Friday, October 15, 2010

But I hate typing

     I hated typing class in junior high school. Primarily the problem was and still is I like to watch what my hands are doing. We were expected to have our eyes on the thing we were copying and not look at our hands. Our progress was measured by speed and accuracy. Here's what happened.  Words were defined as any five characters correctly placed on the paper. When time was applied  to the the equation and you could arrive at words per minute rate. If you "misspelled" a word it was counted against your wpm. It became possible to type at negative words per minute rate. I usually typed at a negative thirty words per minute. I was getting faster, as time progressed, some times I could get the rate up to negative 35. wpm. One day the instructor in her wisdom decided we would be graded on our improvement. The ones showing the most improvement would get the best grade. Light bulbs came on. I typed one word accurately in that minute test. To go from negative 35 wpm to one word per minute is a large percentage improvement! Boy was the teacher POed about that one.  The principal agreed with me.
     Bob on the other hand, a class mate of mine and still a close friend, only showed a dismal improvement of five words from his rate of 35 wpm to 40.  Bob would go on to greater things. His typing would prove to be an important skill. Bob owned a printing company and had ghost written a couple of books before he took the job as a Navy reserve recruiter. He was assigned to a base in the middle of Iowa. I always found that to be somewhat humorous. I'd frequently ask him where his ship was. He never found that amusing. I think because not having a ship was part of the problem. Bob started recruiting sailors by doing about the only thing he could do to increase awareness.  He started writing. He wrote articles of all kinds. about being in the Navy. Then he started submitting the articles to newspapers and magazines. The articles got printed and taken seriously by professionals of all kinds. Dentists and doctors found his message useful as they considered their careers.
     Bob explained it to me this way. People in the news industry have a serious problem. They continually face a deadline. They have a limited amount of time to produce a quality product. When he presented a well written article to them he was making their daily job a bunch easier. They love it. Bob's career blossomed.
    Bob had the almost unlimited ad budget of the Navy Reserve behind him yet the articles he was writing were proving to be effective.  Toward the end of his career he had many people under his command all of them could type better than him.  I will continue to salute his uncommon thinking.  

1 comment:

  1. Even if you can type well, it's best not to let people know. You will end up doing the typing and not the creative work.