I love writing but, regrettably, I have the typing skills of a St. Bernard, big paws and too much drool. This conflict has led me to some unusual experiences.
Back when we still used manual typewriters my time was mostly spent tossing out wrecked pages and no longer usable carbon paper. Then we advanced to correcting typewriters. That was a big improvement. I could ruin carbon paper even faster. But the biggest advance for me was, as my friend once said, “You can type faster backward than forward.” Not everyone can brag about that skill.
Eventually, we had computers in the workplace and were expected to work even faster. The good part was that I could edit on the screen and print out a clean copy for the boss. He was happy with that improvement, he just couldn’t figure out why it took me five times longer to generate a letter than the other program assistants. Well, I was still typing backwards, so to speak. My right little finger is just a bit longer and wider than the left because it grew and developed strong muscles from repeated trips to the backspace key.
The biggest improvement was the internet. I could look up information for the boss, and play Solitaire during my lunch break. Let’s talk about the Solitaire first. It provided me with the opportunity to buy a whole new wardrobe. Since I no longer walked with my friends during our break, I became horizontally enhanced.
Now to looking up information, while checking flights to Washington, D.C, I hit the wrong key and was taken to a site that burned my eyeballs and sent my brain into a catatonic state. Since I was incapable of retreating, I was at the site longer than was excusable as a typing mistake. I was told to pack my bags and leave immediately. How was I to know that watching porn on office time is considered a Class A work violation, no second chances?
That led to my early retirement. Because of my embarrassing dismissal I was considered an undesirable potential employee. So now I write blogs and email my friends way too often. Those are mostly harmless hobbies, except when I hit the wrong key. I sent my pastor a video of a Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance but he received a video of two dogs doing the same thing that got me fired from my job. Now I’m looking for a new church. How was I to know that hitting the wrong key is a mortal sin?
P.S.: Thank you to my friend, John A. for the writing prompt. This was so much fun.
© Sharon D. Dillon, August 20, 2015
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com