New job at New Relic: First Month Report

An incredible place, rewarding experiences, emotionally engaged people.

Week one: feeling incredibly welcome, people are buzzing by saying “hi” but dropping no turds in my lap

Week two: I’m starting to get to understand the scope of my job and it terrifies me; tigers are lurking in the shadowy forest, and I’m hearing some occasional growls

Week three: I’ve slain a small house cat and feel like a warrior born; scouting parties are starting to make contact, and I’m getting involved in a real (but small) skirmishes with that beast they call “work”

There’s three levels of tired that come with an amazing new job:

  1. Tired when I get home. “I might turn in at a reasonable bedtime, honey.”
  2. Bone tired as I drag myself down the street, hoping I I don’t get mistake for a drunk before I get home.
  3. Drop like a sack of rocks when I cross the threshold. “I’m sorry I drooled on you while using you as a pillow, Mr. Fellow Bus Passenger.”

I am so glad I’m not driving home after work these days – “reckless” and “menacing” would be likely adjectives among the charges.

Highlights include:

  • Hardest mindfulness lesson: “we have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen first and then speak” – I am fighting to curb every ego instinct I have to stop trying to sound smart (show off as if I already understand all this new shit) and ask questions or just look like I don’t know what everyone’s talking about
  • Met a dude who spent six months working between Stockholm Sweden and Hillsboro Oregon. (We made many jokes drawing increasingly-strained comparisons between the two sexy locales)
  • Favourite hair colour I’ve seen: burgundy/orange/yellow stripes (like a funhouse Neapolitan ice cream)
  • Estimated number of people who recognized me by my hat: 5 by Tuesday
  • How welcome I felt by the end of day one: 10/10 (would do it over again)
  • How overwhelmed I felt by the end of week two: 12/10 (would crush my brain over again)
  • Best Google Mail hack:
  • “6months” – the amount of time every SINGLE person says it’ll take for me to be a net contributor to the business
  • New phrases: “icebergs vs. ice cubes” (are problems big, or do they just start out that way because everything’s so loud at the start), “N+1 query”
  • Never laughed as much at work – spontaneously – at least not sober. This is a very entertaining group of folks (or they’re just as warped as me). Friday’s highlight – “Anyone interested in a quiche run to Lauretta Jeans? I’m feeling like elevensies today.”
  • Bus asymmetry: getting on the 14 (Hawthorne) anytime between 7:30-8:30, sit with lots of normal, quiet, keep-to-themselves people. Getting on the 4 (Division) at work towards home anytime between 4:30-6:30, (and couldn’t think of a good joke to wrap up this thought)
  • Best spontaneous phrase I came up with to describe my mental state by week 3: the project plan I drafted hasn’t made me feel competent, but it “bounded my insecurities”
  • Perspective I heard I love: Intuit obsesses on our customer problems, not on what we’re building
  • “Discovering not declaring” how core values were generated
  • “Bring out the best in each other” – not a regulated nation-state

On the scale of behaviours of people with whom I’ve had to work in my career, the worst of them I’ve encountered at New Relic are pretty mild, and the best of them are bend-over-backwards nice, helpful and fun to be around.

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