40-year Veteran Proofreader Nominated for Sainthood by Co-workers

Convinced that Sheila Cooper must have a direct connection to the Lord by repeated findings of crucial typographical errors in completed documents, her co-workers have written to the Vatican asking that her miracles be documented and that she be made a saint.

"She's unbelievable," said Walt Connors, her long-time supervisor. "We can hand her a 500-page proposal that's been proofed a dozen times, and she'll open it right up to the page with the devastating error no one had seen."

Sheila Cooper has worked for Southern Electric for forty years, documenting everything from tank schematics to router tables. Known early on for her writing skills and her savage red pen, her incredible abilities led to greater emphasis on her participation in the last stages of projects. Recent "saves" include the obscene misspelling of the name of sheik to whom a project was being proposed and a footnote in the company history that suggested the company had been founded in January 1914 rather than December 1913.

Ms.Cooper, while flattered by the awe of her co-workers, denies that there's anything supernatural about her work. "It just happens," she says, noting that it's usually easier to do with documents she's read before or helped write.

Her assistant reports that keeping Ms.Cooper's schedule in order to maximize her availability to projects is constantly more difficult. "People just run off when she finds the first typo, shouting excitedly about how they're going to fix it. Then later it occurs to them that maybe there's more than one typo and they need to schedule another appointment. Somehow, it always ends up on a holiday weekend."

At the Vatican, there was polite but limited interest. "We understand that she's a Presbyterian, which limits our options," said Msgr. Paolo Typini of the Curia. "On the other hand, if she can do that for Italian and Latin, we'd certainly be interested in setting up a job interview."

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Copyright 1999-2003 by Simon St.Laurent.