We are all fallible

I don’t want to gloat over other people’s mistakes. But I can’t help but having a warm fuzzy feeling every time I spot a mistake in a graphic made by one of the major newspapers. It is a comforting reminder that people working for the global big shots like the The Times, The Guardian, The New York Times, etc., are just like the rest of us.


Here’s what I found from The Times on Wednesday this week (June 19 2013), on page 41. This Business section story talks about global shipping business and its challenges. The graphic offers a combination of information including a map of core maritime shipping routes. They have decided to include bottlenecks along the routes.

Oresund2I can’t comment on the accuracy of the number data. But one very simple thing was evident to me. Øresund is definitely not in Finland! 😀 It’s a strait between Sweden and Denmark.

You might say that naturally the big players are capable of making mistakes too, it’s kind of self-evident! But it is so common to forget that simple truth and think that we “little people” from smaller countries and in smaller companies are somehow categorically different. People belittle themselves and often justify their mistakes by exaggerating the difference. “After all, we are not The Times or something,” is a common phrase.

Also, in my experience, most students have a very glamorised image of people in the big companies. They tend to put them on a pedestal. Now, I don’t mind putting people on pedestals if they earn it. But just because someone happens to be working for Company X is not enough in itself.

Many also seem to hold a view that if you keep climbing from company to company, then one day you will be in a place that is perfect. When you reach that candy mountain, you will have all the resources you have ever wished for. And you’re not going to make any mistakes anymore! 🙂

*ahem* …or you finally reach that university where bureaucracy and organisational idiocy is not going to screw up your work all the time, and the people are actually intelligent and open minded… *ahem*

People are people. No matter where they are and who they work for. And also companies are always imperfect. In the end, it’s not about finding the “golden company”, but finding the one which offers you the best compromise between benefits and responsibilities. And that will always be subjective.