The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

A BAD MORNING, FOR ME AND THE TAMPA TRIB
What could go wrong today, on this glorious day when the Tampa Bay area basks in the glow of the Lightning's first Stanley Cup championship?

Well, for me, that would be getting in my car this morning, turning the ignition--and nothing. Try again, nothing. Try again about 10 times, thinking something different would happen... and nothing. The car's not starting, and I'm stuck. Maybe, fittingly, it got struck by a stray lightning bolt last night. More likely, either the battery or the starter conked out. There was absolutely no indication of a problem yesterday; the only thing I saw was the approaching time for an oil change.

I needed to get to the office quickly, and frankly I didn't want to deal with the car first thing in the morning, so I made my way down to the nearest bus stop. I wasn't really that upset by the car's potential problems this morning; but waiting for the bus did get me pretty steamed. I had to wait an hour and change for a bus to finally show up. An hour! I didn't have a way to check the bus schedules beforehand, I just tried my luck. So much for that; the area's public transportation system, something you should be able to rely on in a pinch, flat out sucks. I even called a cab to pick me up halfway through my wait, when it was apparent that it would take forever; well, the cab never showed up, or it showed up long after I called and after the bus finally came by. Long story short, I got to my desk about an hour and a half late.

As it was, I thought I had a morning meeting today, and was pretty mad that I was going to be late. A call to the office informed me that I was mistaken: The morning meeting was tomorrow, not today. So that was a lucky break. And at this point, I'm over it.

So that was my morning. Bad, but bearable. Especially when I compare it to the Tampa Tribune's morning of mis-run editorials:
Dear Readers,

We took a puck in the gut this morning when we published the wrong editorial about the Tampa Bay Lightning, who won the Stanley Cup final on Monday night.

We apologize to the team and to the fans for our terrible error. And we apologize to our colleagues at the newspaper, who got it right in every other way.

In advance of the final, we had prepared two editorials, one for either outcome. When we saw that the Lightning had won, we placed the proper editorial on the computerized page, printed it out and eliminated the other version. Still, somehow, the other version appeared on the page. We are checking our systems to ensure we learn from our mistake.

It is so important to us to get it right. And today we failed you. We extend our heartfelt apologies.
What can I say? It was the Trib's time to shine, and they blew a fuse. As an alumnus of the Tribune's direct competitor (and still employed by the Times' parent company), I can only gloat away.