Picking stuff up


There are several ways to measure progress. I have seen charts, metrics and PowerPoint presentations. There have been doctoral theses on the subject (probably), but none of them have discussed a tried and true method with which we are all familiar. It is the infallible analysis I like to call “Picking Stuff Up.”

When you are young and incapable of taking care of yourself, someone picks all your stuff up for you. You are the adorable baby, and for all intents and purposes you are on top of the heap.

When you are old enough, however, the dream ends and you start picking things up by yourself. But eventually you get older and bigger than your siblings, and you realize you can order them to pick your stuff up for you… “or else.”

That is progress.

When you join the military, you are at the bottom again. You pick stuff up. You hold sweepers. You take out the trash.

But then you get more senior, and others younger than you do your dirty work for you.

If you get REALLY senior, other people anticipate what you might, hypothetically want picked up and then make the proper arrangements to accomplish the task.


When you retire out of the military, you realize there is no one around to do your picking up and you start all over again. This is where experience comes in. The trick is to convince someone younger and (hopefully) naïve enough that it HURTS to pick things up. That you have a bad back, or trick knee, or muscle spasms. If you sell it well enough, they will begin to do it for you.

Some may call this devious and selfish.

I call it progress.


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