My name was finally going to be in print.
In a magazine, with a cover, and not just a hyperlink. Heather at OUTREACH Magazine contacted me asking if they could use some of my mother’s day writings. Sure, I said. She asked for my address so the magazine came out she’d send me three copies. Fun, fun!
You can picture the scene. Ripping open the envelope. Flipping through pages. Flipping some more because I was so excited I couldn’t find Amy Young.
Slow down, I told myself. Use the table of contents. I found the page of resources compiled by Heather Schnese and there was the Mother’s Day Blessing. Compiled by Heather Schnese. Surely Amy Young is somewhere.
Nope. I was surprised. Something seemed off. Heather made a concerted effort for me to get a copy of a magazine … that didn’t have my name on it. Hmmmm.
The next day I looked OUTREACH up on the internet and found out they are in Colorado Springs and have a phone number. I decided to call because they don’t know me and an email saying, “Did I misunderstand?! Why did you steal from me? Especially when I freely offered it” might not have helped me get to the heart of what was going on. (Though in the short run, it’s what I wondered).
People, I am here to testify, when you wonder what’s going on, ASK. Don’t assume. I called OUTREACH and talked with Meredee since Heather wasn’t in the office. She was a gem. I’m sure it’s not every Friday afternoon near quitting time you get a call saying, “I’m Amy Young and I’m looking at page 82 and my name’s not there and I’m not mad, I’m just curious why. I’m Amy Young.” (As if saying my name clarified everything.)
She put me on hold and tracked down the answer. In the editing phase, the piece needed to be a bit shorter and along with lines that did need to be edited out for space, my name got cut too. They were embarrassed and sorry it had been overlooked.
What a relief. They’re not slimy. They are human and it was just a mistake. Since then I’ve been contacted by both head editor James Long and Heather Schense. They’ve corrected it online and apologized.
While it would have been nice to see my name in print, it’s nicer to know the feeling of someone saying they’re sorry when they made a mistake. And oddly, if my name had been in print, I would have looked at it, showed it friends and then moved on. This process slowed me down, gave me a chance to reach out for greater understanding, and then let them reciprocate towards me.
So, maybe I didn’t get the credit I deserved. But I got something better: an experience laced with the best of humanity.
If you haven’t heard of OUTREACH, take a few moments and poke around their website or buy a copy of their magazine. They are stand up people.
I don’t always handle situations right, but I’m thankful I put into practice slowing down long enough for my brain to kick in and make a helpful move. If you’ve got something going on where you feel all stirred up and want to rush. Slow down. Pray. Then make a gesture towards another.
When did not getting credit lead you to something better?