Communication Glitches

I received this as a comment  from Stan Russell, of Santa Cruz, the webmaster of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, on my “Big Sur Mile Marker” post, regarding my post on the information re the Road Closure:

“I passed on the information as it was delivered to me by Susana Cruz at Caltrans. The message was the road was closed. You got the message. You can nitpick about what mile marker if that suits you.  I had to wake up to answer the phone and move the information through. You should at least be thankful rather than condescending towards me.”

First, I am very thankful for your efforts, Stan. I really did not think I was condescending. I just realized, that if I’d gotten the message that it was closed on the south, at “Rocky Creek” I would have questioned the accuracy. You don’t know any better, as you have not lived on the South Coast. So, to you Stan, I say, both privately in an email and here publicly, as that is where you posted your comment:

“Stan, you think my post was condescending? I strive for ACCURACY. I wrote you about the error, and your response was, “Oh, well. The road is closed in any event.” Maybe for you guys on the North Coast, “the road is closed, in any event” is sufficient, but for us on the South Coast, we need to know — can we get to Lucia? Can we get to Gorda? Can we get to N-F Rd? The devil is in the details, and it is tough to get them right, I know. Lord knows, I have not always gotten them right, but I try. And when I fail, I apologize. We are not perfect. We are only as good as our sources, and sometimes they are wrong. We need to check them out, verify, and correct if the information is incorrect. I told you your source was wrong, in a private email, and your response was “oh well. The road is still closed.” Well, that doesn’t cut it, from my perspective.

If you insist on reporting inaccurate information, regardless of the source, then you have to accept responsibility for  that. But your readers deserve to know you don’t check out your information, and in fact, when provided with additional, more accurate information, you don’t correct the original misinformation, but instead tell me, “oh, well.”   

You know “oh, well” doesn’t work down here, and shouldn’t any where else. We need ACCURATE information, and if you pass on inaccurate information, through NO fault of your own, and cannot get behind that fact, whatever the source, that is your problem, not mine. I strive for accurate. I make mistakes, or get inaccurate information, but then, I admit it, correct it, apologize, and strive to do better. You, on the other hand, chose ignore my correction, and to post on my blog that I was “nitpicking” and “condescending.” Nitpicking, yes. I want it accurate.
Condescedning? I did not think my commet was condescending, and I certainly did not mean it that way. I apologize if that is how you perceived it. I am just into ACCURATE. Anyone who is not, I am going to call on it. And if I am not accurate, I welcome corrections. It is not about ego, it is about sharing information that is helpful. If it is not accurate, it is not helpful. 
So, Stan, what can I say? I make mistakes, my sources make mistakes. It happens. I did not mean to be “condescending,” I only meant to provide additional resources to those who care about the details. If you don’t want the phone calls, then refer them to me. I don’t mind.
I hope we can continue to work together to provide information to the coast, accurate information, which helps the South Coast, as well as the North Coast. The details matter to us, down here.”

7 thoughts on “Communication Glitches

  1. Thanks to Stan for his dedication in passing on the information, but I have to agree with you Kate that the mile marker and place name location accuracy is vital to us on the south coast and if you have to step on toes to put this across then so be it.

  2. Thanks, Connie. Unfortunately, sometimes what I do best is “step on toes.” I can’t help it. It is who I am and what I do. And Stan, if you read this — it is NOT personal. It is just a peeve of mine that we get things right, or if we don’t, we step up and correct it. And I really welcome anyone doing that with me.

    Katee did, when I referred to Alm’s Ridge (that’s what someone else taught me) when it really was Prewitt Ridge. I get a geography lesson, and my readers get more accurate information. So, please, correct me if I am wrong — which is often! LOL

    Now, if you want to debate criminal law with me, that’s a different story. You’ll lose.

  3. Hi Kate,
    We are here in our new home on Cape Cod and closely following news/events in Big Sur as well. When i saw the road was closed at Rocky Creek I began making phone calls to check on the River Inn etc…so although I can’t say enough about how much I appreciate the time and effort that goes into what Stan provides for our community…I agree that accuracy on these items is crucial. I thank you as well for this blog…it’s a great way to stay in touch.

  4. Thank you, Kate, for your tenacity in pursuit of accuracy. It is very important to me, for one, to know exactly where the road closures are. That is why I check your blog. I know that you are tuned into how important it is for us who live and work along this road to know the real status. I know that if you don’t know something, you will say so, and if you make an error, you will let us know.
    It is, furthermore, important to the students and parents and especially the bus driver, at Pacific Valley School to know if it is possible and safe to travel on our section of Highway 1.
    Obviously the persons at the CalTrans in Santa Cruz do not have access to accurate information and, perhaps, do not realize that accuracy is important to us. A more local source of information about the Big Sur coast (local Cal-Trans?) would provide them with more specific and accurate information. With the larger storms of this winter coming soon, I hope that they can post more reliable information. In the meantime, thank you again.

  5. It sounds like someone up in Santa Cruz got up on the wrong side of bed the other day.

    For me, I only wish we had mile marker info when we lived up in Cachagua three decades ago. The markers were there, but nobody used them. It’s sort of hard to describe where you live on the road if you don’t have a well established road number or a ranch name.

    Even so, accurate info is VERY IMPORTANT when it comes to any kind of diaster.

    Thanks Kate for trying to deliver correct info & thanks Stan for your efforts too.

  6. Kate,
    I think that everyone is doing a GREAT job of getting the word out! I am sure that any mistakes were unintentional and simply “lost in translation”.
    Of course, big thanks needs to be put out to CALTRANS who is doing a great job keeping the road clear as best they can. On Friday afternoon I spotted several scraper trucks on the road patrolling back and forth for rocks on my way to PV School. I was following one north when my truck was hit by a rock falling near Limekiln. By the next morning, residents traveling north from Gorda to BSFB Station One reported a very clean and open road with no delays. GREAT JOB TO ALL!

  7. My appreciation to all. Everyone stumbles sometime, but I see so much dedication all around me. Thanks, Kate for your maintaining such a valuable crossroads of online information. And, thank you to all who take time to feed information to Kate’s “central”, and beyond. A big “hats off” once again to the CALTRANS crew! They are guardian angels to me, as I drive that road each day to PV School and back…in the dark. Two months ago, when I hit a rock, had a blowout that deflected me onto the railing edge of the Rocky Creek Bridge, and pulled a surfing-style “off the lip” with my truck, saving my life, I felt that there were in fact angels pushing me back onto the road, saying “it is not your time yet. Life is so fragile.

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