What I see is what you get….

Today’s prompt is Ready, Set, Done  to write for 10 minutes about any subject and then post it with either no editing or very little.  I wouldn’t subject you to a post like that as my first drafts don’t make much sense –  they’re jottings, disconnected sentences, and punctuation?  what’s that!

But, the prompt reminded me of another life when I worked as the PA (personal assistant) to a woman who owned & ran a gym with over 2,000 members.  She would write her letters & memos in an exercise book and when she was ready to send something out she’d hand me the book and point out the, not necessarily sequential, pages to be typed; pages that looked like they were filled with chicken scratch.  I’m a touch typist and I can type fast; very fast.  But, given the length of time between her handing me that book and me giving her back a first draft you’d think I was still typing on the little portable typewriter I learnt to type on!   You know, the ones that came in a little carry case and where the “keyboard” was too small for your fingers and keys would come up in multiples and get stuck together! 

She would go through my first attempt and mark up the “errors” in exactly the same illegible scribble!  I’d be back at the golfball 3 or 4 times before it was acceptable.  One day she handed me the exercise book and pointed out the pages she wanted transformed into a beautiful business letter.  I set to work ……and typed exactly what I was seeing.   I typed it directly on letterhead and, as I handed it to her, I proudly announced that I’d finally conquered her handwriting so the letter wouldn’t need any revision.  In my mind I can still see her expression as she looked at the  gooblydedook on the page – I think she wondered if I’d suffered some cerebral episode!  ..  Then we both laughed and she tried really hard after that to straighten up her scribble.



18 responses

    • Oh thank you MG. It was a fun job that most of the time didn’t really feel like a “real” job. There are many funny stories from that period – mostly to do with my own attempts at exercising. The fact that I worked there did not mean I could coordinate myself in an aerobics class – 🙂 but I loved doing weights so I trained to become an instructor and got a lot of satisfaction helping members with their programs.

  1. At least she recognized how awful her handwriting and thought processes were and could laugh at them. I used to be the newsletter editor for a church; there was one woman, the chair of some committee, who would hand in these awful scribbled notes on notebook paper and assume I would magically turn them into an article. I could barely read her handwriting, let alone make sense of her directions. (“Insert picture here.” What picture? She didn’t supply one, or even describe what sort of picture she wanted with the announcement.) I finally complained to the minister that it was impossible to interpret her garbage, which must have gotten back to her. She came in one day with this grim look and told me she had never learned to type, nor did she have a typewriter, so I would just have to suck it up. (She actually used something even more rude than that. So much for being a good Christian.) I told her I wouldn’t run her group’s announcements if she was going to make a volunteer job more difficult than it was already.

    The minister stepped in and said from now on, he would produce the newsletter. It was fine by me, but not surprisingly, the woman with the terrible handwriting quit her committee post.

  2. Mr FD’s hand writing is horrible, not helped by a hand injury from when he tried to push his hand through a grain auger, but we are all thankful for computers and text messages these days, lessening the need to read his writing! Try to read, that is!

  3. Pingback: Incandescent Joy – The 3rd of October 2007 – Evanston, Illinois | Forgotten Correspondence

  4. Pingback: Ready, Set, Done | Blogged With Words

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