I failed maths – now what?

It is well known in my office that I am not a numbers person. In fact my profile in our system has me reflected as Lesley “Mathematician” Keyter. I still haven’t found out whose little joke that was! I like to think of myself as being more on the creative side – hence putting together fantastic travel trips is what I love to do. COVID has, however, other ideas as to how to make me suffer.

Just about every file I deal with now has some “bookeeping” tasks associated with it. Whether it is getting a breakdown from a supplier as to which amounts will be refunded and which will not, or perhaps working out the value of the return portion of an air ticket. Don’t even get me started with airline taxes. You need a Calculus degree to start working through those. ATSC and AIF and goodness knows what else – don’t forget GST.

I clearly remember the day that my career path changed forever – it was back in high school when my maths teacher gently suggested that maybe I should learn to type as my last maths exam was a miserable failure. So off to the typing class I was sent. I am dating myself now but in those days we did not have electric typewriters – we used the old Hermes manual typewriters – and especially frustrating they were specially made for schools so there we no letters on the keys – no none! It was all about the old ASDF ;LKJ…. how many people know what I am talking about?

Here we go – for those who want to touch type. This came naturally to me for some strange reason and before I knew it I could slam along at 60 words per minute. This was very useful in the field of law where I ended up. Working for Senior Counsel in South Africa kept me on top of my game and I didn’t even need to do shorthand – just talk and I will type as fast as you talk. Sort of like those court reporters you see on Law and Order – except they have a different kind of machine.

Of course everything has changed now even more. Many people can do that 60 word a minute on their phone. That is a skill I haven’t mastered yet and I am in total admiration of those who hold their phone and type with two thumbs. Wow! Naturally we have to learn a whole new language now as we use texts more and more to communicate. Things like idk nm iso nntr…. it’s another language. But at least it is not maths!

Before you all get concerned out there do not worry! I have a fantastic back up team who can really add up, subtract and do amazing sums! I’ll just stick to finding out how to get you to Papua New Guinea!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. Oh Lesley, you are a girl after my own heart! Not afraid any more to admit I had the same experience in High School. Eventually discovered I had other skills and found my way around the mathematics. Cheers, Val.


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