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and Check it Twice



Do you have a system in place to check your work before it ends up in the public eye? Too often, I find that as contractors, we get so pressed by our deadlines we do not build in the time for careful review. It is a tough lesson Peter & I keep learning over and over again.

Today, Julie and I received some great holiday gifts. We ended up rolling around on the floor laughing as we read the tags and labels that came on them.

The Dillian Sakae company had the following label attached to the jacket Julie’s dad received. The label was in Chinese with English subtitles:

.Extra softness and superior warmth provided by using imported raw materials

.Due to not spurting mucus(chemical liquid), so there isn’t any harmful affection on the human body

.A super product of the 21st century which can protect environment because of its excelent fluey, softness, warmth and reusage.

Body is feeling lightly and gently

This kind of linguistic ingenuity is beyond my ability for fiction. Do they have companies who specialize in this stuff or just some poor schmoe in their marketing department?

Another label from a piece of clothing we received, sold by the Mitsubishi Corporation, listed the following:

Using hydrophobic characteristic together with durable water repellent treatment it keeps garment dry and minimizes the loss of exercise”

Better, but still a bit quirky. Though, I’ll admit that if their jacket really does minimize my loss of exercise, that is a pretty cool product. I’ll let you all know how it goes. I have my doubts.

This brings us back to the point. Do you want people mocking your work on their blog or admiring it. There is no finer way to ruin a perfectly good business that to turn out sub par service. So how do you avoid that?

Check your work. It sounds obvious but it turned not to be as simple as we had first assumed. In order to combat this issue ourselves, we have a deliverables checklist. As you put together this list, see if you can make sure each piece gets the touch of another set of eyes. Too often we stare at our own work for so long that we begin to miss the obvious, let alone the details.

So what goes in a check-off list? Start by including all the milestones and also add any approved change requests. Have someone with a good eye for design double check that the pixels have been pushed into their proper place and someone with good grammar review all the copy. Double check the actual files you are sending as I have often seen the wrong ones get uploaded or sent. Also, if you happen to need to make last minute changes, make sure it didn’t break everything – Murphy’s law seems to dictate that is virtually inevitable.

No astounding revelations here folks, you think everyone would do it, but we have been just as guilty of skipping this step when under the gun as everyone else. Heck, even international corporations can’t seem to get this part right. But, while they might be able to lose a few customers every now and then, it is something best avoided if possible. In the case of contractors, where your name is all you have, you had best guard it well.

Happy holidays everyone. Hope you are having a great time. I’ve almost finished my third fantasy book in as many days. My folks come in tomorrow night. This has been quite restful. Peace.