On typing and tests (Oct. 12, 2009)

[T]his is weird, and I don’t know what to think about it.
I am typing this post with a new keyboard in an effort to improve my typing speed, so I can, in turn, improve my prospects for employment.
There are several things wrong with this situation — none of which are likely to get better as a result of this new contraption — which I will explain as soon as I find the backspace key.

My situation is as follows:

* I have a four-year degree from a reputable university whose football team occasionally plays on ESPN, and, according to its advertising campaign, has several outstanding alumni, including a NASA astronaut and DeMarcus Ware.
* It took me almost five years to get said four-year degree, which is doing me little good right now since jobs in my field of study are either nonexistent or located in Barrow, Alaska.
* So, I searched high and low for alternate means of employment, and found what would be a good job with benefits and a nice chair.

This sounds great, I know, and it would be if I weren’t required to pass a typing test.
I have tried on three separate occasions to pass the required test, which consists of re-typing as many fabricated business letters word-for-word as one can in a five-minute period.
Sounds easy, right?
It probably would be if I could type with a little more speed than it would take to mail a letter from Alabama to North Dakota using the Pony Express.
I’ve failed the test three times and counting so far, and — to the facilitator’s shock and amazement — have managed to get worse each time.
So, grasping at straws, I switched keyboards.
I am trying to get used to the new one, but I don’t think it will help, and here’s why.

1. Some of the keys, namely the letters, are huge.
This would have been perfect if I were Paul Bunyan or Mr. Magoo.

2. The keys are loud.
Every time I use this keyboard it sounds like I am breaking up a parking lot with a jackhammer instead of typing a sentence.

3. Some of the keys are smaller, and in the wrong place.
Every time I try to hit “Shift” to use a capital letter, my cursor winds up in the “Labels for this post” box, costing me valuable time.
Presently, I have accidentally hit “Tab” 156,665,434 times, and it has taken me an episode of “Gilmore Girls,” two episodes of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and half an episode of “That 70’s Show” to type this post.

Wait a minute, it usually takes all those and two episodes of “That 70’s Show” for me to type a post.
Maybe this thing helps after all.

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