Posted by: Kate | November 24, 2008

How the Mighty Have Fallen

While I am still unemployed, I do have one small trickle of income.  One of Willem’s classmates has been doing a series of interviews for her dissertation, but hates the sound of her own voice on tape (don’t we all?) and doesn’t type particularly quickly, so she has asked me to do it.  It’s a decent way to scrape together a few bucks a week, and I have had enough experience with it that I can completely shut off my brain and just let the words flow along.

These past few weeks, anything at all that allows me to shut off my brain is cause for deep appreciation, and today between a bleeding-from-the-ears migraine that sent me back to bed until noon and then an overdue transcription job, I’ve spent a good amount of time hovering near mindlessness.

This is probably the fifth or sixth interview that I’ve done so far, with several more in the upcoming month or so, and out of vague curiosity I decided to time and measure my typing speeds.  Having recently redone my résumé, I was reminded that I advertised myself as having typing speeds of 120 words per minute, which I did.  I worked as a transcriptionist for about five years, and under most circumstances could keep up with someone’s speech in real-time.

Yeah, not anymore.  I’m down to about 100 words per minute now, which is still pretty good and not far enough away from my résumé estimate that I feel guilty about it, but still.  One more way in which the old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be…



  1. 100 a minute is still pretty fast my girl. I’m about a 90 word a minute typist. Good that you’re getting something to distract you. Take heart in the fact that you’re having so many interviews in tough times though! Plug on kiddo . . something will break through.

  2. Hi Kate,

    I came to your blog by way of Shaggy, and know Willem from our college days. I’m curious what you have found out about unemployment. I was recently laid off and the benefits seem pretty straightforward, and helpful.


  3. Unless you’re going to pursue a career as a secretary, I don’t think the WPM is a big issue. 100 is still better than most offices look for… so you’re still not shabby by any stretch! 🙂

  4. Whaaaaaaat? I didn’t even know it was possible to type that fast! Do you have an invisible jet as well?

  5. If I tried to type that fast my fingers would end up in knots…kind of like your knitting but not as pretty. 😉

  6. 100wpm is damn good (I was boasting 75, but I’ll keep that mum now – ha!)

    but – my sister is going to school to become a stenographer and she has to type 225 wpm (of course, it is all shorthand, but still….that is dang fast)

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