Happy Left-handers Day to all the lefties out there!
Yes, it may seem like an unusual thing to celebrate, but when left-handers make up only 10 percent of the population, it seems right (pun intended) to recognise this unique characteristic.
So who are some of the famous lefties in the world?
Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Napoleon Bonaparte, Oprah Winfrey, Ned Flanders, Bart Simpson*…
*Fun fact: The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is left-handed, so he decided to make many of the characters left-handed too (remember Ned Flander’s ‘Leftorium’ store?).
There are several left-handers in my family including my sister and grandfather. Lefties tend to curve their hand when they write, but some prefer to keep their hand straight and shift their paper to an extreme angle (honestly, my sister turns the page 90 degrees!).
So what are some of the challenges of being left-handed in the workplace?
- Using a guillotine. I find this so difficult and end up cutting the paper into the shape of a fan. The risk of the guillotine jumping or moving is high too (OSH hazard much?).
- Writing on a whiteboard. As writing forms from the left to right side of the board, it is hard to see what you’ve composed. My writing ends up ascending like a mountain climber.
- Smudging. The bane of every left-handers existence. Inky pens are messy at the best of times and having blotchy marks is not pretty. I forget how many cards and documents I’ve ruined from smudging.
- Scissors. I’m so conditioned to using right handed scissors, that I simply can’t use left handed scissors now!
- Sitting next to a right-hander at a meeting. Chances of being accidentally bumped or nudged are high.
- Ticking the ‘other way’. When I tick, I start from the right, then flick out to the left. This may confuse administrators when the instruction is to tick in the opposite direction.
- Workstations designed for righthanders. I once had a desk where all the space for writing and placing documents was on the the right hand side.
- Writing in journals. Imagine being left handed and trying to write on the right hand page. If the book is thick, it is nigh impossible to write neatly and tidily (the left hand simply is too big and awkward to rest on the page).
So there you go. Despite these everyday occurences I am proud to be a lefty and I like the fact I write on an awkward angle and frequently curve my hand (for right-handers, think of your hand as Kermit the Frog, then you’ll get my drift).