Transcriber Penny Fletcher
Way With Words
“A weeny advertisement in the press tempted me to apply to a company which promised one could work from home. I applied, walking on eggshells, spending days checking each word and verb tense in the tests submitted, and subsequent training.”
Born in Johannesburg this side of the boerewors curtain of the then Transvaal, I became a ‘Zulu maiden’, as I attended school in Durban all my life. The family also spent time living in the Fairest Cape.
Much of my career has been spent in university administration: first as Social Secretary at Wits, returning to Wits some years later, in PR, and then in the Centre for Continuing Education. In between was Camelot: I joined the newly-formed Music department at the University of Natal, Durban, while I also took a BA in English and Drama. This was interrupted by a trip to Europe, where I was a student at the Institute of Touraine, when I fell in love with France, a liaison which endures to this day. ‘Madame’ was rather like a French Miss Haversham, only there was no wedding cake. But there were some rats. Returning to Natal to finish my degree, and convinced that I had found my calling during a production of Cabaret, “I slept and dreamt that life was beauty / I woke – and found that life was duty”. But what is there besides music, drama, and literature, except perhaps a little glass of Chateau d’Yuem? My dears.
I spent a period with publisher Al Venter, soldier of fortune and expert on Africa, during the turbulent eighties, when nameless people would come to the house/office, Lilliesleaf Farm – site of the infamous Rivonia raid – while the Beloved Country teetered.
A last dramatic foray was into Spanish dancing. Of course my spine rebelled, but I recommend it: Spanish dancing can be taken up at any age. My final years in the private sector were with an Italian-owned export company, made memorable by visits to Italy, huddles round the cappuccino machine, and lessons with Dante Alighieri.
A weeny advertisement in the press tempted me to apply to a company which promised one could work from home. I applied, walking on eggshells, spending days checking each word and verb tense in the tests submitted, and subsequent training. Since being accepted by Way With Words, I’ve thrived on six years of learning curve, interest, fascination, tears, frustration, incomprehension, and gales of laughter, with a truly wonderful and special host of people, and network of contractors with whom I share this road. Do I still insert too many commas? I think so. Nevertheless, thank you for this opportunity.