Sunday, 30 November 2014

In which I learn to type

Once upon a time there was a young girl who finished high school at 16 and was too young for university. Her parents said, "Go and learn to type. It will always come in handy." Although she did not think too much of that idea, she went to business school and learned to type (slowly) and do shorthand not very well.

She decided she wanted to work for a while to save some money for further schooling, so she applied for a job at a big insurance company. They said, "We are going to train you in an exciting new field, the world of computers." She thought, "Gotta be better than the typing pool!" She was taught to be a "key punch operator" creating the punch cards for the giant Univac computer that filled an air conditioned room with glass walls about half the size of a football field. Typing speed was not an issue, but accuracy was, and it paid pretty well. Later, she worked for a large railway doing the same thing with railcar waybills, long before the days of bar coded cars. She eventually knew the 4-letter abbreviation for just about every railway in North America.

Then she went to nursing school and finally to university to study photography. After a career in photography and when her children were small, she went back to nursing part-time and also worked in doctor's offices. Finally, when she retired she continued working at home part time online for a large hospital as a medical transcriptionist/ dicta typist.

So, as much as she hates to admit it, her parents were right. Typing did come in handy, and she still gets paid to type every day!


Richard P said...

It truly is a useful skill.

Now if I could just learn to type on a miniature touch screen using only my thumbs!

Scott Kernaghan said...

Well Tina, I'm curious to hear more of your exploits! Please continue.