In my day job as a web developer I work with a small group of quality assurance (QA) people. QA people are a necessary evil. They keep the programmer from showing clients screwed up code. They are also really annoying. Some QA people are pretty good and some are pretty bad. Some find bugs and some just find “differences.” I worked with a QA awhile back that had an uncanny knack for finding bugs, attributing them to the wrong cause, then throwing out good work. It’s a baby with the bath water kind of scenario, and it was going on constantly. Nothing is more frustrating than pouring hours upon hours of your best work into some problem just to find out your solution was rejected because of something someone else did on some other part of the site.
I recently had an interesting nightmare. I do put a lot of myself into programming, and in general I’m proud of my work. But writing isn’t work to me. It’s personal.
Now, I’ve dealt with editors. They’re trying to improve your work because it benefits them, but they have no problem saying, “This will always suck so I’m not investing in it.” Editors can be cold and calloused and flat-out mean. I remember being turned away by one editor who wrote, simply, “Your story just didn’t do it for me.” Still, I prefer an average editor to a good QA.
In this nightmare, I dreamed that a QA person I worked with some time ago was my editor. Nightmare scenario already, especially since this particular QA person struggled with English. In the dream I turned in a story (we call chunks of work “stories” but in this case I’m referring to an actual piece of fiction that I had written), and immediately received a “bug report.” The bug report stated that at one point in the story I referenced bread but failed to specify when the bread was baked. Look, it doesn’t matter!
Here is to hoping that my two lives never meet…