Work triumph

I recently took on a small but moderately high-visibility project at work. It isn’t going to be a long-term responsibility, but someone promised documentation to a client for a feature that has zero documentation so far, and they need someone to come in and whip something up real quick.

I told my boss that I thought I could probably produce something in two weeks. He gave it to me, and this week I really dug into it. I haven’t actually done legit tech writing in a while, and a number of happy hours swiftly passed as I immersed myself in the project. Continue Reading >>

Management material

A while ago I wrote a post about all the life-chaos that seemed to have hit the fan at once. I have some resolution on one of the topics: my career direction decision.

Since I wrote that post, I’ve talked with people who have many different perspectives on this, ranging from high-level corporate managers to moms to work colleagues. So many different opinions and so many good thoughts on reasons to do it, or not. I’ve spent this whole time thinking very deeply about it, because I’m not the only one impacted here. Continue Reading >>

Work From Home Diatribe

During my job interview nearly five years ago I asked, in a pro-forma way, about work from home options. When informed that wasn’t an option, I accepted with resignation the reality that I would commute twenty-odd miles to downtown Seattle every day. Over time, that hour-plus-each-way commute felt less and less logical. I’ve asked myself time and time again whether it was worth spending nearly three hours every day traveling just to have this job. Three extra hours away from my family, hours I’m not spending with my kid, who’s growing up without me. Is that sacrifice really worth it? Heck, if nothing else, I could spend more of that time asleep! Continue Reading >>

Mega-Zit Stress

Last Monday, I started my new role at my work. In many ways, this new role feels like going back to the start of my job four and a half years ago — and not only because I have to wake up at 5:00 am every weekday again.

Back then, we barely had processes in place to figure out what features needed tech writing documentation. We had one regularly organized meeting, but otherwise, writers scoured the development story tracking system (they used a system called Rally, which we regularly inadvertently called Raleigh, the site of our company’s other campus) and went around asking individual project managers what they were doing. Continue Reading >>

Busywork, Mostly

I recently learned that, as part of a larger corporate overhaul, the Help Center I write will be abandoned within a few years. I found this out when my boss mentioned it in passing in an unrelated meeting. He didn’t even realize that he’d inadvertently delivered a perfect gut punch straight to my solar plexus.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time asking: Why am I doing this? What’s the point, if we’re going to throw it away in a year, or two, or five? I want my work to mean something. What does it mean if it’s discarded as unneeded baggage so soon? Continue Reading >>

Life One Year Ago

Angry coronavirus.

It’s been about a year since COVID-19 started making itself felt here. Patient Zero landed in Everett on January 18. It took a while, but by late February we started sensing that this could impact our lives. Assisted living facilities started experiencing the terrible toll first. Soon schools began worrying about COVID cases. On March 4, 2020, I was working from home when Benji’s school called: Someone at the school had tested positive for COVID, and they were sending all the kids home for a few weeks. Continue Reading >>