The art director looking over my shoulder was beside himself.

“Use CTRL-D!”

Minutes before, he had yelled “Stop the presses!” when he discovered an error on his print job. Now he wanted me to fix his error as fast as possible. Why was I not using every keyboard shortcut known to man?

My mind went back twenty years…. There I was, sitting in my carrel by a second-floor window of the college library. While writing a paper, I looked out the window and watched the ultimate frisbee match they were playing on the lawn below. Three minutes passed, and then I rebuked myself: “Why were you staring out the window, when you were supposed to be writing?!”

Another internal lawyer jumped to my defense, “Actually, you were thinking about this paper the entire time you were looking out the window. You didn’t waste a second. Back off, slave driver!”

The art director snapped me back to the present. “CTRL-D! CTRL-D! I don’t have all day!”

Art directors are paid to criticize, and this one was getting paid overtime.

“Listen here, punk” I thought, practically out loud. “You want me to hurry up because you made a mistake. Around here, they pay me to NOT make mistakes.”

Instead of pressing CTRL-D, I copied and then pasted: two steps to his one step. In the extra milliseconds, I was thinking about what I was doing, checking that the action was correct, looking carefully at the results.

“There, sir. It’s fixed. We’ll make new plates now. You should be back on press in half an hour.”

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