Last week, after I finished my fitness class  at West Point Grey, a woman and her daughter wandered into the  weight room for a workout. The mother looked really familiar, and I told her so.

“You know,” I said. “You really look familiar.”

“I should,” she said. “You and I worked together for five years  ten years ago.” “Actually, I recognized you before I saw you with that booming voice of yours. Did you know that was why you were fired from that job? You’re so noisy.”

Actually, I suspected as much. It was either the noise or my constantly being accused of sexual harassment for getting caught … in my own office … with the door shut and nobody around … changing into my Spandex shorts en route to teaching a fitness class. I had no idea they booby trapped my office with a security camera. I should have charged them with voyeurism.

I think I’ll stick to the noise. I admit that I am a little on the noisy side, For example I recently had a client send me a thank you card for helping her find a job. “I really liked coming to your office to listen to you,“ she wrote.

There are others who are noisier than me, however. Check out this story from the Northern British Columbia town of Terrace: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/BC/ID/2403715597/.

It seems that people are reluctant to believe the sound could come from a grader blade being sharpened. I, on the other hand, could see the physics involved.

First of all, grader blades in the north require frequent sharpening because there is a lot of gravel there. I have done archaeology in the area, and there is gravel, but there is also a lot of volcanic rock mixed in with it. It doesn’t take long for my shovel and trowel to lose their edges. They are always throwing off sparks in my futile endeavour to dig up some long lost civilization. While I sharpened my edges with a file, I believe one would use a hand held grinder on a grader.

I also know a lot about noise. When the grader blade is being ground, it would be suspended off the ground. That means the blade would vibrate in a manner that would conform with the grinding stone touching it. Ultimately the blade vibration would hit a resonant frequency with the grinder and the resulting racket would result.

I learned that particular lesson one foggy Sunday morning  when I was eight as my sister and I tried to make a walkie-talkie out of two waked paper milk cartons and some cotton binder’s twine. This resulted in a trip to the local RCMP station  for pictures ad prints.

We assembled the walkie-talkie by making a hole in the centre of the milk carton bottoms, passed the string through and knotted it so it wouldn’t slip through.  Then we stretched the twine so it could transmit sound from one milk carton to the other. We spoke into one end and the sound would travel via the string to the other milk carton.

The walkie-talkie worked, bt it was broken. That is it was boring until the string broke and fell into the wet and dewy ground. The fog left a smooth patina of water over the string.

I don’t know what possessed me to hold the wet string between my thumb and forefinger, but  when I did, I became ecstatic to discover that it made a roaring noise roughly similar to the grader blade.

Discovering a new noise, in my opinion, is akin to discovering a new mammal in South America or a hitherto unknown comet. You need to share it. And share it we did. We shared it from 6:00 AM to noon on that foggy Sunday morning. We shared it in spite of the neighbourhood desire to sleep in and refused to come to their windows for fear they might catch us in the act of throttling a bear. We shared it with a gentleman with a boy scout’s hat and yellow stripes down his pants who was worried about an encounter with aliens.

Aren’t you glad you don’t live next door to me?

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.  



  1. Sharon Says:

    New noises and yet Scully and Mulder did not investigate. mmm???
    I could live next to you, yet I wonder how Cecilia lives with you. 🙂

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