrows paper?" I began to ask her, nervously, playing cool-headed.
"Yes," she said. "Did you need them back? I took them off your desk."
After I swallowed my heart back down to my chest, I happily took the documents, and made the scans. Soon, I returned to New York, completely spacing-off another assignment.
I hope I'll get a call soon, or else I might lose my job.