Work, Work, Work

In the middle of the workday, a good employ happily types away on their keyboard, answering slacks and emails. Tech workers, who tend to be spectacularly spoiled, should be please as pie with their situation. Imagine, a trendy tech worker at their standing desk, whistling tunelessly, merrily doing the tasks of their work, bask in the beauty of zero commute, a fine salary, and other myriad perks. Blech. I have a great job, yet I am disgruntled and bored and grumpy. This job seems all for naught.

I work at Headspace as a Devops/Cloud/Infra engineer. Essentially, I'm a terraform monkey. I'm a github-PR-approving stooge. My work dispirits me, leaving me want to flop listlessly on the couch due to the passion that's drained out of me, sitting on a puddle on the floor.

In the year I've been here, achieving HITRUST compliance ate up a large portion of our efforts as a team. We jumped through hoops, doing work that at times was interesting: encrypting things, creating automated backup schedules for other things, securing things, designing alerting schemes for other things. However, there was a lot of documentation. Either way, this work could have been fine and mostly alright, if we'd had a decent project/product manager assigned to it. It could have even been passable if we'd had a manager/tech lead with some passion for seeing this thing through. But most of the project was led by an IC who wanted desperately to not be a manager or by a new IC-turned-manager (who then quit mid-project only to return after HITRUST was over. Is there a sour taste in my mouth? Yes). In short, the team lacked concerted, focused guidance on what the fuck really needed to be accomplished by July 31st. Why July 31st? No one knows. Some higher-up decided on July 31st before having any true understanding of the scope of the work. What a joy and a blessing to have deadlines handed down from benevolent overlords.

For a while, I said "Well, it's okay. My team is awesome". And they are indeed nice. Fine. Quiet mostly. Kind of hard to relate to. Actually, pretty distant from me (except for one guy who rides motorcycles and another guy who likes plants). And they are all guys. Why am I complaining about this anymore? It should surprise me. Getting on a team with another female would be so nice but I'm basically over expecting that. I just miss it. I can't put my finger on why I want it so badly. But I do. Actually, there are only 3 female engineers at the whole company. There are 3 female managers in engineering that I can think of; that's pretty okay. But, that's not the same as having female peers. I feel pretty alienated and alone most of the time.

Anyway, by July 31st, I felt burnt out. My enthusiasm for Headspace and its mission waned in an epic wave (especially when we decided as a company to get rid of free content. Headspace and meditation for everyone, my ass). Since then, my motivation has returned slowly over time. However, directly after that, I went through a breakup with a long-time significant other, whom I'd moved out to CA with and signed a lease with. So, in the last few months (amongst a heap of personal travel), I had to sort out breaking an unbreakable lease, arguing with my ex about his responsibility for his portion of the rent, and finding and moving into a new place. (All while taking flack from a inflexible landlord who wouldn't let me sublease, despite it being in the lease and being the responsible party in the house while my ex lived with me and acted like a man-child.) On the plus side, I'm a lot happier, especially because I've gradually realized my ex sat comfortably on the scale of mildly emotionally abusive, so being rid of him has left me in better spirits. So, you can see why maybe I'm not at my best.

Oh, also, I realize I'm getting paid anywhere from 8k-10k less than my male coworkers, based on a couple of their quotes.

Anyway, work and the benevolent overlords finally decided to straighten me out. At the end of October in my Monthly Check In (MCI), I was informed that my output had slipped over the past few months. (It was implied that I oughta fix it.) However, there hasn't been any real clear outline of what that exactly means. So now every meeting and 1x1, I approach with lackadaisical fear and dread, knowing that I'm going to be lectured, coaxed and coached into some version of a PIP, whether that's squishy or firm.

I hate it. I hate my job. I don't really like my team. I've never really clicked with my manager. I hate the working style. Why the fuck am I here?

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