The other night I drove my sweetie to her work at a local care home.  “Mike,” she asked. “Can you give me an example of gratitude? You know. Something that someone did for you and it paid off big time for the rest of your life?”

“Uh oh, ” I thought. “Trouble ahead.”

“Don’t say Trouble.” She said. “How come you think the worst of everything. “

I didn’t say” trouble”

“Well, you thought it. I could hear you thinking it.”

I thought.

“Now you’re thinking it again!”

“No I’m not.  I’m trying to think of an example.”

“Here’s one for you. Years ago when I was in college I was stressed out. I was having trouble with the course and I was seriously thinking of dropping out. You convinced me not to, and I mad it through. Now I’m totally grateful  because I have the career I trained for.”

“Whew!” I said. I was thinking that we were on a collision course at sea and we were going straight to the bottom.

“Well, that was my example, what’s yours?”

I told her one that I thought of from time to time. When I was in Grade five,  my family moved from a huge school in the thriving metropolis of Vancouver to a four room school in White Rock. Worse, they took me with them.  On my first day of school he introduced the topic of writing. He made us all sit down and write a paragraph.

“A what?” I asked.

“A paragraph. Don’t you know what a paragraph is?”

I had to admit I was stumped. I couldn’t even offer up one of my wild guesses like I did during multiplication tables.

“Just sit down and write me a story, he said. We’ll talk about the best way to do it later.”

So I wrote about checkers. I wrote:


I like to play checkers. I always win but sometimes I lose. I think everyone should play checkers, don’t you?

The End

We did a paragraph a day. Mine got longer out of necessity because time was different then. A period in school lasted a epoch.  An epoch is a ling time to wait for something to get put on a page. Suddenly I began to throw in a few puns, a few lines of doggerel, and even, when nobody was looking , some political and politically incorrect statements.

The skills I learned in that Grade 5 class I took with me through high school and through university. I also use them at work – all the time. Now I even put them to use on my blog.

What a thing to do to an unsuspecting Grade Five student. I might have known there was trouble ahead.

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.


One Response to “UH OH! TROUBLE AHEAD!”

  1. cathyturney Says:

    What was that book? “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?” Well, you actually kept on learning!! Very cute story, Mike!

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