Friday, September 19, 2008

Edit this...if you can

I ran across this job ad for a "content editor" on craigslist. If you can read this and tell me what the hiree will actually do, I'll give you five bucks. And a recommendation for the job.*

Content Editor (Nashville)

Key Responsibilities:

- Report to the Director on key operational issues relating to workflow, schedules and procedures across all journals and their respective Web sites. Report on monthly production metrics: benchmarks, capacities, backlogs, trends.
- Drive initiatives to streamline processes, and improve efficiencies while maintaining tight publishing schedules, cost-effective procedures, and quality control across journals. Troubleshoot and identify critical chokepoints and potential resolutions.
- Collaborate within Production and across departments, to clearly and consistently communicate production objectives, and to understand daily operational concerns and successes. Prioritize and monitor progress on outstanding issues.
- Coordinate with publishing vendor to ensure that production issues are resolved and all workflows and systems run smoothly and efficiently. Provide workarounds as necessary. Understand and identify issues relating to the Journal Management System. Ensure the team is utilizing the JMS most efficiently.
- Manage multiple, priority projects. Facilitate the efforts of key players to ensure project and operational success.
- Supervise, hire and help train new staff. Provide back up to the Director.

Imagine how sleepy everyone must get during staff meetings! Maybe the current editor knows he's getting canned, and wants to stick it to the boss one last time...? Maybe the inscrutable language is meant to weed out the less-qualified; if you have to ask, you're not the one. Or they're using the old shopkeeper's trick of misspelling the store signs on purpose to get folks to come in, then gotcha!--a sale; being intentionally unclear hoping someone will have the guts to write to them and point out their obfuscationary ways, so they can hire THAT person. Nice try, guys; nice try.

*(Monetary offer for effect only; not to be taken literally).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Happy Birthday To Us

"¡Feliz cumpleaños!" Maybe that's what singer José Feliciano would say to me if he were here (possibly backed by a horn section). And I could say it back to him (with a Southern accent of course) because it's his birthday today, too. Others sharing my birthday include golfer Arnold Palmer, reporter Charles Kuralt and Canadian first lady Margaret Trudeau, according to this website.

A couple of other folks in my department at work had a birthday yesterday, so we shared the billing on the cake (red velvet with cream cheese icing, for those of you who have to know).

Also celebrating a "birthday" today is my alma mater, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (the original UT, if you're asking the right people). It was officially founded September 10, 1794, as Blount College. Though I've never been mistaken for being over 200 years old (yet), I already knew the university and I have much in common; UT is an institution, some say I belong in one. But in addition to that, I've recently discovered that one of the original board members for the college was my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Alexander Kelly.

According to various accounts, including the very well-written book Sequatchie: A Story of the Southern Cumberlands by Raulston and Livingood, and the research of Elizabeth Rogers Kelly in Jasper, TN, Alexander Kelly came from Ireland as an infant, grew up in Virginia (possibly in what is now West Virginia), fought in the American Revolution, and eventually moved to East Tennnessee. In the region of Knoxville, in addition to continuing in his role as military leader, he became known as a prominent businessman and legislator (those things went together back then too); in fact, he was on the roll of the very first legislature for the new state of Tennessee, representing Blount County.

Kelly eventually claimed 3,000 acres in Marion County, TN, (near Chattanooga) and established a presence there that is still evident through his descendants who live in the area, many headstones and a few place names, as I've found in my recent obsession with my family history. Yes, I've reached the age when walking around graveyards has become a fun way to spend a weekend; kind of like a treasure hunt (only no actual monetary treasure is expected in my case). I connect with Alexander Kelly by way of my maternal grandmother, Harriet Raulston Kelly Vaught. It was her pictures and documents that got me started on this whole adventure. Other people and families I've found in my research have been equally interesting; in time I'll get it all online.

Back to the present: I'll be claiming my free birthday meal at Caney Fork Fish Camp tonight, just because I can. Can't wait to see the little sleeping bags those fish use! And do they make s'mores? And out of what? And how do they heat them? A couple of friends will be joining me to celebrate my 44th. Hopefully I'll have better jokes by tonight. But don't count on it.

POSTSCRIPT: FYI, Caney Fork Fish Camp has reduced the free birthday deal to a dessert. Oh well, thanks to generous friends I still didn't have to pay for dinner. So it was all good. Plus, I got a birthday "serenade" from the bluegrass trio roaming the restaurant as a bonus!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Missions Momma Yard Sale

The Missions Momma Yard Sale on September 5 & 6 will allow shoppers to snag some great bargains and help support a Nashville teacher in her volunteer work in South Africa. Members of the Single Journey class of Brentwood Baptist Church will be offering a variety of donated items for sale at the Brittany Park Subdivision, off Bell Road near I-24, on Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.*

House ware items, clothing, shoes, furniture, books, CDs, electronics and more will be available. A delicious array of baked goods will also be for sale at the event. All proceeds will go to Danielle Schneider in her work with children and educators in Cape Town.

Schneider recently left her job as an elementary school teacher in Nashville to volunteer for one year through Living Hope, a non-profit organization based in South Africa. Living Hope is making a difference in the lives of individuals and families in a community burdened with the HIV/AIDS pandemic, offering prevention education, home care, occupational therapy, counseling and hospice care. They also run a homeless shelter and a community radio station.

You can find more information about the yard sale and about Schneider’s daily life in Africa on her blog, Brittany Park Subdivision is located at 1001 Brittany Park Drive in Antioch.

* NOTE: Early birds will be expected to help unload the truck.