I have an assistant. Not because I'm a badass and make bank, but because I'm a useless drunk who may or may not at any given moment completely disappear in a haze of Kenny Rogers songs and Percocet. So I need a back-up plan.
My back-up plan is a 23-year-old dude who up until six months ago was repairing transmitters and answering the phones when the receptionist was out to lunch. He was, in case you are wondering, the absolute best applicant for this job. And by applicant, I mean he was the person who I overheard telling my boss he was 'kind of sorta interested in the Internet stuff like what Burt does.' WORKS FOR ME, DUDE!
Now, he's my assistant. He gets to spend his days scouring the Interwebs for stories about weird crimes in Florida or writing posts about what was Kelly Clarkson was thinking with that dress.
He's pretty awesome, actually, considering his last job was at a Sonic. Mostly, he doesn't fuck shit up, which I appreciate a lot. On occasion, however, he takes an example from me and makes a royal fuckup. That's cool, because that's what human beings do, OK? We make mistakes. We're not robots...yet.
Sometimes he also forgets to check with me about the stories I'm working on. Good, because he's out, ahead of the pack, trying to get shit up and push it out. Bad, because we look crazy when two virtually identical stories pop up at the same fucking time.
Such was the case today.
We both wrote a quick write up on something that happened in the news. Kind of a big story, but nothing involving the NSA or war or aliens invading Austin. Both of us posted the same story almost at the same time to Facebook and oops, that doesn't look good. He posted his first, with a HUGE typo, that basically flipped who the victim was with who was arrested.(Mind you the error was only in his FB post, and not in his story. He just worded the post poorly)
Oh dear. So, I deleted his FB update and the original post on our site, and just went with mine, to make life easier.
NBD. So now I'm sitting in my office going, hey look, it's 3:30, almost wine o'cl—
And that's when stupid piped up.
Here is what I have endured the last few hours, in the Facebook comments.
Idiot: "What happened? There was another post similar to this and now it is gone. Very weird."
Me: Hello, we erroneously posted two Facebook updates at the same time and just removed the redundancy. Yes, one of them had an error and I do apologize for that. Thank you for your input and have a great weekend!
What I really wanted to say: Seriously who gives a shit about this? There are 900,000,000 articles on the Internet and this is what you choose to make a big deal about.
Idiot[2 minutes later]: Hmm, but why would you post it and then take it off? Seems suspicious.
DID I NOT JUST EXPLAIN THIS?
Me: NO POSSIBLY REPLY ON EARTH TO THIS THAT WOULDN'T GET ME FIRED AND OR ARRESTED.
What I really wanted to say: Holy fucking shit, are you a hamster or something?Because there is no way a human being is actually this fucking stupid.
Anyway, she posted a few more like this, wanting to know why this happened, how it happened, what does it mean that this happened, etc. etc. She posted twice more that it was 'suspicious.'
'SUSPICIOUS.' LOL WHUT. (Again, to reiterate—we mostly write about what Rihanna said about Drake or how Miley Cyrus got a new pair of socks or what time the hot dog eating contest starts down at the river festival this weekend.) When did everything become a goddamn conspiracy theory? I blame Oliver Stone for all of this.
So many commenters drop this nonsense on us. It's 'suspicious' that we changed a photo. It's 'suspicious' that we edited a headline. It's 'suspicious' that we added a paragraph to a story.
Seriously. You guisse. If you do this shit—STAHP.
That person making some random change in an article does not have some weird ulterior motive for editing their shit or moving a photo. It's usually just some mindnumbing glitch in the CMS or Facebook that makes things look different from one moment to the next. It's usually just some error that came from a photo service, or the wire copy or the press release that just got corrected. NBD. You are not going to get some kind of special Internet cookie because you noticed it, OK? And also—
IT IS NOT THAT BIG OF A FUCKING DEAL.
If you get all tingly inside and post shrieking comments going 'THIS WAS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT A FEW MINUTES AGO OMG" every time you see a blogger change something or correct an error or swap out a photo or change a headline, you need to get a life. I'm serious. Consider getting a hobby. Take up photography. Fishing. Skeet shooting. I don't care.
Just do something away from anything that involves an Internet connection. Because clearly, you cannot fucking handle it.