I can’t do the keyboard that came with my Apple computer. The touch is too soft. I tend to hammer keys when I type and the corresponding clatter acts as confirmation that I’ve clobbered the targeted letter! I’m fairly certain I would batter the slim little Apple keyboard into oblivion, which is why, in my home office, I keep my more cumbersome keyboard connected.
I type with two fingers at breakneck speed. If you require reams of news copy written, I’m good to go! I can handle stacks of television scripts, mounds of commentaries and piles of email correspondence. If I need to write editorials, speeches, releases, statements, stories, articles, memos, notices, columns, posts, blogs or lyrics, rest assured, my Neanderthal knuckles can make it happen.
Whenever I arrive at a new workplace, there is a “peer amazement period” during which people gasp and gawk at the speed of my two-finger typing. In newspaper, television and radio newsrooms, my uncouth technique does the trick. I get the copy written by deadline, without breaking a sweat.
I learned to type on clunkers and plunkers; manual typewriters with ink ribbons on spools. They were no luxury! In fact, I can remember in one newsroom, watching a manual typewriter fly through the air behind me, as an exasperated colleague cursed loudly. The typewriter landed with a rattling thud on the linoleum floor, leaving a fairly impressive gash. I promised I would not reveal the name of the woman, man, or cyborg responsible, so that’s all I have to say about that.
Electric typewriters were impressive when they arrived on the scene and word processors were something out of the distant future, seemingly developed and perfected on the deck of the USS Enterprise.
Where I am currently working, the “peer amazement period” apparently continues, with people still making comments almost every day about the speed of my two-finger typing. Even the painter on hand to finish office renovations came over to my desk to remark on the speed of my typing.
Normally, colleagues get used to the speed and the noise. My latest workplace has proven to be the exception. Newsrooms are generally busy places with considerable bustle. My current workplace tends to be much quieter which, unfortunately, draws more attention to my loud typing. I came into work Monday to discover my keyboard had been changed. Apparently, colleagues working nearby had complained about the volume of my typing. I asked that the original keyboard be put back.
What do you want from me? I am a child of typing’s Mesozoic period, when the typing of words necessitated serious plunking on serious clunkers. In the newsroom where I worked, journalists had to type hard enough on manual typewriters that the copy was legible on three sheets of paper with two sheets of carbon paper in between. Neanderthal typing skills were required.
|The pad that could save the day|
Today, from where I sit, the manipulation of graphemes and words on devices is in its glorious phase. In the future, people will need only think words to have them appear on paper or, even eerier, minds will be linked telepathically. I’m not sure I want to go there.
For the time being, I have my keyboard back. The IT people at my current workplace searched high and low for some kind of foam, rubber, or sponge cushion to put underneath my keyboard. They found one, and now the hope is that this pad between the underside of the keyboard and the surface of the desk will reduce noise resonation.
I will fervently object to any suggestion that I modify my typing style on the grounds it would seriously compromise my productivity and, in all likelihood, my mental health! I couldn’t possibly keep reminding myself to tread lightly. It’s inescapable; when it comes to typing, I’m a Type A typer.