Friday, May 27, 2011

Personal Plan of Actions and Milestones & LA! LA! LA!

     Today I started working on a personal plan of actions and milestones, also known as a POA&M.  POA&M (also written POAM when we're too lazy to add the ampersand) is pronounced po-am.  It's a fancy term for a list of shit that has to get done and dates you need them done by.
     I remember the first time someone explained to me what a POAM was.  A task was at hand; it was a fairly large task that needed to be broken down into parts.  I was told to write a POAM.

     "Do you know what a POAM is?"
     "A plan of actions and milestones."
     "You know what actions are, right?"
     "Yes, of course I know what actions are."
     "And you know what milestones are?"
     "A douchey word for goals."
     "So a plan of actions and milestones lays out all of your actions, or tasks, and your milestones, or goals, and assigns dates to them, so you can track your progress."
     "You mean it's a to-do list, with a douchey name."
     "A POAM is not douchey."

A POAM is actually quite douchey.   It's just a to-do list, usually with dates on it.  I suppose the dates are what pushes it over the edge from just a to-do list to a POAM.  There must be another term for it, but it has been so ingrained in me now I refer to a lot of my to-do lists this way.  I'm not saying it to be douchey though, I'm just saying it because now, it's what I'm most familiar with.  I want to make some changes in my life, I want to set up some goals and deadlines for myself, so I'm going to put them in a POAM.
     Also, as a side note, those who really take these things seriously will actually say P O A and M, every time they talk about it.  Recently I was assigned a very simple task and given a vague due date.  I was then told to come up with a "P. O. A. and M." for it.  The confused look on my face prompted the person making the request to assume I didn't know what a POAM was.  A similar conversation to the one above ensued, though if you can imagine it, it was even douchier.   It may have included the history of POAMs and graphical representation of milestones.  Rest assured, the confused look was because you don't need a POAM with two items on it.
     Anyway, that not withstanding, I am in the process of writing my own POAM for those aforementioned reasons of changing my life.  For me, a POAM will prevent chaos and stave off living in a box for a few months.  I appreciate that about them.  Plus, I'll probably get to make it into some sort of PowerPoint presentation with triangles and diamonds and stars and timelines.  That sounds awesome, doesn't it?  And by presentation I mean I'll hang it on my wall with tape.

      Part II:  Zero days to LA!  Woo!  I'm counting down the hours until I'm in the sky flying towards the land of angels.   LA! LA! LA!  I hope the Beach Boys were right with all the wonderful things they say about California.  (I've actually been to California before.  A decent amount.  I don't know why I'm acting as though I've never left this cubicle.)

     One more non sequitur:  since it's a holiday, there  will be no new Oliver on Monday, so there's something else I need to say before I go on vacation.  When you take charge of something, say, a group of people or a meeting, what are you doing?  Leading.  You are a leader.  Currently, you lead.  What if you did it yesterday?  What is the past tense of lead?  Led.  L-E-D.  Led.  Yesterday, you led the meeting.
     What is a main-group element with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82?  What is a soft, malleable poor metal?  Lead.  Lead, the element, and led, the action, are different.  If you have graduated high school and now hold a high-paying government position where you lead meetings and write emails about them, you should know the difference.  I have now lost all confidence in you over one small typo.  Powerful, huh?

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