Dirt in your skirt blog

Annual Performance Self- Evaluation Assessment for Hobos

Posted on January 11, 2013 by Margaret Schlachter


Most of corporate America needs to fill out performance evaluations each year. I filled them out for years, then waited to be told if my evaluation of myself was correct. Which is funny in many ways that we need to be told that we are correct in the way we look at ourselves. Anyways, it’s an exercise and since I no longer work for anyone but myself, this year the evaluation is a little different. My friend Vanessa of VanessaRuns.com, read her stuff it’s awesome, came up with a different sort of evaluation. Like everything I am a little late submitting mine, but well the boss said it was ok!

Before I start my self assessment I think I need to go back to what was the initial catalyst for this whole giant leap into the unknown. Vanessa has a sister, who in April decided to pursue her passion in life. This video was the first piece in the puzzle:

A few weeks after seeing this I read an article in Women’s Adventure magazine about a women who had a six figure job in the coupon industry, picked up and left it one day got in her car with her dog and took off. She had no plan no agenda other than a drive around, and take photographs. Along the way she ended up getting a few jobs documenting events for people and today she is a traveling photographer, basically a modern day nomad.

Around this time another friend decided to leave her job in the ski industry and focus on writing her first book and being a sports writer as well full-time. It was a huge leap for her to make after working in the industry for over a decade. To me it seemed the cosmos were starting to align and tell me something. As I was putting in twelve to sixteen hour workdays six to seven days a week at the height of my busy season the signs were all around me something else was out there.

Then another on decided to make the pull out of the norm, Vanessa announced online she had quit her job and was moving out of her apartment into an RV with her boyfriend and their dog. Another had decided to pull out of what society tells us we should be doing. It was all there, the signs all around. On July 1 I made the decision to follow suit. I let my bosses know after the 4th that at the end of the month I would no longer be working there. That was the day I jumped off the cliff of financial security, and jumped into the unknown and for the first time in my life have had to rely on the help of others to get by.

So I may not be in a RV, or traveling the world, or fallen into another career, but I am living a different sort of HOBO life, one which I am learning to live with less and enjoy life more. I could not be doing this today without the support of my boyfriend and owe the world to him in this adventure. So here is my self-assessment so far for Team Hobo.

The Self-Evaluation Assessment for Hobos

Please give yourself a letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) for each of the following six categories, and briefly describe your evaluation.

1. Embracing Minimalism

B- – Over the last ten months I have moved twice, each time discarding more. I come from a family of collectors but have managed to part with many belongings realizing they are just things. My boyfriend and I share a house that’s between 600-700sq. feet with our two dogs and a cat. Not much room for extra stuff.

2. Feeding Hobbies

C+ – My lifestyle revolves around my business. Much of it is my hobby, but still need to take more time to step away.

3. Managing Expenses

D- – Being new to hobo life, this is the hardest thing to realize. It’s hard not to spend like you use to with a steady paycheck coming in. I am quickly after a couple months how to spend less and settle for less.

4. Learning New Things

C – I get consumed with the business and still need to set more time aside for myself.

5. Personal Growth

A – I have learned more about myself in the last year than I did in the previous 28 before. I am learning the good, the bad, and some ugly about myself. It’s a constant journey and it took leaving my comfort blanket of the ski industry and private school world to learn it about myself. I have grown up a lot in the last year.

6. Balancing Relationships

B – For the first time in my life I am no longer a “me” and now a “we”. I am adjusting to the we aspect of life and starting to learn how to share better.

Now for the following statements, please rate yourself as:

  • Below Average
  • Satisfactory
  • Above Average
  • Superior

Briefly explain your ranking.

I know how to discreetly steal toilet paper.

Satisfactory – Traveling a lot I have learned how to take extra from airports, and gas stations.

I prepare meals in under five minutes.

Below Average – for the first time in life I am actually no longer making the five minute meals and actually cooking and prepping food from scratch. I am happy with this below average assessment.

I always know the location of the nearest spot I can spend the night.

Above Average – I still live in a house, but when I travel my car discretely becomes a camper in minutes and can be parked almost anywhere. 

I manage to find a hot shower at least once a week.

Superior – Living in a house helps with this a ton. 

I know who my boss is.

Superior – Our dogs rule the house, we literally plan things around them.

I set and meet weekly goals.

Satisfactory – Goals change week to week and much of this year has been figuring out just what my goals really are. 

I know what my benefits are.

Superior – A freer life. 

I give back to my community.

Satisfactory – Though working and writing I have been able to help more women gain the courage to go out and try something new.

My workload is realistic and achievable.

Below Average – I constantly overload myself with work and forget to take the time to relax. It’s a goal for 2013 to learn to turn off. I have always been a worker and overloaded myself. 

I have mastered the art of dumpster diving.

Below Average – Never tried this one, but we are thinking about seeing if we can get old produce from the supermarket for our compost and chickens to eat. 

I know where to find an electrical outlet.

Superior – When I am on the road I can always find the illusive outlet in the airport. It’s a skill learned over years.

I know where the nearest wifi is at all times.

Superior – I seem to almost always get connected. Actually trying to not be as connected in 2013.

I keep every plastic bag I come across.

Superior – We use them with the dogs, and keep every single one. 

I re-use tea bags.

Below Average – I have mostly switched to coffee.

I don’t pay for salt and condiments. Packets are free at Taco Bell.

Below Average – We eat out less and less. 

I don’t pay for forks and knives. They are free at Taco Bell.

Below Average – We have our own cutlery 

I raid Lost and Founds.  

Below Average – The closest we come is going to the local DI (thrift store) found a Patagonia top for Forest for $7.00 which looked brand new. 

I always use public toilets to poop.

Above Average – I’m not afraid when I am out and I have to go, I go. 

Actually, sometimes I poop in the woods.

Superior – Masted! Check that one off

Thank you for time, hobos. You may now continue doing whatever you want, all of the time.