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Old 05-16-2014, 05:33 PM   #41
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Don't need whatever personnel managing skills I used to have when I worked - Dw is beyond managing
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:11 PM   #42
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It may seem odd, and it certainly marks me as a dinosaur, but I've been extremely grateful that I took a typing class in high school. Got to where I could type over 40 wpm with virtually no errors.



That "keyboarding ability" as I guess it would be called today, has saved me countless hours of tedium over the years.

Good point Braumeister as that haunted me my whole career. I was one of those "cheating jocks" who would lift the tape of the keys to peck away. Why did I need to learn how to type, I will have my secretary dictate and then type it up. Well technology ran circles around me after that. Coming out of college in the mid 80s and dismissing all technology as a worthless fad was not one of my brighter decisions.


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Old 05-16-2014, 07:03 PM   #43
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Personal management skills have everything to do with personal finance. Just ask the people who either undersave or overspend, whether retired or not.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:06 PM   #44
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Just as you think all has been said about ear wriggling, I have some more for you.

There's even a Wikihow article on how to wriggle your ears. I do not find it useful, as they talk about (most?) people lacking the gene to control the muscles called the auricularis superior and the auricularis posterior. Yes, contrary to my earlier post, there are indeed muscles dedicated to wriggling our ears, like those of a rabbit. Mine have atrophied away since birth probably.

And here's another video, this time of a woman ear wriggler.

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Old 05-20-2014, 11:08 PM   #45
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It may seem odd, and it certainly marks me as a dinosaur, but I've been extremely grateful that I took a typing class in high school. Got to where I could type over 40 wpm with virtually no errors.



That "keyboarding ability" as I guess it would be called today, has saved me countless hours of tedium over the years.

My useful skills: driving, typing, cooking, my medical knowledge, gardening, and trying things I look up on the internet. Playing musical instruments. Acing multiple choice tests-handy for school.

No longer a useful skill: acing tests.

My useless skills: everything I used to do well and no longer use.
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:17 PM   #46
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Absolutely useless skill after FIRE is minutes taking. Used to sit in board, shareholders and committee meetings for hours taking minutes and churning out minutes very efficiently.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:47 AM   #47
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Great thread, seeing everything from personal finance to ear wiggling LOL!

As for me......the skills which have served me well, some more for my working years than since I ERed were:

(1) Learning how to program in SAS, the programming language I used at work for nearly all of my 23 years there.

(2) The supervisory skills I picked up after being promoted to that level in 1993 and staying at that level for the remaining 15 years of my career. Other than running my school Scrabble tourneys, I don't get to really boss people around like that any more (which is fine!).

Other skills I picked up over the years, many at work, which have helped me beyond work are:

(1) Learning how to type, even though I never took any real typing classes.

(2) Learning how to write well. I had to somehow combine all the various and sometimes conflicting things I learned, from the college writing classes (not very helpful) to the business writing class I took (more helpful), to simply having to write business letters early on in my career (very helpful), learning that skill from my boss, to fine-tuning and wordsmithing for clarity by my other bosses (also very helpful). Being able to write well enables me to be taken seriously both within and outside the workplace, from dealing with business (i.e. consumer complaints or disputes) to getting letters to the editor printed in newspapers, to getting the attention of locally elected leaders, and making posts in various internet forums such as this one.

(3) PC math-related skills such as Lotus and Excel. I started with Lotus in the 1980s and still like it over Excel which I learned in the 1990s. I use Lotus 9.0 for Windows as well as Excel, depending on if I need to share the spreadsheet with outsiders (Excel). This was extremely useful for my next skill.....

(4) Personal finance skills. While I picked up a lot of these skills from the Economics and Finance classes I took in college, I also learned some of these skills at work (I did actuarial work for 23 years) and from just picking them up over the years as my interest in the topic grew from my growing portfolio and ER planning (which led to an actual ER in 2008).

(5) PC skills not related to math such as learning Word in the early 1990s and general PC knowledge such as troubleshooting problems I picked up over the years. The things I picked up over the years which seem so routine to me are so foreign to most users (re: my thread about my snakebit friend and his PC problems) which make me look like a genius, the "big fish in small pond" scenario.

(6) Believe it or not, playing Strat-O-Matic baseball back in the 1970s enhanced my ability to compute mathematical things at a young age. Already good at math, being able to play with numbers this way such as figuring out many batting averages in my head kept me sharp at a young age.

(7) While not a useful skill much any more, being on my high school's chess and Mathletes teams taught me how to think well under pressure at a young age. This came in handy when taking college exams and later, actuarial exams, adult Scrabble tourneys I played in back in the 1990s, and when facing strict deadlines at work. Being retired, this rarely arises other than running those school Scrabble tourneys.

(8) Learning how to cook has been a vital skill not just for the money I have saved but also because I am a bit of a fussy eater, so the food I make I know I can eat without any fears of how it was prepared.

(9) Various other homemaking skills I learned or picked up over the years such being able to change light switches and lighting fixtures without frying myself have been handy. My dad is a good woodworker so I am pretty handy with those tools. My mom was good with sewing so I picked up a few things from her although I don't really do that stuff any more. Thanks to the internet, I have picked up a few more tasks I can DIY.

(10) After some unsuccessful DIY attempts involving my car, I don't mess with that for things even pretty minor any more. Better to pay my local mechanic $100 for something relatively easy than 5 or 10 times that amount if I screw it up.

(11) Organizational skills. My dad's dad and my mom were well organized. I remember visiting my dad's dad in Florida back in the 1970s and seeing how he used lists before we went on our morning errands. My mom was similar in that way. This got me into the good habit of creating shopping lists before going out and for creating lists in general. Both people also had good filing systems to organize papers so they could find them later without difficulty. I very, very rarely lose anything or throw something out by mistake while being able to balance that with not being a pack rat, a necessity when living in as small apartment. This was also handy during my working career. I have seen some truly awful organization skills by friends who have tons of clutter and/or can't find anything important without having it become a major project in itself.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:15 AM   #48
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Learning to keep my mouth shut.

Has saved me bucket loads of embarrassment, criticism, and censure.

Even more useful now that MegaCorp has replace our entire management structure in our division with people who know nothing about our industry. But we are great at training leaders - so we can manage our way out of problems that our competitors never seem to have.

Enough said...
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:54 AM   #49
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Useful Skills:
1) Ability to self-educate through reading, internet, videos, discussions, etc. This is continuing education as there is always something new to learn.
2) Mechanical skills to be able to fix things and understand how things work. Saves a lot of money and I know it is fixed to my level of quality.
3) Financial education, which is also a continuing education
4) Learning to worry about the things I can control and not about things I cannot control

Useless:
1) Parents made me take piano lessons when young, worst investment they ever made. 1.5 years of wasted effort, I have about as much music ability as this keyboard typing on.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #50
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Absolutely useless skill after FIRE is minutes taking. Used to sit in board, shareholders and committee meetings for hours taking minutes and churning out minutes very efficiently.

Actually I am secretary for our community band. I don't take minutes well. Wish I did.
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:32 PM   #51
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For me, one of the best skills that translated from working life to personal situations was negotiating purchase and sales deals. So many things in life come down to negotiation.
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Old 05-21-2014, 04:35 PM   #52
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At the top of my list is "how to find information using the internet". Because with that skill, I can learn to do just about anything.
+1

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Excel and other spreadsheet apps. Very useful.
+1 along with general computer skills. It's interesting that although PCs didn't exist when I got my computer science degree in the 1970s, understanding the "guts" behind any computer is terrifically useful today.

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It may seem odd, and it certainly marks me as a dinosaur, but I've been extremely grateful that I took a typing class in high school. Got to where I could type over 40 wpm with virtually no errors.

That "keyboarding ability" as I guess it would be called today, has saved me countless hours of tedium over the years.
+1 Not a dinosaur at all! It's the people who didn't take typing in the 70s who became workplace dinosaurs in the 90s (and I worked with a LOT of them!). My mother insisted I take typing in HS, primarily so I could type my own college papers (she made money in college typing other people's papers and didn't want me to be someone's customer). It was great for that, as well as for keypunching all those damn punchcards (boxes of them for some projects). And I got myself a cool summer job working at the US Treasury Department one year.

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- Writing - undervalued by young people today. Learn how to use a semi-colon, people!!
- Critical thinking - objectivity and analysis (sometimes too much so... ask my wife!)
- Nutrition and cooking
- Basic (very basic) automotive skills like oil change, air filter change, installing a spare, checking/changing fluids, cabin air filters, etc.
+1 to all 4 of these. Fortunately, DD (and to a somewhat lesser extent DS) inherited my writing gene - DD is a grammar nazi. I've always had a great ability to analyze a situation and figure out what to do. Both of my parents were good cooks and I know it's much easier to be healthy when you know what's in the food you eat. My father insisted that both my sister and I be able to check the oil and change a tire before we could get our drivers license.

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Absolutely useless skill after FIRE is minutes taking. Used to sit in board, shareholders and committee meetings for hours taking minutes and churning out minutes very efficiently.
-1. Like some others have mentioned, this is a wonderful skill to have in volunteer board and committee positions.

One other useful skill is being a good driver. I didn't really appreciate it until recent years when a) I've been afraid for my life when riding with a friend and b) I've been complimented by several others who ride with me on how well I drive.

Not useful: Trying to learn how to play golf. After hundreds of dollars of lessons I am less competent than when I started (which was pretty pathetic). Just don't seem to have the body mechanics for it, which is too bad as I do enjoy being out on the course.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:42 PM   #53
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In Germany in 1965 - 1966, I rose to the base champion in Foosball (singles) and with a cohort (named Dennis Ball) won top in doubles.

This won me(us) countless free beers, broiled chickens, schnitzel dinners, and DMarks in German Gasthouses. They (the populous) frekin' hated us since we could whip them at their game, consistently. Ah that was a fun time...although it ended too quickly.

That got me a following in P Town, Mass. after the service, but my skills went downhill quickly after that.

I suppose that skill would be considered "a fairly useless skill set" as I never made much at it except getting a hangover.

Now my real claim to fame and "useful skill set" is being able to diagnose problems and fix most anything mechanical, electrical, wet, cold, hot, high, low, running on fuel, etc.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:22 PM   #54
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This won me(us) countless free beers, broiled chickens, schnitzel dinners, and DMarks in German Gasthouses. They (the populous) frekin' hated us since we could whip them at their game, consistently. Ah that was a fun time...although it ended too quickly.


I suppose that skill would be considered "a fairly useless skill set" as I never made much at it except getting a hangover.
I never had any skill which got me countless free beers, and other goodies. I say your foosball skill served you well. I can skip jump ropes like a semi pro but it got me no beers, not even a single one .
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:15 PM   #55
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Drinking beer?
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:08 PM   #56
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#1 is reading.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:23 AM   #57
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Useful - while I'm assuming that I do have some "skills" (kept a staffing business going for over a quarter of a century), I can't seem to think of much other than just having some business sense.

Oh, wait - I can bark... like really bark like a small dog. I learned that I could do it when I was a little girl and the neighbors would HATE it because I would do it as I walked down the street and every dog in the neighborhood would start barking.

And, actually this was a "useful" skill because one night in the middle of the night when I was in my 30's and home alone - two guys were banging on the front door of my townhome. They were yelling and looking for someone (had the wrong house?) but were getting aggressive (drunk?) and I had a glass top part of the door with a light shade so I could see their outline and I was petrified.

I called 911 and the dispatcher said an officer was on the way. It seemed to take forever and they were still yelling and trying to get in, so I started barking.... I heard them mention something about "a dog" and then they left! The dispatcher could not stop laughing when she found out that I was doing the barking. She made me do it again to prove it.

So other than getting the award in high school for being the fastest in taking "shorthand", I can't think of anything else.... what a wasted life - barking like a dog and able to do something that no one needs and most people these days have never heard of. Maybe I should go back to bed!

Debbie
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:15 PM   #58
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Oh, wait - I can bark... like really bark like a small dog. I learned that I could do it when I was a little girl and the neighbors would HATE it because I would do it as I walked down the street and every dog in the neighborhood would start barking.
That's better than wiggling your ears! Not surprising that the neighbors hated you, I would too.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:23 PM   #59
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For a woman, barking is useful but ear wiggling is cute.

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I have gardened, repaired, sewed, plumbed, wired, painted, nailed, <ahem> screwed, cut, driven, built, demolished, hauled, loaded, and generally done most everything...

Sometimes badly!
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:26 PM   #60
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Oh, wait - I can bark... like really bark like a small dog. I learned that I could do it when I was a little girl and the neighbors would HATE it because I would do it as I walked down the street and every dog in the neighborhood would start barking.

And, actually this was a "useful" skill because one night in the middle of the night when I was in my 30's and home alone - two guys were banging on the front door of my townhome. They were yelling and looking for someone (had the wrong house?) but were getting aggressive (drunk?) and I had a glass top part of the door with a light shade so I could see their outline and I was petrified.

I called 911 and the dispatcher said an officer was on the way. It seemed to take forever and they were still yelling and trying to get in, so I started barking.... I heard them mention something about "a dog" and then they left! The dispatcher could not stop laughing when she found out that I was doing the barking. She made me do it again to prove it.



Debbie

Now, THAT is a funny story, I'm going to start practicing my woofs.
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