Aesop's fable about the fox and the grapes came to mind Friday morning when our phones were ringing nonstop here at the Standard office because hundreds of subscribers didn't get their Friday paper.
According to the fable, a hungry fox saw a cluster of grapes hanging from a vine and tried desperately to reach them to ease his hungry. The fox tried and tried, but he simply could not reach the grapes.
Instead of getting angry, the fox smiled and walked away happily. "I will find something else to eat," the fox said. "I bet those grapes would have upset my stomach."
That fable is another version of the popular saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
All of that came to mind as our five phone lines were ringing and hundreds of customers were calling our office upset about not getting their paper. On the surface, it was a horrible failure on our part for not getting the papers out on time.
But in looking on the bright side, it would have been much more concerning if no one called our office. What if our customers didn't get their paper and thought, "Oh well, who cares about that thing?"
As for our Great Newspaper Disaster, I have to say we have an amazing group of pressmen here at the Standard who often work well into the night. Despite all the mechanical troubles that arise after hours, our press guys always manage to fix the problem and print our award-winning paper.
Last Thursday night/ Friday morning was no exception. It took until 5 a.m. Friday morning to get the papers out the door, but they fought a cranky press all night and finally got the job done.
The problem at that point was that our route carriers had to go to work. Most of our route carriers have other jobs and deliver the Standard part-time three days a week for extra income. They didn't have time to start their routes at 5 a.m., hence our major headache.
One thing that's important to note is the Standard has a great website, www.southernstandard.com, which features all the content which rolls off our press. Our website can be easily accessed from a smartphone or tablet and contains videos to accompany our stories.
The videos are certainly fun and add an extra layer of excitement to news reporting. I enjoyed live streaming the Fairest of the Fair pageant Monday night and apparently our 19,283 Facebook followers liked it too as the videos had received more than 5,000 views in 16 hours. I consider that a pretty healthy reach.
But back to my original point, which is to apologize for the problems associated with our newspaper production and delivery last Friday. I appreciate our customers being understanding and forgiving during what was probably the biggest problem we've had getting papers out the door in my nearly 22 years as editor.
If there's a rainbow from the clouds, it's that you can find all your local news conveniently at www.southernstandard.com. Last Friday was certainly a basket of lemons, but we learned to juggle.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.