Follow-up: an innumerate triumphs

To follow up on all our tales of numerical inadequacy (and who would’ve thought that a post about high heels would lead us in that direction, or that a blog about living in the U.K. would lead us to high heels): Kinderhook–who wrote in to say it was math that kept him out of college–just put up a post about estimating a painting job. Estimates involve numbers. Even I know that. Terrifying.

7 thoughts on “Follow-up: an innumerate triumphs

    • Oh, I know. But this is a guy who feels the same way and works with them anyway. I don’t know how he manages, but he does. I’d come unglued.

      Actually, I used to be the entire staff of a small writers magazine, and back in the days when layout was done on paper, by hand and mind and, yes, glue, I had to calculate how much space an issue’s articles and ads would take and create a mock-up of the issue. Most of the time I did that and survived, but every so everything came unglued. Nothing to do with me, you understand. It’s numbers. You can’t turn your back on ’em. When it came to the physical paste-up, where any screw-ups would show up, I’d find a 10″ blank space, or 16 1/2″ inches of article I hadn’t left room for. What did I learn? How not to panic. How to change my plans at the last minute. That the best laid plans of mice and editors gang aft agley. Somehow the magazine always got out on time, even if the content wasn’t what I’d planned.

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        • You might have, but I’m not sure anyone ever noticed. Most of the articles weren’t time sensitive, so I could usually pull one out and drop a shorter one in. And blank spaces? The organization I worked for always had something we could advertise. My co-workers only knew because of the moaning and shouting and hair-tearing.

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  1. Which is why my eyes glaze over whenever my husband tries to talk to me about the cost of some home improvement. “If it sounds good to you, I’ll trust you.” I’d be one of those “Don’t let this happen to you,” pieces on the evening news.

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