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To think this is unacceptable

(165 Posts)
Sisterelephant Thu 02-Jan-14 22:00:28

This lady updates the FB page of our local children's centre. She asked me a few months ago to like the page as she was now taking over it.

There are daily updates on frankly what I think is unprofessional and should be checked before going live.

Things such as using the word 'grate' for great, putting xxxxxxx at the end of status' and general terrible grammar.

Now, I'm not perfect, my grammar is rubbish but I would get a second opinion if I had a similar job.

AIBU to think its not acceptable?

I'm too chicken to complain but want to have a moan, yes I have too much time on my hands

Sisterelephant Sat 04-Jan-14 14:52:55

Very well said vovlvocowgirl. I will be sending a polite e-mail to bring it to their attention, it's up to them if they choose to do anything with it.

Ah, yes thecliff. I think we'd have to agree to disagree. It doesn't matter whether she is paid or not, if you volunteered to your job, are you saying it would be ok for there to be mistakes? Surely not.

She may have dyslexia and not notice the errors but its up to her managers to be proof reading her work. They should be doing this regardless of if she has dyslexia as her updates are representing the business.

I have spell check on my laptop and it updates on my Facebook and I have it on my phone which also updates on my facebook. I agree if you don't have a clue how the word is spelt, it wouldn't give any suggestions but if you skate around the word it will.

As for posting on mumsnet, it doesn't matter if you can't spell, you're just a person airing a problem, the important part is the overall message.

THECliffRichardSucksEggsinHell Sat 04-Jan-14 12:33:31

There is no spell check on Facebook.

Or on Mumsnet it seems wink

I am the writer. Yes my writing is checked and proof-read, because that's what I get paid for. This lady may not be getting paid for updating the centre's FB page.

If it's just mis-spelling then again, and this is not a presumption, you need to question as to whether she may actually have dyslexia. As I said, FB has no spell check so it's difficult to ascertain whether a word is spelt correctly or not. As she is a receptionist I would guess that her spelling is adequate on other occasions, no doubt because Word for Windows has a spell checker.

If you are bad at spelling you may be painfully aware of this but what can you do? I don't know of any courses to help adults with spelling and to suggest one may be patronising.

Personally I would just hide the page, be pleased that the centre is performing well in other ways and leave them to it.

Doubtfuldaphne Sat 04-Jan-14 10:06:36


Doubtfuldaphne Sat 04-Jan-14 10:06:13

Would you trust a business that mis spelled their leaflets/business cards/website? I would honk it was unprofessional. This is a business and gives a poor public image.
You should let the centre know by email and it's up to them whether they care enough.

chrome100 Sat 04-Jan-14 08:09:38

Yanbu. I update my department's Facebook page. Last week I made a typo and got a slapped wrist. I deserved it!

volvocowgirl Sat 04-Jan-14 08:07:21

As someone who updates more than one FB page (and various other social media outlets) for the local authority, let me assure you, you may be doing them all a favour by letting their local authority's communication team know now rather than when someone complains about something other than spelling.

There are national standards that most (though not all) LAs adhere to. I've got a separate qualification in marketing and social media but still had to complete training in these national standards - as they are quite specific about certain things (there are set flow charts on responding to people, etc).

You can be friendly and approachable in your tone without using slang or having spelling mistakes. There are also rules around who manages the page and who has different access settings (anyone remember the HMV twitter debacle last year when they were all getting sacked?)

The woman who is updating the site should be given adequate training and will also probably have to be involved (with other staff) in completing risk assessments, etc, on its use. It could be better for her in the long run as she would know how to protect herself (many of the standards are about arse-covering - which is vital now that there are more and more people getting into trouble legally due to social media) and she'd have the training and skills to add to her CV.

it certainly did turn into a debate! there is no doubt in my mind that a lot of people ARE snobbish and believe themselves superior to someone who can't spell properly and i maintain that - not necessarily the case here i realise. i still think there are more important things to worry about, especially when it comes to nurseries. however, good english skills do look more professional.

Sisterelephant Fri 03-Jan-14 18:07:34

Wow, what a great debate this turned into!

Just to clarify a few things;

I think its run by the local council

They have a nursery attached.

The issue is not about using slang of 'hunni, lol, bubs' etc as there is reasonable explanation for this, its about correct spelling of words. Spell check is pretty much on everything so you'd be going against the grain to get something wrong.

It's not an attack on her, I've previously said she is very welcoming and friendly, she is probably really enjoying looking after the page and probably doesn't notice the errors? I guess it's more the management that are allowing these mistakes - or maybe they are not monitoring it?

I just gave a few examples of the errors there are lots more but if a word mis-spelled its mis-spelled, right?

Someone up thread is a writer and thinks IABU- sorry I can't remember their name - I'm sure whatever they publish will be proof read/checked so there are no mistakes? That's my point.

THECliffRichardSucksEggsinHell Fri 03-Jan-14 14:53:23

I have missed the post where the OP said it was a CC run thing, I thought the CC just stood for Children's Centre? Have I misread again?

Yes, surestart probably couldn't afford me, not that I'd want to charge (it's up to my discretion) as surestart provided a lifeline for me when the dcs were younger and I think they provide an excellent service.

Just making the point that some privately run children's nurseries or schools for instance, may employ a social media manager who has nothing to do with the day-to-day running of the unit and therefore their FB page doesn't accurately reflect the service they offer, since it's not written by them.

This one comes across as genuine, honest and friendly at least. But like I said, I wouldn't base my decision on a FB page, not when it comes to the care of my children.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Fri 03-Jan-14 14:49:00

Are there private children's centres?

I tend to assume CC = Surestart = local council, although obviously nursery schools can be either.

I'd be amazed if any Surestart Centre had funds for a professional social media manager!

THECliffRichardSucksEggsinHell Fri 03-Jan-14 14:37:42

Oh good MrsDeVere, and since it's no longer Christmas I should change back to Rhubs, people say I come across more aggressive with this particular user name?

Birdsgottafly can I just say how interesting your post was? I think you have a lovely way of writing smile

I agree that it does seem odd, Children's Centres run by the council will have forms and procedures when relating to social media and in fact some councils frown on it as it must be a nightmare to keep tabs on, there are so many security issues to deal with.

Where does the OP say that this centre is run by the council? Are we sure it's not private?

I also agree that someone can be more than capable of doing their job and be one of the best, yet the way they present themselves may not be everyone's cup of tea. I live down south now and people tend to be a lot more formal, I miss the familiarity of the north where you were everyone's 'love' or 'petal'.

The centre is obviously being well run and for me, that would be the most important issue. Whilst spelling and grammar on a Facebook page might piss me off, it wouldn't bother me enough to complain and I wouldn't base my decision on whether to send my kids there on the FB page alone - many establishments may have professional FB pages written by people like me who have been specifically hired to do so, that isn't a reflection on the level of service you receive with that company. A professional social media manager may not even be involved in that company. So it does seem a little trite to say that the informality of a FB page would cloud your decision as to whether to send your kids there. At the least the person who is updating it is closely involved with the centre.

MrsDeVere Fri 03-Jan-14 13:32:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NearTheWindmill Fri 03-Jan-14 13:22:25

I have read some of this but think I can draw a comparison relating to when my DC were small.

DS for three weeks attended the nursery class of a local primary school. We thought it would be ideal, dd was a baby and it was very close. The expectations were poor, the teachers' notices on the walls were incorrectly spellt and grammar was poor. I did not like it and didn't think it was appropriate as a foundation place of learning for my son. It got a poor ofsted that year, shortly after a new head and is the primary to which it is attached is now top of the league tables where we live - 16 years on. I pulled him out and sent him to a private nursery instead which met all of my expecations and his needs in a very lovely and professional way - I paid for that and had it not been an appropriate place I wouldn't have sent him in the first place.

The local one o'clock club we attended was staffed by ladies just like those described by birds but it was enriching rather than laying the cornersones of foundation education. That I think is the issue if Children's Centres are all that some families can access and are the laying the corner stones then I think they should be organised in accordance with the highest possible standards - more so than many other environments because they may be providing access to those cornerstones that the children can't access elsewhere.

Every child is entitled to the highest standards of education in all its forms and the highest expectations available. That for me is what equal opportunity is all about. Every child should have the right to develop to his or her full potential; not just the average for the local demographic he or she has happened to be born into.

mistermakersgloopyglue Fri 03-Jan-14 13:06:19

I have just checked the Facebook page of the children's centre that I go to, which is also run by a very friendly and informal bunch. They have used quite informal language (eg 'check out our new programme of events') but all the spelling is correct and there is not a kiss in sight! smile

afromom Fri 03-Jan-14 13:01:47

I'm so not miso! Whoops!

afromom Fri 03-Jan-14 13:00:39

It is quite hard to get one approved. One of the centres that work with showed me a risk assessment that had to be completed before being allowed to start a page! It was pages and pages long and they almost decided not to go ahead. That's why miso surprised that this one hasn't been more closely monitored.

Birdsgottafly Fri 03-Jan-14 12:57:23

Lots of typos.

I am wondering if the page is informal, I've just done a search and none of the CC's in the four LA's that I work across have FB pages.

Birdsgottafly Fri 03-Jan-14 12:52:56

I am in my 40's, I went to a Comp in a Thatchers hard hit underfunded, rough area of Liverpool, ironically Whinston Churchill had attended my primary school and until the late 60's the schools had excellent standards. My cousins had attend the schools fifteen years previously and had become GP's, a Biochemist and gone into Journalism.

I suffered at the low expectations put on us, as did all of my peers.

We barely left with CSE's, yet those that haven't turned to drugs, have either worked their way up or gone on to requalify, themselves, so the capabilities were there.

When I did Access, it became apparent how little we were taught, what amazed me was that one of the tutors still didn't think we needed to know the correct use of punctuation, colons, semi colons etc.

I understand that the understanding of the contant matters more than being able to spot grammatical errors, when reading Political History, Sociology, Human Struggles etc. however there was no reason as to why we couldn't of been fully educated, to the level that was being given in other schools in neighbouring towns.

The Manager (professional qualification) of the Children's Center that I am attached to calls me "love", I would like that she didn't, but the parents of our demographic like the informal touch, or they wouldn't attend, we have waiting lists. She is slightly older, but also went to a under performing school.

She is also excellent at what she does, her range of duties is staggering and she has to be fully involved in the CP process (it is a Contact Center as well). I can imagine her wanting to put kisses at the end of things, she does in informal txt, Email, she is very warm and still hasn't hardened up/become cynical after thirty years of working with all types of families.

She had to look over something I had once prepared and told me honestly she didn't understand it and felt under qualified to give an opinion, she has had to send herself on many report writing courses etc that the LA run. She has the right qualities, skills, is human enough etc "whatever" to do the job in a unique way that works for all that she comes into contact with, in any capacity.

We don't have a FB page, if we did the Managers would oversee it and the Fanily Suppirt Workers would possibly get involved, so I wonder why that isn't happening, tbh.

I have had to visit other Children's Centers (I refer carers to them, so I like to do my own checks) and they do vary, but I find that they tend to suit the people that they want through the doors and who needs the services that they are offering, so I have mixed feelings.

CC's are inspected, rated and have to justify their use of budgets and staff time, so the FB page must be working or it will be changed.

I think that, for the reasons stated above, outsiders cannot judge over the internet. I still live in Liverpool, I work across LA's, I have friends and family all over the UK, working in services and what works and is needed in Liverpool, isn't in Dorset, for example.

For that reason, any arguments are pointless, they OP could have a word about the kisses on the end, they would be stopped in Liverpool, because we have to suit a varity of Cultures.

The suggestion of a spell checker could be made, or the OP could get more involved, seeming as she does have "time in her hands".

mistermakersgloopyglue Fri 03-Jan-14 12:49:19

Yes but They are obviously not doing that. 'Grate' for 'great' and the kisses were just examples (and pretty cringey ones at that, those alone would set my teeth on edge).

I guess it depends on how much importance you place on these things. If you don't care about grammar etc that's fine, it doesn't make a page any more professional though.

THECliffRichardSucksEggsinHell Fri 03-Jan-14 12:45:45


I must be way too easy-going on these things.

THECliffRichardSucksEggsinHell Fri 03-Jan-14 12:44:38

"How they do that is up to them" yes exactly!

afromom Fri 03-Jan-14 12:44:37

Dumspiro exactly!

mistermakersgloopyglue Fri 03-Jan-14 12:43:28

And also the circumstances in this situation are irrelevant. If an organisation decides to promote itself through the medium of Facebook, or indeed in any way, then it is their responsibility to ensure that they give a professional face to the viewing public (in this case the OP). How they do that is up to them.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Fri 03-Jan-14 12:42:45

The Centre will ultimately be run by/affiliated to the local council. If the FB page is an official one it reflects back on the Centre itself and the local authority. The LA will have policies and guidelines relating to the use and management of FB pages although it may be that the SMT are unaware of them as it's unlikely to be a priority for them.

If the Centre incorporates a nursery for 3-5 year olds it will be considered a nursery school and will therefore have teaching staff in addition to nursery nurses so it could be argued that grammatical/spelling errors on the FB page would case a shadow on that aspect of it's provision.

It is quite possible that not just parents & prospective parents will view it but also other professionals, people applying for jobs at the Centre.

I think the fault here lies more with the management of the Centre either not being overly bothered about the image they are presenting and/or failing to support this woman adequately in what she's doing, and imho it's a huge mistake theses days to underestimate the power of social media.

There are even courses on how to manage social media effectively. Perhaps rather than go in complaining about this lady, who is probably doing her best with the knowledge she has, you could suggest to the managers that as she is new to this particular job, some training would help the Centre make the most of their FB presence.

THECliffRichardSucksEggsinHell Fri 03-Jan-14 12:40:43

mister good point!

Only in this instance, the examples we were given were hardly crimes of the century. She once used 'grate' instead of 'great', she put kisses at the end of one status, etc.

I would be more concerned if she was telling the world snippets about the children.

But if you look at some of the posts on here you'd think she wrote in text speak (the OP never said she did) the whole time and put up drunken snaps of herself.

Over-reaction ain't in it.

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