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A new twist on an old theme

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Batman, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I know there's a new parent rant every week, but this was a new one for me.
    Woman comes into the office today asking for copies of old papers. Her son is a senior and she's doing a scrapbook. While we're looking through the Saturday editions, she asks if she can get a copy of our tab. I write down the date (August 30), and she points out that we ran the wrong mug with her son's name in a small players to watch feature.
    I apologize say we'd do a correction if we had caught it sooner, and then she asks, with all seriousness, "Can you redo that?"
    She wants us to reprint the tab with the right mug.
    After explaining to her that we can't just recall thousands of copies of a paper that's two months old, she asks "I know, but can you do one just for me?"
    I again explain to her that we never print just one copy of the paper, and she seemed to grasp that or at least give up. Either way, I win. But sheesh, some people are just...wow.
  2. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Some places have newsprint-style printers in the newsroom, in order to get a look at the page before you send it off. If you had that, could you reprint the page on that?
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, in theory. It would have been on copy paper instead of newsprint, but we could have done it. Except the page would have been from August. I doubt we still have it in the system. And I don't think that's what she was asking for.
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    It was an out-there suggestion to placate a rabid parent.

    And good point, the page probably wasn't in your system still.
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Good call. If it had been a paper this week I probably would've offered to do just that.
  6. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

    I agree.
    Once at a former shop I was called up front to answer to an old lady who wanted to know why we didn't have the AP NFL gamer in Tuesday's edition (no Monday paper). She was decked out in the home NFL team's regalia — top to bottom — and generally ripped me a new one. I told her it was an oversight and apologized. Then she told me she was at the game. My jaw dropped, I apologized again, and then walked away.

    Not totally on topic, but it is with the statement I quoted.
  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    We did something similar for a parent once. Of course, we screwed up really, really bad. It was nice to be able to print the dad out a full-size page, even if it was on plain white paper.

    I actually don't blame the mother here for at least making the request.
  8. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I've done that before, after the parent said that she photocopied the articles she put in the scrapbook anyway to guard against yellowing. With the quality surely better, I'm just glad she doesn't want every article that way now.
  9. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    How's she supposed to know you can't just print one copy? It never hurts to ask.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If it had been a kid from Podunk Central, you'd have done it.
  11. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    Well, she did have a good point.

    Your paper fucked up. And you can't make it right for her, and for her kid.

    Sometimes maybe you should just say you fucked it up badly, and there's no way to make it right. Apologize, then try to move on.

    But I'd say she ate your nuts on this one. Your paper fucked it up badly.
  12. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    And I don't think you're the winner here. Sheesh yourself, maybe she thought you were the jerk here.

    She has a valid position on that front. You screwed up her son's photo, right?

    Never do that. Check and double-check. Otherwise, the backlash is brutal.
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