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    Clickable dictation at various speeds is available at the bottom of this page. The transcript of the dictation appears here as well.

   It's amazing how most of the articles appearing in old shorthand books talk about hard work and achieving the American dream. Here's yet another piece in that same vein.

Speed Building Simplified, One-Year Course, The Gregg Publishing onCompany, 1951, p 142-144.

Mike and his Customers

            The first time I was conscious of Mike’s existence, he was a newsboy in front of a large, busy railway station.
            His stock in trade consisted of huge bundles of evening newspapers; and it was his job to get as much business as possible from the swiftly flowing mob of people, none of whom had more than a few seconds to devote to buying a paper.  Furthermore, he had fifteen or twenty yelling competitors—younger lads who ran through the crowd or trotted alongside customers as they made change.  But Mike didn’t yell or run.  He had a better system. 
            Up to the time that I came across Mike, I paid no attention to the boy who handed me my paper every day.  Then one evening I handed Mike a quarter in payment for a paper.  “Pay me later,” he said.  He was handing out papers so fast, he didn’t have time to make change.  Few of his customers were doing more than grabbing the papers he handed them as they rushed by.  The next evening when I tried to liquidate my debt, he said, “Pay me when you feel like it—bunch them up.”
            From then on I, like hundreds of others, got my papers from him on the run and paid for them when I pleased.  I always added a little extra for the timesaving service I was receiving.
            Mike sold several times as many papers as anyone else in front of the station and probably received twice as much as the regular price.  He worked up an established trade under difficult conditions by the simple device of rendering a service—the only method by which any business succeeds.  It wasn’t long before a smart circulation manager spotted Mike and took him in charge.  Shortly afterward, he made Mike his assistant.

For more information on shorthand speed building, click here.

Instructions for Self-Dictation Practice:
    Copy and paste the above article into a word-processing document, using double or triple spacing and 12- or 14-pitch type.
    As always, be sure to check your shorthand dictionary for correct outlines before "drilling"!

Dictation Practice:
    Note that the material was counted and recorded for dictation at 100; all other speeds were copied from the 100 take and electronically adjusted and may therefore sound unusual.

60 wpm 80 wpm 100 wpm 120 wpm 140 wpm

The dictation material above is copyrighted, all rights reserved.

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Gregg Shorthand Pitman Shorthand Speedwriting Shorthand