Heinous Tests

I finally passed the proofreading test at one place I work. Wow, and it only took me seven years. I had been trying to pass the test so long that I had gotten used to the fail screen. They have stringent requirements. They want a 90% score rather than the usual 80%. I'd have passed a long time ago on the 80% requirement, but the 90 was tough. 

You have to know English grammar and AP style to pass the test. I was never a fan of AP style even though it's the chosen style of all modern journalism platforms. Parts of it peeve me, like the forced Oxford comma omission. Aside from that, I don't like chopping my work. I'm a wordy speaker, and that usually flows into my writing. I'm a fan of "archaic" terms, and many of today's editors are not. 

Seven years is still a super-long time to fail a test. In my defense, I will say that the test is heinousMany people complain about its complexity and trickiness. I think none of them took as long as I did to pass it though. I took grammar refresher courses. I will get an AP stylebook soon. I had a 2016 version, but they change the darn thing every year. 

Oh, and I'm still not a "professional" writer by their standards. Passing the proofreading test is just one part of the process of leveling up. I have to show that I can post consistently flawless work, too. I think the low pay is the reason it's so difficult to do in the content marketing business. That's an honest statement, and it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the opportunities I've had. The pay is super-low, and many people don't have the will or patience to stay because it takes a lot of work to make a regular paycheck. It's hard if you're not at top level.

Lower-level writers probably post flawed material because they try to compensate for the low pay with speed and churn. Personally, I spend far more time on projects that pay well than I do on nickel-and-dime items. It makes sense, right? I have no problem spending a few hours on something that pays $50. I will not have that same passion and undying dedication for something that pays $5. I think no one would. So, decent writers appear to be horrible writers because they type too fast and don't edit enough. They're trying to make a living in an industry that's not exactly writer friendly. 

Here's a little something from the irrelevancy box: I think I will scream the next time someone asks me why I moved here and if I have "family" here. I think I will really scream. I shouldn't have to explain my choice to live somewhere where I don't have "family." It's a free country, or at least it's supposed to be. Secondly, not everyone has a close-knit family, so not everyone wants to live where they grew up or whatever. 

Aside from that, I have already been living here for three years if I round it off. I didn't just get here yesterday. Haven't I told this story already? Haven't I answered, "Where are you from?" 100 times already? NO, I'm not from here. NO, I don't have family here. NO, I was not born here. NO, I don't have a husband, boyfriend, mate, lover, friend, or anything else. NO, I don't have a desire to go back to where my parents raised me. 

Can we please talk about where I'm at instead of where I was? Can we talk about who I am now instead of who I used to be? Better yet, let's talk about the future. One day, the future will be bright, and it will eliminate all the ugliness that exists in the world.

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