Postaday2011 – A sentence from a book.

The plan is that I should open a book, jump to para three and use the second sentence in my blog. Right I’m off to find a book… and my sentence is “Tell him it was all my fault”.

If we are being completely honest no one really likes to have to admit that it was there fault. I know someone, well probably a couple of people, who when something has gone badly wrong will immediately say it wasn’t my fault long before you have suggested that it might have been. It is much rarer to hear someone freely admit that they got it wrong.

In business as in all aspects of life it is better to admit the mistake and get over it rather than try and push the blame elsewhere or deny everything when in fact it is entirely down to you. I don’t want to sound like goody two shoe but in my experience honesty is always the best policy in these tricky situations.

A very long time ago when I worked for the BBC I was in the studio where they recorded radio drama. My job was to record the output of the studio on two 1/4 inch reels of tape, a master and a back-up. It was a Saturday morning and we had been there for several hours, the sound balancer, his assistant and the producer in the main control room and me in the adjoining sound proof cupboard with my two tape machines. During the morning there had been very little communication between the main control room and me, partly because it wasn’t going well and I was also the most junior person and as such not really part of their team. Such was the hierarchy of the sound department at the time.

As it got nearer to 12:00 there was a definite sense of urgency, I was told that if we could complete a couple of scenes quickly the actors could get an earlier train back to London so the pace quickened noticeably. Unfortunately it was then that I had a problem. Being new and wanting to do a good job I had followed instructions and erased all the bad or unusable recording as I went along leaving only the best takes for the editing. This struck me at the time as a potentially dangerous practice but as a trainee you do what you are told. There was a certain amount of pressure on me to check the recording quickly to enable the artists to get away and in my haste I wiped. or erased, the best take off both tapes.

By the time I discovered this the producer had waved off the artists in a taxi and we had no way of getting in touch with them to call them back. It was at this point that I said tell him it was all my fault which unfortunately it was. The sound balancer to his credit quietly set about creating one good version from several less than perfect takes and I kept out the way in my recording cupboard. Eventually when he had finished there was a bit of an atmosphere, I went home feeling rather dejected. I was never scheduled to work in radio drama again, I wasn’t broken hearted – I much preferred television.


One thought on “Postaday2011 – A sentence from a book.

  1. >>”…and in my haste I wiped. or erased, the best take off both tapes.”

    Oh dear. 🙂

    You’re not the only one:

    War photo journalist Robert Capa landed with the troops on the shores of Normandy on D-Day. Out of the 100+ photos he took, only 8 frames survived “thanks” to a lab assistant in the darkroom.

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