Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Whew! 2 down!

Yesterday marks the start of my 3rd semester of school. It's also my last slower semester. Looking at the organization of credits, I take 13 this semester (unless I can somehow fit more in) but after that the number of credits goes up quite a bit. Next semester is 16, then 18 and 18 again. Which wouldn't be that many if I was only a full time student. Then I'd probably be taking 24 or more.

However, I am not only a student. Trying to fit in school around a job that has no respect for its employees, and randomly changes schedules? Yeah, that becomes way more difficult.

Don't get me wrong. I am still appreciative that I have a job that pays me (barely) enough to pay my bills. However, I do NOT like the job, and I do NOT like how the job treats the employees in my role. Which is, of course, why people in my department continue to look elsewhere for other employment.

I had a bit of a giggle about that recently. Personal giggle, at least.

One of the positions I know a few people applied for included a typing test where the passing minimum score was 35 words per minute. I thought to myself, why so low? Who CAN'T type 35 words per minute?

Turns out... at least half of the applicants who got to the skills screening.

That just floors me. I have been typing regularly since high school and while I don't always try to type as fast as possible, there is a definite skill in being able to type and copy. A skill that is immeasurably useful in a job as a technical support chat rep. (Go figure.)

Ever since high school, when I took typing (on a TYPEWRITER, yes, I'm old, deal) I have been able to type rapidly and pretty accurately. I regularly play typing games and I compose letters and papers on the computer that all need to be typed. (I also hand write letters, but for a 99 year old grandmother, I type because it's easier for her to read.) I also pretty regularly take online typing tests just to see how my speed is doing.

I have averaged between 70 and 80 words per minute for nearly 20 years. My accuracy has always been 85% or above and in the last few years, that has increased to 95% and above.

I could understand an inability to type 35 words per minute if we lived in an age where we didn't use keyboards for most of our interactions with the world. (A failing that I still hold to be a serious downfall to life. And yes, I do recognize the irony of posting that on an online blog... :) But if you have a job that involves typing EVERY DAY to quite a few people throughout the day, I would expect you to be a better typist than just 35 words per minute.

Anyway, back to school. My last 2 classes were assignment classes rather than test classes. So no test at the end of them, but I did have a major assignment to show competence in using the skills "learned" in the class. I put learned in quotes because a lot of these skills this time were skills that I already had, thank you very much.

The first one was a speech class. Not one for learning how to talk, but for presentation communication at a business level. I've been public speaking for over half my life. It is not a difficult thing for me to rattle off a speech and sound competent. It's even easier if I have a bit of time to research first. The hard part was actually writing the supporting paperwork and citing my sources. I knew what I wanted to speak about, but finding the scientific support for it was harder. I did find it and my speech on the mental and physiological benefits of knitting went over quite well. I had to re-do part of the supporting paperwork because they wanted a different format, but the revisions took me all of about 10 minutes.

The second class had 2 papers that needed to be written. This one was harder, and if I had really read all the instructions first, I would have done this one first instead of the speech. I only read half the instructions (learn from my mistakes, kids... read ALL the instructions before you jump into the pool!) I had only read the part of the instructions that said "write a paper on the attitude of fictional store Q". I didn't read the part that said essentially "write a code of conduct for business X". Oops. That was actually the hard part because the instructions were not super clear.

I got the first paper written in a few hours and turned it in. It ended up coming back because someone was being nitpicky. Fixed it and resubmitted. The second one I researched and wrote notes on for two days and then had a call with a professor because I still didn't understand what exactly they wanted from me.

After the call, I was able to write the document in another couple of hours and that one was also submitted.

It was after the second was submitted that the first one came back needing revisions, so that added to my fretting.

Friday, 2 days before the end of my semester, I finally receiving notification that both papers were accepted. I was ecstatic.

I also had 1 whole day where I did not have homework. I locked myself in my house and refused to go outside. :)

Now I'm starting my 3rd semester and trying to not be too angry that I get yet another schedule change at work (4th one in just over 2 months. NOT HAPPY.) I plan to stay home most of today, leaving only to take out some trash, some recycling, pay the rent, and pick up the mail.

I need to also call my mother because it is her birthday. :)

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