Sometimes the things that make me happy are really kind of sad.
Not sad as in mournful; sad as in pathetic.
Exhibit A came early Thursday evening when I cleaned out the Inbox on my personal company email account. I actually hooted out loud, distracting my co-workers from their labours.
My joy might make a bit more sense if I explain that it’s the first time I’ve done that particular thing in several months. In an attempt to stay organized, which is mostly in vain with the sheer volume of information that comes to this office every day, an email stays in my Inbox until it’s dealt with for good.
Some emails are gone in seconds, some stay for months.
One day recently, I had more than 70 flood in over the course of the day. I sometimes receive several in a minute.
I hope this in no way comes across as a complaint. Those emails provide the information that allows us to cover the stories that fill the Daily Herald.
Sometimes it’s the corporate paperwork that is part of my job. Sometimes it’s people saying we’ve done bad work and sometimes it’s people saying we’ve done good work.
Sometimes it’s people who think I should buy their inexpensively manufactured products. I like them because they get killed quickly.
Email is an interesting way to communicate. You have to be very delicate in your wording because things quite often appear much harsher on a screen. You get no chance to scan the person’s face as they speak or a sense of the words coming out of their mouth; instead it’s just cold hard words on a screen.
I’ve seen more than one brouhaha stem from a poorly worded missive from one person to another. And I’ve been guilty more than once of pressing send on the computer before pressing think between my ears.
There are a whole bunch of tips that are commonly repeated, like keeping your notes short, remembering that email is really not a private form of communication, not sending too many group emails out, NOT TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS and not CCing and BCCing to everyone on the planet.
I especially try to send a well-written note. If I receive something full of misspellings and terrible punctuation, I can’t help judging a little bit. It’s the way editors tend to be. We edit everything, and you just can’t turn it off.
I even edit those big signs that businesses put out.
(My pet peeve is when a decade is shortened incorrectly; the 1970s become the ’70s, not the 70’s. The apostrophe is replacing the 19.)
OK, this segment is done. When I start lecturing on grammar, we’ve tapped the topic.
• • •
The Prince Albert Raiders should be commended for their decision to honour Brad McCrimmon and include his brother Kelly in the ceremony.
While Kelly will never be a big favourite in Prince Albert -- winning doesn’t make you a lot of friends in other cities -- the Brandon Wheat Kings owner/GM/coach was clearly touched by the ceremony.
It’s never the wrong move to be classy. Well done.
• • •
Life took me back to the emergency room once again last weekend.
This time it wasn’t me lying on the bed, a welcome change for someone who once seemed to have a frequent flier card at the ER at Brandon General Hospital. I’m happy to report that the person I was there for is feeling much better.
And while a day without a visit to the ER remains a good one, I was pleased to see the team in action here in Prince Albert.
I sometimes heard complaints about the one in Brandon but I never had a bad experience with the staff. It didn’t make me happy that to visit I had to drop my shoulder out of its socket, but I was always treated well when I arrived.
To the ER staff who I encountered recently here in Prince Albert, thanks for all that you do.
• • •
One final thought for this week; I’ve managed to hurt myself yet again. I actually limped into the ER last weekend to pick up my friend and must have had them thinking I was there for me.
A little mishap on my bike -- the second time I’ve put it on the ground in more than 70,000 kilometres ridden -- left me with a sore calf, knee, hip, elbow, shoulder and ribs.
It turns out the ribs were the worst. One is cracked and another is dislocated. Until the crack heals, the other rib can’t be popped back into place.
So if you see me around town and I look like I’ve just eaten a sour pickle, don’t blame the good folks at Bicks.
Just blame a dummy on his bike who wasn’t paying attention when he should have been.
Perry Bergson is the Daily Herald’s managing editor. You can reach him at 765-1302 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org