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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who Is That Incredible Woman? Why, She Types Beautifully!

You know, of all the things that have held me back in life, I have to say that learning to type was probably my biggest mistake.

That, and learning how to make coffee (or letting anyone in an office know that I know how to make coffee).

Oh, and the felony I copped to for those years I headed up that pre-school gambling ring. That might’ve been a mistake.

But no. No. Typing has held me back the most.

But that’s ridiculous, you say! Look at you, all successfully secretary-ing and bloggedying and who knows what all! Why, you must be greatly admired for these skills!

Strangely enough, no. But you’d think so, wouldn’t you?

People say to me, “Pearl! What do you type, like, 100 words a minute?” And I say, “Why, yes! 120 on a good day!” And they say “That’s great – hey! Why don’t you run out and pick us up some sandwiches?”

See? That’s what being a really fast typist gets you. The opportunity to run and pick up sandwiches.

And don’t forget the opportunity to have someone throw a handwritten three-page document to you at 4:45 and say, “Yeah, if you could just whip this out quick and get it in the overnight mail, that would be great.”

Whip this out? Who am I, George Michael?

Did you know the Chinese word for "crisis" and "opportunity" are the same? Yeah, if you ask a native Chinese speaker if it’s true they’ll give you that special look they reserve for stupid questions, but for the moment let’s just say it’s true. Well, this week has been one opportunity after another, opportunities that have been narrowly-averted crises by my ability to type like my shirt’s on fire. And that’s important! And because I’ve been gifted with the ability to type like the very wind itself and because of my being a valued and well-regarded employee, they’ve suggested that I take Friday afternoon off, just because they love me and they think I should regroup, just to, you know, relax and – ahhh.

I can't lie to you. I'm afraid the days of the random "Honey, you've done a great job, why don't you knock off a little early? Go ahead" are over.

So what was my point? My point is, people, friends don’t let friends type. Learn something real. Learn something that doesn't require you to finish what others have started. Learn something that won’t eventually give you carpal tunnel.

Run. Save your children. Save yourselves.


By the way, peoples, this is a bit of a re-post, a bit of an edit. The lack of a home computer has me dancing -- and typing! -- as fast as I can. I'm having a hard time keeping to the daily post...

28 comments:

Tail-Kinker said...

But we are eternally grateful that you are managing to get a daily post out there to entertain us in the morning over our caffine and breakfast fuel.

Pearl said...

Tail-Kinker, that's sweet. I also think I need to write daily or risk head implosion.

dirt clustit said...

I like your posts Pearl, I've never read this one so it's not a re-post to me. Wasn't it a Chinese philosopher that said there is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people?

I wish I took a typing class. I am not super slow but I have to look at my fingers when I am doing it.

powdergirl said...

Hah, I recognized the re-post immediately! I'm quite alert after my morning coffee.

Yeah, I learned a stupid skill too. Blastings like typing in that if you're really good at it, people want you to do it all day everyday. Nobody ever asks me if I want to fly the air plane, or fuse a bunch of nucleus, or perform brain surgery. Sigh.

They never even ask if I'll make coffee. And I can Pearl, I can make the coffee.

Becky Cazares said...

As a young secretary (I'm really old now!) I quickly learned to be very mediocre at stuff I didn't want to keep doing, like typing. And gosh darn it, Mr. Not-my-boss, I must have misplaced your handwritten memo... I know it's around here somewhere and I'm sure I'll find it tomorrow afternoon...

Bee said...

When I was 15, my parents made me take a typing class so that I could work in my dad's office during the summers. Not long ago, I was talking to a very successful (and okay, a bit snobby with it) friend and she said that her ambitious father demanded that she NEVER learn to type. (Some of us are secretaries and some of us are bosses?)

Whatever. I continue to think of typing as a useful skill.

Ms Sparrow said...

Where would we all be if we hadn't learned to type? I would have spent my "career" sclepping auto parts or something!

Irisheyes said...

Here's an angle that may lessen some of your opportunities. Begin by making sludge-like coffee and as for the sandwiches, might I suggest 3-day old egg salad. That'll get em....

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Could be worse..you could be a Kindergarten aide that people just assume wants to be around children 24/7 :)

Especially at yard parties...

Could you be a lamb and just sit the kids down and lead them in a game of duck, duck, goose Rene...that'd be greeeaaat!

Peace ~ Rene

MJenks said...

No one appreciates my typing abilities. Sure, I've backed off from the 140 wpm days, but I'm still agile-fingered enough to tip tap my way through a document or blog comment quickly enough so as to not look like too much of a slacker.

Of course, if my typing capabilities are awarded with requests for retrieving some sandwiches, perhaps it's for the better.

Ms Sparrow said...

Whoops! Typo--s/b schlepping! I admit I could never have made a living as a typist!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Hahaha, touche.

I am envious though. I will never be a 120 words a minute typer. I clock in around 80-90 (depending on the words!) and in all these years I have never improved on that. Of course typing tests can bite me. I bet I'm really faster than that. (That's what I say to stop myself feeling totally inadequate, Miss 120 words)

I make exquisite coffee though. No wait. I BUY exquisite coffee. I always get those confused.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I swear I am being convinced more and more every day that my life and the world around me is all just in my head. If I think of a movie, it miraculously shows up for download on a bit torrent site. Now not one day after explaining to someone how my speeding typing means that I need as asbestos keyboard - you post something that only shows me the dark side of my gift. Carpal Tunnel will ruin me and I will be left with trying to pour coffee and make sammiches with the claws I will be left with. Thanks Kitty Kat.

Sweet Cheeks said...

I hate it when the clothes I'm wearing catch on fire...it's just so hard to explain to the fire and rescue squads that show up.

=]

mrwriteon said...

Yet I, as a journalist, would have been in the soupline if I hadn't learned to type. It was the plethora of girls in the class that drove me to take typing in HS. And I've never regretted the impulse, even though it originated with my turgid and invariably unfulfilled adolescent libido.

Sam Liu said...

120 words a minute? That is amazing! I'd love to be able to type that fast...well, I highly revere your typing skills, even if your fellow employees don't :)

Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

I, too, am a fast typist (although not as fast as YOU, Speedy!). And I can say with absolute sincerity, your words are so, so true!!

Argent said...

120 words a minute? They have to be real, actual words? Seriously, I learned the gentle art of typing years ago on an old Olivetti manual with a key travel of about three feet (so it seemed). When it came to learning the pinky finger keys it was plain brutal. I now have hands that combine the strength of a gorilla with the agility of a butterfly. Oh, wait, that should be the other way round. I became a computer programmer. No-one ever asks me to make coffee. Or sit on their knee and take things down.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl, I'm not sure I even know 120 words, and I sure as hell don't like that many. No wait, that's people. Actually, it's only twenty, now I come to think. And I am a lousy typist. See where I'm going with this? Nope, me neither. Hang on, *pats pockets* I'll just go find my point. Indigo.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I have a confession: these days I barely scrape 50wpm and consistently misspell teh word 'the.'

The last time I was asked to do a pile of last-minute typing "because you're so good at it," I had to gracefully decline as I was "practising sitting on my fat arse doing bugger all so that I can become as good at it as you are." They never asked again, don't know why not.

Tempo said...

Most of the commenters so far are thinking just like me, (poor buggers) If you dont want to be forced to do something over and over then all you have to do is to do it very badly. You wont be asked again.
My daughter sometimes made me a coffee, which she was quite good at, but at her mums she was expected to make many a day...and for all the visitors too. When she complained to me about it I taught her to make really, really bad coffees.. Her mum stopped asking her... Lesson learned!

Tempo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheeseboy said...

The pre-school gambling ring I was involved in was actually run by the mafia.

I'd like a ham and cheese on rye. Thanks, you're the best.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Why the pressure to post every day? Doesn't that take all the fun and spontaneity out of it? If I did that to myself it would result in an already thin watered-down product. In paraphrasing our beloved Charles Bukowski; writing shouldn't be a goddamn job. I've had lots of goddamn jobs and I don't want writing to be one of them.

Katherine Thomas said...

I'm with Rene, above. As an elementary teacher about ready to retire, being a secretary would be my dream job! I love organizing, and talking to people, and doing tasks that have a beginning and end, all in the same day! But I know what you mean about being good at something, and everybody expecting more of you because of it. I love your writing style, and your blog!

a Broad said...

"Whip this out? Who am I, George Michael?"
I almost couldn't go on, after reading this ...

I agree.. learn something else.. learn another language, something odd that no one else speaks.. which means skip Spanish or French.

I have a friend who speaks 7 languages...( Mandarin ??)
I can barely stand her actually .. no one should have that much memory/brain cell activity.. but she has the most wonderful jobs, because her typing is sh*t but she can talk to anyone anywhere about anything.

I live where they do not speak my native language so I am now proficient in Mime. You could consider that .

Kelley said...

I found your blog on The Blog O'Cheese and I'm glad I did! Ha! You had me laughing at so many points. I love when you talked in the post before this one about the old people looking like their faces had been carved out of apples and left out to dry. I can totally see it! I also like the typing humor. I actually took an opportunity to tell the world (oh, who am I kidding? The whole world doesn't follow my blog. I'm acutally just waiting on a follower from Uzbekistan and then I'll have the whole world following me. Mwuhahahahahaaaaaaa!!! Oh, excuse me. Sorry about that outburst and terrible tangent) what a great typist I was in my blog post tonight. By the way, can you find a place in your heart to forgive me for this ultra long comment and ultra long sentence contained within those parentheses above. We just "met" and I'm throwing words up on your very own blog page!

haphazardlife said...

Heh, I once told my niece who was contemplating a temporary job as a secretary because she couldn't find anything in her field to starve rather than get into secretarydom - cause once you end up there getting out is hell - you always stay a secretary in other people's minds - even in another company.

- Jazz