A few weeks after I was named Acting Executive Director, I received an odd piece of mail. It was addressed to my attention. There was no return address. The envelope contained a recent mailing sent from the synagogue, covered in red proofreading marks. My heart sank. I knew everything I did was under a microscope but this seemed crazy. I had nothing to do with that mailing. Someone else proofread it. I'm sure, at the time, the sentence "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" crossed my mind. I was 25, thrust into a very grown up position and I had no idea that one of my new responsibilities included grammar enforcement. I'm sure I locked myself in the bathroom and cried for a minute or ten. Once I got over the initial itchy feelings, I thought "WHO DOES THAT?"
The following week, I went to lunch at my predecessor's home with the envelope in my purse. Casually, as I was about to leave, I pulled it out and asked her about it. She laughed and told me she'd been getting them for years. She had no idea who they were from.
Years later, after Shabbat services, Mrs. E came up to me. I was very fond of Mrs. E. She is a lovely person with a great sense of style and had never once accosted me after services to yell at me*. I was happy to stop and chat. She smiled and said, "I have to tell you something... Mr. E was beside himself during services tonight. He couldn't find a single error in the service flyer. You know he's been the one sending you all your mailings back, right?" Busted.
The next week I called Mr. E and asked him to be my new volunteer proofreader. He happily accepted. I'm sure he's still proofreading everything for the synagogue.**
*Yes, this happened. More than you'd guess.
**This has nothing to do with where I put the double asterisk but its important. When I told Kateri I was thinking about writing this post, she told me I best come correct and use my shift-key lest Mr. E ever happen upon this post. So, I did. Don't get used to it. There is no Mr. E proofreading my blog posts.