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.

BOOTING THE TV OUT OF THE BEDROOM

November 16, 2014

This morning, one of the participants in my 9:00 AM Circuit Training Class at West Point Grey Community Centre told me, ”My television got me into fitness when I was fifteen years old. Now you want me to get rid of it. What is going on? Are you starting a cult?”

A few minutes earlier, I told the class her that about some research that was being made public concerning the relationship between diabetes, cancer and obesity and the amount of sleep people are getting. The particular research was brought to my attention in an email from one of my managers at Fraser Health where I work. “The bedroom,” my manager wrote, “Is for sleeping and having sex. Nothing more.” I read the article because I think it’s great that a manager would care about his employees enough to give us permission to have sex.

The article concerns the relationship between sleep these conditions promote, and the relationship between blue light and in the bedroom and how it inhibits the body’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin.

During the day, the body is drenched in blue light which supresses the amount of melatonin which causes the body to be alert. Night-time light bas little blue light, and the body can produce melatonin which makes us tired. When we finally get to the deepest part of sleep, or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, the body starts to replenish and reboot itself. This is good, because it gives the body a chance to recuperate from all the stresses of the day. REM sleep is necessary for good health.
When cellular phones and flat screen Televisions enter the bedrooms, the body, which is supposed to be sleeping, is once again drenched in blue light from the cell phone and TV screens. Melatonin ceases to me supressed, and the body remains more alert than it ought to be. In short, the body switches to government worker mode.

Finally, research I can relate to. My bedroom television has taken on the status as a member of the family. It is a huge flat-screened TV that is always on. It’s usually on with the “Home and Garden Network blaring away. The Home and Garden Network is a conspiracy to put a hammer in my hand. The network is a testament to home improvement that causes a gene snap to attention, gram some tools, and really screw things up.

The network is based on humiliating some poor male who somehow doesn’t measure up to the norm. There is fellow named Brian who has a very masculine shaved head and close-in-for-the-kill attitude. He can close in on a home improvement like a cruise missile and tease every single iota of manliness out of a neurosurgeon who has difficulty sawing a straight line.

‘Do you think that cut will help you bring this project up to code?”

“You’ve ever used a hammer or a saw, have you?”

“Is that your penis?”

“How’s that working for you?”

I am one who will not miss the lack of a television in my bedroom.

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.

SUCKING UP AT WORK

November 3, 2014

 

When one finally lands a job and uses all the tools at his or her disposal to get there – including sucking up (as all is fair in love, war and job search), they are confronted with the dilemma about where to go from here.
They need to decide whether they are going to keep it, and then they have to decide whether they want to get ahead on the job. Sucking up is relatively easy on the job. A suck up can use flattery where they slip in unsolicited support, they can conform to the boss (You like it and so do I) and they can do favours. The trouble is that the sucker will often lose the respect of his or her co-workers.
This is also a risk when a worker has genuine admiration for a boss, and will frequently agree with the boss at all costs.  It all boils down to office politics. How can you excel on the job without looking like a boob?
1. Be part of a team:
Instead of referring to the work that you are doing, refer to the work your team is doing, and show how you are part of that team.
2. Learn to lead:
Be a coach or mentor to team members who are struggling. Give them resources and show them how to use them. Prove to the powers that be that you are ready for the next level. (This is also a great way to hone those leadership skills.
3. Be a handy gadget:
Offer your services to Human Resources as someone who can help ‘onboarding new members. Keep your head up and your stick on the ice and look for opportunities to be helpful.
4. Listen to others:
This is possibly the best way to get ahead on the job. Listen to co-workers and ask questions about what you hear. People love to talk about themselves, and listening to them will give you an opportunity to build your own authenticity.

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.

SUCKING UP: GETTING A JOB IN 2014

October 19, 2014

 

The other day I attended a brief presentation by the Western Canadian Manager for a company called Professional Warehouse Demonstrators. This is the company that dollops out copious quantities of Velveeta on crackers at all the Costco stores. I couldn’t wait for the lecture to finish so I could send two of my clients off to be professional dollopers.

Actually, I couldn’t wait for the lecture to end so I could chow down on a cracker loaded with antipasto. For me, Costco shopping is the perfect cheap date. I wear my bib.

I learned that I should send my candidates to her, and she, in turn, would send it to the appropriate manager. I did so, then I sent my two clients with resumes in hand to the stores in question to personally hand it to the local manager. They did so. One of them came back and reported that the manager had the flu, so she offered to make her a “Killer Chicken Wing Soup.”

“Would that be OK?” she asked. “Or would that be sucking up?”

“Yes to both” I said.

As I explained to my client, getting a job can often be difficult.

“Tell me about it,” she said. “Do you think that I I get the job that she’ll be after me to do all sorts of things?”

“Probably not.” I said. “You initiated the sucking up. If she found out you were a cook then asked asked you to make a killer chicken wing soup for her, she probably would be asking for stuff the rest of your life. Since you initiated it, you have the control.”

“How could she have initiated it,” she asked.

“I’ll give you an example,” I said. I once got a call from someone who just interviewed me. She said that I didn’t get the position, but she wondered if I would like to go on a date with her. I suppose that would open her up to a sexual harassment suit, but I don’t play that game. I’m too much of a hunk.

“What did you do,” my client asked.

I asked the interviewer whether a date with her might change her mind about her decision not to hire me.

“Probably,” she said. “But there are no guarantees.”

“I could see the writing on the wall,” I told my client. “If I went on the date and got the job, I’d probably have to go on several more dates to keep my job. That means that I would be forever sucking up and not enjoying my date. If I went on the date and didn’t get the job, that would be a waste of a perfectly good sucking. That would be sucking air.

“In your case, you have all the control.” I said. “Making the soup is playing the game. All is fair in love, war, and getting a job
My client left my office and spotted one of my co-workers. “Mike’s a real suck!” she told him.

Next week, how to get ahead without sucking up.

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 retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a 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.

GETTING A SHINER

October 5, 2014

I

The only way to save face when getting a black eye is to try to find a better way to explain it than what actually happened. This taxed my imagination on Wednesday when I found myself with a deep gash over my right eye and a rapid development of a blackish purplish hue spreading from my eyebrow to my cheek bone.

 

I could have said that I was attacked by a marauding street gang focusing on my cell phone that I had just used to photograph a sign announcing that a brand new store was opening up and they wanted resumes, but that would get the gang of construction workers who tried their best to apply First Aid to the unsightly mess into legal trouble.

 

Instead, I told the truth. I stumbled over a speed bump in the parking lot and did a one point landing on the pavement. I broke my glasses and knocked over a can of yellow paint they ere going to use to paint the speed bump. What I did was a classic face plant on the driveway and began to paint it myself with my own hemoglobin.

 

“Hey buddy, “ said one of the painters while dodging the tongue of yellow paint that was mixing with the fed of my blood creating a sickly orange. “Are you alright?”

 

“I don’t know yet,” I said while sorting out my bones, picking up the remnants of my glasses and checking to see if there was any damage to my cell phone. “How many points did I score?”

 

“Eight out of ten,” He said.

 

“Good,” I said. “I’d hate to think that I went through all of this for less than six out of ten.”

 

“You would have scored higher if you yelled, ‘Geronimo’ on the way down.”

 

“There wasn’t enough time.” I said.

 

“There never is” he said while fumbling through his First Aid kit for a butterfly bandage. The scream was a nice touch, though. It sounded like Goofy.”

 

“If it had to happen,” I said, “I’m glad I could do it where everybody could watch.”

 

“Thanks,” I said, thinking about getting back to my office to bleed over my next client.

 

I have had many black eyes over my lifetime – mostly because of biking. The last one prompted my MD to advise that I choose another form of transportation. I only had one opportunity to witness someone else getting a black eye. It was my old man on one of one our famous skiing calamities.

 

He was a tug boat captain, and ropes and knots were his hobby. Once, he showed me how to splice ropes. We were called upon to splice a rope tow that broke in the middle of our skiing escapade. I had a jackknife that was equipped with a marlin spike for the purpose. He tested it out himself. I suppose he was daydreaming about what would have happened if we had turned the rope tow into a Mobius loop as he got to the top of the hill. The rope caught him by the glasses and went, “Wakkawakkawakka,” as it vivisected his glasses and, “Thwak,” as the splice delivered the shiner.

 

One of the downsides of teaching fitness is that when you show up with a shiner, you have to explain it to the participants. They were kind. They didn’t have any this morning – except Robert the engineer.

 

“That puts me in mind of the Nativity” he said. Mary had just given birth, and the couple were trying to decide on a name.

 

They were, of course, in a barn. Joseph was pacing around, and he stepped on the upturned tines of a rake causing the handle to whack him in the eye.

 

“Jesus Christ,” he said.

 

“That’s a good one,” said Mary. “I was thinking of Wayne.”

 

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 an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a 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.

 

 

 

IF I GET ANOTHER WORKSHOP ON MINDFULLNESS, I’LL SCREAM

October 1, 2014

“Let’s see you do that while you’re driving,” I said as the last presenter was attempting to guide a group of us cynics through a relaxation response.

“Yes,” she said. “Driving is a stressor in our society. We spend a good deal of time in our cars, but I wouldn’t recommend closing our eyes and imagining we are lying on the beach rather than the Massey tunnel. It might cause an accident. “

“She thinks I’m serious,” I thought.

I think that the relevance of mindfulness and meditation and going to ‘that special place’ is getting out of hand. I would wager that I have suffered through about 40 or 50 lectures on the topic in one form or another. I even used it myself as a group therapy for angry teenagers in an anger management program that I ran that culminated into combining stretching exercises with guided imagery and the relaxation response. (You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a group of 10 tattooed teens sentenced by the court to lay spread-eagled on the floor breathing through their abdomens and totally buying into the concept(s)).

Speaking of abdomens, mindfulness has also entered the realm of fitness. Generally, there are two types of choreographed fitness classes: freestyle and patterned choreography. Freestyle classes have little patterning. One’s mind is free to wander. I actually wrote an entire play while taking one of these. These classes tend to last forever.

Patterned classes have more complex choreography, and participants need to really concentrate on and coordinate their movements to avoid crashing into other participants. The concentration is so intense that an hour of cardio seems like a quarter of an hour.

I think that she was preaching to the choir last Tuesday in a retreat geared at teambuilding. I’m waiting to hear a lecture on mindlessness myself.

That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, in beautiful downtown Port Coquitlam it rained pitchforks and axe handles. Water, both from the ground and a newly formed hole in the roof turned our suite of offices into an aquarium. A stray sockeye salmon escaped from the nearby Coquitlam River and mistook the carpeting on my floor for a spawning bed. A few of us went home to retrieve our shop vacs that we bought for our own domestic disasters and fired them up in the offices. My co-workers were swinging mops emptying buckets. There was even one person using a snow shovel to pump out the door.

In the middle of the crisis, I told the manager that this was an excellent follow-up example of team building. “And team engagement,” he agreed. “There is no sign of mindfulness.”

The rain stopped and the water subsided. He bought us all pizza.

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 an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a 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.

OFTEN THE BEST RESULTS ARE IRREPRODUCABLE RESULTS

September 22, 2014

As a culture, we crave the opportunity to honor the best. Beauty pageants, Movie and Arts Awards and the Nobel Prizes.  There are awards for the best body builders and even fitness instructors have a chance at the podium. Luckily for people like me who have a passion for the absurd, the Ignoble also happen every year. In fact they happened last Thursday night. As always, they were sponsored by the Journal of Improbable Research and mirror the Nobel Prizes from the estate of Alfred Nobel – the inventor of dynamite.

The Prize for Physics

This went to the Japanese team of Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, for measuring the friction between a shoe and a banana peel, and between a banana peel and the floor, when a person steps on a peeling and ends up on the floor. At least someone is paying attention. This gives the mathematics of one of the simplest forms of humour.

Frictional Coefficient under Banana Skin,” Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, Tribology Online 7, no. 3, 2012, pp. 147-151.

Neuroscience

Peers honoured the Chinese and Canadian  team of Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and Kang Lee, for trying to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast. That had me wondering as well.

Seeing Jesus in Toast: Neural and Behavioral Correlates of Face Pareidolia,” Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, Kang Lee, Cortex, vol. 53, April 2014, Pages 60–77. The authors are at School of Computer and Information Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University, Xidian University, the Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, and the University of Toronto, Canada.

Psychology

The Australian team of Peter K. Jonason, Amy Jones, and Minna Lyons found a reason to examine people’s sleeping habits, concluding  that people who habitually stay up late are, on average, more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who habitually arise early in the morning.

Creatures of the Night: Chronotypes and the Dark Triad Traits,” Peter K. Jonason, Amy Jones, and Minna Lyons, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 55, no. 5, 2013, pp. 538-541.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE

The prize goes to the  Czech Republic, Japan, USA and India ( Jaroslav Flegr, Jan Havlíček and Jitka Hanušova-Lindova, and to David Hanauer, Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa Seyfried, for determining whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat. I’ve always said that if your cat bites you, bite him back

Changes in personality profile of young women with latent toxoplasmosis,” Jaroslav Flegr and Jan Havlicek, Folia Parasitologica, vol. 46, 1999, pp. 22-28.

Describing the Relationship between Cat Bites and Human Depression Using Data from an Electronic Health Record,” David Hanauer, Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa Seyfried, PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 8, 2013, e70585.

Biology

This year the prize went to the Czech, German and Zambian trsm of Vlastimil Hart, Petra Nováková, Erich Pascal Malkemper, Sabine Begall, Vladimír Hanzal, Miloš Ježek, Tomáš Kušta, Veronika Němcová, Jana Adámková, Kateřina Benediktová, Jaroslav Červený and Hynek Burda, They found that when dogs defecate and urinate, they prefer to align their body axis with Earth’s north-south geomagnetic field lines. Does this mean that if you get lost without a compass, you tell north by how the dog dumps?

Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” Vlastimil Hart, Petra Nováková, Erich Pascal Malkemper, Sabine Begall, Vladimír Hanzal, Miloš Ježek, Tomáš Kušta, Veronika Němcová, Jana Adámková, Kateřina Benediktová, Jaroslav Červený and Hynek Burda, Frontiers in Zoology, 10:80, 27 December 27, 2013.

Arts

Italian researchers ran away with the prize. Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro, and Paolo Livrea, measured pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot [in the hand] by a powerful laser beam. Fellini was on to something. Next we’ll have drive-in biker flicks in the ruins of the Coliseum.

Aesthetic value of paintings affects pain thresholds,” Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro, and Paolo Livrea, Consciousness and Cognition, vol. 17, no. 4, 2008, pp. 1152-1162.

Economics

Italy was on the podium again as   Italian government’s National Institute of Statistics, for fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal drug sales, smuggling, and all other unlawful financial transactions. I thought Stats Canada would have worn for proudly proclaiming that 200 jobs were created in Canada in July.

European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010),” Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2013.

Medicine

This went to the USA nad India where  Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin, treated “uncontrollable” nosebleeds, using the method of nasal-packing-with-strips-of-cured-pork. What will the do with bleeding hemorrhoids?

Nasal Packing With Strips of Cured Pork as Treatment for Uncontrollable Epistaxis in a Patient with Glanzmann Thrombasthenia,” Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin, Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, vol. 120, no. 11, November 2011, pp. 732-36.

Arctic Science

Norway Germany, USA and Canada shared this one as Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl, for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.It could have been polar bears disguised as humans

Response Behaviors of Svalbard Reindeer towards Humans and Humans Disguised as Polar Bears on Edgeøya,” Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl, Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, vol. 44, no. 4, 2012, pp. 483-9.

Nutrition 

The coveted prize weht to the Spanish  team of  Raquel Rubio, Anna Jofré, Belén Martín, Teresa Aymerich, and Margarita Garriga, for their study isolating lactic acid bacteria form baby poop and using it to make fermented sausages Is that how they make cocktail weenies?

Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Infant Faeces as Potential Probiotic Starter Cultures for Fermented Sausages.” Raquel Rubio, Anna Jofré, Belén Martín, Teresa Aymerich, Margarita Garriga, Food Microbiology, vol. 38, 2014, pp. 303-311.

I suppose I look forward to these annual ceremonies because the resemble the type pf work I was doing as a grad student in archaeology. I was identifying chemicals (blood, fat, pitch and amino acids) from stone tools. I was getting blood from stone, in other words. The work did carry on without me. Only recently, researchers determined an early date for the domestication of the horse, as they identified mare’s milk from an ancient piece of pottery.

You might ask how that has anything to do with the domestication of the horse intil you picture yourself trying to milk a wild one.

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 an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a 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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