Let me paint a picture. You’re knee-deep in Paid Time Off (PTO), ready for your brother’s wedding. You check your work e-mail, advised by your boss, and discover that, instead of going to work on Monday, you’ll be driving to Minneapolis so that you can fly to Seattle. For a week.
I can’t say much (I’m sure) about the job itself, but I’m glad to be back. Matt Wilson, a recent hire who I am mentor to, was flown out to Seattle weeks ago. So long ago, in fact, that we all thought he’d died. He greeted us at the airport. Us was myself, Sang Kwon, and Carl Ware. Both Sang (pronounced “sung”) and Carl (pronounced “car-uhl”) are new hires. They were brought on to help Matt with development and I was brought on to do Readiness Materials.
Readiness Materials, near as I can tell, are tutorials, manuals. They are the flashy, fancy bits of paper that talk about the product by telling you how to do things. This is the sort of task with which I have been increasingly assigned, and which I am increasingly getting tired of. On one hand, it’s a nice creative outlet. Designing one of our User Guides within The CERTUS Company requires photography, print design, technical writing, and functionality knowledge. It also requires a lot of patience. It is slow, painful work. Yet I do it, and I apparently do it well enough.
This is what I did out in Seattle. We worked long days, often twelve hours. Friday we “skipped out early” at six o’clock, and Saturday we only did half a day. I can’t help but say how long it was. It was very long. We worked with a ten foot tall Dutchman from Microsoft named Julius. He often promised that we’d get to meet Bill Gates. While we did visit the store, and I got a copy of Vista, there was no Bill anywhere. I emailed him every day, to no avail.
Carl wanted to be mentioned in this post, so I’ll say his name again.
People in Seattle don’t like pictures. I got yelled at by a gas station attendant (and you can see him looking at me if you zoom in on the photo) and, after snapping this shot, I learned that photos within the Microsoft buildings is also illegal.
On Saturday we went out into the city, which is beautiful. I was taken by the plant growth in the city. There were trees and gardens everywhere, which I really liked. Also, there is water. John Webster is accredited with saying that South Dakotans like the water, and, for myself, it’s true. I loved eating on the lake. We didn’t do much for sight-seeing, just some “clubbing” and hanging-out downtown. Then I headed home at 7am, to eventually get to Watertown, where my glorious fiance would pick me up and drive me home.
Check out pictures in my Stressed Out in Seattle – July 2007 set.