If You Give A Inch…

Life’s unfair. Read that title again, while I explain.

So, on Sunday I spent a fair amount of time not writing. Not editing. Not outlining. Not doing much of anything. I spent a lot of that time digging around woodworking videos.

Time was, I made furniture in a tiny garage shop I shared with my loving wife’s minvan. I built custom furniture for our very strange pre-20th century house, which had no square walls, windows, doors or corners, and for which Ben Franklin was the original electrician.


So, to reminisce about the olden days and to remember, I spent some time watching woodworking videos online. I found a couple of cool ones and then I got hooked, and before I knew it I spent the better part of a day reading, watching videos and swearing because our Internet connection kept falling off and leaving me stranded.

Then I ran across some from a guy who called himself a “contributing editor” (and he was/is) to Fine Woodworking magazine (one of the premier magazines for woodworking in the world). So I sat and watched a few of his videos. I learned a couple of terrific things. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • This guy got a job in journalism, as a professional, and has no idea how to spell “repetitive.”
  • He seems to think it’s perfectly all right to say “a inch” no matter how cringe-worthy that may be.
  • He ends a good many sentences with prepositions.
  • He’s a far more talented woodworker than editor.
  • It rammed home how unfair things are when he got a job as an editor at a worldwide magazine while I couldn’t get a job doing anything, despite the fact I could read, speak and write better than he could hope.
  • His humor…ain’t.
  • All this and one of those stupid mustaches under the lower lip to boot.

I couldn’t believe it. As much as I would love to work in a field doing something like editing a magazine, nothing like that ever comes my way because I don’t have any “full time” or “real world” editing experience. And even if I did, I’d have to start out with crap money or maybe even working for free somewhere. Meanwhile, someone who doesn’t even recognize the incorrect use of the indefinite article with a noun beginning with a vowel is making his primary living as a media…person.

If you give “a” [sic] inch, they take a mile. I get so sick of the “repetative” [sic] display of dumb in the world, often from those making way more money than me.

Life’s unfair.

2 thoughts on “If You Give A Inch…

  1. My ex-husband was/is a woodworker and he “read” Fine Woodworking and a few other magazines like that. I can guarantee he didn’t notice misspellings, the “incorrect use of the indefinite article with a noun beginning with a vowel” or sentences ending with prepositions, but use the wrong size nail or the wrong grit of sandpaper or the wrong stain and he’d be all over it.

    There is that, too. I did a lot of reading as a woodworker, but you know what? I still know how to spell and craft a sentence.

    It would be nice if we could all make money writing about a certain passion or hobby we have. Unfortunately, life is unfair.

    It’s not that I want to make a living writing about a passion. It’s that I want to make a living writing, and this clown was doing so without being able to write. That’s not just unfair, it’s completely ass-backward.

  2. I have heard this same lament from my husband a thousand times. It’s so true: a lot of times people are successful through sheer luck and coincidence. It’s maddening, for sure. I can’t tell you how many incompetent bosses I’ve had, who made tons of money from the work of their better-educated, better-behaved underlings. If I didn’t have nepotism on my side, I don’t know what would have become of me.

    Ah, well — the Bible says, time and chance overtake them all. It does seem so outlandishly stupid though, doesn’t it?

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