The HR team asked me to write a minimum of 250 words about ‘How I would embed equality and diversity in my […] role’ and they gave me 30 minutes to do that. A free writing exercise in fact.
Well, straight away I found myself at a great disadvantage and unequal to the task. Whilst I understand the ‘theory’ behind free writing exercises, I’m not over enamoured with the tools provided.
Why, in this day and age should anyone think it is appropriate to use a ballpoint pen to express myself than – say (for example), a computer? Why? After all, I was later asked to describe my competence and confidence with ICT.
I’m sure that I’ve written about this before somewhere, and if I haven’t, I should have – but I have never EVER been good at handwriting. As soon as I could afford, probably in my mid twenties, I bought myself a second hand typewriter (with all of its faults and all of its idiosyncrasies) and was then able to more easily put my thoughts and aspirations on paper. At last! I used my typewriter and its subsequent replacements for many years until I was introduced to word-processing during my Certificate in Education Course. Here, I was given access to Wordstar (on Amstrad PCs) and following the course, AmiPro rang my bell for many years before my employer installed Word ’97 across the college. Then onwards and upwards (?) with various versions of Word … (I’m currently using Word 2010 and Word for Mac 2008) as my main means of communication.
My complete hate of handwriting had begun at a very early age when the junior school I attended moved us away from pencils (I’d been doing ok with pencils) and on to nibbed pens and that shitty black ink schools used.
Sadly (in this case), I’m left handed and all of the pens were crafted for right-handed folks, so my writing looked like nothing more than scratchy marks on paper. As a punishment (it certainly wasn’t a reward, although I remember it being couched as such) I was the one who had to stay in at break time to remove all the broken nibs and replace them with new ones. Bearing in mind that I’d already been traumatised by teachers trying to make me use my right hand (forcibly) to write as well as to eat food with a fork in the ‘correct’ hand (that ‘force’ worked, the former didn’t) – I was extremely unhappy with the nib and shitty ink caper!
To this day, I still write more legibly with a pencil but to make my thoughts known, to order the ‘stuff’ I want (have) to say – I need a word processor of some kind. I’ve used word processors to write my Masters (MSc.) level assignments and dissertation; I’ve written successful six figure bids using word processors and I blog regularly – all without the use of ballpoint pens.
Equal opportunity? Pah.
Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31693711@N08/3029785927/