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Dear God...

From our temp:

"I've never used a typewriter before, but I'll figure it out."

When did I get old?



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know...
Janelle and Nora never used a typewriter before they came to us... Didn't everyone always have a computer? And then Marilyn (who has been a secretary upstairs since high school and is older than I am and has been there over 30 years)and I said to each other, "Do you remember carbon paper? Yes, and before they had lift off tape...and when Whiteout was a liquid and was NEW...." Yes, sigh, somewhere, along the way, the typewriter is sort of like the dodo. However, ask any mortgage company about the documents that they send out for closings the "must be typed", but can't be altered in the email format. Someone has to have a typewriter. That would be me. I still conform all the documents prior to signature, typing in the dates, names, etc. So what do all the other law firms do? And what happens when the system goes down? Yes, I have typed letters on my typewriter on printed letterhead and mailed them out. Yes, I even typed a warranty deed once when the system crashed. Bloomberg forms are wonderful. Have faith, some of us remember...!
Aug. 18th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Yes, I know...
My first office job was for Datacomm Leasing Corp - I got it because while I didn't have the fastest typing test, it was perfect. The lease documents were typed with three sheets of carbon paper, so you couldn't make mistakes.

Lift tape was *expensive* - you didn't want to make too many mistakes... and then they made correction *ribbons*... heck, we still have a manual typewriter in the crawl space. It was a big deal when we bought the ELECTRIC typewriter.

There was one afternoon when every print server in the company went down and the contract HAD to go out via overnight in five minutes - I typed it all out fast and got it out the door.

Heck, there's a corporate form we have to return to the Canadian government every year that has to be typed - and get it all in the boxes on the form...

Aug. 21st, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Yes, I know...
And mimeographs... I shudder to think of how much I liked the smell of that purple crap!
Aug. 19th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
We learned 'keyboarding' in high school (around 1994) on electric typewriters. I've never used a non-electrical one though so I don't know if it counts. I was almost born with a computer...we got our first one when I was 8 (1986...it was a Tandy 1000) an age that you don't remember much before, so I don't really remember a time before computers, and I'm not that young. Of course, we had a home computer years before most people in the community did (I don't live in a city) so that accounts for some of it. My dad always had the latest in computer technology for those first eight or ten years...it was more interesting back then, seeing these big jumps in the usefulness of the thing...like upgrading from the huge true floppies to what were then called 'hard disks', and finally to CD-rom...dot matrix to laser...all of that.
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
My dad was the same way, but he worked in the industry. I remember he brought home one of the first "portable" computers for us to see - I think it weighed 20 lbs.
Aug. 19th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
Growing up, I learned how to use a manual typewriter. My parents still have theirs.

Some people are just sheltered, I guess... But the face of the keyboard never changes. You hit a key. It makes a letter. (Except you can't erase as easily with typewriters as you can with the backspace or delete buttons on a computer keyboard).

Me? I would have been tempted to hand her an abacus, just to be evil. ;)
Or a slide rule.
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
I can't really say anything - I don't know how to use either. We do have two slide rules somewhere. Dorigen looked really sad when I found one in a box, held it up and said "what's this?"
Aug. 19th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, we are getting old. These kids (unless they went to a bankrupt school district) have never smelled the awesome aroma of freshly printed mimeographs, either.

I had my rude awakening this summer--it seemed like everytime I made a culture reference that would have had people ROFLing any other time, I got blank looks. (No one had seen "The Princess Bride", for example. Really?) A lot of memes dying by the wayside...
Aug. 19th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
BTW: These were graduate students. Early-to-late-twenties.
Aug. 20th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
Mimeographs....ah the fresh fumes, purple print and slightly damp paper. I can still hear the rhythm of the machine...kachunk, kachunk, kachunk. Wow, does that bring back memories!! Mom was a teacher for years, and then I followed (briefly) in her footsteps...in a Catholic school that couldn't afford a big copier. The veterans were stunned when I exclaimed, "Oh, cool!! A mimeograph!!!"

A coworker has earrings made from old manual typewriter keys. I complimented her on them and asked how many people actually know what they're from. "Not many," was the response.

Yup, hon, we're old. I'm just impressed that she was perfectly willing to "figure it out." Some don't even want to touch them.
Aug. 20th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
She's a newly minted college grad who's had a look at the job market, and she's one of those really sweet kids who really want to please.

She also majored in sports management, so she REALLY doesn't want to screw this job up.
Aug. 20th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm. Mimeographs... We called them "dittos."
Aug. 21st, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
Yup. I only knew what they were called 'cause well, it was mom and you had better know the proper name if you're going to use the vernacular.

I have a feeling there aren't many of us left who've actually written up assignments on those!
Aug. 21st, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
And then there are those of us who fantasize about splurging on one of these...
Aug. 23rd, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
In the fall of '87 when I was a freshman at Penn, I brought a manual Olivetti with me. Sophomore year, I didn't bother. This was the beginning of the end of the typewriter.

When laser printers became affordable, typewriters became a relic suitable only for specialized tasks such as filling in multipart forms for bureaucratic entities that had not yet caught on to the productivity gains of perfect facsimiles.

So...you've been old most of the time we've known eachother.

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )