Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's all in the details, folks

I was driving back home after dropping Peaches off at daycare. It's a quick trip, but I usually see something of note there or back. Today, I pulled alongside a truck towing a sizable work trailer. The trailer was advertising a handyman business - light remodeling, finish work, etc. The truck was shiny and new, and so was the trailer. Both were obviously quite expensive, and the lettering advertising the business had been applied with care. Here's the kicker, though - at second glance, I realized there were spelling errors in the advertising. That's right,with all the money and care that had gone into creating a image of respectability and solidity, they didn't even bother to spell check their work.

Here it is: "No job to small" and "Custom Amities".

I know how easy it can be to overlook spelling errors. I consider myself to be conscious of spelling and grammar, but I type a ton of emails every day, and I am grateful that I have spellcheck do a once-over before sending. I cringe every time I receive correspondence riddled with spelling and grammar errors - sent by high-ranking, experienced colleagues.

An occasional spelling error slips in there for everyone. But if you're going to the time, trouble, and expense to create an image for your business, but overlook spelling errors in your rolling advertising - forget it. Just for that, I would never consider calling upon this business to handle any of my remodeling needs. If they overlook the correct spelling of "to", I have no faith that they have the attention to detail necessary to do a good job of home repairs. Seriously, would you paint a wall but overlook priming it first? Would you install moulding but not putty over the nail holes?

The details are what count. Consistently poor spelling and grammar indicate that you are uneducated, or have so little attention to your work that you really don't care about what you're saying or who sees it. It's rude, and an embarrassment to self. It's like eating at a fine restaurant and not using a napkin. Do you really think everyone wants to see mashed potatoes dribbling down your chin & watch you wipe your mouth with your sleeve? NO. So next time someone asks "what's the big deal" over spelling, grammar, thank you notes, manners, courtesy, or even a basic 'please' and 'thank you' - take a stand and tell them it DOES matter.

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