Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Real Story About Nibbles. I'm not kidding.

Since I'm in a confessing mood, and I got my drink on, I thought I'd tell you about the real story of Nibbles and her first kidding. And the ensuing scandal. There are even some previously unreleased excerpts from her HR Employee File which detail the events surrounding her kidding and her sudden disappearance. There were wild rumors that she did a stint in the Witness Protection Program. I'm not kidding.

 The Big Man with an arm load of little goat babies!

But before we get into all of that, here's what happened.  On a late Monday afternoon the Good Neighbor Mom and the oldest Good Neighbor kid, R, just happened to come over. I have to tell you, the Good Neighbor Mom has a knack for knowing when a goat is about to kid. And she's really great about the whole thing. She and I laugh that she's on birthing and I'm on butchering. We make a great team in that regard. Anyway, she and R moseyed over just in time to take one look at Nibble and declare that the babies were on their way. Right then. Of course I had no idea.

I ran and hid and they took care of Nibbles. And a good thing too. Both of Nibbles' babies were breach and it was no problem for R to get them turned and then bring them into daylight. Everyone cheered while the dog and I hung over the fence and puked.

The Big Man even got into the act and he held the babies while we made sure Nibbles was OK. She was.

In fact everything was OK.  The babies were up, lively, and they were nursing so we didn't think too much about it. But then after a couple days we noticed one of the babies was poorly. I checked around to find out what to do and then and sprang to action.

And we figured out the problem. Nibbles. She was not letting the babies nurse. In fact, she was trying to kill them!  Then it was Debbie to the rescue. Debbie heroically let the babies nurse off her and they were saved. We immediately found an excellent home for the babies with a woman who was experienced in bottle feeding – and who's best friend was a large animal vet. Such a blessing!

Then my attention turned to Nibbles. I tell you I was so mad I coulda grilled.. I mean.. killed her. And around here that means something – just ask the pigs!

We don't have any time for a momma who doesn't take care of her babies. So when Nibbles tried to stomp and bite the babies I very nearly posted her on craigslist that day. But the problem was... Nibbles is one of the few creatures we keep around her just cuz we like her (unlike everyone else who has to produce something – like bacon).

Because of this Management decided to work with her to see if her performance could be improved or if there was another position to move her into. Clearly she got an “F-” in being a mommy. I found some notes from Management (the HR VP) and am publishing them with the understanding that you...ahem..didn't get any of this from me, right?

April 21th  File notes, HR VP:
Employee Nibbles, Junior Goat Level 1

Employee seem lax in her duties. Concern has been raised that she may not be effectively nurturing the newest Interns, designation Goat Baby#1 and  Goat Baby#2. Her immediate supervisor has recommended Nibbles for Termination.

After holding a peer review, putting Nibbles on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan), signing her up to attend an offsite team building workshop, and making her wear a sign that says "This is what losers look like" at the department meeting.... Nibble will not get a pink slip.  For now.

Milking status: Meets expectations (barely)

April 22th  File notes, HR VP:
Employee Nibbles, Junior Goat Level 1

IT has intercepted personal emails from Nibbles complaining to her friends that she should not be burdened by the Interns (Goat baby #1 and #2) and she is looking at “other opportunities.” And there was a lot of grumbling about how the Interns are the new "golden girls" here on staff - but they were really just puppets for Management. We can't stand for this kind of dissension.

Vita, who is SVP of the Goat Division, and I are having a working lunch tomorrow to discuss this security breach and general poor performance.  Vita has assured me that she is going to take action.  Heads may roll -  just ask those tom turkeys who were causing the ruckus last week.

As punishment for these leaks Nibbles was placed on probation and tied out by the road with a sign that read “Free to a BAD home.”  There were no takers.

Milking status: Meets expectations

April 24th  File notes, HR VP:
Employee Nibbles, Junior Goat Level 1

This draft PR has been sent to legal (the ducks) for approval to release to all major news outlets.
Press Release:
Dateline: 4/24/2010

Ohiofarmgirl's Farm is happy to announce that Nibbles, former mommy and valued team member, is moving on to greener pastures. Nibbles will be leaving the organization to pursue other interests. We thank her for all her years of service (for which she will get a lovely desk set) and wish her well in her new endeavors.

Addend: We just received notice that the Interns have accepted positions with another farm! The loss of these cuties has been directly attributed to the failure of Nibbles to provide proper management. Her tenure here has most assuredly come to an end.

Milking status: Meets expectations, may exceed forecast if production continues on current trajectory. Its too bad she isn't a team player. She need to know that Together Everyone Accomplishes More! I'll order her a motivational poster as a reminder.

April 25th  File notes, HR VP:
Employee Nibbles, Junior Goat Level 1

Leaving shortly to to meet security. Technically she has until tomorrow but we are cleaning out Nibble's desk today and she has to hand in her badge. Now.  There won't be any severance package or placement assistance because she has been fired with cause. Some of the other employees took up a collection so she will get $20 and a bus ticket.

Milking status: To be fair, she did milk really well this morning...but her poor performance in other areas overshadows any hope of her staying with this organization.

April 26th  File notes, HR VP:
Employee Nibbles, Junior Goat Level 1

Just my luck that no-good-nick Nibbles would threaten a law suit! I'll rally the legal team.  In the meantime she is returning to her probationary status.  I'm determined to get her out. So I'll try treating her badly and hopefully she'll just leave. First, a demotion, then I'll move her office over by the pigs, and then give her the worst parking spot. After a while she'll be happy to sign a separation agreement including our boilerplate non-disclosures and non-competes. Ha!

Milking status: Dang! She milked really well again. Other department heads are calling for a review of her probationary status.

April 29th  File notes, HR VP:
Employee Nibbles, Junior Goat, Trainee

My spies, the chickens, have reported suspicious activity out there in the barnyard. And I can't seem to find Nibbles.... every time I ask Employee #42 (The Big Man) he avoids my gaze and mumbles something about "Maybe it was because you were so mean to her... "

I need to get my informants on this. I'm sending my henchmen, the guineas, out to interrogate...I mean.... question... I mean "make casual inquiries" with the rest of the malcontents.  The drums of a coup d'├ętat are starting to beat. I fear drastic action may be taken.

Adden:  The guineas have let me know that Chirper, the currently incarcerated turkey hen, is willing to "make a deal" in exchange for her freedom.  Apparently she has some information where they are hiding Nibbles.  I'm taking the brute squad (the dogs) out to "question" Chirper. We must get to the bottom of this rebellion by the plebs!

Those are the final notes from the former HR VP.  Rumor had it that the Board of Directors arranged a hasty exit for the HR VP that included a fat severance package in exchange for her immediate departure. Exactly 2 minutes after she was escorted from the building the nearby employees went thru her desk to collect loose change which amount to $4.37.

Somehow word got to the Board that Nibbles was a great milker and her under-performance as a mommy could be overlooked by her luscious and rich milk. The HR VP was accused of being short sighted in her evaluation of a valuable employee.

I'm waiting on the notes from the SWAT mission to recover Nibbles.  Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

If you ever write a book, I'm buying it! And I'm not kidding.
Great post!

Heiko said...

You should write a book Ohio, but if you want some advice from an independent consultant (me), you've spent too long in the corporate world, it's time to let go... :)

Kristin @ Going Country said...

The ducks are the legal department? Cats seem to me more like all the lawyers I know--superior in their own minds, yet the majority are mostly useless. My husband is a lawyer, and I think he would probably agree with that assessment.

While amusing, I have to say all the corporate-speak made me a little ill and SO GLAD I no longer have to work at a place where performance reports are issued.

Mr. H. said...

I'm with Vrtlarica...seriously, you should.:)

Naomi Banta said...

My dear parents had two alpines last year with this issue, both gorgeous, but the one is named "the dipwad diva" now.

The baby is the sweetest baby in the flock I must say - they bottle fed them.

(this was before I moved back to help with the baby they adopted and turn the place upside down by raising chickens and coturnix!)

Sent the last two days to my mom, she was cackling across the table!`

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks VRT! If I do get a book deal I'm "sellin out" and moving to Hollywood.. I'll have my cabana boy take care of the ducks while I'm lounging by the pool.

You'll be my first call, Heiko.

hi Kristin! Arntcha so glad we NEVER have to go thru that again? Ducks are the lawyers because they swoop in, make a big flap, and poop all over everything. Except your hubby, of course.

Thanks Mr H! We ex-corporate monkeys need to stick together.

Say 'hi' to your mom, Naomi!

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Whoa girl, either your imagination is something else or you need more resposibilities on the farm,your worst than me in pretending ... maybe more chickens and ducks..since I can't have them,:o)

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Whoa girl, either your imagination is something else or you need more resposibilities on the farm,your worst than me in pretending ... maybe more chickens and ducks..since I can't have them,:o)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

ha ha ha, Ginny, I blame it on having too much time and not enough sci-fi to watch! We only get 4 channels so I have to make up my own stories

But I'll snuggle a chicken for you today!

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