Seattle office memories

Here I am on January 23, 2017, starting my first day working for my company at the Columbia Center:

First day at Work!

And here’s me on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, when I arrived to clean out my desk. Not to leave the company, but because we’re transitioning to permanent full-time remote work.

Columbia Center exit selfie

As I cleaned out my stuff, I took a few pictures of some of my favorite things in the Seattle office. Here they are, in no particular order.

Project tracking from 2020
The whiteboard we used to track our work. Everything is two years out of date.
The Engineering department at my company used to do white elephant gift exchanges. This fine timepiece was one of the gifts, labeled and then left behind by a former employee several years ago.
Kitchen whiteboard on 13
Kitchen whiteboard with notes people have left during their pandemic-era visits to the office. Strange.
Women's restroom
Years ago, for April Fool’s Day, I put googly eyes on all the fruit in the kitchen. As people ate the fruit, they started putting googly eyes other places — on monitors, the coffee maker, and this, my favorite, on the women’s restroom sign.
Googly Eye Fruit
Here’s the googly eye fruit. Still my greatest April Fool’s joke ever.
Columbia Center view to the south
The south-facing view. My gosh. It never gets old. I can’t take that with me.

I’m going to miss all the beauty I got to see on so many trips to and from Seattle. Continue Reading >>

Full remote

This week I got the excellent news that this is now my permanent work desk:

My desk at home.

My company has decided to save itself a packet by no longer maintaining office space in Seattle. Permanently. My boss hastened to reassure me that my job remained safe, but all Seattle employees on our team would work remotely from here on out.

I’m glad to hear it, but not as unalloyed joyful as I expected. I kind of started looking forward to seeing my Seattle colleagues, even if we didn’t directly work together — sharing baked goods, writing the jokeboard, going for walks at lunchtime — although maybe not so much that final one, given the shocking rise in violent crime in the neighborhood around our office tower. I didn’t want to do it five days a week, but a couple days sounded like a good mental health break from being alone in my apartment. Continue Reading >>

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 >>