I just had another keyboard mishap moment this afternoon.
A keyboard mishap moment is when you go to press one key, and you get two. Or you type one letter, and you’re off by a keystroke. Or, perhaps, you press the key, but it doesn’t register. Either way, you’ve hit the return key and the message is sent before you notice what actually was typed.
eMail saves us from such events. Instant Messaging, however, makes such mistakes permanent.
Here’s my earliest KMM memory, followed by today’s.
Back in college we had a classic computer room, with a mainframe sitting behind glass, run by operators, while the students were at lab benches working on terminals. I was friends with a number of the assistants. Of particular notice was one named Shelaine, who was a good computer scientist and an even better biologist that happened to have long blonde hair, legs to match, and who was one of the few people I ever knew who’s figure made spandex look good.
Each time she’d sit down at the console, someone would come up to the divided door and ask for a printout off the line printer. This continued for a quite a while, and at was apparent we were not going to be able to hold any real-time conversation at the time.
What I meant to type was: You look busy!
What actually happened was… my finger hit the Y key just to the left, and what I ended up typing and sending was: You look busty!
Of course there was no undo, my face turned red, and she grinned as she erected the most perky and flattering posture in my direction. She knew exactly what had happened, and played up every moment of it. Pretty evil, as neither of us ever had a thing for the other.
Today’s KMM might have been worse.
I work with an intern named Paul, and he’d been tasked with a very demanding job and and even more demanding deadline.
So, rather than bothering him for a status report, I thought I’d have a co-worker check on Paul without disturbing him.
What I meant to type was: How’s Paul doing?
What actually happened was… my finger hit the key, as I rolled off the O, but it didn’t register, and what I ended up typing and sending was: How’s Paul dong?
The answer I got back was along the lines of, “I don’t think that’s a very appropriate question for a work environment.”