What is it like being a VA for 16 yrs

 

I have worked for many clients over the 16 years since I started out in 2001. It has been difficult as well as easy, times where I have had enough and felt like quitting, but also lots of fun. Its been a great learning experience and I have never stopped learning. I have a job I enjoy doing, working from my own home office providing services to clients and also enjoy learning new things as I have gone along.

I knew very little about running my own business, so it was a learning curve from the start. I had the experience to do the work but not the experience in running a business, just like everyone else, who started out as a VA, at the time, I just got on with it. I have learned that being positive brings results, being negative gets you nowhere. I had to change my attitude from being negative to positive and that is when results started to happen and my business took off.

I learned about a VA in Australia called Kathie Thomas and I read up all about Kathie, I knew if she could do it, then I could too. I received my first big client with the help of Kathie. She attended a networking event and met Colin Adno a Migration Agent in Australia. She contacted me and asked me to join her network and she gave Colin my contact details. I worked for many years for Colin after that.

After a few years I met Gaynor Paynter and we decided to set up Tavasa (The Transcription and Virtual Assistants of South Africa). We have both written Ebooks that assist VAs in Virtual Assisting and Transcription.

I have had an assortment of typing over the years – from books, reports, to old Church Documents. I have typed up business presentation, creating pictures from client drawings, charts, graphs, flow diagrams. I once typed an enormous flow diagram which went over many sheets of A3 paper to create a flow diagram in a project. There is very little I have not typed or attempted to type.

Have I ever been lonely? no, we have great tools such as Skype, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp etc. to keep in contact with people and we also have email. Even in the early days of dial up, we had MSN Messenger. There is always a way to get in contact with others and therefore being lonely just doesn’t happen.

Client send me work through Fax, Email, Dropbox, WhatsApp, Courier and even come and deliver the work themselves. There is always a way to get the work to us.

I have had great clients and not so great clients. I’ve had clients who are easy to deal with and clients who are very difficult to deal with. The best clients seem to be guys (from observation), I often find with women is they don’t want to treat you as their equal but they want to put themselves onto a pedestal and treat you like a secretary or assistant – any position that puts you lower than their own position, as that is the mentality they know. We as VAs can overcome all challenges with our clients as we learn from our experiences as we go along.

I can work on my own, I am not afraid to approach clients and offer advice or my thoughts on how something should be done. I will speak out to a client when I know a deadline is unreachable and I will explain why and then let the client know a more realistic time line. I know my limits and know what I can and cannot do on a daily basis, I know what is achievable. I have tried to educated many clients about our Industry and about the work we do.

I love the benefits of working in my own office. My hours are my own. I choose who I want to work with and I choose the type of work I want to do. It was not always like this. At one time I did whatever work came my way, we have to, as we have to start out and get to know what we are doing and learn the job as we go. I have put in the hours required and learned that we cannot keep it up, we have to, in the end, work normal hours, if we keep going, we end up exhausted and unable to cope. It is best to organise our work days as if we are working in the corporate world, having start/end times with appropriate breaks in between.

I have done marketing through the history of my business. Back in 2001, advertising on the Internet was for free. I have always done marketing daily for my business, so my details are well and truly out there around the world. Marketing is something I believe we must do, even if we are hectic/very busy with clients. We must still find time to market as you never know when you may lose clients and have to find new clients (to replace them), so it is always good to keep marketing. It also shows you are active and your business is still going strong. There is always something new to learn with marketing to keep with marketing trends. When I started out with marketing there wasn’t Facebook or WhatsApp around and therefore I had to keep marketing on the Internet and in any way I could. Other the years Facebook came out and then WhatsApp and I started marketing on both as well as other social media.

My main advertising is via my website, I have never let it sit there, and I have always updated it regularly (weekly and daily at times). It is out there and has always brought in results. I track where my website reaches by using a plugin on my website and it gets seen all the way around the world, some Countries my website has been visited from is Poland, Russia and Canada. It is my main advertising tool and like TV adverts which change all the time, my website must be kept up with the times and changed also. A website should always be updated and kept fresh and with the times. http://www.amftyping.co.za.

I have leant a lot during my years as a Virtual Assistant and I like nothing better than sharing my information with other Virtual Assistant, if only one piece of info helps one Virtual Assistant then I have done my job in sharing my knowledge and skills.

I have decided to put my knowledge into a series of 40+ articles to share with Virtual Assistants. I will give some good tips and advice along the way and if I am able to assist you in maybe some problem you have or in something you would like to know by giving you real time examples, of what I have done in various situations and times then that would be great. I hope you sign up to receive my articles and I would appreciate any feedback you would like to give and I would appreciate that if you enjoy an article, you share it on your social media platforms, so that other VAs may benefit from the articles.

Written by Alison Fourie of AMF Typing Services, 23 November 2017.

 

“I run my own race: I am in competition with no one. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape or form, I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before…”

 

 

#amftyping #amftypingservices #VA #virtualassistant #VAtip #Entrepreneur #SmallBiz #SmallBusiness #business #work

 

 

 

New Coming Soon: Forty Articles for VAs

Coming soon: Series of 40 x Articles to assist you in your Virtual Assistant Business.
Take Action Now and Subscribe to receive as the Article-Blog Posts are released
If you like my Articles, Please Share or just share to encourage others to read, if you think the articles can benefit them, thank you

 

Topics:

  1. Internet
  2. Learning on the job, never stop learning, learning something new all the time
  3. Updates, backup etc
  4. Different versions of Office products affecting Formatting of Documents
  5. Starting up your VA business (steps)
  6. Learning Transcription, Transcribing and Sub-Contractors
  7. Fees and Invoices how/structure
  8. Business Plan steps
  9. Working hours, scheduling your day
  10. Communication
  11. Customer Services
  12. Clients, Availability, Equal, Trust and Responsibility
  13. Being Assertive
  14. Providing a Service to Clients
  15. When to say Yes and No to Clients
  16. How to respond to Unpleasant Clients
  17. What is the best way to do your Work (Structure and Procedures)
  18. Best Software to use for VAs – Dropbox, Saving on Hard Drives, Computer etc
  19. VA Procedures, how to work
  20. Education – VAs and Clients
  21. Understanding what is asked of you – Listening
  22. How to deal with Clients
  23. Research
  24. Cut Throat Business, pricing some do it for a very low price
  25. Answering the Phone, Email, Social Media etc
  26. Rates versus Quality
  27. Time – how long do jobs take, know your timings
  28. Office Environment is Important
  29. Communicate with other VAs/Peers
  30. Not getting Paid, strict deadlines
  31. Upfront Payment versus after Payments
  32. How to deal with Non-paying Clients
  33. Talking about Rates
  34. Services we can provide
  35. Good Rates versus Bad Rates
  36. Acceptable and Unacceptable VA practices
  37. How to work with Students – PhDs, Masters (Typing, Transcription, Research etc)
  38. Importance of Websites
  39. Education/Books, learning from other VAs, Educating yourself
  40. VA Support / Support Structure around YOU

If you like my Articles, Please share

 

If you have a specific topic you would like me to write about, please email me at amftyping@mweb.co.za or WhatsApp me on +27 82 871 3452. I would like to share my experiences and examples (16 years as a VA) with you, to assist you, in your VA business.

 

#amftyping #amftypingservices #VA #virtualassistant #VAtip #Entrepreneur #SmallBiz #SmallBusiness

 

 

Customer Service

I worked for a company for a number of years where providing a quality customer service was part of my job. I am now finding in South Africa, that no matter where you go customer service is dying. Some people are not interested in assisting customers at all, even if it is part of their jobs. It is far more important to stand and chat or to wander around, but helping customers, no way. No the wonder business is going downhill. I have always provided a Quality Customer Service and will continue to do so, but it is very disheartening to see that people just do not care enough about their jobs to provide a service to their customers. It is very sad to see here in our country.

People do not realise that providing a good service is what drives customers to a company. If I receive a bad service, I will never use your company again, why should I, it is my choice to accept a bad service or to be positive and take my business elsewhere. Today, we do not have to put up with bad service from anyone. If a person is having a bad day, that is not the customer’s fault. People should not take their problems to work or take their work problems home, both are separate issues.

When you work in the service industry it is part of your job to provide a quality service to those you serve.

Characteristics of Good Customer Service

Customer service is the act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met. Customer service is meeting the needs and desires of any customer.

Some characteristics of good customer service include:

  • Promptness: Promises for delivery of products must be on time. Delays and cancellations of products should be avoided.
  • Politeness: Politeness is almost a lost art. Saying ‘hello,’ ‘good afternoon,’ ‘sir,’ and ‘thank you very much’ are a part of good customer service. For any business, using good manners is appropriate whether the customer makes a purchase or not.
  • Professionalism: All customers should be treated professionally, which means the use of competence or skill expected of the professional. Professionalism shows the customer they’re cared for.
  • Personalisation: Using the customer’s name is very effective in producing loyalty. Customers like the idea that whom they do business with knows them on a personal level.

Source: http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-customer-service-definition-types-role-in-marketing.html

Next time you deal with customers make sure you provide them with a Quality Customer Service Experience.

Happy customers will come back time and again.

 

 

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WhatsApp Communication

Communication with Clients and Sub-Contractors is so important and today, it is made easier by social media technology. Most people have access to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, WhatsApp etc, so there should be no reason to not keep in contact with people who we work with or for. Most people today have a Cellphone that can be used to keep in contact. If you can stay in contact with family and friends then you can stay in contact with the people you work with. It takes but a few minute to send a WhatsApp message.

Here are some WhatsApp Stats for interest:

Source: http://www.wapp4phone.com/facts/popular-whatsapp-world/

Percentage of WhatsApp users by country:

  • South Africa – 78%
  • Malaysia – 75%
  • Argentina – 74%
  • Singapore – 72%
  • Hong Kong – 71%
  • Spain – 70%
  • India – 69%
  • Mexico – 67%
  • Italy – 62%
  • The Netherlands – 61%
  • Germany – 57%
  • Brazil – 56%
  • Saudi Arabia – 56%
  • Indonesia – 52%
  • Turkey – 49%

Source: http://www.wapp4phone.com/facts/popular-whatsapp-world/

With WhatsApp we can quickly send messages to our clients and vice versa, if we have problems we can let our clients know just straight away. With the use of camera’s now in Cellphones I find is a great help, My clients can quickly send through pieces of text they want to add to their documents or photographs, graphics etc that they need me to add to their content via WhatsApp.

 

Another great tool with WhatsApp is groups. I am the Chairlady of our Complex where we live and we use our WhatsApp group to let everyone know what is happening, nobody can complain they do not know what is going on, as things happen within the complex we immediately put information onto our group to keep everyone posted. Having a WhatsApp family group is a great way to stay in contact with your family at a moments notice.

WhatsApp is one of the greatest forms of communication today in our social media world. There should be no excuse today for not keeping in contact with people. We have communication technology at our fingertips.

 

Written 21 November 2017 by Alison Fourie

 

This page contains affiliate links

 

#amftyping #amftypingservices #VA #virtualassistant #VAtip #Entrepreneur #SmallBiz #SmallBusiness #business #work #hiring #freelance #assistant #time #VirtualAssistant #Vas #yourbusiness #AffiliatedMarketing #Sales #Selling #Dog #Dogs #Puppy #Puppies #Advertising #Marketing #Networking #Network #freelance #workathome #businesswoman #businesscards #typing #transcription #Typist #Typing #Services #WordProcessing #Vas #Outsourcing #workathomemom #WAHM #Office #Assistant #PersonalAssistant #businessassistant #administrativeassistant #jobseeker #resumes #wordpress #website #social media #Students #College #University #InternetResearch #School #PoochandMutt #Britannia #Pontins #Herbalife #HerbalifeProducts #ITunes #facebook #Twitter #LinkedIn #SocialMedia #WhatsApp #Communication #Contact #PoochandMutt #Britannia #BlackFriday #Sale # Dogs #Dog #Hotels

Dog Diaries – Dog Personalities Part 2

To continue with Dog Personalities, how well do you know your dog?
Do you know when your dogs call you to go somewhere? (like a recognizable noise), to go outside do they call you and bug you? Do you know when your dogs are hungry?
Well, we certainly know with our dogs and we certainly know they are around all the time. They are always where we are.

Everyday they spend their day in my office as I work, crowding around each side of me. They push each other for the best spot (under the window or at my feet). Scooby comes in first every morning to make sure of her spot (usually under the window – which allows them to look out the window and see the street), she growls at those who want to take her spot if shes already there, or she just pushes in and takes the spot from whoever else is there – which is normally Shaggy and he gracefully gets up and moves for her occassionally. Shaggy lies at my feet, unless the window spot is open. Sometimes he growls at Scrappy when she tries to push in from where he lies under the window to take that spot. Scrappy is everywhere from under the window to under the desk to behind my chair or wrapped around my chair and even lying just outside the office.
Scrappy (forever running around) comes and goes but Scooby and Shaggy stay around me most of the day.

Do your dogs pick up on most noises? Do they know when you are leaving the house?

Ours certainly do! They all hear when Dries, my hubby, opens our gate and of course start the welcome home party – which usually consists of a LOT of barking and yapping (Scrappy). They know when anyone is leaving, like when my son picks his bag up to leave to go to school, Scooby barks and then they all bark. And they certainly know when its braai time, all you do is lift the charcoal bag up n they sprint to the door ready to go (this usually includes a LOT of barking (mostly Scrappy) and a lot of looking at the door and then back at you, to rush you to open the door and then they all sprint to the gate and see who gets there first).

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Do your dogs like Chews or Treats? mine do. Pooch and Mutt (UK) have various kinds of Chews and Treats to suit all dogs and puppies.

Grab our Fun Puppy Checklist pdf

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Dog Diaries

Dogs are fun – How well do you know your dog/s?
This is our Story – coming soon… Dog Diaries

Follow us, as we let you know a bit about what we are getting up to daily. Dog Diaries is our story of our lives, the fun we have, the good and bad times, its all about us Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy. Coming soon Dog Personalities…

 

Dog Diaries: The lives of Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy

The Mischievous Digger     Dog Personalities Part 1     Dog Personalities Part 2      The Cat Incident

 

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About us:

These are my dogs (see pictures), Scooby who is 12 years old, our ‘old age pensioner‘, Shaggy is nearly 6 years old our ‘adult‘ and the latest addition, Scrappy our ‘puppy‘ who is nearly one year old. Our aim in getting Scrappy was so that she can learn as she grows up from our two older dogs. Scooby is a cross border collie – spaniel and according to Shaggy’s records he is a short haired border collie, Scrappy is a pure breed border collie. All three dogs have very different personalities. All the dogs have recently gone to the Vet for their yearly checkups. The Vet says as Scooby is getting older her bones have muscle degeneration, the Vet also suggested, that Shaggy could be suffering from arthritis in his bones.

They don’t like strangers coming into the house. They will bark until they are used to you and if they are comfortable around you, they will come and sit by you. They tend to be around us all the time.

Scrappy and Shaggy both get on well together and play. Scooby is not so keen on Scrappy, if Scrappy comes near her she will growl or even get up and move.


At night the dogs are left to wander and settle where they are comfortable. Shaggy chooses to sleep in our room on his own blanket. He is the only one with a blanket, he likes comfort. Scooby goes between the kids rooms and Scrappy does the same but also sleeps in our room. When she wakes at dawn, she quickly goes and wakes up Scooby.

 

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They are fed in order of seniority, in other words Scooby’s bowl goes down first. They sit and wait for their food.
They each have their own places to eat, but sometimes steal if they can get away with it from each others bowls. We watch them and they know this. They all love treats and dog chews.

Pooch and Mutt

 

Where we are, is where the dogs are. I work in my office during the day and the dogs are never far from us, normally one in front of my chair, and one each side of my chair. I can’t move my chair for dogs, and its even more difficult if there are two of us in the office, then we battle for space between the dogs and they don’t want to move. They like to sit in front of the office window watching the world go by, often a bird will land on the tree or ground or a lizard might wander past. They can just see down the street, so any movement and they are there ready, watching and waiting.

Scrappy is our blue eyed girl, she has one brown eye and one blue eye, (this is part of border collie features). The coats on all three dogs are very different, Shaggy’s coat is quite course.

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Scrappy is soft and cuddly, Scooby’s coat is long and prone to tangle and knot. She visits the Parlor every now and again. Scrappy likes to watch TV and often goes right up to the screen and puts her nose there. Scrappy is able to occupy herself by playing with a big leather ball, she plays and runs around with it, having fun.


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Affiliated Marketing

Alison Fourie: Virtual Assistant (VAcertified) and Affiliated Marketer

 

My name is Alison Mary Fourie, I immigrated to South Africa in 1986, previous to that I am UK born, Sunderland. I am a Affiliated Marketer, Virtual Assistant and Business Owners of AMF Typing Services (2001) and Tavasa (2008).  About me

 

 

Affiliated Marketing Definition:

Definition: A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission. https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/affiliate-marketing.

 

bidorbuy South Africa - Bid, Buy or Sell cameras, computers, diamonds, coins, cars & more on auction at cheap prices

 

My aim is to provide Affiliated Marketing to companies to assist them in advertising and marketing their products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bid or Buy – Office Essentials/Supplies

Welcome to my Bid or Buy Store

Office Essentials/Supplies

bidorbuy South Africa - Bid, Buy or Sell cameras, computers, diamonds, coins, cars & more on auction at cheap prices

 

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New Products coming often

Today we are highlighting 3D Printers

The guys in the International Space Station (ISS) were struggling with much needed spares and parts. A 3D printer was sent up, as well as the material that they can use with the printer, to make the tools (rather than sending heavy parts and spares), this then, enabled the crew of the ISS to make their own tools and parts using the 3D printer.

Don’t say a 3D Printer is not affordable because with what you can make with them and sell, you can quickly get your money back. With some research and thinking you can make lots of different products with many different materials (plastic, polyamide, glass, epoxy resins, steel, wax, polycarbonate, photopolymers etc). A 3D Printer can be a really good investment using thoughts and ideas to make sellable products.

You do not have to buy the most expensive model or the biggest, you can buy a small version for less than R10 000.

Here are a few things you can make: Sweets, interesting glass products, tools, spare parts, toys, even build model toy houses, self-watering planter, tooth paste squeezer, hooks, Lego’s etc. These things seem unusual to make, yet you can sell them and make money.

3 D Printers
 

Antivirus and Security

Graphics and Multimedia

Apple Laptops

Laptops and Notebooks

Apple Desktops

PC’s, Desktops and All-in-Ones

Monitors

IPads, Tablets and EReaders
ADVERTISEMENTS

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Why a Transcriptionist is beneficial in the insurance industry

Written by: Gaynor Paynter 083 442 4689 Typewrite Transcription  

My pop culture blog

Why a Transcriptionist is beneficial in the insurance industry The transcription service is relevant and beneficial in just about any industry.  Small business owners become stressed with the amount Olympus Advertof work load they have and being able to outsource functions saves stress and makes life easier and larger companies can outsource this function in order to streamline their operation. Insurance administration can be a nightmare if you try to handle it on your own. So why not get a professional to help? If you work in the insurance industry, you probably record your phone calls and dictate your reports. If you own your own small business, you probably do the work later on yourself. Both of these can be uploaded and sent to a transcriptionist to type. This is cheaper than having a permanently employed member of staff, and you don’t have to worry about overheads like salaries, electricity and equipment.
The transcriptionist, as a freelancer or a business owner, takes care of this. Because this function may not be your strength, it can also be to your benefit to have someone more proficient at it do it. They will be faster, more efficient, and it will leave you  more time to tackle your strength – which is running your business. This means that by the time you get back to your office, your calls and reports can be ready and waiting for you at your desk.  It can be helpful to you if you work at your desk or if you are on site doing assessments.  The time you save doing this helps you achieve a faster turn around time and makes you look more efficient in the eyes of your client. Larger insurance companies, which make use of call centres and other larger groups of staff, can also benefit by using a transcriptionist.  All call centre, telephone and admin staff can send out their calls to be transcribed, leaving them free to process calls and handle the administration functions. This leads to a much more stress free environment. All forms of insurance companies and insurance consultants can benefit from this – life insurance, pension, liability insurance, auto insurance, medical insurance or medical aid, property insurance, funeral cover, etc – even pet insurance! – giving you peace of mind to keep customers happy. To summarise, the benefits include: – Saving stress – Making life easier – Streamlining the operation – Cost reduction – Increased efficiency.
Contact me for a quote on transcription services today.

AMF Typing Blog for New VAs

http://alison-fourie.blogspot.com

My blog to assist new Virtual Assistants, it is full of articles and tips etc., for new Virtual Assistants, updated often.   Home

AMF Typing Blog

Alison Fourie · Affiliate Marketing Virtual Assistant · VAcertified

AMF Typing Services® · South Africa · Est 2001

Tavasa · South Africa · Est 2008

Cell: +27 082 871 3452 · Office: +27 011 768 5028

Emails: amftyping@mweb.co.za · alison@amftyping.co.za
Websites: http://www.amftyping.co.za

Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amftyping         Home

 

 

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Indian Street Typists – Vanishing Professions

Vanishing professions: India’s street typists heading for a final full stop

By Rahul TandonBBC News, Calcutta     http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25620755
Vanishing professions

Every morning, as he has for the past 34 years, Ajay Kumar Nayak walks to a busy footpath outside Calcutta’s high court.

He sets up a rickety wooden table, places a battered plastic chair behind it and then carefully places his 15-year-old typewriter on the table.

After covering his desk with a piece of tarpaulin to protect his prized possession from the sun, he is ready for business as one of Calcutta’s few remaining street typists.

“A decade ago I would have had no time to sit and chat. My fingers would have been tapping away all day,” he says.

“All you would have heard was the sound of the typewriter. Now there is only silence.”

He pauses for a minute and points to the few other typists who remain on the street – one is sitting sipping a cup of tea; another is reading a newspaper.

“Look at us. We have nothing to do,” says Ajay.

“If you come back in a few years’ time there will be nobody left here. The computer has killed our profession.”

Next year will be the last year that we run typing classes”

Mohammed Quamar Hamid Suffee Commercial College

Ajay and his friends used to be busy dealing with all sorts of documents.

Love letters

Complex legal drafts were their staple work, but there would also be wedding card messages to type or CVs to update.

They all laugh as they tell me how some young men used to ask them to type out love letters.

“Maybe we should start offering divorce letters,” jokes one. “Maybe that could help us get some work.”

Their conversation stops for a moment as a potential client walks towards them, but after a moment he moves on, and their conversation resumes.

Ajay and his fellow typists find themselves increasingly waiting for work.

A few miles from the high court is the Suffee Commercial College. For the past 80 years young men and women have come here to learn how to type.

On the ground floor there is still a darkened classroom full of Remington typewriters, perched idly on wooden desks, but they are rarely used now.

'What's the point?'

“Next year will be the last year that we run typing classes,” says Mohammed Quamar Hamid, whose family have been running the college since it was established.

“There is no demand for it, and when I ask the youngsters to practise their keyboard skills on these typewriters they just look at me and say, ‘what is the point?'”

He asks me to follow him to another room. Inside is a row of computers, and in front of them is a group of young girls in their early 20s.

“For them to get a job in India’s competitive job market they need computer skills,” he says.

“Nobody uses a typewriter any more. In a few years’ time the only place you will see them is in a museum.”

Students do not want to learn typing any more, says Mohammed Quamar Hamid

The girls all nod their heads in agreement. One student, Neha, who has just scored 97% in her computer keyboard skills test says manual typewriters “are not practical any more”.

“Today so much has to be done in the office, and with a computer it’s easy to correct your mistakes,” she says.

There are only old men here now. There are no youngsters here”.

Being a street typist is something she says she “would never do”.

“I think that we should keep abreast with technology and not look backwards. Typewriters are not part of our scene anymore.”Indian Street 2

When I ask the class whether any of them think they will ever use typewriters, the answer is a resounding no.

Another student, Divya, speaks for the class when she says: “It is so hard to use. That is why we all prefer computers. We want an easy life.”

Final few hundred

Back outside the high court, Ajay Kumar Nayak has finally got a client.

But after he finishes typing up the legal document – for which he gets seven rupees (7p, 11 cents) a page – he and his friends resume their conversation.

In Calcutta 20 years ago, there were about 2,000 street typists; now there are only a few hundred left.

Typewriter-filled classrooms like this are disappearing.

Ajay took the job because he could find no other work. He says he would not advise anyone to follow his example.

“There are only old men here now. There are no youngsters here.”

“I even told my son not to join this profession as it is difficult to make a living on the streets now.”

It is time for him to go home after another largely fruitless day.

As I walk away he shouts out: “Come and see me soon. I and my friends may not be here for much longer.”

Business Daily BBC World Service

 

Gaynor Paynter – Podcast – Radio Today

Edward Chamberlain Bell Show Saturday 25 Jan 2014 – @thewordofed @TypewriteSA – the team chatted to Renate Klass from Executrain and Gaynor Paynter from Typewrite Transcription

http://edwardchamberlainbell.podomatic.com/entry/2014-01-29T01_46_01-08_00

Looking to take your career to the next level but lacking that competitive edge? Renate Klass from Executrain joins the Radio Today studio to share her advice with everyone looking to taking their careers to the next level. ExecuTrain has over 30 years’ experience in the training business. They are highly regarded internationally for delivering customised training that is unique as the individual or organisation receiving it. They provide training solutions for everyone for matriculants looking to gain the competitive advantage or the seasoned executive looking to up-skill.

Today might be the best day to call them if you want to take your career to the next level.

If the corporate world doesn’t appeal to you, and you have an entrepreneurial streak, then Gaynor Paynter from Typewrite Transcription shares the highs and lows of being your own boss. Unfortunately, working from home doesn’t mean a life of leisure as you still have to create effective boundaries between work and family; then there are operational expenses, daily administration and difficult customers that you have to get through before you actually settle down to doing the job that you love doing.

Don’t be discouraged, Gaynor advises people to overcome their fear of going solo- but be open-minded about the challenges ahead of you.

www.executrain.co.za / @ExecuTrainSA

www.typewritetranscription.co.za / @TypewriteSA

The Edward Chamberlain-Bell Show is broadcast on Saturdays from 12h00 to 13h00 (GMT+2).

Radio Today (@Radio2Day) broadcasts on 1485 AM in Johannesburg and country-wide on DStv audio channel 869.

Stream: www.1485.org.za/ and 1485.mobi. Radio Today!

Radio that delivers!

 

Typing Facts

This section will be updated often as facts become available, watch this space.
  • On average, a secretary’s left hand does 56% of the typing.
  • The words ”stewardesses” and ”reverberated” are the longest words (12 letters) typed with only the left hand.

  • The longest words that can be typed using only the right hand in proper typing form are ”lollipop” and “monopoly”.
  • Check this out, look at your keyboard, the only ten letter word that you can spell with the top row of letters is “typewriter”.
  • Skepticisms is the longest word that alternates hands when typing.

  • Birdie Reeve Kay, born Birdie Reeve, was an American champion typist who performed in the 1920s in vaudeville. She reached speeds of over 200 words, or 800 letters, per minute, and was billed as the “World’s Fastest Typist”.

Barbara BlackburnBarbara Blackburn from Salem, Oregon, was the fastest English language typist in the world. Blackburn maintained a speed of 170 wpm for 50 minutes using a Dvorak keyboard, as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Typing Speed Explained

Most poeple know that typing speed on a computer keyboard is measured in words per minute (wpm). Since words are not all the same size it would not be fair to measure someone’s typing speed counting the actual number of words taken randomly from a textbook. Consider the following sentences:

  1. I often drink coffee.
  2. I embrace serendipitous happenings.

Sentence #1 has 4 words, 21 characters including 3 spaces and 1 period. Sentence #2 has 4 words as well but is much longer with 35 characters including 3 spaces and 1 period. Both sentences have 4 words and if you type them in one minute you type at 4 wpm. Right? No, this is wrong.


Based on this calculation a person taking a typing test with lots of sentences like #1 will perform almost twice as fast as a person taking a test containing lots of sentences like #2, because the words in sentence #2 are much longer than the ones in #1. This is not correct obviously because sentence #1 contains 21 characters v.s. 35 for #2.

To remedy this, in the definition of typing speed (source below) a word is defined as 5 characters, including punctuation signs and spaces.

Therefore:

  1. I often drink coffee => Five 5-letter words.
  2. I embrace serendipitous happenings => Seven 5-letter words.

With this definition the typing speed (wpm) is linked to the number of characters so it can be measured across different texts and languages.

Quick facts about typing speed http://www.daskeyboard.com/blog/typing-speed-explained/

  • An average typing speed is considered to be between 50 to 70 wpm, and the fastest people can reach is 180 wpm and above. Two-finger typists (easily found in countries that do not have typing classes, like France, that did not figure out that computers are not going away anytime soon and still do not teach typing in schools) can type between 27 to 37 wpm for the fastest. Handwriting is usually between 22 and 31 wpm, and books on tape are recommended to be recorded around 150 wpm.
  • In conclusion, touch typing is one of the fastest way to enter text into a machine. As opposed to using the mouse, some argue that using keyboard shortcuts is also the fastest way to operate a computer graphical interface.

 

The Arrival of Women in the Office

Partners in PerfectionThe typewriter is almost obsolete in the modern office. But it played a crucial role in women’s arrival in the workplace, explains Lucy Kellaway. In 1887, Rudyard Kipling met one of the new breed of typewriting girls while visiting San Francisco. They aroused in him a mixture of fear and fascination, insisting that their work was enjoyable and their “natural fate” – that was until Kipling questioned further. “Well, and after?” said I. “What happens?” “We work for our bread.” “Till you die?” “Ye-es, unless,” said the partner in the firm audaciously, “sometimes we marry our employers – at least that’s what the newspapers say.” The hand banged on half a dozen of the keys of the machine at once. “Yes, I don’t care. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!”

  • Lucy Kellaway is an author and Financial Times      columnistLucy Kellaway
  • The Arrival of Women in the Office, is broadcast at 13:45 BST on 25      July
  • Episode five, The Telephone and New Office      Technology, is broadcast at 13:45 BST on 26 July
  • The Magazine will be running articles based on      edited transcripts from this series for the next fortnight

In offices today almost all the most boring tasks are done by women. At the photocopier, at the filing cabinet (or its digital equivalent) and on the reception desk – it’s females only. So much so that when a few years ago I came across my first male PA I was almost as shocked as Kipling. This feminisation of office work happened incredibly fast. Until the late 19th Century there were no women in offices at all. In 1870, there were barely a thousand of them. By 1911 there were 125,000 and by 1961 there were 1.8 million, in 2001 there were 2.5 million female clerks. But how did it all begin? A photograph taken in 1899 shows a young woman sitting on a desk, legs crossed with one foot on her chair. She’s wearing a nice pair of shoes and there’s a bike leaning against her desk. On the desk a half-eaten apple, a glass, a desk calendar, some files and… a Remington Standard 2 typewriter. It’s a pretty racy picture for the time – you might even be able to see a hint of her upper shin, never mind ankle. But what it does show is a new type of working woman with the twin instruments of emancipation – the bicycle and, more importantly, the typewriter. As the American Journal noted in 1898: “No expert can manage either the typewriter or the bicycle while she is held in a close-fitting cage of whalebone and steel.” The typewriter girl, like the typewriter itself, was an American export.

1 commercial typewriter

The first commercial typewriter was produced in 1873 by E Remington and Sons

The first machines with the Qwerty keyboard were triumphantly brought on to the market by the US gun-maker E Remington and Sons, in 1873. But far from being popular they were a total flop and probably would have stayed that way, had not some bright spark in the marketing department had the great idea of flogging them to women – to the daughters of middle-class businessmen. “The typewriter is especially adapted to feminine fingers. They seem to be made for typewriting. The typewriting involves no hard labour and no more skill than playing the piano,” wrote John Harrison, in his 1888 Manual of the Typewriter. In the stores at the Museum of London are some early typewriters, including a very early Hammond model, which looks like a mahogany toilet seat. “The major brand was the Remington,” says Alex Werner, head of collections at the museum. “They produced beautiful adverts with attractive women typing away.” The keys were made for dainty figures. My fingers, clad in plastic gloves, are too clumsy. The typical typist was a liberated woman. Novelists and playwrights – George Gissing and JM Barrie – were fascinated by her, creating heroines who wore no-nonsense clothes, rode a bicycle, took up smoking and hung out with anarchists in the English countryside.

George Gissing and JM Barrie

Writers George Gissing and JM Barrie were inspired by typical typists, who they saw as liberated women, often incorporating them into their work as heroines

A real life version of these pioneers was Janet Hogarth, who became the Bank of England’s first ever female clerk in 1893. She was a high flier in her day. She had achieved first class honours in philosophy from Oxford and was a skilled linguist. But her job was a boring one. “It was monotonous, essentially dealing with cancelling bank notes, sorting them and crossing them off in the ledgers,” says John Keyworth, curator of the Bank of England’s museum. Women were cheaper than men, and took over the jobs that were previously filled by young boys, who would have been supervised by an older man because it was so mind-bendingly boring. “They gave her six months to learn the job,” adds Keyworth. “She mastered it in a very short time.” Hogarth writes of it in her autobiography. “It was almost unbelievably soothing to sit in the quiet upper room with nothing to do but lay out banknotes in patterns like patience cards,” she wrote. “Learning all about the little marks on them, crossing them up in piles like card houses, sorting them in sixties and finally entering their numbers in beautiful ledgers made of the very best paper, as if intended to last out all ages.” In the late 19th Century it was inconceivable to have men working alongside typewriter girls, for fear of damage to their morals. Precisely how the damage was meant to occur, no-one was quite clear, but it was thought best to keep the sexes entirely separate. So men and women had different entrances, different working hours, different dining rooms and often worked behind screens or in attics so that no man could see them. These intrepid typewriter pounders… should fill in their spare time washing out the offices and dusting same, which you will no doubt agree is more suited to their sex” Liverpool Echo, 1911 An autobiography by a male employee at the Bank of England recalls how ridiculous it all was. “The streets it was held were safe enough, but once she the woman clerk entered this forbidding fortress every imaginable horror was predicted,” wrote the author. But that wasn’t all. So as to avoid the danger of typewriter girls on the loose, many employers refused to let them out during their lunch break. Women at the Post Office were not allowed a midday breath of fresh air until 1911 – and that was only after a kicking up a huge row and making personal appeals to the postmaster general. So how did men feel about their new female colleagues? The answer – predictably – was that they weren’t happy at all. Part of the hostility was fair enough. The women were an endless source cheap competition. A particularly patronising piece was published in the Liverpool Echo in 1911: “These intrepid typewriter pounders, instead of being allowed to gloat over love novels or do fancy crocheting during the time they are not ‘pounding’, should fill in their spare time washing out the offices and dusting same, which you will no doubt agree is more suited to their sex and maybe would give them a little practice and insight into the work they will be called up to do should they so far demean themselves as to marry one of the poor male clerks whose living they are doing their utmost to take out of his hands at the present time.”

Birdie Reeve Kay

Birdie Reeve Kay, a champion typist capable of more than 200 words a minute

But actually the arrival of women in the office wasn’t altogether bad for men. If they had working daughters – as many did – their households were better off. And as women were given the most tedious things to do, men’s chances of promotion were higher. And then, of course, the women were easy on the eye and possible candidates for future wives and mistresses. Why the fuss about Mad Men’s look?

whats the fuss about mad mens looks

The 60s were cool. No, not the flower power, tie-dye, beads in your hair end of the decade, but the beginning of the 60s, when people worked in stark, smooth modern offices, and wore sharper clothes. Or so Mad Men would have you believe. But what’s so noteworthy about the look of Mad Men? Meanwhile, at the Bank of England, the chief accountant, a Mr Stuchbury, was hard at work with his stopwatch calculating whether employing women was such a good idea after all. He studied a question that has always interested me – are women more conscientious than men. His answer was much as I’d figured out for myself – yes. He found that 37 women had counted as many notes as 47 men, and with fewer mistakes. But he also noted that women were off sick more often than boys (which is still pretty much the case). Stuchbury thought this was a clincher, but the secretary managed to head him off, pointing out that long term, women worked out a lot cheaper. There was, he argued, “a considerable future saving of expense… when it is borne in mind that women clerks would not attain higher pay than £85 against £300 earned by all other clerks.”

Stuchbury women typing

In other words, the great thing about women was that you didn’t have to promote them. The glass ceiling was in evidence (only then it was set at roughly ankle height) from the very start. The girls show a zest and zeal which no boy thinks of emulating” Janet Hogarth There was another good thing. Thanks to the marriage bar (which, extraordinarily, stayed in place until the 1960s), the supply of women was constantly replenished – as they married and left, new girls took their place. But what of the women who didn’t get married? Well they got promoted – but only a little. It was their job to look after the younger typists. This was the plight of Hogarth. She wrote with some bitterness: “The girls show a zeal and zest which no boy thinks of emulating. But the trouble comes when they grow to be middle-aged women and are still kept at work only fit for beginners. They have become mere machines.” Hogarth left the bank in 1905 for a job as principal of Cheltenham College – possibly more fitting to a woman of her intelligence. It would be a while before a woman had a crack at the interesting stuff at the Bank of England. More than 100 years later, we’ve had four women on the monetary policy committee, though still no female governor. This piece is based on an edited transcript of Lucy Kellaway’s History of Office Life, produced by Russell Finch, of Somethin’ Else, for Radio 4. Episode five, The Telephone and New Office Technology, is broadcast at 13:45 BST on 26 July Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23432653#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa Updated: July 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm Posted by Warren Fyfe http://warrenfyfenews.org/the-arrival-of-women-in-the-office/#comment-5644 24 July 2013 Last updated at 21:37 ET