Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks??
I’m pretty sure that was a rumor started by young dogs. But Boomers don’t buy into that idea. We never have. Just look at the changes in our lifetimes! Amazing! We’re used to learning new things.
I took typing in high school and learned to attain the coveted goal of 60 words per minute on a manual typewriter. The reason that was good, other than an ‘A’ in typing class, is that Personnel offices, (aka Human Resources) always administered typing tests to aspiring Clerk Typists. The going speed for Clerk Typists B, (the “B” team) was 40 wpm, Clerk typists ‘A’s, the stars, earned 50 cents more per hour for their additional 20 wpm.
Try to keep in mind that there were no fancy features like cut and paste or spell check etc. If you made an error, it was out with the ink eraser trying deftly not to rub a hole in your document paper which was still in the typewriter. We completed the job by tapping the correct spelling key over the roughed-up paper. Duplicate copies were a whole new ballgame.
Second copies were made with a piece of carbon paper between two sheets of paper because this was a world before copy machine availability. “Start over” was an often-heard response when handing in the company’s proposal to bid for an outside job.
This was followed by an electric typewriter with variable spacing so if you put an ‘o’ where an “m” needed to go, the roughly erased spot wasn’t big enough for the wider “m”.
Remember how we made copies?
Of course, improvements followed for typists’ errors as well. The carbon had to be corrected by erasing the second sheet, then cutting a small piece of fresh carbon paper and applying it to the second sheet for the keystroke to strike the unused carbon paper.
Brilliant smiles on typists with a collective sigh of relief could be heard when
Bette Nesmith Graham invented liquid correction fluid in 1951! She was working as a typist and invented the fluid in her kitchen before founding her very successful company, Liquid Paper.
The second paradigm in the lowly but valuable typists’ evolution was, of course, the copy machine. No more battles with the carbon paper. All you needed was permission to stand in line at the specially trained “Copy Girl’s” station to have your document, covered in correction fluid, reproduced with a push of a button. Hail the Copy Machine.
That scenario pretty much held up till the late 1980’s when the first personal desktop computers became readily available in some forward thinking businesses. Of course by then you were entrusted to take your documents to the copier and make your own copies and correction tools for typists became a thing of the past.
Old dog—new tricks!!
Are you kidding? The learning curve was well worth the aggravation and time saved by the features offered by Word Processors and Personal computers.
We’re still like that. Who wants to go back to drying clothes on a clothesline?
Boomers embrace change. In fact, today’s changes are so rapid fire that very few, young or old, can keep up with the latest. Check out these inventions from the past 50 years.
At the leading edge of the Baby Boomers, I still remember going to the Ice House in town to buy a block of ice, bring it home and put in the top tray of the “icebox.” There’s a welcome change!
I’m sure there are things that you have learned in the last 10-20 years that you never imagined you would try.
We’d love to hear about the new tricks you’ve learned in the past few years.