Just not my TYPE.

4 years ago

I took "typing" in my sophomore year of high school. It was 1979. Typing was a real thing back then. No computers, actual TYPEWRITERS. With corrector tapes and even white out. I was horrible as a typist. I never mastered the "home row". N*E*V*E*R.

My teacher stood next to me during one of our timed typing tests and placed her hand on my shoulder and whispered something to the effect of, "you will probably never be a secretary". Prophetic statement. 

I worked on my handwriting instead. 

My mother was an executive secretary for her entire working life. First for the local Juvenile Court Judge Forrest, and then for an engineering firm when the Judge retired. She was a typing phenom. I had her type a few things for me in high school. My sister, Syd is also a great typist. She is a school teacher. My baby sister, Shani, is a wizard on the keyboard as well. I just never could get it down.

In college, part of my financial aid, was contingent on me getting a "work study" job on campus. I went to an interview and they asked me if I could type. I lied, and said yes. They said I could come back tomorrow for the typing test, and based on that, I had the job. The other interviewees probably hated me. They should have come back the next day as well. I had my roomamtes show me some typing shortcuts that night, in preparation for my typing test the next day. I sucked so much we ended up just laughing at my super sad skills. The next day I dolled up for my test. I bounced into the office full of vim and vigor. The woman showed me to the desk, handed me a letter to type and stood by with her stopwatch. I was sweating bullets. I glaced at the letter, placed it on that flipping typing stand next to the typewriter and tried to memorize the thing since I knew I had to look at my hands while I typed. It was a complete disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I typed about 24 wpm, with 6 mistakes. It was tragic. I literally had sweat marks under my arms.... (It was AZ, in August though). Shockingly, I did not get that job. They were highly disappointed in my interpretation of the question, "Can you type?"

I did get a work study job in the engineering department, filing and sorting and delivering crap around to other offices. No typing required. All those geeky engineers thought I was the bee's knees. (no offense to engineers everywhere).

I never typed a single term paper or paper of any kind...ever. I paid typists to do that for me. YES...poor, white trash college student, living on student loans and kindly boys, PAID to have her shit typed. Irony at its best.

My lack of typing skills has never hindered me. As the computer age came to be, I muddled through. As Boyd and I built up his business, he thought I was a master typist. I even worked at a bank for awhile and had to type a lot. But I had my own desk and only when my new account customers were in a rush, did I get sweaty over my lack of speed.

Since becoming a mom, and a blogger, and a texter, my typing has improved dramatically. I am positively speedy. I kind of know the home row but my fingers do not enjoy that method. I mostly use my ring fingers to type. Both of them.

I typed Grace's book report for her last night. It was 3-1/2 pages. I could have really used that typewriting stand to hold up her handwritten pages. Instead I had her read it to me. She thinks I am the GREATEST typist in the world...next to Aunty Shani and Rachel (Boyd's Administrative Assistant+++). I am thrilled with her awe.

Lea has typing class once a week. Her teacher is some sort of typing savant. Wicked fast speed and she insists on the home row. Lea types like her mom. One or two fingers. Hunt and peck. Typing is an important skill. Today they call it "computer" skills.  

My girls will be able to type their own papers. Grace may prefer to "pay" someone else to do it though. I am cool with that. It is a lost art really. Computers and texting have made bad form the norm. Thumb typing and other shortcuts make the home row seem antiquated. I get that. The amount of sweat I produced because of typing rivals my 10K sweat. But the feeling of being a failure while people watched is actually palatable. It is so not a big deal anymore and I am happy about that. I bet there are some super accomplished people out there who use "unconventional" typing "FORM". I think I actually fit into that category. 

You see how I did that? I started off talking about what a typing loser I was and turned it into how accomplished I am with my meager skill set. I really should be giving a commencement address somewhere. Graduates need to hear about how you can rise above your failures and be super successful. Want to add to the visual...I am writing this with pajamas on. It is 9:21 am; I have yesterday's make up on, black patent leather sandals, a black silky nightgown and a grey hooded sweatshirt. I am sitting in my home office surrounded by paperwork. I look like an EXECUTIVE secretary...give or take a shower.

You really can hunt and peck your way to the top. If I can do it anyone can. And if you can't, pay someone else to do it for you. 

Somebody make a note of this. It is a gem of a motto. Good lord....I have lost it folks. 

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