Thursday, August 07, 2008

Debra - Open mouth. Insert foot.

I know. You're all aghast and uncertain what I could mean because I have always been the soul of discretion. (see Monday's post on boobs, which I thought was a hoot.)

I also belong to a group that may be popular with many of you-- Assumptions-R-Us.

Here's what happened this time.

Deborah Smith is revamping her website. Going for a new design. So, she sends me the new banner design to ask my opinion. Well, she's a business partner. She knows me. She knew she would be getting a real opinion.

I didn't like the banner. In fact I was a little concerned that the design company was giving her such a "stock" look without customization. Deb asked what I meant by custom. I just did a new banner and said, "Here. This is what I think 'you' look like."

So, she sent it immediately to her web designer. How gratifying!

Here's one with a little more detail since I can't really get a whole banner across here:

Yeah. Gratifying. Right until the web designer very graciously thanks me for offering to let her use this and how very much she wished she'd known that she could deviate from the art that Deb Smith sent her originally.

See, I had just assumed the web designer was pawning off a substandard, no-effort design on her unsuspecting client when she was just trying to do what she thought the client wanted.

And since the various email programs were keeping a record of correspondence, the email that had been forwarded to her with the banner from me had a fairly snarky comment. Something like, "I can't believe she thought you'd accept this half-assed job."

Deb thinks this is funny. Friends are like that.

The moral of this story? Don't assume. And never ask when someone is "due." Ever. I never even mention baby unless they say the words, "I'm pregnant." At least, not anymore.

Been chewing on any of your feet lately or are you generally very well disciplined? And do you like Deb's new banner?


Sean and Anna said...

Insert foot here should be a small tattoo on my mouth (ouch!!) I try to keep the words in my mouth but sometimes they just fly out. I'm a very honest person and that sometimes ends up being too blunt for most people. I'm not rude but I have learned that some folks do not want the truth- they like a shaded version.

For example, my best friend called just yesterday and said she needed my opinion because she valued what I had to say. She declares that she wants to cut her mid back length hair and get a cute pixie cut. I say sure and comment that she had that skinny frame and egg shaped head (what?) that could pull it off. She says, " You think I'm an egghead?". Why would I sat that? I'm a moron. Then I recommend that Makeover Matic website and tell her it's so easy a monkey could do it. She calls back 5 minutes later and says she must not be smarter than a monkey because she can't even find the site! Again I'm a moron.

The new banner looks elegant and the colors are relaxing- all in all... welcoming. Hopefully that was the goal because I hate to think that I am inserting my foot again.

deb smith said...

Hey, I started out with a simple, moody picture of a woman sitting in front of a sunset, a picture I proudly hunted for on the wild tundra of a stock photo service; little did I know that Deb Dixon would snort at my plain little photo derisively. Now I have an ethereal butterfly fluttering across a leathery sky, with layered thingies and widgets and complex looking whatamacallits in the type font for my name. It's way-cool and I love it, but I'd never have been able to tell the original designer that's the kind of banner I want. Like most authors, I can't define my web-design fantasies in terms a graphics guru can understand. It won't do to say, "Shouldn't there be more widgies and layers and stuff?"

Karen Foley said...

I'm in awe, Deb! I would have absolutely no clue as to how to begin designing a banner or anything else for my website. I love the design you came up with. As for inappropriate remarks? I'm a quiet person, probably because I do tend to get myself in trouble when I talk. I work for the Dept of Defense, and somebody once forwarded me a very inappropriate joke via email. I meant to forward it to a friend (despite the fact it's against reg's) and ended up sending it to the head of the legal dept, totally by mistake.

Debra Dixon said...

Anna-- You're in the club. LOL! I say things like the egghead comment and then just make it worse as I try to dig myself out. "Welcoming" is an excellent adjective for any website!

Debra Dixon said...

"little did I know Deb Dixon would snort at my plain little photo derisively."

Oh, yeah! I was an equal-opportunity offender in this scenario.

Hey, DebS !

Debra Dixon said...

Karen-- TO THE HEAD OF LEGAL? LOL! That's a good one. Email had offered extra potential for embarrassment in my life. :)

Debra Dixon said...

I'm out the door for a meeting but when I get back I'm going to be checking up to see who 'fessed up about their little problems of foot-in-mouth.

Helen Brenna said...

It's a beautiful banner, Deb. And your voice is so fresh in my mind after catching up in SF, that I can almost hear that snort!

My foot's in my mouth so often it's a wonder I have toes left.

Betina Krahn said...

I LOVE this banner! this is fabulous! Deb, are you willing to consult? lol. I'm starting into a web site re-design and am bewildered by the millions of choices.

And as for foot-in-mouth disease, I once told a life-long choral director (not knowing his profession) that I hated the whole "trained voices" sound and vibratto thing. Sigh. When I found out he was a choral director later, I wanted to crawl under the couch and stay there for life.

I think it helps just to be careful expressing likes and dislikes. . . and airing your ideas on the old taboos of religion and politics.

Betina Krahn said...

Come to think of it. . . airing likes is usually pretty safe. It's just the dislikes and "really hates" that get us into trouble.


Playground Monitor said...

Beautiful banner! It's pleasing to the eye and not too busy.

I'm sure I've put my foot in my mouth at some point, but I brought a head cold back from San Francisco and an too stuffy to try and remember the particulars about it.


lois greiman said...

I love Deb's colors and design...very pretty.

As for foot in mouth disease, I once (early on in my career--really)asked my editor if marketing only had a limited number of words to work with, thus making my title so similar to all the others out there. Turns out the title was her brainchild. I'm trying not to be stupid any more, but it's not going great.

Michele Hauf said...

Gorgeous design! You're very talented, Deb!

I think I do the foot in mouth thing, but I'm at the point where it doesn't really bother me. We make mistakes! Get over it.


amy*skf said...

Debra and Deb--the end result is a beautiful banner.

I actually love it when people put their foot in their mouth--especially if it pertains to me, the more to laugh at the better.

And I think people have to remember, it almost always stems from honesty.

little fan moment here...Deb Smith! Oooooh, I love your books. Thanks.

flchen1 said...

That looks lovely, Debra (and Deb!)!

I'm pretty awful, and do need to remember to keep my feet clean since they seem to end up in my mouth more often than a baby's! I'm blocking my embarrassing moments because they seem too numerous to count :p It's definitely when I don't stop to think when that usually happens--if I reconsider, I can see how flinging a comment off the cuff can be inadvertently hurtful or just silly...

Estella said...

The banner is awesome!

debbsmith said...

Okay, here's one of my many foot in mouth stories. And I didn't mean any religious offense. A relative of mine is given to routine religious exclamations. Praise Jesus, Amen, sister, etc. Which is fine, just not my personal style. So we were at the house of kin one time and I said "This place has the nicest feel about it," and she said, "That's the Holy Spirit at work," and without thinking I answered,"Well, okay, whatever."

I really didn't mean to be sarcastic, but it did sound that way. I think she's suspected me of demon worship, ever since.

Debra Dixon said...

Betina-- I'm happy to "consult." LOL! And I just now used your advice to air our likes widely and be judicious with those "hates."

Marilyn-- Poor baby! Head colds in the summer seem to suck more for some reason. I always feel I'm being unjustly persecuted.

Lois-- ROFL! How awful to say that to the editor. Really funny, but I can totally feel your pain on that one.

Michele-- Yep. I try and put them behind me but sometimes it takes a day or two. Plus I try not to hold the "disease" against others.

Amy-- Honesty gets a bad rap sometimes. Usually when others aren't *expecting* it. DebS will love the fan moment. :)

flchen1-- Yep, flinging is one of my bad happens. Honest fired out too quickly without assessing if the recipient is ready. I think I'm zeroing in on the cause of my foot-in-mouth.

Estella-- Thanks!

Deb-- The unguarded moment always bites us in the butt.

Dara Edmondson said...

I asked the pregnant question - ONCE. I felt so horrid for having offended the woman that I swore off the question, too!

Debra Dixon said...

Dara-- Isn't that the most awful feeling ever...asking the baby question to a non-pregnant woman???????

Christie Ridgway said...

I really, really try not to forward e-mails for just that reason, Deb. The dh once forwarded a couple of risque tattoo pix that his cousin sent him to one of his best friends...except that he clicked on the wrong "John" (name made up) in his address book and sent it to the head of the sports league our kids were involved in at the time.

The wrong John's wife opened the e-mail and was much offended (and truly, it wasn't all that bad, eye-popping, but not =bad=). My guy was mortified, when all I thought was that these people needed to send a few more e-mails and they'd have a bit more sympathy! Stuff like that happens to everyone.

Debra Dixon said...

Christie-- I'm just fanatical about checking email I send and forward.

amy*skf said...

Seriously Christie, isn't that the truth--we've all done dumb things, and if everyone would just remember that they've done a dumb thing too once or twice--it would be a better world.

Honesty and Forgiveness. Probably should go hand in hand.