New job and Normcore pause

Hi Friends, 

I got a new job. I started as a machine learning engineer at Automattic, the company behind Wordpress.com (and a lot of other products), and I couldn’t be happier. 

Automattic hires based on auditions (you can read more about the process here), which means that, in addition to the craziness of COVID, I was also working through a job interview. This interview process is probably the longest one I’ve ever done, but also the one that I felt most fairly evaluated my skills. 

Now that all of that’s over, I’m working through my support rotation, which every Automattician (yes) does as they onboard. The rotation means that you work, in conjunction with the support team, on answering users’ tickets. So if you’re having questions with your Wordpress.com site, chances are you could run into me over the next several weeks. 

I had a very long post started about what WordPress as a platform means to me, how I first started using it when I lived in Washington, D.C. 12 years ago, and how it gave me a voice, a way to say what I was thinking on the internet, and how important WordPress  has been to me as an idea since. I also had a post about manual curation with respect to HBO Go, and one about Alex Stamos and Zoom in the hopper. But, I have to admit I’ve kind of run out of steam. 

Having to be my own CEO during the pandemic has really taken a lot out of me. Before, I was running on the fumes of whatever manic energy I had left, looking at life a day at a time. But  now that the major decisions are made (new job has been started, my daughter is back in daycare, my son is with his nanny), and I’m starting to ramp up at work, my mind has deflated as quickly as WeWork’s valuation, and it’s very hard to pick up the pen - er - keyboard. 

Every time I start to write a post, I stop and wander off to do something else. That’s probably the first sign of burn-out, so I don’t want to push it any further. 

I’m taking a break. My SLA is to publish 1 free and 1 paid a week, and I think probably once I pick things back up, it will be at a slower pace. Or I could be back to normal. I don’t know yet. But I need some time. And, since I don’t know what The Future looks like,  I’m pausing paid subscriptions for now. If you’re billed monthly, you won’t get billed again until I start writing again. Alternatively, feel free to cancel. I get it. 

It’s funny that, just when I start to work at the very normcore company that gave me the platform that gave me my voice earlier, my own voice today seems to be on hold. 

Don’t worry, I’ll be back. I just need to seriously decompress. (And by decompress I mean get situated at work a bit and continue to take care of my kids - for some reason they always seem to need me to meet their own SLAs, which are anywhere from 5 seconds to 2 minutes. ) 

Wishing you and yours also health and sanity. 

We’re almost halfway through 2020.