So I have a moment to breathe. I should probably be working but I think a short update is in order and it’s lunchtime anyhoo.
Being that I have no idea who reads this, I don’t particularly want to air any specific dirty employment-related laundry. I’m happy to talk about my previous stint of being a total workaholic and how it mentally affected me, because that reflects on me. My feelings, my emotions, and my process of becoming a person again who is not only identified as my job title and game title all belong to me. It does not reflect on the management at SOE because I was given a wild amount of freedom to do with what I would. I could have worked my 40 hours, done my job, and went home, but I didn’t. I still don’t regret it because it was an amazing experience and a huge experiment in stretching and smashing my comfort zone, but I also don’t regret reclaiming my life.
What I won’t do is run previous coworkers under the bus in my blog. I would never talk professional smack about someone I crossed paths with at work. The games industry is too small and incestuous to do that. I’ve seen too many bridges burnt that caused major trouble in the future. There is a joke about the “form letter” that gaming people send out over email on their last day/week – it is required that you mention something about “you worked with the most talented and bright individuals” and “you hope to get a chance to work with them again”. When it came time to write mine about 2 years ago, it was absolutely true. I still wish I could fold some of the employees that worked for or with me into my team, and I definitely miss and respect some of the managers I worked for there.
This is a story that must leave out some of the juicy bits. Suffice it to say, I saw an ancillary communication that made me a little angry. I put it in my pocket though, because it was not directed to me. Essentially, it was the equivalent of seeing a facebook message from a friend to another saying “OMG you’re my best friend we have the most fun when we hang out, you’re the bestest person I know”. This leaves you thinking… “what about me, huh”? But who in their right mind can be truly offended by that, right? I have pretty thick skin so I just pretty much filed it under the “gee, I wonder what’s up with that” folder in my brain.
Wednesday, I come into work and got indirectly reprimanded for something for which I thought I was doing a fine job. If I hadn’t seen that little message above, I would have probably grumbled and shaken it off, but it actually sent me into a small tirade at my direct manager ranting. I don’t do tirades often, I’m pretty relaxed at work. I calmed down after a few minutes and then said I’ll do what I could to validate what I thought was a ridiculous and insulting request, but only to the point where it didn’t feel ridiculous and demeaning. Later that day, I found out I was moving teams.
At first I thought it to be a reflection of the management’s perception of the job I was doing, but it ended up being that the request I thought was insulting was simply DUE to the impending change (not the change DUE to the request, like I thought). It’s not that I needed babysitting (for a task I’ve been doing for years), which is what I thought the directive implied. So I went home a bit shaken – I was told at 4pm I was moving teams, and that it would start the next morning. I talked with my new boss all afternoon and got overloaded with facts and felt completely overwhelmed. Instead of dance lessons and relaxing, there was some whiskey and contemplation with my Zliten. I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything but talk it out and think about it and lubricate my synapses with a bit of the sauce.
Why? Well, I fear change. Like I said before, I think my grass is pretty green. Even if it’s kinda yellow, who knows how brown it is over the hill? I prefer the evil I know. I like change in small, incremented, planned amounts, and initiated by ME. I don’t like ripping bandaids off. I can make some decisions that seem wild and crazy to the outside world, but believe you me… I’ve already, in my head, mentally tested the waters and have acclimated myself with the idea of something before I do it if I have any say in it. I wish sometimes to be one of those people who can make snap judgements and produce decisions at the drop of a hat, but I am just not that girl. I want to really mean something when I make a statement of intention, so I don’t make them lightly.
Needless to say, the first few days have been EXTREMELY busy getting up to speed and I actually have more to do over here. Couple that with some minor emergencies, new directives from the execs, and the fact that my boss is out on vacation this week (great timing, huh?)… makes for a wild first week. I assume things will return to a normal level of crazy soon, but for now between this and all the rest of the silliness that is my life, blogging might be a little bit more scarce.
I do have to say though – all in all, I’m liking it. I’m now on the new unannounced title so I get a chance to hone my skills shipping a game (I’ve previously pretty much specialized in live maintenance – aka expanding on a previously shipped game and updating it). I’m liking the team I work with. It seems a little more relaxed, while still being focused, which I’m happy with as well. I was specifically put in this position because of my experience with sound, which makes me happy because I’m working with sound more again and that’s been one of my favorite parts of my job this year. I think I’ll also be able to claim experience running a small sound department – and in Austin, audio production experience/management is totally fab to have on a resume. I’m sure I’ll find things about it that DON’T make me happy, but for now I’m calling it a win. I’ll reserve more judgement until later.
Just wanted to make sure everyone knew I was doing ok – I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled ranting about this evil plateau and how I can’t bring myself to run in the morning when it’s over 80 degrees at 8am soon.