LEADERSHIP: THE CAPTAIN IS NEVER WRONG

August 10, 2015

Leadership is the final skill is attainable through employment – if you want it. The problem is you have to want it. If one wants a management job, one generally has to apply for it. By contrast, leaders grow into the job by taking on responsibility and inspiring others to do so as well.

My old man was a tug boat captain. He was responsible for the command of a ship that was all engine. There was only room aboard for five crewmembers.  He never applied for the position. He came up through the ranks. He began as a deck hand, then a second mate, then a first mate, then a captain.

“I could never figure out how he did it.” said his first mate at the old man’s funeral. He was talking about his skill at docking the boat regarded as a critical part of seamanship.  A mistake could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in dock and hull repair. “He took the walkie-talkie and scampered to the stern.” The mate continued.  “Then he started telling us to increase or decrease the RPS of either the port or starboard engines. We would just walk the boat in then tie her up. It was like our hands became extensions of his brain.”

“I never could figure out how he did it.” He said.

“You mean he didn’t tell you?” I asked.

“Tell me what?” The mate asked. “You mean there was a trick to it?”

“You could call it that,” I said. “Do you want me to tell you?

“Sure.” He said. “I might want to be a skipper some day.”

As I told the mate, the old man came up through the ranks, just like you did. That means he learned how the boat ‘felt’ when it was running smoothly under command. That means that he knew what the crew felt like when running smoothly under his command. That’s 90% of the work. The 10 % comes from a problem – such as docking.

He could have had all the controls moved to the stern and conducted the whole operation by himself, but he didn’t want to do that. He wanted the crew to be active participants.  “After all,” he used to think to himself, “If the company finds out that the first and second mates were redundant, they wouldn’t have jobs, and if they didn’t have jobs, where on earth would the supply of skippers come from?”

The fact was that he really didn’t have a clue what the changes in RPMs of the engines would do, but he had to do something. He used to start off far enough from the wharf that if he didn’t like the direction the boat was going after he gave his first order; he had time to change it. He just had to do it in such a way that iot didn’t appear he made a mistake, because the captain is never wrong. He might be misinformed, but he’s never wrong.

Therefore, there are three rules of leadership:

  1. If there is a problem, you have the distance from to the wharf to make a remedial decision
  2. You need to involve the crew – not so much to help, but so they can witness leadership
  3. You have to be prepared to take responsibility for your action. If the ship sinks, you need to go down with it.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

YOU CAN LEARN TO BE PART OF A TEAM FROM WORKING

July 5, 2015

You will likely recall from my last blog, I am looking for reasons that someone with a disability might consider working as part of their recovery. There is more to work than just a paycheque. Work provides opportunities to develop skills that you can’t get anywhere else. One of these is developing  an ability to work as a part of a team.

During the height of the last Ice Age, there was a whole collection of critters that w sometime called mega fauna because they were big. There were sabre-toothed tigers and American lions to contend with. The short-faced bear that was roughly the size of an elementary school that could rip apart bison the size of box cars, and gigantic camels, ground sloths woolly mammoths and, of course, horses.

All of these animals became extinct by the end of the Ice Age. These included the horse and camel who may have migrated across the Bering Land Bridge into Asia and Europe. Some of the camels went to South America to be llamas. There were no horses in North America after the ice age until the arrival of the Spaniards.

Horses kept heading West just as the First Nations people headed East. Apparently their paths never crossed. In any event, it took 5 – 10 thousand years for the horse to become domesticated. The date for this was learned when traces of mare’s milk was recovered from a flask. The date of 5000 years has to be the early date for this because you can’t milk a wild horse.

First Nations people on the Great Plains developed a tradition of hunting bison using teamwork. The would find a herd and dress up a team member in bison skins and have him mingle with the heard. Other members would make piles of rocks and hide behind them. The piles of rocks would outline a passageway that would decrease in breadth – ultimately leading to the edge of a cliff.

When everything was in place, the guy in the skins would begin to overact, causing a small stampede, As the heard headed for the rock piles, team members would pop up and focus the herd to their ultimate demise at the bottom of the cliff.

When the Spanish came, the horse made this operation easier. In fact, the team skills they developed hunting translated to the teamwork they developed to defeat Custer at the Little Big Horn.

Another example of team work may come from some of the nursing homes. A Care Aid spots a resident on the floor and deduces that something has to be done. She notices that the resident outweighs her by a significant amount. If she does it herself, she will hurt herself, and likely drop the resident again. She assembles a team, “You two take the knees, you two take the hips, and I’ll take the shoulders.” She says. “Okay, one, two three lift.” The problem is solved, and everyone got to feel they were a contributing team member.

I believe there are three skills that let one become a member of a team: listening (for the bison hooves and for the count in the care home), problem solving (applying the team) and negotiation. (You wear the skins this time).

You can only learn this stuff at work, but once you have, put it on your resume.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

WHY BOTHER TO WORK?

June 29, 2015

About 25 years ago I interviewed for a vocational rehabilitation counsellor position at for an insurance company. The owner of the company had a PhD in Psychology while my undergraduate degree was in Archaeology. I thought that put me a decided advantage. His first, and as it turned out, last question in the interview was, “Why would anyone who is being paid disability  benefits, which can be quite generous, be interested in giving It all up and go to work?”

“They have a need to improve their economic situation.” I answered. “They want to pay more taxes and contribute to their RRSPs. With each embellishment of this theme I dug myself deeper and deeper into my self-excavated hole of despair. Finally, he ended the interview. Come back when you find the answer.

The bastard never gave me the satisfaction of answering the question. At least he didn’t call me grasshopper or try to get me to snatch a pebble from his hand. What a show off.

Over the next 25 years I developed a career for myself as a vocational rehabilitation counsellor. Luckily, no one ever asked that question again. Nevertheless, it haunted me. It was a riddle that demanded an answer.

That’s why last fall I was thrilled to be asked to speak to a group of people in Burnaby to try out some of the answers I thought might at least open a discussion on why a person with a disability might want to work a part of their recovery.

My original answer still stands. It’s good to have money. Money lets you do things beyond survival. But there is more to it than that. The good doctor was right after all.

The first of these is workplace comradery. When you find a job, you’re thrust into a position  of relating to strangers. You begin to form relationships with them. You may even find yourself socializing with them, which is probably better for your wellbeing than hanging around the house watching reruns of Hogan’s Heroes on the cable network. Having relationships means gaining support, expanding your network, and generally getting yourself into trouble.

My audience  liked this reason for working. In fact I could have left it there and had a good question and answer period afterward. But I felt freeform. I had more to say. Next week will bring my understanding of archaeology, paleontology and driving a tug boat to show two other ways employment can benefit people recovering from a mental illness.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

 

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

 He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

 He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net  or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

HITTING THE WOODSHED

June 14, 2015

Last Sunday I taught my first step class in a month, and aside from some squats I had my class doing in the warm-up. It went off without a hitch. Those lunges caused my knee cap – or patella to those more anatomically inclined, to migrate from where it should be to the outer portion of my thigh.

 
That didn’t hurt. It just felt uncomfortable – and kind of surprising. I just wasn’t expecting it.

 
It didn’t hurt because there was nothing there with nerves to hurt. A month ago, I had knee replacement surgery and I have been in the woodshed ever since.

 
For those who don’t know, the woodshed is where musicians go to rehearse. I was a musician once, bit I wasn’t very good. I didn’t get out of the woodshed much. Now I’m back in it.

 
The first trip to the woodshed involved reclaiming my ability to walk. I used a walker for a half an hour, then graduated to crutches. a fitness instructor shouldn’t he seen with a walker. Crutches, at least, allowed me to preserve some of my dignity. They took a little more energy to operate as I did my laps around the hospital ward.

 
For the first few weeks, I walked, I climbed up and down stairs, I walked fast, I jogged, and I got yelled at by the surgeon and the physiotherapist. Then I started doing the warm-up for my step class. Then I went outside and treated the neighbours to my repertoire of tricks on the curb. A month after surgery, I was able to present my wares to my class.

 
Life in the woodshed is tedious, but it paid off.

 

I’m back, and I am bionic. Now I can lessen my woodshed and write some material for my blog.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

HOW ABOUT A NICE TROPICAL VACATION

March 22, 2015

Ever since I met her, Cecelia, my sweetie, wanted to build a house in Jamaica. That is easy for her to say. She is from there. She has family there. She can acclimatize to the year-round summer.

I don’t think I can. I tried. I spent a whole week there. I visited with all her friends and relatives. I got to hang out with real Jamaicans in real Jamaica. We had little to do with all the nearby 5 star hotels with their all-inclusive deals on air conditioned air. We spent our time with crickets, fireflies and Jamaicans.

But jeepers it was hot.

Now, after 15 years of scrimping and saving, we actually secured a spot on the Island, and there will come a time when I’ll have to return to the island for a little R&R.

The only way I can think of in putting off the inevitable sojourn is to make sure that I never get the chance because the property is always busy. I can live with that!

As a result, I suddenly have a vacation opportunity to offer all by friends. For only $75 American per night (cheaper for multiple nights) you can live in our house as a guest. We can offer, for a price, a driver and someone to cook authentic cuisine for you.

The house is minutes away from the Sangster International Airport near Rose Hall. Come to Jamaica and live with the natives – which includes a Peanut Man who will sell peanuts at the house gate.

Get more information and see some pictures at the following site:
https://www.flipkey.com/rose-hall-vacation-rentals/p1064186/

Remember your bathing suits!

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

WHY MEN DON’T LIKE TO GO TO THE DOCTOR

March 9, 2015

That was more or less the original title of the Article I sent to Alive Magazine last December. Thet wanted to change it because Alive Magazine also likes to write about alternative medicine. As a result, the title becomes Improving Men’s Health, and Doctor becomes substituted with “Health Care Practitioner.
Nevertheless whether it’s a doctor or a healthcare practitioner, guys don’t like to go. The article is now out, so all my Canadian friends can pick it up for free at health stores everywhere. For those who are seasoned magazine stand skippers and who get there after the last one is taken, and for those who do not live in Canada, here is the online version:
http://www.alive.com/articles/view/24349/improving_mens_health
I have a feeling that this topic is a big one for men, and for the women who are likely more conserned about men’s health than men are. Feel free to let me know what you thing at Michael_broderick@telus.net

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

THE FIRST DATE VS THE JOB INTERVIEW

February 15, 2015

This morning, in honour of Valentine’s day, Ethen Fixell, the About.com Dating from the Male Perspective Expert published an article, “The 6 Worst Things To Do On A First Date.” (http://datingadvice.about.com/od/Meeting-People/tp/The-6-Worst-Things-To-Do-On-A-First-Date.htm?utm_source=cn_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_term=About%20Today%20Channel%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=todaysl&utm_content=20150214 ) As I read (and agreed with) all the tactics Fixell said about getting yourself into trouble on a first date, I couldn’t help but think about the similar perils that could keep you from getting hired in a job interview.
There are many similarities between dating and interviewing. They are both forums to strut your best stuff in an attempt to get lucky, they are both venues to determine whether there might be a chance that you will love each other, and they are both activities where you always win – you just never know what the prize is going to be.
Here is Fixell’s list:
1. Reek of desperation.
The trick to first dating is to find a medium ground between ‘like,’ ‘lust’ and stalking. You have to play it cool on the first date. When you say good night at the end of it all, don’t put your foot in the door to keep your date from closing it. Your date will let you know if there will be a second interview.
Regarding interviewing, I have always said that it’s easier to get a job when you have a job. I don’t mean to say that you should already have a date when you are on a date, but the fact is if you are employed, a lot of the stress and urgency of the need for a paycheque is reduced. Employers, like dates, can sense desperation, and it moves you down a notch or two on the short list for hiring if you are on your knees sobbing when the question, “Is there anything you want to know about us?” is asked.
Try to muster some dignity.
2. Fail to pay attention.
Turn off your cell phone, stop playing “Angry Birds” and keep your eyes off the server’s butt as she walks from table to table. Your date wants you to concentrate on her. I once knew a woman who would snatch a cell phone away from her date and start calling her friends in Europe. Show some class or get a huge phone bill
In an interview, turn off the cell phone. Show a little respect. After all, the only call you’re likely to get is from a bad date in Europe calling you while you’re trying to tell your prospective employer something about yourself.
Also, try to concentrate on making eye contact. You need a connection. Make it.
3. Don’t be a wet noodle.
Show some confidence blended with etiquette. Don’t be submissive or subservient. Show confidence.
In an interview, have a firm handshake, make eye contact, and speak in an authoritative voice – especially if you know what you’re talking about. Show that you can be decisive and have a “take no prisoners” attitude. Or any type to attitude.
4. Stay away from sex, religion or politics.
Save this for the second date.
Save this for the second interview.
5. Don’t reveal too much.
On a first date there are things that can be blurted out that ought to have been left unblurted. If there are skeletons in your closet, try to keep the closet door shut. When I was an archaeologist, I literally had a skeleton in my closet, and it cost me a relationship.
In an interview, DON’T SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT YOUR FORMER BOSS.
5. Don’t forget important facts.
Remember your date’s name

Remember your perspective employer’s name.

I once had an interview. The prospective employer called me later to say that I DID NOT GET THE JOB. Then she asked me on a date. See … you always win – you just never know what the prize is going to be.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

THERE’S NO FREE LUNCH, SO BUCK UP

January 19, 2015

 

 

THERE’S NO FREE LUNCH, SO BUCK UP
Over the past few years, I have had many people ask me whether I give discounts to people to compose resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles for them. Almost in the same breath they ask whether I could give them some samples of my work.

Presumably they want to see why my resumes work so well so they can copy it and try to capitalize on a little free success.

Until today, I have been ignoring these requests. Today, however, I sent my first email out to respond to these requests. I wrote:

Dear Potential Client:

I’m sorry that you had to wait so long, but your questions kind of caught me off guard.

Regarding discounts:

As a resume writer, I operate a business out of my basement. The idea is to make a little extra money to help pay off the mortgage – or at least pay off a bit of the last electric bill. Given that, there would need to be some sort of advantage to me to offer a discount.

Discounts are generally given to enhance a company’s business. If you wanted a discount, you would need to tell me why you would want a discount, and tell me what a discount would do for me. For example, do you represent a graduating class of 2014 of students who wish to enter the labour market and a resume would give me a marketing advantage?

Frankly, if you read my ad and compared my fees with others doing the same thing, and considered my experience (25 years in the employment field working with people with significant barriers to employment), you would soon figure out that I am the most cost effective of the bunch. Mine are 1/3 of the going rate at $80 for a resume and $20 for a cover letter. For that price, you have a chance of landing an interview.

The next steps to employment are up to you.

Samples?

Resumes are very personal, and I would be willing to bet that one of my clients would recognize the work I did for them if I started handing it out as a sample. There is a chance that their new boss might see it and recognize it as very similar to their new hire – only the names were changed to protect the innocent. It could be embarrassing to my client. Actually, it would be a breach of confidentiality.

Suppose that client was you, and you were the new hire having just landed the job. Another candidate drops a resume off and your boss reads it and recognised that he has read this before. Bosses don’t get to be bosses by looking pretty when they see two identical resumes – especially if the new candidate can out-compete you in the skills department.

If you lost your job because someone got a sample and of a resume that you paid for, you would be calling me every name in the book.

I can tell you what to expect on my resumes
• Contact information that is centred so the boss’ thumb doesn’t obscure your name.
• A lack of graphics that get in the way of global scans and do a great job of hiding those all-important key words that employers want to see.
• No objective: Objectives tell the boss what you want, and he or she doesn’t care. They want to what you can do for them.
• Three things that you’ve done before that tell the boss what you can do. There are three because people think in terms of threes.
• A 39 – 50 word profile that tells “…a little bit about yourself.” Actually it’s more than that. We discuss your thoughts on team work and leadership – qualities that the boss may be interested in in the future.
• A laundry list of key strengths that you offer.
• An employment history that uses verbs written in the gerund tense to show that hou can still do those action verbs.
• Education and how it relates to the work you’ve done.
• A lecture from yours truly on the proper care and feeding of your references.
• A cover letter that has the guts to ask for an interview

As far as I can see, that’s a pretty good deal for a hundred bucks.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

DID APPLE KILL FITNESS?

December 29, 2014

All last summer and into the fall, the telephone networks have been playing this rousing ad for the iPhone: http://uproxx.com/tv/2014/06/whats-the-deal-with-that-go-you-chicken-fat-go-iphone-commercial-anyway/

I thought the ad was funny – especially the opening that featured a couple of seconds of a dude doing wind sprints on the bed to the shock and surprise of his wife or lover who was just driven from the arms of Morpheus. After a few hundred viewings, I realized the ad was for an app for the iPhone that was designed to promise you fitness at the touch of the screen.

“Yeah … Right,” I thought. “As if this little toy was going to get anyone into shape.”

Then I realized they were actually gunning for my job as a fitness instructor.

They tried to do it before. About a decade ago a fellow named Billy Blank and his Tae Bo program. As soon as the videos came out, my class attendance dropped by about 40%. Gradually people started to return. They had to wait for their knee injuries to heal up and hair over.

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a radio program on CBC Radio 1 as I was on my way to teach a step class at Kerrisdale Community Centre in Vancouver. The piece featured technology could be used to get into shape. The radio guest said she had lost 50 pounds in the past few months using apps that examined and reported on her physical activity, monitored her caloric intake, and gave her information on nutrition. Further, she said you could take any type of class you want on the Interweb through Youtube.

Apparently some of the apps offer words of encouragement to the exerciser. It has assumed the role of “Coach.” It reminds you when you’ve been sitting too long and it’s time to get your sorry butt moving.

She also spoke about smart clothing that monitors your vitals and reports them to your doctor – as if he or she would be remotely interested in your resting heart rate. I suppose those smart duds could whack you with a Taser jolt if it sensed that you were cheating on your workout.

On writing this piece, I am developing the hunch that I probably don’t have anything to worry about, and that my career is safe. I think that people will soon realize that you don’t need a computer to tell you when you’re sweating.

Then there is human nature. I spent some time looking at some classes on Youtube. Frankly, they’re boring. In fact, they’re purposefully boring. Anyone that wanted to get anything out of it would have to sit and watch, then go to the floor to try it out – unless the exerciser is skilled at writing out choreography. They would more likely fall asleep in front of the screen. There is nothing to make the classes interesting.

If I learned one thing about fitness in the past 25 or so years, it is nothing if not show business. The instructor tells stories and jokes. She or he shows off, and, like a Shakespearean actor, has put in hours rehearsing for every piece of choreography, and most importantly, has learned to talk during sit-ups. They offer both comfort and misery to their participants who show up regularly because misery loves company.

Find that in an app!

There may be some good in all this high tech fitness after all. It may get people who have never been interested in fitness an opportunity to become sufficiently fit to join a class to maintain, or even enhance their fitness levels by coming to my class.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

KEEL-HAULED BY MODERN-DAY PIRATES

December 15, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to post on this site. In the month of November I had an article to write for Alive Magazine that will be out in March, a stack of resumes to compose, and a seminar to prepare on the use of Social Media to facilitate job search. It’s also been busy at work, and I have been fending off pirates.
The pirates showed up a few months ago. They came with dozens of winged breasts fluttering across bu computer screen like migrating monarch butterflies . I would have thought I was having a sexual fantasy if it weren’t for the fact that they began to play audio ads for Absorbine Junior for the treatment of foot fungus. It is difficult to connect the itchiness of athletes’ feet and fluttering breasts to come up with any meaningful fantasy.
The pirates dropped anchor near my C-Moss clock and dispatched dingys of techies to have their way with my hard drive and to see what they could extort from my bank account. I didn’t want to write about it, but I needed to warn everyone, and the took me for almost the cost of my computer so far and they’re after more.
The first attack came in the form of a youngish sounding polite man with a slight Asian accent named Jordan. He told me he was answering a bunch of automatic messages from my computer to his workstation. He told me that he was from Windows, and that there was something terribly wrong with my computer. “I suppose you’ve already noticed the breasts,” he said. “You have the dreaded Migrating Breast virus, and it will likely do real damage to your computer. You don’t want all your clients to see breasts all over your client’s documents, do you?”
Then he said he was going to fix it, and he got me to give him all my banking information And to let him have remote access to my computer. He also gave me a year’s worth of repairs for only $300. What a deal. It was like having my own private pirate for a year.
About 3 months later the pirates returned to my sandy shores. They approached me by telephone. They said ist was Window’s “Refundation” Department. They said that the problems I had with my computer were so serious that even Windows couldn’t fix it. As a sign of good faith, the “Refundation” department was going to repay me. Unlike Jordan, this pirate was considerably short tempered and he hung up on me.
Three weeks later he called again, then again in another three weeks. I’ll say one thing about those windows pirates, they’re patient.
Finally, Jordan called again. He didn’t get flustered and hang up. Then I learned the depth of the scam. He got may bank information, then claimed to overpay be by $400. Then he put a hold on my computer and he would keep holding it until I wired him that supposed overpayment to an address in India. Then he released my computer and made adjustments to it that would make it run better. He manipulated my computer running scans. The money was never returned, and I am now out $750.
The other day, a bIg green bar appeared on my screen. It said Windows needed my help. It appears every tree hours my computer is on. There were apparently updates that my computer couldn’t access. I did a google search on how to get updates and found a Window’s technician who was eager to do a scan for me. He did, then presented me with a bill for $350, and suggested I pay it or all manner of harm would come to my computer. I didn’t. The story was all too familiar. I turned off my computer.

 

Yesterday I got a call from none other than my old pal Jordan. He was responding to the scan he just did on my computer.

 

“I thought you were from the ‘Refundation’ Department,” I said. He hung up on me.
I feel I may have the upper hand..
Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.


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