Transcriber Debbie Kleynhans
Way With Words Transcriber.
“An ad for Way With Words jumped out at me – Transcribers needed. Well, I could type, couldn’t I (although a bit rusty) and hopefully my command of the English language was still intact after years of babbling babies, unintelligible toddlers, know-it-all preteens and the verbally challenged grunts of teenagers.“
I was born in Umtali, Zimbabwe and spent most of my childhood in a little town called Fort Victoria and then moved to Salisbury (now Harare). I attended Salisbury Polytech where I obtained a secretarial diploma. It was at this great institution that I acquired my touch typing skills on a manual 1960s Olivetti typewriter and learnt how to send a telegram! I immigrated to South Africa in 1983 and settled in Pietermaritzburg where I got a job as a conveyancing secretary in a legal firm. I married Stan in 1984 at the tender age of 19 (what was I thinking?) and am still married to the same man 28 years later – talk about perseverance and fortitude!
We moved to Cape Town in 1991 and I decided to be a stay at home mom, the hardest job of all! Believe me, spending time with two year olds is no picnic and engaging with teenagers can reduce you to tears of frustration but in the end the reward is worth it. I have two great, well-adjusted sons, Daniel and Barry, now 25 and 22, an engineer and software developer ready to take on the world. In 1999 my husband started working from home as an occupational health and safety consultant and while he was out on site, I hijacked his computer and learnt how to use this wonderful new technology called Microsoft Windows. During this time I also became very creative and was making and selling woodcraft, greeting cards and working with polymer clay to earn a bit of pocket money.
In 2007 I decided I was tired of being covered in paint and glue all day and somewhere along the way my creativity had dried up and crafting was becoming more hard work than a hobby so I scratched my head, looked in the papers for what else was out there and assessed my skills. An ad for Way With Words jumped out at me – Transcribers needed. Well, I could type, couldn’t I (although a bit rusty) and hopefully my command of the English language was still intact after years of babbling babies, unintelligible toddlers, know-it-all preteens and the verbally challenged grunts of teenagers. Although, come to think of it, that may have been just the experience required for transcribing! So I took a leap of faith and applied to be a home based transcriber. Miraculously I passed all the tests and went through the training but I have to be honest, after reading through the Transcribers Manual, Way With Words’ demand for excellence was a little daunting and I doubted that I could live up to their expectations! But I have persevered, progressed from dial-up to ADSL, increased my typing speed and absolutely can’t live without Google! So now when everybody has gone out to work for the day, I make myself a cup of tea, settle down behind the computer and see what blessings (as Jenni puts it) have been bestowed upon me for the day. The joy of being at Way With Words for so long is you get all those lovely fuzzy, almost inaudible, dodgy recordings, tight deadlines and terrible foreign accents and get asked to please do your best – we know you can do it!
And when the weekends come along I’m afraid I’m more of a homebody than a party animal. I do housework and gardening just because it has to be done, definitely not for the love of it! My husband is a dedicated DIY guy and home renovations have been a big part of our lives since we bought a house that needed ‘tender loving care and a bit of sprucing up’, and over the years I have been his willing and sometimes unwilling assistant in various building projects and now know the difference between a circular saw and a jig saw and the correct mix for concrete. How our marriage has survived through all the destruction and construction, blood, sweat and tears I don’t know but I do know where he keeps the power tools and I know how to use them… And that in a nutshell is the journey of my life up until now!