Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

How Valuable Are Self-Assessments, Really?

Filed under: Living with a disability, Work — by Glenda at 9:35 pm on Sunday, November 9, 2008

Glenda's partly organized bookcase and area

With Darrell out again yesterday, I continued what I began last Saturday: cleaning up my office. My plan is to have the entire office completely purged, organized and cleaned by the end of November. Then, I can begin on another room, likely the bedroom – not that I will be blogging it!

Once my office is done, then I want to begin planning 2009, which will be even better than 2008 here on Do It Myself Blog. If you have any suggestions for improving or changing the blog or ideas for blog posts, I’m all ears! Monetizing the blog will definitely be part of the plan. 

Two binders with six inches of paper to sort through

For now, the first step is to get my office in order to enable great, creative ideas to flow easily! Continuing with the bookcase area, first up was to go through two 3" binders: one from the Creative Employment Options Program (a pre-employment program for people with disabilities) and one from the Self-Employment Program.

The first item I came across in the SE binder was the Personal Organization Self-Analysis Quiz. What do you mean I disorganized, not goal-oriented, have poor work habits and note-taking skills, and a touch of packrat syndrome? A packrat? Moi? Because I took the SE Programs in the Fall of 1998 and, ten years later, still had all of the stuff? Nah, I like to think that I’ve been too focused on running my business to take time to clean out old papers!

For another interesting tidbit, I re-discovered was my personality type. According to different assessments taken during both programs, I am an INFJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. (Thank goodness results from both programs were the same!)

Glancing through the related career exploration pages, suggested careers for INFJs include:

  • Psychologists
  • Public relations workers and publicity writers
  • Lawyers and Judges
  • Coordinators: Not specified
  • Consultants: Type unknown

As an INFJ, career satisfaction, in part, means doing work that:

  • Lets me consider and create new ideas and/or approaches to a variety of problems, mostly those that help others to grow and develop
  • Lets me produce a product or service that I believe in and am proud of
  • Recognizes my authorship and ownership and my unique contributions
  • Lets me express myself and see the results of my vision
  • Lets me implement my ideas for the good of others
  • Can be done independently but with the opportunity to share frequently with others in an environmental that is friendly and free of interpersonal conflict
  • Lets me organize my own time and work environment
  • Is in harmony with my personal values and beliefs and lets me maintained a high degree of personal and professional integrity.

Another handout describes INFJs as authors:

Authors focus on what’s possible. They have a strong drive to contribute to the welfare and enjoy helping their peers. Authors have a great depth of personality; they are complicated and can’t understand and deal with complex issues and people. They are "perfectionists" and sometimes put more effort into a task then is needed. Generally not leaders, Authors influence behind the scenes. They are hard to get to know for they can be reserved and will share personal thoughts only with those they truth. They are hurt easily by others and can be crushed by too much criticism. Authors like to please others and usually contribute their best efforts. They enjoy agreeing with others and find conflict disagreeable and destructive.

Interestingly, INFJs make up 1% of the population. And, according to one website about the Myers-Briggs Test Indicator (MBTI), famous INFJ personalities include: Geoffrey Chaucer, Billy Crystal, Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Landon, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa and Oprah Winfrey.

Considering my personality type, is there any wonder why blogging is such a perfect match for me, careerwise. I sure wish I had known the likes of Andy Wibbels, Liz Strauss, Lorelle VanFossen, Chris Brogan, Des Walsh, Chris Garrett, Darren Rowse and many others to explain what is blogging and the potential as a career choice to my employment counsellors. For those folks, if it isn’t listed in the National Occupational Classification, then it doesn’t exist as a career option. Sad, really. 

Looking back, I am intrigued that the result of one self-assessment, namely the personal organization self-analysis, was off the mark (Me not goal-oriented? Ha, how else I did get this far?) and that the result from the MBTI assessment was pretty close to bang on. How reliable are these tools? How much weight should really be placed on these and other tools? The employment counsellor-types didn’t seem to appreciate when I asked such questions. Without such tools, they didn’t seem to know how to assist me in finding a job. The only purpose I can see those assessments accomplished was putting me in a language they understood

binders2After an hour or so of purging, my six-inches of paper was less than half an inch; more of which will be shredded once this post is published. See, had I not saved that information, I could not have written this revealing post. I’m not a packrat; I was well prepared for this moment! 

Glenda's completely organized bookcase and areaFollowing several more hours of purging and organizing, the bookcase and adjoining shelves were completely done – with space to spare!

Next Saturday: the desk area. 

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A New Ride for the Left Thumb Blogger

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 12:04 am on Friday, November 7, 2008

While out doing errands yesterday, the brakes on my Orion scooter apparently failed. Coming up our hill only to roll backwards should I stop was not a reassuring feeling. Not wanting his wife out in something with unreliable safety, Darrell decided it was time to take possession of a new scooter that Pam at Scooter City had been holding for me since before our Las Vegas trip.

My new red 3-wheel scooterMy new, shiny red scooter was delivered by 11:30am today. Thanks Pam!

Even though I have dreamed of having a red sports car (like who hasn’t!), this morning I was feeling nostalgic about my blue scooter. I soared like an eagle in that one! Can I soar in a red one? It’s as if my scooter colour had become part of my identity.

Discussing it this morning on Twitter, @chilihead offered that I could charge like a bull. With cerebral palsy I oftentimes feel like a bull in a china shop. But a changing bull? I hope not; at least, not too often. Then @MikeG1 offered soaring like a red-tailed hawk. Now that has potential! Do hawks soar like eagles? Hmm, I see I’m in for an identity makeover!

The controls of my new scooter

However, when the scooter was delivered and I saw the two rearview mirrors standing there like antennas, my initial thought was a red bumblebee! With two mirrors looking back at me, Carly Simon’s "You’re So Vain" suddenly became an earworm!

Those things made be quickly removed. Or, they may prove useful for mounting the gorilla tripod for my camera.

 

My old Orion 3-wheel scooter

Sadly, my blue Orion sits in the corner, after years of great and loyal service. She deserves an exciting renewal:

  • Someone suggested a "Pimp Your Scooter" contest. The winner would keep the scooter.
  • @steven_sanders suggested selling it on ebay.
  • My good friend Loree suggested jamming the ‘gas’ and sending it off a bridge/cliff. I hope she didn’t mean in Thelma & Louise style!
  • And I’m wondering about some kind of raffle and donating part of the profits to a charity. The winning ticket would receive the scooter.

To be brutally honest, I would like to recover a bit of money from renewing her. Contrary to popular belief, the government doesn’t pay for everything for us. And, although Pam gave me a great deal, I still need to finish paying for the red bumblebee. Please let me know if you have any creative ideas.

I’m looking forward to as many adventures with the red-tailed hawk/red bumblebee as I had with the soaring eagle!

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I Got In, Now Let Me Out, Please!

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by Glenda at 11:00 pm on Monday, November 3, 2008

Accessibility 100Today Darrell and I met my aunt and uncle for formally introductions to their newest, most adorable family member. Then the four of us went for a pre-birthday lunch.

I decided to use the washroom before ordering. The separate wheelchair washroom was an encouraging sign – until I noticed the door knob (rather than a lever handle). No problem. I’m not that much of a weakling; I can manage a door knob – or so I thought. The knob turned out to be the stiffest one I had ever encountered, and the door, one of the heaviest. A fellow diner kindly held the door open for me; she even had difficulty opening it.

Coming out of the washroom was more challenging. With my left hand, I grabbed the knob and turned and turned and turned, then pulled. With my right hand, my bad hand, I drove my scooter forward to open the door further. Needing only another inch to fully open the door beyond my back wheel, my left hand slipped. My left foot didn’t catch the door in time. The door closed. I tried again, and again. Eventually a waitress saw me struggling and rescued me.

A small weigh scale
(Photo credit: Yaroslav B.)

A door need not be that heavy. A door needs only weigh 5lbs to open and can be measured using a fish scale, somewhat similar to the one shown here. Most door closures can be adjusted with a screw driver, making them lighter to open.

With a lighter door and a lever handle (like this one from Canadian Tire for $45), the wheelchair washroom would be even more accessible.


Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.

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Making Space for Tomorrow by Letting Go of Yesterday

Filed under: Living with a disability, Work — by Glenda at 11:59 pm on Saturday, November 1, 2008

Today Darrell was helping a friend teach a robotics class to kids, giving me most of the day to myself. With nothing urgently demanding my time, I decided to attack my office. I spend most of my time in here, but this space receives the least housecleaning time. Today was its turn!

Glenda's messy office

I began with the bookcase, figuring that was a distinct area, and, hopefully, progress would be noticeable. The new shredder had a good breaking in! In less than two hours, I had to stop to take out the recycling bin and shredder droppings to empty. I was on a roll!

The bottom shelf was harder to go through. Much of the paper stuff was from my work with the Career Mentor Program at my Alma Mater – my one and only J O B. I even found four pay stubs, which looked pretty good at this point.

I loved that job – making the Career Mentor Program inclusive and accessible to students and alumni with disabilities. It was something I believed in and strongly felt was necessary. But, the position had been created by government funding so that the government appeared to be hiring and supporting employment of people with disabilities. The funding was for one year. An extension was not available.

I did  apply for other positions on campus, attempting to stay employed at a location that still felt like home to me – after living in residence for seven years while earning my Bachelors degree. However, the head of the human resources department was not overly amenable to hiring people with disabilities, citing the need to adhere to the typing speed requirement for the other entry level positions available on campus. Remaining employed at my Alma Mater was not an option, not that I’m still bitter, too much.

Today, I kept one copy of each brochure, handout and form that I created – in case I’m ever asked to develop a mentoring program again. A few moments during the purge were tough. I really did enjoy that job. Then I came across the birthday card from the staff that year – I’m such a pack rat! Reading what they had written, particularly the Program’s Coordinator, my closest colleague and friend, "See I told you Glenda. They do love you. Even if you are a dork! Happy B-Day -Topher" made me laugh. With my birthday coming up on Tuesday, it was like receiving an early birthday gift.

I then realized that, to make space for my life today and for the opportunities that come along tomorrow, I needed to let go of yesterday. I shredded old resumes and cover letters. I put my job search and cover letter writing books in a pile. (If any of you work with local job clubs or employment programs, you are welcome to these books. Otherwise, I’ll drop them off at the Whalley Employment Centre next time I am at the mall.) I no longer need these books. I have found my dream job. My next task is to find the income that goes along with it. I know I will.

Glenda's bookcase with empty space!

There is now space on my bookshelf for today’s life: Chris Garrett’s and Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, Lorelle VanFossen’s Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, and Michael Losier’s Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t. And, there’s some space available for whatever tomorrow may bring.

What do you need to let go from yesterday to create space for tomorrow’s opportunities?

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