Personal Achievements

I’ve accomplished quite a bit this week despite being locked down. No, I didn’t win a damned Oscar, but I’m pretty sure if there WAS one for Best Use Of Hosiery By A Middle-Aged Woman, I would definitely be a contender.

1) Learning New Skills

Last week, I had to finish my Performance Plan which, if you’ve never done one, is where you have to tell someone at the start of the year what you’re planning to do, and then at the end of the year, you tell them what you did, and you hope the two things match well enough that your boss says, “Shantay, you stay.” And while my real boss is very cool, wouldn’t it be amazing if my boss was actually a big, fabulous drag queen who also said, “No tea, no shade! You’re serving up Performance Plan realness—now sissy that walk!”

Anyway, I was putting the finishing touches on my Performance Plan, looking at the ‘courses taken’ section to make sure I’d completed the mandatory accessibility and hazardous materials training (and here’s a long detour: The only hazardous material in my workplace might potentially be the photocopier ink cartridge, and we are under strict instructions to NEVER touch the photocopiers in our office even if they jam, because we are NOT QUALIFIED to unjam a photocopier, even though I spent most of my tenure as an International Languages Principal doing EXACTLY THAT and every Saturday, I was invariably called at least three times to the photocopy room by a distressed staff member who was an excellent teacher of Vietnamese or whatnot, but who couldn’t read English well enough to understand what the digital display on the photocopier was telling them to do, and had managed to completely f*ck up a very expensive machine that it was now MY JOB to repair. So I AM QUALIFIED, FRANK. But I digress. Back to the topic at hand.) and I discovered that there was a section I hadn’t notice before called “Personal Achievements”. Ooh, I thought to myself, now this is exciting. Because the day before, I had made a face mask, and it wasn’t half bad, even if Ken refused to wear it:

Me: Look! I made you a face mask!
Ken: Is that one of your socks?
Me: It may or may not be. See—it goes on like this.
Ken: Is it clean?
Me: Of course I’m pretty sure it’s clean! You can wear it when you go grocery shopping.
Ken: That’s OK. I’ll just stay away from people.

And I was sad, because saving Ken’s life would have been a really good Personal Achievement. But then I went to the tab and opened it, and it was a series of courses that you could take, and some of them were AMAZING. The first thing that caught my eye was ‘Chainsaw Operators Certification” and that would be so handy since we have this chestnut tree on our property that is essentially dead but Ken refuses to cut down because it “still gets a few leaves every year” as more and more of the branches fall off. I could just picture myself wearing a cute flannel shirt tied at the waist, booty shorts, and workboots, firing up that bad boy and yelling whatever it is that lumberjacks yell LIKE A BOSS, as the tree explodes in an orgy of fireworks, and reading this back, I think it’s very apparent that I have no idea what being a lumberjack is really like. But I’m OK.

Then something strange caught my eye. CHEMICAL IMMOBILIZATION OF WILDLIFE. What the hell is this?! So I clicked on it to read the description, which said, “Learn how to chemically immobilize nuisance wildlife” which shone no further light on how, and more importantly WHY one would want to do this, and all I could picture was forests full of animals standing completely still like weird fluffy statues, and I DIDN’T LIKE IT AT ALL.

So I comforted myself by considering taking the Harvard Manager Mentor courses, specifically “Difficult Interactions”, “Persuading Others”, and “Time Management” because Ken is so damn stubborn, but I think I might already have those skills:

Me: Put the sock mask on.
Ken: No.
Me: You’re being difficult. Put the damn mask on or I won’t make homemade pizza for dinner. You have 5 seconds.
Ken (sighs): OK.

See? I dealt with a difficult interactions using persuasion and time management.

There was also the Joint Health and Safety Committee, which I’m assuming has something to do with the legalization of marijuana, Pleasure Craft Operators Card (which I might need now that Ken and I have kayaks), Snow Mobile Operator, and Search Warrant Training. Almost every course you could take sounded completely badass, and all I need is my boss’s approval. Hopefully, she says, “Okurrrr!”

2) A while ago, I was complaining that I couldn’t change my wifi name to something more fun, but I DID figure out how to do this on my computer screensaver:

I’m pretty pleased with myself for being able to capture this moment, since it swirls around really fast, kind of like my brain.

3) Last week, our neighbour across the street moved out, and new neighbours moved in. They seemed like regular people with regular furniture, but later in the afternoon, Ken came downstairs:

Ken: I think the new neighbours have a really big dog, but it’s just standing in the middle of their lawn not moving.
Me: Maybe it’s been chemically immobilized.
Ken: Seriously, come and see.

So we looked out the window and realized that in the middle of our new neighbours’ lawn, they had placed a giant, plastic wolf statue. It wasn’t by their front door, or in the middle of a flower bed where you’d EXPECT to see a lawn ornament. It was just standing there staring at our house. And it had these really weird, bright blue eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and later on, I went out for a few groceries and took a surreptitious picture of it from my driveway. I was intending to sneak back at some point and get a close-up of its eyes, but when we got up the next morning, IT WAS GONE. I’m already having trouble sleeping because I hurt my shoulder, and the only way to be comfortable is to let my arm dangle straight down off the mattress, but I CAN’T DO THAT BECAUSE OF THE DEMONS THAT MAY OR MAY NOT LIVE UNDER THE BED. And now, I have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to find a giant, plastic wolf scratching at my door. So I did what any normal person would do—I made Ken put on the sock and go to the store to get the new neighbours a gift basket. At least one of my personal achievements came in handy this week.

(I just got nominated for Publication of the Month at Spillwords Press for a flash piece I posted a few weeks ago called “Resurrection”. If you’d like to vote for me, you might have to register but it’s free, there’s no obligation for anything further, and if you do, I’ll write a story with your name in it. Also, they’re a terrific and very responsive publication to submit to in case you’re looking for somewhere—anyway, here’s the link: Vote

66 thoughts on “Personal Achievements

  1. I think those professional plans are kind of stupid, I have to do the same every year along with a self-evaluation of my performance. Like what am I suppose to say? “Oh I am TERRIFIC at my job and I should be promoted for NOT killing Baby Kermit, yes please your welcome!”
    And I’ve taken so many professional development courses it’s not even funny. And, Player One, you’ve done a spectacular job taking on the responsibility of handling the copy machine, that in itself a huge accomplishment! 😎
    As for that wolf statute, maybe it’s like the Weeping Angels in Dr. Who, if you blink it gets closer or moves. But since you and Ken were staring at it it didn’t move……just sayin’…….you never know 🤔

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, I had to write self-congratulatory comments on mine too. I find it very hard to laud myself, but I DID mention my photocopy prowess, And if your Dr. Who theory is right, maybe it disappeared because I went to sleep. At least I hope!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. On the one hand you taking down the chestnut tree would be amazing and if you went and did it now you’d probably automatically qualify for that chainsaw operators’ certification, although I shouldn’t encourage that. Also I sympathize with Ken. Chestnut trees were wiped out in North America about a century ago. This one’s admirable for hanging on.
    Really though looking at the list of certifications I was intrigued by CANWARN. Does that qualify you to warn people of impending danger? You’re pretty qualified already.
    Now I’m off to vote. You persuaded me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I adored the chestnut tree for many years and loved getting chestnuts, but it’s been slowly dying no matter what we do. It’s such a shame. The people on the corner have a huge one that seems to be doing well, so I’ll have to steal some of their chestnuts to console myself. Consider them warned. And thanks for the vote!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Corporate | Department | Individual ==> Goals

    Those are the segments we must address/provide each year with the intent that we somehow accomplish them within the time allotted.

    This year’s Corporate Goal “Handle Ambiguity.”

    How the hell can that, in any way, be construed as a “goal”? Goals /always/ have measurable metrics or achievable targets. Oy!

    Everyone should learn how to run a chainsaw. Chainsaws are /always/ among your first choice of weapons during a zombie apocalypse. Besides, learning how to fell a tree is paramount to pointing out to your wolf-neighbor when they’re about to take out your electrical lines with a massive elm. (See Youtube).

    Regarding being a lumberjack, you already wear women’s clothing, no? Eat buttered scones?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Authoress51 says:

    I like the idea of taking online classes, but why don’t you look into free ones so you don’t need your bosses approval. Like FutureLearn and Coursera.
    Also, I love the wolf statue. Guess it didn’t like having it’s picture taken. HA

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, these ones ARE free–they’re all through work. I’m actually learning how to code in HTML right now because it’s not like I don’t have the time, lol. And yes, I think that wolf was very camera-shy!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh you make me laugh, I don’t like having anything hanging out of the bed either for fear of the cat thinking my hands or feet are a bird in flight! I wonder where the wolf went? Here in England you can buy pot sheep to graze on your lawn if you have one big enough!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Your posts are always a hoot! And a trip! Or a trip involving hooting. I think I’m tripping right now as I write this. And I can’t stop hooting. (I may need professional help.)

    Have you tried fertilizing the tree? I had a silver maple that was all but dead. I’d even had someone come out and perform last rites on it, but just as he cranked up his chain saw I just couldn’t bear to see my beloved silver maple end up like this, so I stayed its execution. Instead, I began treating it with Bayer Tree and Shrub treatment (be sure to follow instructions). It took a couple of years, but it is much, much better now.

    And aren’t socks quite the versatile little garment? They are also good for … um … sock puppets. And dust rags. Okay, I really don’t have much use for old socks. Nor do they have much use for me. But if you put your sock masks on Etsy I may or may not buy one. Is Etsy still a thing? I’m falling behind on my Internet.

    Anyway, great post as always! I shall be voting just as soon as I register. And just as soon as I overcome my fear of registering at websites.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, I’d give anything to bring it back but the trunk is rotting and half of it collapsed last summer. And yes, I love socks—I’m a woman who hasn’t worn a pair of pantyhose for over 23 years so they’re a staple of my wardrobe for feet and now for face!


  7. I always hated those review/career plan song and dances. They want you to make all these plans, as if you can ever do anything but say, “how high” when they say jump.

    Perhaps the best goal is to have special jumping socks, that’ll give you that extra centimeter or two,

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I would think “Chainsaw Operators Certification” would also fulfill the requirements of the “Persuading Others” workshop, because honestly: What’s more persuasive than someone wielding one of those babies?!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You are handling the performance plan like a BOSS! (Shut up FRANK!) Yassss to the chainsaw, for sure sissy walk the outfit!!! While all this is happening, you still saved Ken’s life! Hosiery Oscar is yours! However… I am stunned, Player One, that you passed up the Forest Operations Compliance Inspection Certificate. Once I had my ‘FOCIC’ I would have to dress like a Canadian Mountie… and I would ride a horse, as soon as I learned how… (is Canadian Mountie horse riding on that list? Check.) until then… I’d drive my truck, put a chainsaw in the back, and printer ink. I would hand out sock masks and save forest animals from the crazy people putting out random fires with chemicals… as I write citations to anyone who even owns a plastic wolf! Who gets an Oscar now??? 😆😆😆

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have been wearing a bandana for a face covering when I need one. It is actually one my sister made for Ranger because it is so cute.
    Learning to use a chainsaw could work into a fallback for your current career. We just paid $125 to get a large tree cut down – the first guy we talked to quoted $250.00.

    Liked by 2 people

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