On 09/11/2001, Monday morning, I was getting ready for the Communications Group
I worked for, taking calls for companies, mostly a large credit card firm, helping customers make their credit card payments. I had never worked on a computer before and hadn’t taken a typing course since the age of 15. When I was hired in June of 2000 the girl working behind the desk in Human Resources told me to apply in a small room, not much bigger than a broom closet. The only thing I saw was a desk with a menacing-looking computer. I had taken the written application and they wanted to see how fast I could type. I went back to the Human Resources desk and told the girl, not much older than a teenager, that the only thing I saw was a computer and I didn’t know anything about computers and didn’t know where to start. She said she would set it up for me and said, “There, it is all ready for you just start typing the best you can in the allotted time. When you are finished I will check your time and let you know how well you did.” It took time away for errors. It was a story about a little girl who lived in Kansas with her Aunt and Uncle and her little dog Toto. When all was said and done I had typed 12 words a minute after subtracting the errors I had made. I was unfamiliar with the keyboard and wanted to slide the carriage over, but there was no carriage to slide. I was ready to walk out and never come back. To my surprise she said that didn’t matter for the work intended and I had a training session the following Thursday after I passed the drug screening. I was hired.
On this day 09/11/2001 I was rushing around getting ready for work. The Television set had the news as I always watched Good Morning America. They were going on and on about bombs and the Twin Towers. I paid little attention. I had to get Dakota ready for school and take him there. He was in the first grade at Hall Elementary. He had gone to Pre School for two years since his birthday was in October, whatever age you were the first day of September, even though he would turn six in October, he had to wait the following year when he was six in September to attend first grade. On the way to school he talked over and over about the bombing of the Towers in New York. I thought they were talking about the previous attempt some years before on the basement of the Towers so thought it being old news didn’t listen as carefully as I would have. In the car the radio blared constantly about the bombing and more information to come. I listened all the way to work and wished I had paid more attention when it was on TV.
Jenny had made the room as comfortable as she could, knew how I liked to tape my soap opera and Regis and Kelly during the daytime while I was at work. Everything I had owned was in a storage locker on the North Belt Highway. She set the VCR up and even had a small television set, twin bed and a night table for me and the things I liked to put there at night, a roll of toilet paper for blowing my nose, my nose spray and an alarm clock.
When I would get home at 5:30 I would rewind my shows and watch them, keeping to myself and out of the way as much as possible. It was crowded but comfortable. Her father-in-law, Dan, had been sleeping there but relinquished the room for me and stayed in a camper trailer in the back yard. Her son and daughter, Domenic and Kaitlyn stayed together in the same bedroom as they were under the age of five years.
I liked my new job it was so easy once I got the hang of where the letters were again on the keyboard. We mostly used the 10 key pads anyway so I didn’t have to use the letters much. When E mail became popular though, we had to start getting their e mail addresses too and boy, talking about hunt and peck! I was soon pecking with the best of them, using one finger on one hand and two on the other. I’d get some serious looks from teenagers who had typing and computers in high school. I was almost fifty years old and it had been a long time since I had sat in Daddy’s old Plymouth and typed out my stories on my most prized possession, the blue portable that Daddy had bought me for my birthday so many years ago. I cried and Daddy cried too. He had to go to bed to keep anyone from seeing him cry. He’d never want anyone to see him cry. I had never gotten anything for my birthday or Christmas that I had wanted because of the expense and never expected to get that typewriter. He had bought it in a second hand store in St Joseph when we lived on Johnson’s place a year before his death.
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