A Short Story About Editors
I will now somewhat ashamedly admit that when I was a young publishing executive at the ripe age of 23 or 24 years old at High Times, I sometimes took a sort of perverse pleasure in annoying my editor. Perhaps all young production people feel this way, but of that I'm not too sure. The first few times, I didn't actually do this on purpose, but once I realized the on-going dynamic, I just couldn't help myself. I hope and trust that I am much more mature these days.
Here is the short story. At HT we were always late in getting "stuff" to the printer. It is a common tale among many or most publishing houses and HT was no different than any place else. Well perhaps a little different in some respects, but when putting ink on paper there are certain steadfast and universal rules.
Each month, the editor at that time would start to get frantic at the lateness and would fear that we would ship late. For me, even at that young age I knew in my heart of hearts that we would never ship late. This was a problem, not a crisis. Even though I was young, this was my fourth publication. I learned early that there is always an answer to the manufacturing question at hand. And mostly to the thanks of hard working printers everywhere, magazines as a general rule, DO NOT SHIP LATE.
So the dynamic was like this, the more my editor started to get worried the calmer I became. The calmer I became the more her fear increased, and the chain reaction would go round and round. Was it childish on my part? Perhaps, yes. But I was confident then and remain that way today. There is always an answer; you just need to know where to look or who to ask.
"Always behave like a duck— keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath."— Jacob Braude