On the Strange Power of Reality

August 18, 2010

In the following post, writer Maria Fusco presents a speculative first-person narrative in which an unnamed transcriber reflects on the necessity for attention, skill, and detail in his work, which ultimately serves as an analogy to the online experience and the transition away from outmoded technologies.

Every breath. Every nuance. Syllable by syllable. As quickly yet as accurately as I can, I transcribe the lot.

Of course I can touch-type, that’s a given in this line of work. When we are sent on Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing refresher courses, I sail through the Muscle Memory tests, evidently I have superb control over my fingertip pressure, which means I have never suffered from any form of RSI, so common in this line of work.

Just because I can touch-type, doesn’t mean I don’t have to listen to what they’re saying, it just means that I can type fast. If I lose concentration, even for a nanosecond, I can lose the thread of a paragraph, an entire page even, and I have to begin all over again.

Mistakes are not allowed in this line of work, AP&P Secretarial Services prides itself on Confidentiality, Accuracy and Rapidity: The CAR Factor™ as our corporate literature puts it. With a personal best of 80 words per minute and an accuracy rate of 96%, to have to retype an entire page would be monumentally unprofessional, not to say massively emotionally dissatisfying. Consequently, I must listen to every word.

Careful, I must feign interest.

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