The actual worth of a signature
By Zan Azlee
Whenever I write an article, produce a film or take a photograph, I make sure that I do my best because when it gets published, it will bear my name.
That is what it means to earn a byline. Basically, when you put your name to it, it means that you are responsible for it and your reputation is staked on it.
When I got my first job, I had to sign an employment acceptance agreement and it meant that I accepted all the terms and conditions attached to it as well.
My employer signed too and it meant that the organisation that I now worked for had a responsibility to fulfill to me as well. Both parties put their name to it.
When I bought my first property, I remember that I had to go through a lot of legal documents, and lots of it required my initials and even my full signature.
It would mean that I would accept responsibility for the loans that I was undertaking and also that the property would now belong to me (or by proxy of the bank!).
The lawyers gave me a lot of advice and consult. So did my father, who is very familiar with real estate. And I understood clearly what I was putting my name on to.
Working as a journalist for the past 16 years, I also understand the procedure in the newsroom for a particular story to be published or broadcast.
A reporter would write the story and it would then be cleared by at least two other people, a sub editor and an editor. Bigger stories sometimes even went through more pairs of eyes.
And every individual puts his or her name to it to make sure that they are responsible for the story they vetted and cleared through at their own stage.
Both my parents were bankers and they used to tell me about the different banking procedures that required check and balance that was very similar to what I am familiar with in a newsroom.
They had clerks who would have to be cleared by officers, then managers and so on and so forth. And as the clearance rises through the chain of command, so does the responsibility.
In any corporation or organisation, the heads and leaders of the group would always have the final responsibility. They sign off on agreements, budgets, contracts, approvals, rejections, etc.
The procedures are put in place for a reason. The formality has an objective and that is to make sure things are done responsibly and to minimise errors and mistakes as much as possible.
So, whenever you are to put your signature and name down on something, make sure that you are ready to accept all responsibility for it. Everybody understands that. Just saying.