Minutes maid

As I mentioned before, I am the vice president of the board of my condo association. However, I believe should be the secretary.

Actually, the secretary and the treasurer don’t have to do anything extra besides their normal board activities, since the property manager assigned to their community prepares the minutes and takes care of the financial doings. But if it were the secretary’s responsibility to prepare the minutes, I would have been fantastic at it.

About two weeks ago, the board had its regular bimonthly meeting. A few days later, the property manager wrote up the meeting minutes and emailed them to each board member to approve before the president signed off on them. I read the minutes carefully…and automatically put on my editor’s hat.

I noticed that the date and location of the meeting were wrong; the property manager had used the previous meeting’s minutes as a template and forgotten to change them. I called that out in a reply email, giving the correct date and location.

The property manager then replaced the erroneous information with the correct date and location and sent the revised copy of the minutes to each of us. I was just about to approve them when all of a sudden…

…I noticed another item that was wrong. The property manager had, as was required, listed all of the dates for our bimonthly meetings in 2023. The dates were all supposed to be the third Tuesday of each odd-numbered month. However, I noticed that the meeting date for July was listed as the 19th. July 19, 2023 is a Wednesday.

I pointed that out in another reply email, feeling bad for the property manager, whose work I had corrected twice. (And I was culpable as well, because I did not catch the incorrect future meeting date the first time around.) “The property manager is going to hate me,” I thought as I sent the email. “But I would be remiss if I didn’t point this out.”

And I apologized for “being nitpicky.”

Uh…yeah…I’m sorry for being an editor.

Editors, have you ever run into this kind of situation and actually apologized for finding errors?

The scam of the earth

I need to talk about a serious thing today—one of which all of us computer users need to be aware. I’m talking about scams.

This past Tuesday alone, two (TWO!) scammers attempted to trick me via my computer. Neither succeeded, but one almost did (emphasis on almost) and I wish to share what I have learned with all of you.

The number one lesson on scams is that if any software company or service (Microsoft, Apple, McAfee, Norton, etc.) contacts you via a sudden popup on your computer screen and instructs you to call a given telephone number because something really bad is happening (e.g., your computer is infected by a Trojan and your bank account number is compromised) or something bad will happen (e.g., your antivirus protection will expire), do not call that number. At all. Ever.

If you obey the popup, you will get someone on the phone who acts like they are from the company in question and knows what they are talking about. They will tell you that they will help you, and then they will tell you that they need control of your computer. Never, ever give anyone control of your computer. Once you do, the evil person can do anything they want with it.

When I received an email last Tuesday morning that was supposedly from PayPal and stated that I had bought almost $1000 worth of Apple gift cards (I hadn’t), I initially began to fall for this scam. I called the number at the bottom of the email and reached someone who claimed to be from PayPal and said he could help. Then he asked for control of my computer and started to give me instructions on how to give it to him. CLICK! I hung up on him. That was the end of that one.

That very same day, late in the afternoon while I was working, my computer froze and the screen became filled with a huge popup, complete with loud audio of a bot talking, telling me that Windows Defender had detected a Trojan in my computer which had compromised my passwords, bank account information, and I don’t remember what else. It also told me that I needed to call Microsoft at a number on the bottom of the message to fix this. This scam was much more frightening because I had to restart my computer to get the message to go away. This time, I did not call the given number. Nice try, scumbag.

The point that I am stressing here is that you should never call a number that claims to be from a tech company. They will never contact you through a popup.

And finally, if you are unfortunate enough to be scammed by one of these losers, please don’t hate yourself or blame yourself. Don’t be angry at yourself, either. Be angry at these miserable excuses for human beings. They will one day reap what they have sown.

Mighty fine forty-nine

In this post, I would like to show some humanity. This may not be the most “professional” post I have ever written, but what I am about to say means a lot to me.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and at 12:35 AM tonight, I will turn 49.

Now, 49 really doesn’t seem much different from 48, if any different. It does seem a little weird because back when I was 25 and working as a lab technician, I thought that the people I worked with who were in their late 30s were old. And here I am, about to turn 49. Good grief!

And then there is next year. Let’s not even talk about that yet.

As I celebrate 49 trips around the sun, I am reflecting on what I would like to accomplish this next year of my life.

I would like to obtain enough additional work that I am very busy editing every day. (Not so much work that I am completely stressed out. There is a happy medium.)

I would like to attend my first professional conference. I believe I wrote about EFA’s conference, which is coming up in August. I will be there, by hook or by crook.

I would like to save more money.

I would like to have some fun, since it’s already been decided that my husband and I are not going on vacation this year. I would like to take a day off this summer and go back to Hersheypark. (Yes, the park really does spell it as one word.)

I would like to stay strong enough to be there for my aging parents, and I would like to gain infinitely more strength for them.

I would like (and my husband would also like) to attend the Washington Auto Show this winter. We are very interested in seeing the most recent car models.

I would like to grow closer to God.

How about you? What would you like to accomplish in the next year?

Deferred with a slice of hope

A number of weeks ago, I blogged about the 2023 ACES Conference in Columbus, Ohio, and how much I wanted to attend.

I fantasized about all of the cool editors with whom I would network. I dreamed of attending presentations whose information would make me the world’s best editor. I imagined experiencing the best that Columbus—a city through which I had previously passed on I-70 but had never actually visited—had to offer.

On October 28, early bird registration for the conference opened. I jumped onto the ACES website early that morning, right?

(sigh) Wrong.

After spending days looking realistically at my business finances, the cost of the conference, hotel, and meals, I realized I could not go and be financially comfortable. Add to that the fact that the two Honda Civics my husband and I own are elderly and may not make it all the way to central Ohio and back.

It was Langston Hughes who wrote about “a dream deferred,” wasn’t it?

I might be overreacting, but I had been wanting to attend an ACES conference for years, and the conferences for the next two years are respectively in San Diego and Salt Lake City. Way too far and expensive to get to. The 2026 conference is supposed to be in Atlanta, to which I could fly directly. As everybody’s parents used to say, “We’ll see.”


I’m not about to invest in a crying towel, because my hope of attending a professional editors’ conference where I can network and attend cool presentations still remains. The Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), another great professional organization to which I belong, is planning a conference of its own this coming August. And where is it to be held? Alexandria, Virginia.

That is in the Washington,  DC metropolitan area and I live in a city which borders on this area. I can take the Metro subway to Alexandria.

Happy dance!

And I have volunteered to proofread conference materials, so I will be giving back and not just taking.

I’m already excited about the conference. Now, if a certain virus doesn’t get in the way…