Yesterday, I was having a dialog about typos with fellow blogger Harper Faulkner who has a great blog, All Write (and who is on my blog roll of course!) And I was reminded of the career I used to have as the World’s Worst Secretary.
When I graduated from high school back in the year 19mumble, I was all set to go away to a four-year college in the fall. Well, for reasons I can’t exactly remember (I didn’t pay much attention back then), that plan fell through at the last minute.
Suffice it to say, my safety wasn’t Harvard. It was the local community college that, as luck would have it, had established itself the same year I graduated. Being a new college, it offered two courses: Secretarial training and nurses training.
I chose secretarial training because having just seen the movie, Mash, I imagined the job of a nurse to be just like a Mash unit where people lined up around the block waiting to get in while blood squirted out of their every artery, vein and orifice.
Besides, I already knew how to type having taken typing class my sophomore year in high school — where I practiced typing everyday for an entire school year. (And this was back when kids went to school five days all in a row, each and every week.)
You’d think I would have become a pretty decent typist . . . you’d think.
The first day of high school typing class, I actually got my fingers caught between the manual typewriter keys. I was hopeless at typing. Heck, I could draw better than I could type and, as you know, my drawing skills suck like a collapsed straw.
Anyway, since I now found myself painted into a backwater community college corner, I chose to study the art of the secretary — despite my uncoordinated typing skills. My mind was made up. I would get myself a one-year secretarial certificate or I would get every finger permanently stuck in a manual typewriter trying!
My college typing teacher would hand my assignments back with comments like:
Linda, five full minutes of typing and you only managed 27 words AND with 3 errors? See me after class.
Linda, there is no 7 in the word brown. See me after class.
I eventually found out, through trial and error, that I was a much better typist using just one finger.
So what saved my secretarial career was the fact that I was a whiz at shorthand. I could take shorthand like nobody’s business. Only trouble was they were using shorthand in nobody’s business — thanks to some slick, new technology called a dictaphone.
Still, relying on my impressive shorthand skills, and the fact that potential bosses were always overly impressed by my ability to repeat back to them what they had just said (Oh I could take a letter alright, I just couldn’t give it back), I managed to worm my way into a job as the World’s Worst Professional Secretary!
Which just goes to show you what a person can do if they will just put their mind to it.
Until next time . . . I love you