Friday, October 23, 2009

Bring back the typing pool

I didn't get to watch the controversial Question Time last night featuring the medias favourite hate figure, Nick Griffin. The reason for this is that I spent most of the evening typing up something for work.

Most people my age who have worked in an office will know that having to spend hours typing up stuff yourself is a recent development - only becoming common in the last decade or so. Before that we used to have a team of typists who had both the skill to type these sorts of things up quickly and the knowledge of corporate formatting etc. to get it right first time.

Now I have to do all the work myself, submit the draft for approval and then make any suggested changes myself. However, I am not a typist and I am not paid to be one - it is not my job. So I have to either do all this typing at the sacrifice of my usual work or do it in my own time.

And, of course, my pay rise and bonus is based on how well I do the job I am supposed to do - not how good my typing and formatting is - so I tend to end up doing all this typing in my own time!

How the hell did we allow things to get to this situation? Not only am I having to do extra work outside of my normal hours - work I am not paid to do - I'm also denying some youngster a decent job and a foot on the career ladder.

Bring back the typing pool!


Richard said...

Being young enough not to recall a workplace without computers, I do have some sympathy for those who never had to do their own typing 'back in the day', particularly with the amount of e-mail communication that is used in the office.

Being able to tough-type is a pretty useful skill to have in the workplace even for those at senior levels. Perhaps there should be free touch-typing courses for the over 45's...

Richard said...

On QT: it wasn't a normal QT show. The whole debate centered around Nick Griffin, who certainly didn't cover himself in glory.

Then again, when it was put to the panel that government policy might be to blame for the BNP's success, Jack Straw's mumbling stuttering response was equally unimpressive.

Stan said...

I can type well enough, Richard - not touch type as such, but I don't look at the keyboard while I'm typing - and banging out emails is relatively straightforward. Where I have problems is doing the correct corporate formatting. I don't do these "formal" things often enough to be able to remember all the things I need to include, but if there was a typing pool whose job this was all the time it wouldn't be an issue. We used to submit our rough drafts to the typist who would clean it up and format it properly for us to proof read and then you were done.

My point was that it is unproductive for me to spend many hours doing something which I'm not actually supposed to be doing (which is why I do it in my own time) and is also depriving a young person the opportunity to work at the same time. That seems to be something of a retrograde step.

Regards QT - I've heard it was a bit of a witch hunt, but that was to be expected surely? I'll catch it later on iplayer.

Jack Straw has never been anything other than "unimpressive" - which is about the nicest thing anyone can say about him!

JuliaM said...

"...and is also depriving a young person the opportunity to work at the same time. "

Sadly, we won't get those old-style typists back now.

Give it to a youngster, and yd gt bk smthg tht lkd lik ths ;) lol!

Stan said...

LOL, Julia - very funny, but not strictly true. As typists they would be typing up what others had written verbatim - plus the fancy formatting stuff. They might actually learn something. Many years ago I managed a help desk and would pass internal memos about technical issues and specs to the young typist - an enthusiastic, but relatively unqualified school leaver - to type up. Within two years she was working on the help desk as a support analyst. She now manages the technical department in a large accountancy firm (and earns more than me!)