That is SO Old School!

My sister likes to give me hell about my inability to get rid of stuff.

She *might* be right, but I’m not admitting to it here.

I do, however, have a very strong “cheap” streak running through me.

I can’t help it, roots of my raising.

So this cheap streak means that when I have a possession that has served me well and works easily, I tend to keep it. And use it. Use it WELL past its prime.

Behold, one such object for which I feel great affection.

My old school adding machine.

This item was procured for me back in the year of nineteen and ninety-seven.

It was a purchase made by the admin assistant to the Director of Procurement at the Lockheed facility where I was employed.

I had to prove to the admin assistant that the adding machine on my desk was truly broken.

She didn’t believe me.

It was quite a negotiation.

Finally, my wit and charm prevailed, and this little baby was ordered, fresh from our office supply vendor.

A brand new out of the box adding machine was unheard of at that Lockheed location!

My new possession featured typical ten key navigation. The choice of accountants and those who wear eye shades alike.

Oh yes.

I love this adding machine.

It’s been with me, my trusted friend, for THIRTEEN YEARS!

I loffs it.

I used to work at a hip, hot IT company. One of my employees who is cooler in her pinky toe than I’ll ever be in my whole rig used to give me an endless stream of grief about my “old school” adding machine.

“Your iPhone has a calculator!” she’d remind me about once a day.

Yes, it does. But it’s not the same.

The tactile pleasure from the machine and that little raised nub on the 5 button, so you know where you are without looking? Delicious!

And look! If I want to, I can even print out my column of numbers!!! Check and double check!

I choose to keep the tape roll off the machine. Why waste the paper, right?

Oh my sweet glorious adding machine. It’s now found a new home, a place of honor, on my new desk at my new hip, hot IT employer.

As I drew the beast out of my backpack and lovingly cleaned it up with alcohol wipes, my new boss declared “what is that?!?!”

But then one of my new employees said, “oh, I love adding machines. I still have mine too. I love using the tape to check my number input.”

I almost wept.

We may have found a home here…me and my not-so-sleek, not-so-luxurious adding machine.

In case you were wondering, yes…I took my adding machine with me when I left Lockheed. They considered it my going away present. It was so thoughtful!

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  • Jennifer

    I love old adding machines! There is nothing like that "chunk" kind of sound each key makes as you hit it. You know you're doing something with that kind of feedback. :) Using my keyboard number pad just isn't the same.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Jennifer, you are my kind of people!

    I agree, the whole tactile effect of the adding machine…lovely!!

    Love your blog too, btw!

    Thanks for the comment!!

  • Elise

    Lord. I still have 10-key by touch, and that is one seriously obsolete skill. Ha. People are COMPLETELY fascinated to watch me add, though. It can actually draw a crowd.


  • Karen Fayeth

    Elise – people will TOTALLY gather around to watch. It's like some ancient and lost art.

    Power to the ten key'ers!

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