1 week ago 💎 for day 86, 2020 with 577 words.

Pervasive thoughts

I hold very strong opinions on certain topics often without even realizing it, until something triggers it. Because of the underlying value I'm not fully aware of, my reactions to certain topics are strong and unexpected even for me.

Take the recent boom in marketing emails because of COVID-19. Companies bombarding inboxes with advice on remote working, communication, time management, and office ergonomics, trying to tie their business proposition to anything even tangentially related to what one might be going through.

First time working from home? Then you definitely need our newest app for meditation!

Anxious about your situation? Try our new kanban board tool with cute animals to keep you engaged.

Our product has nothing to do with working remotely? We're here for you, and so are the few memes we put in this email. Look, a kitty cat!

It's one thing to have to sift through the load of email I'm not interested in, it's something else when I have to address my feelings about the company I work at capitalizing on this new VUCA environment (and there I was, hoping that quitting consulting is going to keep me safe from business acronyms). The internal emails, announcements, excitement at sales numbers, encouragement to do even more work, overall overcommunication that makes my introvert brain want to hide under a rock for the next month or so. And the strong suggestion to drink the Kool Aid and share it on my own social media.

It's not that I'm against the product or what the company is doing, far from it, I think they have a good understanding of the problem and excellent customer service. The consideration for security, user experience, and agility of the product is sensible, the work environment not overly focused on getting every last ounce of productivity.

But it's a company. A company is not a family and as much as I like my team mates, and I'm hoping to keep in touch with them in the future, the "I consider some of my coworkers my friends" on my 120days onboarding survey felt icky. And the daily emails from the CEO, praising marketing and sales efforts as successes during the time of global pandemic does not inspire me to start identifying with the company.

I do like the engineering culture and everyone I work closely with is wonderful. I rarely step outside of product or engineering departments, so my exposure to "businessy things I no longer want to do" is limited to weekly town halls (apart from the flurry of communication since all the extroverts suddenly have to work from home).

And I have strong, visceral reactions to a lot of the quintessentially North American/startup behaviours around me. The self-promotion, the cult of the individual achievement, the storytelling, the focus on the CEO - I do not know them personally and people constantly asking what they think about the most mundane things feels like some weird side-effect of a fame-driven culture. It still surprises me how strong my reactions sometimes are, especially when I feel the heavy eyeroll coming because of the third "super-important company-wide email" about marketing efforts.

I think issues like this are present at most companies, so mine is not particularly better or worse at it. I just sometimes wish we were big enough for me to not be expected to follow on every mundane detail of business operations.


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By Alicja


drawsplainer, ukulele player, immigrant

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