Monday, March 01, 2004

CT Problem of the Day:

There's a story going on at Eastman about a lot of students who were caught cheating. A story like this is theoretically my and Sandeep's area. It's a large-scale disciplinary action, so it's news, and even if it happens to be run in the Eastman section we - I, in this particular case - should take responsibility for it. But I only found out about it like Friday, I think it was, and I wasn't sure it would run this week, so with one thing and another I didn't hear back from the person I assigned it to until late last night. Now Sara is doing it. She's a senior who I've never met in person, but if how she's been performing on this is any judge, she's very responsible and stuff, so I'd want to keep her happy.

But the problem is, Kim, the Eastman editor, didn't know I had someone on it. So she went out and pretty much wrote the story herself. It's done. Not perfectly, especially considering that few people want to go on the record, but it's done as much as she needs it, as much as could be done while everyone still insists on remaining confidential. And to add to the confusion, Kim's out of her room right now so I can't ask her exactly how much she might need or exactly what other details Sara should be asking for. Kim might or might not be able to use stuff Sara will find, but if she can't then she won't include it in the article at all or she'll only do it as a favor. In that case, there's no point in it at all.

So that's my dilemma: do I admit I screwed up to Sara and apologize for wasting her time and sending her on a wild goose chase, or do I ask Kim to fit what Sara's got into the story, or what?

Hell, when I put it like that it should be easy - admit to Sara that I screwed up. Really. I mean, fuck, if you screw up, admit it and fix it. But... well, as soon as Kim comes back I'll ask her if there's anything specific she could use. If she thinks certain people might crack under further questioning or later on. If, basically, including Sara's work would be charity or not.

While I'm at it, and I being just too... gentle about this? I'm supposed to be a boss, not a mediator. I bend over backwards to accomodate people all too often.

But on the other hand... if it's my fault, I should fix it. If I had tried to assign this story ASAP, Kim wouldn't have worked on it.

Sigh. I suck. Oh well. If this is a learning experience - if I actually learn something from it - then I guess it's not all bad.

No comments: