Typing Test

Ifyou can raed this I am editing my work too mch.

In my early career days, I was often dissatisfied with my job. I came to New York to be a Creative, to act, to write, and then I retreated into a retail job that eventually became a retail career. But I had some really bad years and, when the store – my store, that I was responsible for – flooded and my boss did a store visit during my busiest time of day, a time when the store was so full that you couldn’t walk through it and flung her feedback to me on a sheet yellow legal notepad paper that I let drift to my feet because I was too busy ringing up customers to be bothered to read the list of what I already knew I was doing wrong and needed to fix, or when the stock room was condemned or a customer called to tell me that my security guard had exposed himself to her, or a bad guy stuck a gun in my ribs and took all the money and the duck-taped my hands behind my back and my life flashed before my eyes, I resolved to get out to get back to being a creative.

And, not knowing then what I know now, I’d call employment agencies and try to get them to send me out to do the kind of job that I knew in my heart I could do. And, being the dark ages, they would have me take a typing test.

A typing test.

Because if you were a young woman in those days, you couldn’t get a job unless you could type a certain number of words per minute.

In vain, I would protest that I didn’t want a job typing. I wanted a job training people or doing something where I could make decisions and organize processes or develop strategies or any of the things that I do now.

And they would say, “Your typing is too slow and you make too many mistakes.”

And I would say, “No one uses typewriters anymore, you jerk.”

And then I would go back to my day job.

I was thinking about this, this morning, when I was typing my Morning Pages. I know it’s cheating to type your morning pages, as opposed to handwriting them. The reason it’s a cheat is because when you type on the computer, you are automatically copy-editing your work. You backspace and fix the typos, which slows you down, and you are constantly perfecting perfecting perfecting. I can tell when my nails are too long because I have to do more backspacing.

Now that we’re all showing off our typing on video calls – here, I’ll just share my screen and take notes and you can let me know if I’m capturing what you said accurately – I’ve become more aware of keeping my nails short because it is really annoying to watch someone correct their typos. It really slows down the brainstorming process. So it’s better not to do that, and just correct them afterwards.

Isn’t it funny how we’re all always correcting our typos, trying to make ourselves look just a little less error-prone, a little more perfect. Rather than writing an entire blog and then fixing the typos – which would be much better for my writing – I have to fix them as I go along. I’m doing it right now and now that i’m aware of it, it’s making me crazy. And it makes me want to get up right now and cut my nails because I can’t stand making so many mistakes, watching them show up on the screen.

I am a very fast and accurate computer typist. Much faster than most people I have worked with.

But those jerks were right: as a typist, I am too slow and I make too many mistakes.

That’s why I’m not a typist.

p.s. I was required to take Typing in high school and failed it. I didn’t really learn to touch type until I got a fancy, split, ergonomic keyboard 10 years later which came with a disk that included typing exercises that were like video games, and I had to do them to use the keyboard. And now I am fast and can correct my mistakes so quickly it’s almost invisible as I type. But I do need to keep my nails short.

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