One of my clients sends me files of objective STEM questions to review for grammar and punctuation. I don’t have to check any of the subject matter, thankfully, although I will occasionally find the ridiculous goof up. Although those are really the sort of things that anyone would catch.
For example, one of the questions was written out in a true or false format, although worded differently. And the answer options were ridiculously extrapolated to fit the 4-option format. So the 4 choices were: 1) Yes. 2) No. 3) Both yes and no. 4) Neither yes or no.
I mean, come on.
Another example. Today, I was editing maths papers, and the question read something like: which of the points, A, B, C, or D, are closest to this certain point on the number line? And there was an accompanying diagram. The answer choices were: A) A. B) D. C) C. D) B.
Wonderful. Unnecessarily confusing. Or some idiot teacher thinking that they would catch out a hapless student for not paying complete attention? I don’t know. But it was stupid.
However, the character that makes all this quite interesting is the chap who coordinates the work on the client’s side. He sends me files regularly, and then calls me up to tell me about the work. I presume this is in case I haven’t seen the email. I have his number saved, oh for the last year at least.
So I find it amusing that I will answer his call with: “Hi Tushar.” and his response will invariably be: “Hi ma’am, Tushar here.” Someone’s clearly on autopilot.
Tushar, I have since learned, is not great with catching on to nuance. He is a very literal person, so when he sent me a bunch of files last week, saying: “Ma’am, please find the files for review. Please try to share a few files every day.” I panicked.
I thought there were a huge number of files, each with lots of questions. I opened the folder and heaved one sigh of relief, because there were 10 files. Quite a few, but manageable overall. Then I opened a file, and saw 1 question.
Next file: 3 questions. Next: 5 questions. Next: 2 questions. There were a total of 47 questions, and it took me approximately half an hour to wade through them.
And then yesterday he sends me another folder, with no such message. I thought that the workload was normal to light. Nope. 7 files, each with about 36 questions. It took me the whole day to wade through that lot.
Thanks for the warning, Tushar. Handy.