Tag Archive: EY

Long time no post. I’ll chalk that up to Busy Season at my 9 to 6 (at times quite longer), Mon-Fri (at times Sat and/or Sun).

Still in the throes of BS, I offer some writing I did in response to a running group questionnaire. Answers are truthful and in color.

Hey, Nit,

Thanks for spearheading this. See below, yo.


RUNNERS, please answer the following questions:

  1. Would you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate, or expert level? Beginner with the caveat that I played soccer for 15 years … 15 years ago. So some simple math would reduce me to zilch.
  2. How many times do your currently run per week? Including the weekends? Zero.
  3. What is your average per minute mile on your exercise runs? Pro’ly 10 at this point, inclusive of stopping for breath, donuts, etc.
  4. What are your goals for joining the run group? Cardio, tone legs, something fun and healthy to do with my wife, and make my running shoes stop whining about their “lack of fulfillment.”
  5. Are you training for any upcoming races? Not that I know of, but you never know when gas prices will force me to seek alternative transportation, or when  mugger will provide incentive.
  6. What is/are the best day(s) for you to run with EY Atlanta Run/Walk Group? Weekends, which coincidentally is the best time for Gramma to watch our son while we go running.
  7. Do you prefer to run AM or PM? Provide times (i.e. 6pm, 6:30pm, etc.) Mornings. Do it. Be done with it.

I don’t believe in coincidences.  And that makes life a bit more challenging.

Why’s that?  Well, I believe there’s reason behind everything, so I can’t just dismiss these experiences as chance.  They prompt me to ask myself, “Self, why?”  I tend to end up with a lesson learned more often that a phenomenon explained.

One such experience happened as I looked out from the ninth floor of the Ernst & Young building.  It was a rainy day as I recall.  The floor-to-ceiling window framed much of western Atlanta.  Looking out, I saw visitors entering The World of Coke, and I could make out Coke headquarters to my right.  Further still, the lights above Bobby Dodd Stadium at Georgia Tech loomed unillumined above Grant Field.  The 75/85 confluence moved briskly, albeit almost out of sight, past Allen Plaza.  Atlanta, despite the somber weather, remained active.

And then I looked down.

That’s when I saw the Atlanta Union Mission.  Between the Mission and my building — both physically and metaphorically — was a vacant lot.  Just a few bare trees, discarded boxes, and a small blue tarp scattered across the brown space.   And then the tarp, in the corner of the lot, moved.

It wasn’t blown by wind; there was a man using it for shelter from October rain and wind.  I didn’t actually see the man emerge from his make-shift shelter, but I could tell from the shape and size that it was a person, despite the lack of continued movement.

Standing there, looking down, I realized that I was in the same room in which I had interviewed for my current job.

I saw the differences and the similarities between him and me, and then marveled at the timing of that moment.  Why, in its usual unassuming tone sauntered up behind and presented itself. 

Kansha ~ gratitude

I thought about how fortunate I am that I have what I have — health, family, occupation — and the answer to this coincidence is “give thanks.”  And there’s really so many reasons to do so.

In related news, an old friend started a blog, choosing to focus on gratitude.  What a very fine place to start.

With a nod to those three fine fellas from the five boroughs, I posted the following question on a company Facebook-type site:

“I’m wondering what importance we place on writing well, regardless of your position: Do you think about it or just write? Use spellcheck or shoot from the hip? What’s your approach to communication?”

I asked these questions because I do care about what I write – and it’s my job to care about what others write. Receiving two responses … wait, make that three (one more while I’m writing this) within two hours of posting, I was pleasantly surprised to find others who share a similar concern for the written word. One responder brought up the unfortunate trend of instant messaging and text messages contributing to “lackluster writing.” I couldn’t agree more. I mean, I’m the kind of guy who takes the time to punctuate text messages correctly.

The above posting continued: “However, it’s up to us to maintain quality.” And there it was: Quality.

This word hit me for several reasons:

  • It’s an adequate word choice for our collective responsibility.
  • Like the change of scenery and entering a new industry, one intangible that endeared my then-prospective employer to me was our tagline: “Quality In Everything We Do.” The word quality is of interest to me since ensuring quality in writing is the locus of my work.
  • The word – like the sentence that contains it – applies to so much more than writing. But I’ve already addressed that in an earlier post.

I suppose that quality in terms of writing was what drove me to that posting earlier today. Why? I write, edit, and proofread for a living, so I see the good, the bad, and the are-you-missing-keys-on-your-keyboard?!? At times, I’m encouraged by the quality of that which I edit and the text messages I read; other times, I read to my chagrin; still other times, I become nauseous.

Perhaps, after retiring, I could open up Derek Hambrick’s Institute for People Who Can’t Write Good or maybe sponsor a chain of Grammar, Spelling, & Syntax Shelters for Editors.

Until then, I seek to elevate writing’s quality. And I’m glad that others still care about it, too.

My first day with EY, I fully intended to start this blog. Same holds for the second. And the third. I suppose that’s another good intention of mine turned into a paver on the path south.

Yet, here I am, three weeks into a new role, company, and cube, creating my first entry. 

It’s apparent to me that I’m inculcating myself to my new environ. Willingly. Enthusiastically, even. And it isn’t apparent just inside the office, but outside – right now as I scribe – as well.

Take, for instance, this entry’s spacing. Those who write, edit, or proof understand the importance of details – spacing between sentences being one of them. Before becoming copy editor for the Southeast Sub-Area, I had my style of spacing: two spaces after end punctuation. Mind you, I had my reasons. Namely, I saw it as a manifestation of a communicator’s cardinal rule: remember your audience.

How’s that?

When we read – on screen or on wood-pulp-based medium – our eyes and brain work hard.  Our eyes scan symbols; our brain gives them meaning.  The reader, registering not one but two spaces after a period, has more of a visual break, allowing your brain to register, “Hey, there’s a longer space there than there is between words.  That must mean a new thought is coming.”  And this eases comprehension.  Hopefully, this paragraph’s double-spacing made the sentences easier to digest than the single-spaced paragraphs.

To illustrate the importance of spacing, doyoureyesfindthiseasytoread, or do you prefer this? It’s a matter of making our content easy for our readers.

Alas, the collective EY “we” does not use the double-space. And, insofar as I am an EY employee – more so as an editor – I do not use the double-space. Accordingly, I begin to relax my editorial stance, both inside and outside the firewall.

But long live the serial comma.