L.L.Bean retail store in Freeport, Maine.Image via Wikipedia

I think we all know happens when we assume something, eh?

Here’s a lesson oft learned the hard way.  When proofreading, do not assume.

Overzealous proofreading can create a catastrophe no different than doing a poor job or not doing it at all.  Recently mail order giant L.L. Bean barely averted disaster because they have a culture that puts great value on diligent proofreading.  An employee was 100% certain (always be wary…) that the toll-free number in the catalog proof was incorrect.  It was listed as an 877 number and the employee knew it was really supposed to be an 800 number.  So, he changed it.

Yes, you guessed it. The number was correct as it originated in the proof.  Had he not proudly mentioned his "catch" to a fellow employee, L.L. Bean would have had about 500,000 catalogs in their recycle bin.  Ouch.

Whenever you proof phone numbers, it’s always a good idea to take the extra second or two and dial the number.  Remember the rule — before you correct, check!

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