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death by proofreading

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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death by proofreading

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu November 20th, 2008, 5:22 pm

I tried to find a link to the original article, but there were too many copies out there.

This unbelievable story appeared in the New York Times recently.

"Bosses of a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for five days before anyone asked if he was feeling okay.

George Turklebaum, 51, who had been employed as a proofreader at a New York firm for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open-plan office he shared with 23 other workers.

He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was still working during the weekend.

His boss Elliot Wachiaski said: 'George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night, so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself.'

A post mortem examination revealed that he had been dead for five days after suffering a coronary. Ironically, George was proof reading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died.

You may want to give your co-workers a nudge occasionally.

The moral of the story: Don’t work too hard. Nobody notices anyway."

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Thu November 20th, 2008, 6:02 pm

Ok, question, didn't anyone notice the stink starting to come from the dead body or does that place just usually smell bad?!

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Thu November 20th, 2008, 6:21 pm

This appears to be an urban legend. See this 2001 story in The New York Times.

And see here.
Susan Higginbotham
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http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3564
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu November 20th, 2008, 6:27 pm

Which probably explains why I couldn't find it on the New York Times site! Thanks BB, but it is rather funny.

And Sonjamarie, you are right. I discovered one of my older animals dead in the pasture two days after the fact, and even in winter, he didn't smell nice.

I guess whoever invented this story had never actually been around a five-days-dead body. Geesh, you'd think he'd at least have gotten a whiff of a pot roast that had been in the 'fridge too long.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Thu November 20th, 2008, 6:34 pm

Maybe they were overly polite to say anything.

annis
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Post by annis » Thu November 20th, 2008, 7:10 pm

I definitely recall seeing this story around some years ago- someone must have decided it was too good to let go :)

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Thu November 20th, 2008, 7:12 pm

I think I also saw this or a similar story on an Urban Legends show on TV a few months ago.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Thu November 20th, 2008, 7:37 pm

SHame, but it is great.

chuck
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the dead guy

Post by chuck » Thu November 20th, 2008, 8:33 pm

[quote=""SonjaMarie""]I think I also saw this or a similar story on an Urban Legends show on TV a few months ago.

SM[/quote]

I thought saw that story of the dead proofreader story on TV's "The Office" or Grey's Anatomy" or maybe It just a bad movie.......

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Sat November 22nd, 2008, 2:41 am

It's an old urban legend. It was stale when I was working in newspapering back in the 70's. When I was a landlady, I had to go open an apartment when someone commited suicide, and the other tenants started to notice the smell. It's something that you never forget.

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