I was working at an online school and I would be lent out to the writers, patching up old content that was clearly made with that deadly mix of inexperience and haste – it was a mess.
I was a B.Sc. student at the time and occasionally I found problems in the high school physics’ math course, which I always triple checked before I brought it up.
The physics writer didn’t take kindly to that.
Each of these emails took at least a week to get a reply.
Me: I found an issue with one of your true-or-false answers, from this lesson. Here’s the math explaining the solution. If you can double check and authorize it I can have that patched up for the students in a minute.
Client: The answer is fine and here’s why. Please leave the learning content to me.
Me: I understand why that would make intuitive sense, but could you please check the math I sent because it’s a bit counterintuitive.
Client: Oh, you have a point – but it’s still fine because of [reason].
Me: Actually that’s already in the math I sent in the first email, please check it again.
Client: Yes, but I’m pretty sure it’s a different answer entirely. We were both wrong but I think I’ve figured it out.
I was getting a little annoyed after a month of not being able to fix an error students were actively using, and the tone of trying to find an out that protects his ego didn’t help.
Me: That’s in the math from my first email too. Please. Check again. Would you like me to explain the physics once more?
Client: Oh. You’re right. Huh.
Me: Cool. Am I authorized to fix it?
Client: No, how about we just add it to an errata section hidden at the bottom of the page beneath a button students never click.
Down the line he edited out another mistake I found, then told me it wasn’t there. I could plainly see he had edited the page that day.
Me: Look, you don’t have to lie to me. I don’t really like being gas lit, even if it’s minor.
Client: Well, you hurt my feelings too with your corrections so now we’re even.