Today was a tale of a missing comma that wrecked all sorts of havoc.
We do a charity golf tournament for United Way every October. This would be our seventh year. My company matches UW donations 60% so last year - with the match - we raised $250,000 for United Way SELA. So it's a big dot deal.
We're trying to figure out how we can make this happen in the era of COVID. The need is greater than ever, and yet the revenue (I can only assume) is down because people are out of work and fund-raising events are cancelled.
We met as a team to talk options. I suggested maybe a "virtual" golf tournament - collect donations, but don't get together, maybe give all the sponsors a foursome pass to play when they can. Another idea was to postpone the tournament until early next year. The weather won't be as pretty, but it's hardly all that cold in southeast Louisiana.
We decided to send a survey to our past tournament sponsors and get their input. Are their companies still making charitable donations this year? Would they be interested in a "virtual" fundraiser? Could they do Q1 2021 instead?
I prepared the survey and sent it to my boss to review. He responded: "I would ask an additional question would they prefer virtual October or first quarter next year."
So I added a question as to the sponsors' preference.
This afternoon we met to review the results. We got to the last question and almost 90% said they would prefer an actual tournament next year to a virtual one in October.
My boss says, "What about the third option? Just doing the regular tournament in October as planned?"
I was all HUH?
"But...we're not doing the regular tournament in October, are we? I thought the purpose of the survey was to see what they would prefer instead?"
"No," he said, "we were going to ask about all three options."
Well now I'm frustrated. I don't usually make a mistake like that. I checked my receipts and showed him the email. Two options:
I would ask an additional question would they prefer virtual October or first quarter next year.
"Oh," he says. "I left out a comma."
I would ask an additional question would they prefer virtual COMMA October or first quarter next year.
He was telling Grandma dinner was ready and I thought he wanted to dine on Grandma.