Connect Series: Meet Zinnie Breitkreutz

Zinnie is our documents specialist and copy editor. In addition to editing written content for Reportex, she is involved in quality control and the preparation of various documents and appeal products. Zinnie was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and has loved the written word for as long as she can remember (as a child she could never understand why finding errors in books, menus and signs exhilarated her!). She currently lives in Beaumont, Alberta, with her husband and three school-aged kids.

While editing and proofreading are indeed skills that can be learned, what innate personality type do you think it takes to be an expert QC collaborator and copy editor?

While I’m not sure there is a specific personality type, I know there are definitely certain traits that anyone in this line of work needs to have. When you spend your days happily hunting for errors and inconsistencies, conscientiousness is crucial in order to stay focused and finish tasks meticulously. Perfectionism is a blessing and a curse — editors have to strive for perfection but not obsess over it and risk getting bogged down. It’s also important to be able to look at documents with curiosity and a critical eye, not being afraid to research things, point out weaknesses and make suggestions. Humility is also a beneficial trait since editors don’t generally feel the need for recognition; we tend to enjoy staying behind the scenes.

At Reportex our core values of team, mentorship, equality, community and industry are central to what we do. Veritext’s mission and corporate values dovetail nicely to our already solid foundation. Together we aim to be respectful, ethical, collaborative, accountable and professional. Can you tell us which of these values resonates most strongly with you and why?

Team and collaborative are at the top of my list, without a doubt. I am so grateful for the people I get to work with. Many people I know dread meetings, but I get to look forward to them! Drama with co‑workers? Pressure from superiors? Nope! I have a tremendous sense of gratitude for the fact that I have such a positive work environment. The most challenging projects and tight deadlines can be experienced in a completely different way when you’re working alongside the most amazing team.

Sometimes I pause and think about just how much effort goes into producing a single transcript or appeal product, and it’s incredible. I’ve always been impressed at how much we value quality at Reportex — enough to invest whatever is needed to ensure that we are delivering top-notch products every single time. This simply couldn’t happen if each member of our team didn’t have a pivotal role to play in the collaborative process.

We talk quite a bit about wellness and self-care on our blog and internally through our Teams channels. Do you have a favourite way to recharge or any tips for staying healthy mentally and physically?

Although I’ve always viewed wellness as incredibly important, I had a very disordered way of approaching it until I entered my 30s. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned over the years is that I don’t have to be perfect or live up to societal standards. I do try to incorporate intentional movement into each day, and that’s always a great choice for both my mental and physical health — but I certainly don’t do it because someone else says I should! The most important thing to me is being my best self and doing what feels good to me on any given day or in a given season of life. For instance, I might run and do strength training most days one week, and the next week I might decide that long walks and yoga feel best. One day I’ll crave and enjoy salad for lunch, but the next day might be pizza or a couple of chocolate chip cookies. I’ve found it extremely freeing to give myself permission to take up space in the world, learn how to listen to my body, find balance and avoid comparison. This, for me, is true wellness and self-care.

My faith keeps me grounded, especially in the tumultuous time we’re living in. I’m a very early riser since I love the stillness of mornings, and that’s when I’m most productive and energized. I also love a lot of random things that keep me feeling great mentally and physically (even though my husband likes to tease me for the array of comfort items and routines that I have). These are a few of my favourite things (and yes, whiskers on kittens would be on the expansive list if I had an unlimited word count!): essential oils, lots of water, my body pillow, Netflix, daily chocolate, intuitive-ish eating, kombucha, good books, buttery popcorn, coffee/tea and lingering hugs from my kids.