Charlie Hatton About This
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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

My Own Point of Review

Consider this fair warning to the one-and-a-half of you who may read these ramblings with some degree of regularity: it’s quite possible that I won’t be posting anything tomorrow.

Why? Because of the new rule I set for myself after last weekend, specifying that I need only do something creative each day, not necessarily writing a post of some kind.

(And more info on the short film that predicated that rule — and the class I’ll soon be taking with the esteemed director/head editor/cowriter/lead bonker for that project — soon. Very soon, now. Patience, my pet-and-a-halfs.)

Meanwhile, there’s tomorrow. And I may not have the creative juices left over for posting here, why? Because it’s self-evaluation day at the office. And I have an entire form’s worth of fancypantsed questions to answer about myself, in contexts that in no way reflect the way I think about anything having to do with me. Questions like:

“How do your goals align with the organization’s core values?”

“What kind of tree would your spirit be, if your spirit could roam free? Or as ‘free’ as an extensive underground root system will allow?”

“Did you steal the legal-sized paper from the third floor copy room and try to flush it down the toilet? Because we know it was one of you. And we’re totally going to catch you.”

(Okay, one of those questions had something to do with me. A little.

To be fair, we were out of toilet paper that day. No bathroom-going jury would convict me. Extenuating circumstances! No, you’re out of order! This whole sheaf is out of order!)

“Just tell me what you want to know; I’ll have a memoir on your desk in the morning. Signed by the author and everything. Probably written in crayon. And covered in doodled pictures of ninjas and dragons and hot rod cars.”

Anyway, tomorrow I have to turn in several paragraphs detailing why I’m doing the most incredibly useful service to humanity since some pelt-wearing goober got struck by lightning and ‘discovered’ fire crawling up his hairy legs. When I first found out about this self-review business, I was pretty stoked. For once, I thought, they’re asking the most important person who deals with me — which would be me, obviously — about ME. That’s just smart business there. I say they should have asked me about me a long time ago. Who needs the opinions of people who see me work, or pick up the pieces when I fall apart, or hear me sobbing quietly under my desk at night?

These are just observers. Me, I’m me. Just tell me what you want to know; I’ll have a memoir on your desk in the morning. Signed by the author and everything. Probably written in crayon. And covered in doodled pictures of ninjas and dragons and hot rod cars. But it’ll be about me.

So the doodles are just extra awesomeness. Superfluous, really. But I like to doodle the extra mile. That’s just the kind of guy I am.

(I should probably remember to put that on my self-evaluation. Next to an awesome doodle. Obviously.)

Of course, just as I’d convinced myself that the brass had finally come to their senses in asking my opinion, I learned that everybody is evaluating themselves this time around. And then we all have to sit with management and let them point and giggle at our answers and tell us where we’ve actually gone wrong and what we should have been working on and that our doodles are not, in fact, as outrageously awesome as we may have led ourselves to believe.

(“Did you even see the one with the ninjas? Are you suits blind, or just impervious to awesome? Hey, who’s this burly guy here? Where am I being summarily escorted to, precisely? LOOK AT THE NINJAS, DAMN YOU! THE NINJAS ANSWER EVERYTHING!”)

So I’ve got that to look forward to. But first, I have to come up with a hundred great things I “did” in the past year, which closely mirrored the organization’s core values of… um, I dunno, thrifty, cheerful and brave, or something? Liberty and justice for all? Lettuce, pickle, special sauce, onion on a sesame seed bun? No idea. I’m gonna wing it.

Also, I apparently have to describe these incredibly helpful accomplishments — did you know I personally invented the color photocopier and beat two strains of viral influenza in a three-fall tag-team wrestling match last year? — and detail how they demonstrate my elmness, or red mapleness or acting like a shoe tree or whatever the hell I’m supposed to pick in that question.

Don’t even get me started on the multiple choice questions. Or the word problem with the two trains traveling toward each other, and one stops three times and the other stops five times and if Train A is traveling from Peoria at two times the speed of Train B, which left Omaha at 8:07pm carrying eighteen passengers and a cargo of spent uranium, then why do you insist on using a non-standard PowerPoint template, because we brand these things for a reason and we’re totally docking your pay for it from now on, mister.

(Look. Your slides have a boring corporate logo. My slides have ninjas. I stand by my decision.)

So I’ll see if I have anything left after taking full credit for half our accounts, two-thirds of the office furniture, supplying most of our oxygen in a ten-mile radius and single-handedly winning the Crimean War. But I’m not counting on it. When I came up with the resume that got me into this job, I couldn’t write another word for two weeks. But it did the trick. I’m thinking somebody in HR is a ninja fan.

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