Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday marked the beginning of a new Mahalo adventure for this blogger.  A couple of weeks ago, Susan, the head of the Quality Control department asked if I'd be willing to consider a job on the QC team whenever Mahalo next expanded its pool of writers.  After learning a bit more about the responsibilities and the perks of the position, Richard and I agreed that it sounded like a great opportunity.  I let Susan know and then settled in to wait.

I didn't have to wait very long.  Only a week had passed when the official job offer came to me via email.  I had a week to finish up my last writing projects before shifting roles.  I sent a mature and dignified response to the offer, closed my laptop, stood up from my desk and screamed, "SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  They like me! They really, really like me!"

As it turns out, elation was short lived.  It was quickly replaced by anxiety.  I've spent the last couple of days poring over the new spreadsheets and reviewing previous QC notes and making my own spreadsheet to help me with checking and scoring pages...and doing everything else I could think of to avoid actually checking that first page.  Today, I've run out of arbitrary prep work and have no other choice but to get down to the business of editing text, computing scores, and, in some cases, assigning rewrites. 

It's not a mentally taxing task, but as a writer, I know how writers often feel about their work.  Even if it's 500 words about the various means of cultivating eggplant, we take our work pretty seriously.  "My writing is my SOUL," a writer might say. "How do you put a score on someone's SOUL?!"

I'm making this easier on myself by remembering that standards, scores, and the QC team are the things I like most about Mahalo.  In an internet full of mediocre content farms employing writers who are happy to just slap pages together for a share of the ad revenue, Mahalo stands out for its commitment to quality.  Any time I ask a writer to redo a page they've completed, I just have to think of that, and the task won't be so hard.  If I still find it hard, I can always take the matter to my immediate superior: my cat, Quill, who monitors my work from the space between my laptop and the wall. 

After reviewing my first page, we had the following exchange. 

Me: "Overall, it's pretty good work. I saw a few formatting errors that were easily fixed, and I corrected a couple of typos.  However, I had to mark down for two instances of bias in the second section.  What do you think?
Quill: "Meow," which can be translated to mean, "The numbers don't lie, Sarah. You have to send it back."

Seriously, who's going to argue with a smart cat like that?


SandStorm said...

I would PAY for good feedback on my writing. Those writers are lucky to have you!