A typical day at work

This post is part of a series describing what Automatticians do on a daily basis. You can read more posts like this by following the tag #a8cday on WordPress.com and Twitter.

Back in October 2014, I wrote a post describing a typical day at work. Since then, my job has changed quite a bit, so I’m writing an updated version.

6:05ish: I hear the boys getting up and getting in the shower. Yes, they are now taking showers by themselves in the morning. Hallelujah! I doubt this will last very long, but I’m enjoying having clean children and not having to nag them to bathe. I lie in bed and play Two Dots and catch up on my email until the bathroom is free.

7:00: Everyone troops downstairs. If I’m driving them to school that day, I’ve showered, but usually I don’t. So I’m still in pajamas. I make my coffee, they make their lunches, put their shoes on, and get their stuff together. I pour cereal into bags for them to take with them.

7:30ish: The boys get picked up and I grab some breakfast and go upstairs to my office.

The biggest difference between my job in 2014 and now is that instead of primarily providing support to WordPress.com customers, I now hire more Happiness Engineers to provide support to our customers. And now WooCommerce is part of the Automattic family, so we’re hiring HEs to support WordPress.com, Jetpack, and WooCommerce.

So I sit at my desk and the first thing I do is go through my email. When I did support work, email wasn’t a big part of my work at all. But in Hiring I use it a lot more. We get applications via email, we send out interview requests, tests, and of course rejections via email as well. We use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to send out most of the emails, but the replies come in to our normal mailbox.

img_7731It would probably help to explain the hiring process a bit here.

First, we get emails from applicants, which we import into our ATS. The various members of the team review each application twice. The rejections get emailed back and the ones that pass the reviews get a small project.

If the project is done well, we schedule a first interview, which is done via Slack. If the interview goes well, we send another small assignment, which may or may not lead to a second interview. Assuming the second interview goes well, we may offer a trial.

The trial lasts from 3-6 weeks and is paid. (My trial paid for work on our house. Yay trial!) Usually we follow someone through from the first interview through the trial, but occasionally we’ll pass them along to someone else on the hiring team to run the trial. Right now, I’m running four trials, and it’s likely I’ll have a few more starting up over the next few weeks.

So I spend a good part of the morning checking on my trials. How much work did they get done the day before? (They either answer support tickets or do live chat with customers.) How was their feedback from users? How are their answers? Their tone? Are they interacting with other Happiness Engineers?

Every trial also has a buddy, so I may have some feedback from the buddy or other HEs. All of this gets fed into our ATS so we can review it easily.

Once I’ve looked through the trials, we may have applications that need reviewing. I may have gotten some projects back so I’ll need to review those as well. If they go well, I’ll send out interview requests.

Another big part of my job is organizing new hire Support Rotations.

Every new Automattician who doesn’t work in Happiness starts off their tenure with three weeks in support. So they are trained how to use our tools and how we provide support for two days alongside HE trials and then are let loose. So I keep track of who is starting and when, and get their training set up and a buddy for their rotation, and all that good stuff.

Oh, and training. How could I forget training? I also organize Happiness training. Nearly every week, we have either trials or support rotations starting at Automattic. And since we all work remotely, we can’t ask someone in Australia to train at the same time as someone in Europe and someone in the US. So we have a few different trainings. I schedule Happiness Engineers to do those training sessions, and make sure everyone gets trained on time.

So this all takes up most of my day. But if I get through all of that, I try to spend some time doing support tickets or live chat. It’s incredibly important that I not only help out the team, but also that I always know what’s going on in support. How can I evaluate a trial’s live chats if I don’t know how accurate their answers are? If I don’t know how to use our tools (which are ever-evolving?)

Right now my coworker Deborah and I are getting ready for a recruiting trip to Australia and New Zealand so I’m also helping to get our accommodations sorted out, swag sent to the hotels, and events set up. We’ll be speaking at WordCamp Auckland so we need to get together to work on our talk as well.

So that’s my work stuff. I might also go work out at Orange Theory at some point during the day.

3:15: I log off and go pick up the kids from school. If traffic isn’t terrible I’m home around 4:30 and I log back on to finish up anything I hadn’t done before.

5:30: Log off. Get dinner started. Nag boys to do homework.

8:30ish: Get boys in bed. Read a book.

10:30: zzzz

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Random goings on and such

Things that have been happening lately:

  • I bought the boys’ first concert tickets tonight. We’re going to see some band all the kids are digging, twenty one pilots. I think that has to be all lowercase. Apparently a bunch of their friends are going. I mean, my first concert was Julian Lennon and a magician was the opening act. TOP THAT, BOYS.
  • A few days after the concert, I’m leaving for a big trip to New Zealand and Australia for work. I can’t believe it’s coming up so fast. My coworker Deborah and I will be speaking at various WordPress events to try to recruit more Happiness Engineers. A few days in Auckland, Sydney, and Melbourne. So crazy!
  • Oh, and next weekend (I guess I should put this in chronological order but nah) I’m marching in a parade (Alla, if you’re going to be here.) I’ll be in pink, head to toe, with the Krewe de Pink (a breast cancer charity.)
  • And THEN the Wednesday after that (the 22nd) I’ll be riding in Nyx! Yay! I will be on float 41 in the second to last position on the main float on the driver’s side at the top. Something like that. Easy enough to remember, right?
  • Went to a parade last weekend. Drank too many margaritas. Tis the season!
  • Put shelves up in the boys’ closet. Which always, always makes me think of this.

God I love that movie.

 

Three years!

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Goodness knows I love an anniversary. Three years ago today I had my first day full-time at Automattic. Still have to pinch myself.

You want in on this? We’re hiring!

Automattic Grand Meetup 2016

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Here it is, the massive, picture-heavy post recapping our big yearly company meetup. This year (and I hope next year and beyond) it took place in Whistler, British Columbia. What a gorgeous setting! Getting there wasn’t my favorite (mostly because of the two-plus hour bus ride from the Vancouver airport) but once we were there, it was fantastic.

The first day was our team day, so I spent the first half with the hiring team, and the second half with all of Happiness.

Beckett and I got up early one morning and went for a run around a 3.5 mile loop. It was hilly (mountainous, even, for this NOLA girl) and I almost ran all of it. Except for a few steep uphills. I wish I had better photos of the route, but they’re all blurry.

We spent time over the next few days in classes, and I didn’t really take pictures there. But here are a bunch of pretty pictures of Whistler Village:

The whole company took a pic. See if you can find me!

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On our activity day, I went up the mountain in a gondola with a few others. It was terrifying and fun and awesome and gorgeous. We hiked a bit, saw some snow, rode a chairlift into a cloud, and saw a giant rainbow. Good stuff.

Video of the chairlift up. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful. Except when I was shrieking in terror. (Kidding.)

The chairlift down looked WAY scarier, but because we couldn’t see anything, it was okay! I took a time lapse video of it:

More pics on a mountain:

The weather was so random, as you can see from those photos. Turn one way, and it would be cloudy and gray, and in another direction, sunny and blue.

After the chairlift, we took the peak-to-peak gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. It was pretty crazy.

One day I had some free time and spent it hiking with some friends. We went to Lost Lake, and I don’t think we found the path with the incredible views everyone else got, but it was a lovely hike and I did get some nice pics.

Does it chap my hide that my favorite pic was taken with my iPhone? Maybe a bit.

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Ahhhhh. Nice.

The WWWP5K was Monday morning, and it was on the same path that Beckett and I ran a few days before. The distance was a bit vague, but we ran straight for 37 minutes WITHOUT STOPPING AND ON HILLS AND STUFF so I figure we covered at least 3.1 miles. I guess Orange Theory works after all, eh? I haven’t really run distances in a while, so I was very pleased about this.

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Proud of those feet.

Okay, one more batch of pics from our closing party. I was wise this year and didn’t stay up until 4am the night before, so I was able to enjoy it a bit more.

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My beautiful be-wigged team.

But not too much, as I had to be up at 3am to catch the bus back to Vancouver, and then fly home for a zillion hours (whyever United thinks a layover in Newark between Vancouver and NOLA is a good idea, I’ll never know.)

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First meal in Canada, last meal in Canada.

 

Finally made it home at 10:30pm, to many, many, many hugs from my boys. Here’s what Oliver drew before I got home. (RIP me.)

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Until next year!

Thursday thirteen

Man, couldn’t we have any numbers lower than thirteen that start with “th”? Maybe I should save this for tomorrow so I only have to come up with four things to say. Or maybe I don’t have to have alliterative post titles. Hmm.

However, it has been a while since I’ve posted, so I shall try to come up with thirteen things.

  1. Third grade is going well so far. The boys all like their teachers and when I pick them up, are in good spirits. Woo!
  2. Speaking of school, we now have five kids in carpool! Ann Francis started preK-4 this year and I love having her in the car. She is so dang cute, I can hardly stand it. And she calls me Pammy and it’s freaking adorable. Gah. img_3052
  3. Took the boys to see two movies last weekend. Kubo and the Two Strings and Pete’s Dragon. Kubo was fantastic and Pete’s Dragon (or Elliot’s Human, as the boys called it) was good, but suffered by comparison. We all decided we should have seen Pete’s Dragon first, then it would have seemed better.
  4. Two weeks until I head to Whister, BC for my week-long company-wide work trip. So excited to see all of my coworkers and to work together in person and all that good stuff.
  5. I volunteered to be a room mom in Miles’s class. Figured it was time to give back a little.
  6. I had to pick up Oliver from school early today for the second time this week. Back to school germs suck.
  7. Last weekend was the fourth annual New Orleans Moms Blog Mom’s Night Out. My hair looked great. It was a wedding theme, so I had the hair people put my wedding hair clips in. Aw!img_3082
  8. I really need some new brown boots and am having the eternal struggle – buy cheap and toss them after winter’s over (like I do every year) or buy quality for once? The problem is, apparently only people with thin calves want nice boots because even the “wide calf” versions are too small for my, ahem, athletic calves. Boo.
  9. We got to play with tiny puppies and now the boys are convinced Ziggy needs a friend. I am not convinced at all, but dang, those puppies were adorable! img_3040
  10. My hair is finally getting longer. And look at this great necklace I got from my friend Bea! Proceeds went to a family she knows who lost everything in the floods.IMG_3062
  11. Carpool chaos. Don’t worry, we weren’t moving.img_3051
  12. Miles as a troll.img_3069
  13. I’m all about puppies this week. IMG_3074

I did it! 13 things!

11 days in Europe

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Okay, I need to just get this written before I forget everything.

For a good recap of Spain, read Erica’s post here.

Friday morning

Arrived in Barcelona, after a flight with no sleep. I tried. I really tried. At least I got to catch up on some movies.

Had my first jamon sandwich, then met Erica at the airport (her flight arrived not long after mine) and we headed into town to drop off our luggage at a locker, and then we just wandered around until our Airbnb was available.

Many, many photos from that day are in this post.

Walked through the Gothic Quarter, made our way through a path of what felt like miles of blankets covered in fake Michael Kors handbags, “Nike” sneakers, and sunglasses. Finally got to the beach! Put toes in Mediterranean!

Continue reading

A visit to the Sagrada Família

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Erica and I went to the Sagrada Família on Saturday the 18th, after we’d given our talk. (More details on all that later.) I had tried to go when I was in Barcelona last time, cough cough, but didn’t get to.

Anyway, I’m not usually one for visiting old buildings or churches, but this was truly exceptional. So unique and breathtaking and many other adjectives. Construction began on this church designed by Gaudí in 1882 and it’s not done yet.

Erica and I also booked tickets to the tower, which was fun and hair-raising. (You take an elevator up but a tightly wound spiral staircase down, and it’s kind of terrifying.)

Without further ado…

Details outside

The interior

Views from the tower:

Terrifying staircase:

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People right as they walk in, stop, dumbfounded, then take pics.

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They say it’s going to be finished (finally) in ten years. We’ll see.

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