For this week’s “Underappreciated”, I should truly just say “reading”. But I think that’s more self-explanatory than most. People go off on tangents about how people don’t read all the time. What would be funny is me getting angry at people who don’t read, writing about it, and then later realizing no one read it. Which would be the case here, because I’m not a popular blogger.
But I just want you to know that even really smart, incredible people make mistakes. How do I know this? I just did it. And I have before. Both regarding interviews for artists. The first time probably couldn’t have been avoided. I was in contact with a couple of publicists/managers regarding an interview with Dana Falconberry and–after several emails–referred to both of them as ladies. To be fair, it was a simple, “If you ladies could look over this” kind of thing. Well, turns out “Robin” can also be a guy’s name. Which I knew before, but even I will admit to thick-headedness every once in a while. So, I made that mistake. It was later remedied when it was pointed out to me and, honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell his gender by his email signature. He probably doesn’t even remember, (I mean, do you remember every person who ever questioned your manhood? Of course not. Everyone who reads this is a woman. All two of you.)
The second time I should have checked out someone’s email signature was yesterday. I was at one of my part-time jobs, but going through my contacts list from one of my email addresses and telling them to forward any press inquiries/etc. to a different email account. This is because one of the places I write for is going to be a less regular thing (not for me, but for everyone because the person who runs it is shifting his focus to private matters), and I wanted to free up the space so it will be one less expense for him every month. All that aside, I hadn’t been in contact with a manager for a comedian at all. Last fall, this comedian’s manager had emailed my Editor and asked for us to do an interview. I forwarded questions to my editor to give to the manager, and the manager never got back with us. So, I sent another email yesterday because it is an interview I would be very happy to do. Well, in all of the confusion (seeing as I had never personally been in contact with this manager), I said, “Hello Heidi!” If I had stopped for two seconds to read the email signature (or really read at all), I would have seen that it was “hseidman”. His name is Hunter. Of course, I didn’t realize this until he emailed me back, telling me to forward the questions over. He corrected me, and I sent an email back with this in it:
I know. I’m a charmer. But, other than my two (completely idiotic) mistakes, reading email signatures can actually be fun! I mean, check out three of my personal email signatures!
Now go out and get creative. And make sure you read things. Because reading is fun. And it can save you some embarrassment. AND perhaps you’ll see another title under someone’s name that could help you with your next step in life! (Although, not everyone can be a “Creative Extraordinaire”.)