Weeknotes 11/2022

The fortnight where the UK government fell apart, and I watched Wimbledon with nostalgia for our old life there, and the school year ended…

Weeknotes 11/2022
3yo trying to climb a tree at Goldstream Provincial Park

The fortnight where the UK government fell apart, and I watched Wimbledon with nostalgia for our old life there, and the school year ended, and some other things happened.

What went well:

  • I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently working on hiring panel stuff to add a user researcher to our team. We found someone who I think will be brilliant so I’m excited for that.
  • I wrapped up a couple of key pieces of work — including gathering some user satisfaction metrics which included a lot of praise for the work our team does. It was really nice to share those with them and remind them of what a good job they are doing.
  • I’ve been accepted as a speaker for SDinGov so … looks like I am heading to the UK in September!

What’s not gone as well

  • I was in a position of considering a level move to another team. I ultimately decided it wasn’t right for me for various reasons. I’m proud of myself for listening to my gut and prioritizing my own needs, but I also feel guilty about wasting people’s time, and worried I may have burned bridges.
  • My children and I have been quite ill. Covid tests were negative but it was exactly what I expect Covid would be like — difficulty breathing, fevers etc. We’re all on the mend thankfully.
  • As part of my hiring panel, I had to do reference checks. The template they provided for this had 18(!!!!) questions which was way longer than the actual interview, and had to be done over the actual phone. This really made me think about the pointlessness of reference checks. Candidates only pick people they know will say good things about them, so you can’t really accept it as the whole story, except for things like the dates and position. It also pains me to take up time of the reference, knowing that they get no benefit from providing this information. Anyway, it was all fine and actually nice to chat with the people this candidate had worked with. I trimmed the questions down considerably and gave them the option to respond over email if that suited them better. I feel good about it overall, but also feel a bit odd about being so resistant to it. Part of me wishes that I was someone who would just go with the status quo but another part of me realizes that maybe sometimes it’s more valuable to not.
  • Also my tax return is being “reviewed” by the Canada Revenue Agency. I think this is code for a soft audit. All my claims are legit so I’m sure it’s fine but it’s a lot of unpaid work to pull it all together, and a lot of stress of “did I read that right? Did I fill out the form correctly?” I shouldn’t need to pay someone to do this for me but CRA makes it nearly impossible sometimes.

What’s inspired me this week:

Reading watching, listening

  • Last time I pondered whether I was burnt out because I couldn’t focus on books and was only looking at tiktok. But I’ve started easing back into reading recently — I finished The Hungover Games by Sophie Heawood (super fun and occasionally very poignant), and am halfway through The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan (great but terrifying).
  • I really enjoyed listening to the Possum Experiment from This American Life.
  • I’ve been slowly working my way through Stranger Things — I say slowly because fyi, every episode is the length of a full film. I only get enough time to myself for 40–60 minutes of a show so I’ve had to divide each episode up.