I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 34 - Kub Scout-In-A-Day

We got a call last night informing us that the signed and completed Cub Scout manual for this year's activities was due by the end of business today for the awards ceremony next week. That wouldn't normally be a cause for concern except that we had inadvertently overlooked doing anything this whole year.

The scoutmasters had some personal problems and didn't hold many meetings and we lost the manual for a few months. We are bad parents. We should be stripped of our badges in a solemn rite and banished to a land where one sips white wine and listens to jazz while conversing brilliantly with people who don't snort when they laugh.

Sadly, in this reality, I had one day to complete 12 chapters of kid tasks or subject my son to being the only non-wolf at Thursday's soiree. Most of the parents suck at this just as badly as we do and I suspect that they take a few liberties.

Task 5E: Build a birdhouse.

Overachieving parent: Take child to lumber yard to select wood and
birdhouse pattern. Teach child to use hand tools to cut, assemble, and
paint a bird McMansion. For extra learning value, have the child
research the exact diameter of hole to drill for each species of bird and assess
the environmental impact. Sign the Cub Scout manual.

Normal, harried parent: Buy a kit of precut wood and let child attach
the four screws and glue the roof on. Make them read the little brochure
that accompanies the kit, Our Feathered Backyard Friends. Sign
the Cub Scout manual. Promise the child that they can paint it, then leave
it in the garage until they are 18. Sell it at the garage sale for 75
cents ... to a parent who needs one to complete a Cub Scount manual by

Slacker parent: Follow this thought pattern --> Plan to build
a birdhouse --> This is nearly the same as hanging up a purchased, crude
wooden birdhouse since attaching it to a tree is like building something.
You have to use tools and all. It's only a matter of degree. -->
Anyone can see how to hang a bird feeder so no one is learning anything
really. My neighbor has a birdhouse. Child can look at that.
--> Have child see a bird. Sign Cub Scout manual.

I picked my son up from school as soon as the final bell rang. We went to the hardware store to identify tools in their native environment, the forest of slatwall where all the tools have homes as opposed to my basement where they live in a pile in a sponge-painted dresser. It was then off to the City Hall, a designated "important place in your community." The slacker parent would have gone to Target since that is the reining Agora in our community but desperation had not yet set in for me.

We sang the first and last verses of America, made a list of emergency phone numbers, drew a picture, counted to ten in Spanish, said hello in Mandarin (Thank you, Kai-lan!), discussed what to do if someone wants to sell you drugs, measured the length of a standing long jump, tossed washers into a pie tin from far away, learned to tie a square knot, and picked up litter on our street.

By the time a sleepy eight-year-old was tucked in, we had completed about two-thirds of the Wolf badge plus three arrow points (10 tasks each) and four belt loops.

We have until Monday to have a cookout, explain God, explore various facets of conservation, check our house for safety issues, and -- ta da! -- build a birdhouse. Anyone got one in their garage?


On the job front, I posted my resume on my professional association's site and within two hours received a request from a local medical company to apply for one of their open positions. I don't know that it's a match but to be asked is encouraging.

No comments:

Post a Comment