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I Miss My Typewriter – and other January tidbits

January 29, 2012
Mary Jane Copps

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 Phew! January delivered some technology challenges which prevented me from posting my blog, but I believe all is well now. I’m very glad to be back.

While I was struggling with the minutia of launching the new website I had a moment of tremendous nostalgia about my typewriter, a wonderful and dependable IBM Selectric. Here are my top ten reasons from missing the “old” technology: 

10. The motion of hitting the keys did not result in serious injury to fingers or wrists – and may have been a good outlet for frustration;

9. While the keys did become stuck from time to time, they never froze on the page preventing me from finishing a document; 

8. I knew how to remove the carriage myself if there was ever a serious paper jam – or an adhesive label gone wild!; 

7. The spacing never altered itself, or insisted on staying in double space for a reason beyond my understanding. (There was a lever near my right hand that allowed me to change the spacing from 1 to 1.5 or 2.); 

6. I never had to restart or refresh my typewriter; 

5. Colours didn’t suddenly appear mid-sentence. (Colour wasn’t even an option on most typewriters. At some point I did have a typewriter with a ribbon divided in half so you could switch between black and red ink.); 

4. Fonts didn’t suddenly change mid-sentence. (Different fonts happened by flipping up a little tab on the top of the metal ball that held all the characters and exchanging it with another metal ball. I think I had two choices – New Times Roman and perhaps Courier.); 

3. My typewriter never had a “new version” with a time-consuming learning curve; 

2. A document never vanished from sight, without warning; and, my number one reason … 

1. I never once called for support! 

Now, of course, I do recognize the value of the technology in our lives. In my first company, Media Link, we did direct mail campaigns several times each year. They were painful. We would design a new brochure or letter, choose the 3,000 or so potential clients (from our library of 12,000 index cards) for the mailing list, address the envelopes, stamp the envelopes and take them to the post office. Today, I’ll reach 500 people with this blog with a few quick clicks of my mouse. Amazing! 

But as I worked through the challenges of the past few weeks I realized that just the basics of technology have advanced, in some ways, beyond my understanding. And this is where my frustration blossoms. I’ve pretty much been on my own since the age of 12; independence is second nature. To find myself needing help consistently drives me crazy! 

I’ve committed to paying more attention this year, to trying to “keep up” with the technology I use and need. What about you? Are you able to keep pace with the technology you are using? Are there “old fashioned” methods or equipment you miss? 

I’m thrilled to have started this year working with my friend Sheila Blair Reid, as well as Brookes and Fiona Diamond, creators of DRUM! I encourage you to learn more about their project by visiting this website: http://bit.ly/yoTNRD 

Okay, next week I’ll be back on track, talking about all things sales and telephone communication. Until then, I leave you with this anonymous quote: 

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” 

Enjoy your phonework! TPL 

P.S. At this new website of mine you can now subscribe to my blog as an RSS feed. Please let me know if this is your choice and I’ll take you off the weekly email list. Thanks. TPL

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Anna says:

    Hi Mary Jane

    I don’t think I could ever have been a writer in the days of the typewriter, but nevertheless I’m still a cave woman when it comes to new technology, so I really empathize! I’m trying to figure out blogging and social media myself… it’s one of my goals for this year!

    thanks for all the good words,
    Anna

  2. Linda Daley says:

    #3 above really resonates with me. The new learning curve has become a part of so much we do these days. I do remember how excited I was as a young girl when Dad would bring home one the the big electric typewriters from work for a weekend – and coloured paper 🙂

    • The Phone Lady says:

      OOOO – coloured paper! I’d forgotten how exciting it was to have coloured paper available. My … that has certainly changed!

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