What do you get when the dispatcher assumes the driver knows where he is going, and the driver is a one eyed blind man? Well, it makes for a most interesting tour but not one your likely to want to sign up for a second time.
In a nut shell that about sums up the current situation with the Route 66 Illustrated Historic Atlas. The unmitigated disaster that was the caption writing for The Route 66 Encyclopedia (an incident that seems to have played a role in an editors unexpected departure from the publisher) spawned an idea to avoid any semblance of confusion on this project.
Assume is a fancy word for describing a mess created by an ass with you and me to clean it up. Well, I was the assuming party and that makes me the north side of a south going mule.
For this project the principle editor is someone I have worked with on several projects, and as a result, we are able to fix problems before they become issues. Failure to explain my brilliant idea was the seed for the current glitch that will require most of the weekend to fix.
See, the proper way to correlate captions and photos with the text is to include corresponding number slugs in the text with those that match captions and photos. With the encyclopedia this did not work at all.
The editor on that project deleted the numbers from the text file submitted. Next, in mid stream, the decision was made to add several dozen photos. Following this was the severing of most captions from the corresponding numbers, and then deleting photos without notification.
All of this came to my attention with submission of the project to me for a final edit. It wasn’t a very pretty picture.
So for this project I skipped the numerical designations and instead utilized detailed but succinct descriptors (state, city, category, credit, etc.). As noted, I failed to clear this with the editor, an embarrassing rookie mistake, and then the confusion was compounded by the publisher using what must have been a one eyed blind free lancer.
The free lancer returned the file to the editor with 271 photos out of 540 that they said could not be matched with captions. If you think I am harsh in referring to this individual as a one eyed blind man please consider the fact that they were unable to match a picture post card that has the name and location of a restaurant on the photo with a caption reading, “The interior of the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield appears today as it did in this 1940’s era post card.” Did I mention that the photo was accompanied by a descriptor reading, “Illinois, Litchfield, landmark, Ariston Cafe, 1940’s B/W photo post card of interior, credit Steve Rider?”
So, to clarify and sort things out I will be spending the weekend creating a traditional numerical legend for these images that will be added to the photo descriptors, and then inserting these numbers into the text. Never assume. Never take your seat on the bus if the driver has a seeing eye dog.