Sunday, February 21, 2010

Job Skills

Do you think this is what the boss is picturing when he says they aren't going to assign "older workers" to certain assignments? Heck, if someone isn't concerned with age discrimination, why would they worry about child labor laws?

Meet Alexander James Chavez. Son of my nephew Manny, and his wife, Krista.

Proud papa describes his prodigy son's activities, "Yeah. He's workin' on updates. He said something about the "host servers bandwidth and network conflicts. I dunno, these kids and
their computers. He said maybe mid week... "

Learning to use a computer came much later in life for me. My Hispanic mother never typed. Women with college degrees didn't type back then. At least not educated women from Puerto Rico. They paid other people to type for them. My mother explained- "If a woman learns to type- she will be locked in an office doing other people's work and never be paid properly."

So I vowed never to type more than I had to.

In His infinite wisdom- or is it His sense of humour, I gave to God my life to do with as He pleased, and God decided I should become a writer.

Getting me in front of the keyboard was the first order of business. Keeping me there was the next challenge. I learned that to type was so painful for me- anything I typed was memorized. The first real exercise of this skill- a list of student and parent names for the Maple Hill Elementary School. My husband offered to type it- but with hundreds of exotic names like Maninder and Zenobia- I didn't want to make Gerry's kind offer into a test of our marriage's strength. So one finger at a time, my fingers crawled over where they now run and leap. The keyboard.

The moral: Keep your options open. Don't let prejudice keep you from building skills. I thought typing would close off the opportunities in life. Turned out to be the one skill I had to have to use every other asset I bring to any assignment.


  1. Lydia,
    Weren't mothers funny back then? My mother INSISTED I learn to type and take shorthand! I told her "....but I want to get married, not get a job!!" She told me that I needed skills for a job whether I got married or not!
    I wanted to drop shorthand but she said NO!! Then I wanted to take photography as an elective and she said NO! She said that wasn't going to get a girl a job!
    Well, I did as I was told and turned out to be good advise. I was a speed typist and shorthand taker! I was an engineering secretary for five years before I started a family. (John and I waited for six years to have our first baby for practical reasons)

    In my case, mother knew best! I love my computer, as you well know, and am so glad I can whip out a long letter in no time!

    Hugs, Trisha

  2. 'morning Trish. I'm quite sure mothers are always "funny" to their children.
    Actually, by the time my parents were faced with 3 girls needing typing done for college, mom was over the idea that you hired people to do your typing.

  3. LOL, I too, like T, took typing and shorthand but with the thought "I don't want to be a secretary!" And I never was, and the skills were forgotten. Then when I got a job as a 911/Calls for Service operator in my 40's, with not many typing skills, I HAD to learn, and FAST! It's so much easier to type on a computer keyboard instead of an old manual, which was what I learned on. Then came the electric. They were cool. And you didn't have to 'throw' the carriage! I was decent on one of those, but after computers, they became door stops!

    Liked your blog. In today's world I wonder how many young people will be able to type with anything othere than their thumbs!!! :O)
    xo Oregon Sue

  4. Oregon Sue- If commentary keeps heading the way it is currently- where communication is by thumbs and limited to 140 characters- then we will have lost a good deal of richness in life. Long live typing! May we live forever where words work to show what matters.

  5. Great Story, Lydia. The ironies of life and the fascinating things that are put before us....
    LOVE that picture of that dear tiny little boy already at the Computer. As natural as breathing when you are that young.
    I taught myself to type with one finger because I wanted to write, and my Handwriting was pretty much unreadable, even to me, as a little kid---and still
    I still type with one finger, and pretty fast, at that.
    Whatever works, right?


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