Journal: Monday, May 4, 2020

In Personal

Quarantine Day 48. In a weird way, Mondays still feel like Mondays despite SIP hitting two months now. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. The good: there’s still that weekly cycle of “here we go again” that provides some structure. Weekends still exist. The workweek still exists. It’s not like I’m on vacation (or unemployed or furloughed), where the days have melded together.

The bad, of course, is that there’s work to be done.

Now, I enjoy what I do. I truly believe it. More now than ever, I think I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in that coveted intersection of “do what you’re good at,” “do what makes you money,” and “do what you love.” I think there’s even a fourth: “do work for a company whose values align with your own.”

With all that said, work is still work. LOL. For me, my work is like playing a video game (an open-world role-playing game, specifically):

  • there’s an end goal (a product or feature to be delivered);
  • there’re side quests (bugs, investigations, in-game events like COVID, that come up that may or may not need to be prioritized or done); and
  • of course, there’s grinding and bosses.

Generally, games have bosses to fight (and ideally defeat) to keep the game challenging, and therefore interesting. Bosses can’t be too easy. But they can’t be too hard either.

What I’m doing now feels, in a way, like fighting a mini-boss. I’ve now been grinding away at this one for about a week. I’ve made some progress, and I’ve roped in other party members with different skills to help. If I don’t defeat this boss, the story literally cannot continue (this is no side quest boss that I can give up on) and if I take too long, it’s game over.

This is how I view work sometimes. And this is also why I don’t quite play video games anymore (I feel like I’m already in one).

Team Changes. One notable meeting today was a “getting to know each other” meeting. Since the beginning of the year, my team’s been re-orged twice. Now my team is effectively merged with another team, for one mega-team.

I had a lot of questions about what this would entail, for my manager, last week, and learned that (unsurprisingly) the first thing that would change is that we would have a lot more meetings in the short-term to get everyone on the same page.

This initial meeting was honestly a little boring. There were way too many people for me to remember, and I really wish we could’ve done it in person (though obviously we couldn’t because of the quarantine, and even if we weren’t in quarantine, I would have to travel to Palo Alto or they would have to travel up to SF). One thing that really stood out to me was that their team was overwhelmingly of Indian descent (incidentally, over half my team is of Chinese descent). The other is that their team had both more junior member (i.e. recent grads) and veteran members, than my team; they didn’t have as many people in the middle. Or at least that was my impression. In any case, it’s still the “early days;” I’m curious how this merge will turn out in the future.

Celebrating May the Fourth. If I had to pick just one highlight to write about for today’s entry, it would’ve been this: today’s movie night! I haven’t had a movie night with friends in months now (though I’ve had Netflix parties with random people), so I was looking forward to this.

The vote came down to Totoro and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Originally, Solo was Knives Out. But because Michael (who nominated Knives Out realized it was May the Fourth today, he changed his nomination at the last minute — sowing confusion in the discord channel). Anyway, there was a lot of support for Solo, so Avi put it up for us to watch.

Overall, I quite enjoyed it. I didn’t think it was especially good. I didn’t think it was especially bad, either. It was entertaining, and it kept me wanting to keep watching — which is all I want from a movie (I find it quite hard to sit through most movies these days now).

From a pop culture perspective, I’d consider myself a very casual Star Wars fan, in the sense that I’ve watched all the movies (except Solo before today, and the most recent one, The Rise of Skywalker) and enjoy the lore. But obviously I don’t go out of my way to memorize trivia, buy Star Wars “stuff.” For another movie night, though, I think I’ll be nominating The Rise of Skywalker.

Leave a Reply