Monday, February 18, 2013

Holding the Bag

Sometimes, it pays to look a little more deeply into things.

I thought this story from KSDK, channel 5 in St. Louis, MO, was just another of those stories of a mass-reproduced spelling error.  Missouri State University, home of the "Boomer Bears" in lovely Springfield, MO, handed out 6,000 bookbags in their bookstore last month.  As you see, someone had a little trouble spelling "university."

This happens far too often.  In 2011, Georgetown University in scenic Washington DC, temporary home of the "Boehner Boors," handed out graduation programs with the word misspelled the same way they do it out in old St. Loo.  And then, to show that no one is perfect, Georgetown sent out a letter to all the graduates and their families promising to send a corrected copy of the program to anyone requesting same.  And the letterhead of that letter listed the school's "facsimilie" number, in case you wanted to send them a "facks" (as I once saw it put).

But!  That spelling goof wasn't even the most interesting part of the story.  As the article says, all this commotion occurred when the college was just getting a new bookstore director, Sandra Ropp Reinartz, in place. 

The job came open last August when the previous director of the bookstore, one Mark Brixey, resigned when he was unable to explain either a $500,000 shortage in the bookstore's accounts, or why there was $81,000 in cash in his desk.

When I worked at the A&P and had to run a register one day, I was $20 short at the end of the day and I felt bad about it.  For a $500,000 shortage, I would have really apologized very sincerely.

Before he resigned in disgrace
And when I had various desk jobs over the years, I might have had a total of $3.47 in change floating around in the middle drawer, right near the box of staples, glue sticks, stress balls, pens that had dried up shortly after the Kennedy inauguration, and outdated Oriole schedules.  I did once have a desk in the basement of the same building in which, years before, Spiro T. Agnew happily accepted bags full of bribe money from paving contractors, but no one came down to my dim warren to offer me tributes of any sort. I don't think there were any words misspelled on the canvas loot bags handed over to the crooked vice-president.

Meanwhile, in Springfield, MSU said an investigation is ongoing, but Brixey has not been charged with a crime.  I mean, after all.  What sort of "univeristy" would rush to judgement on a mere half a million?

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