Weeknotes 7: 3rd to 9th May


Weeknotes 7: 3rd to 9th May

This week has been a mixed bag for me. Down, up, down up. Most of the days have been largely unproductive, and I’ve started feeling like I’m a blocker to my team because between the two kids, I just can’t find time to do the research planning or research doing that is my job. Even as I write this, I’m stopping, starting, stopping again because of a 4 year old who asks SO many questions. It’s taken 20 minutes for me to write this paragraph, and now I can hear the baby stirring from his nap so I’ll be stopping again shortly. I find myself so annoyed at all of this, but then annoyed with myself for being annoyed because I’m lucky to have a stable job and home right now. I relate to this article a lot.

Here are the things I did manage to do this week:

  • I’ve been helping to onboard someone from our partner team who is new to user research in an agile team. It’s always interesting putting together the basics for someone because it forces you to simplify things in your head.
  • I’ve been having lots of important discussion in my team about what problems we need to solve and how we can solve them. We’re not getting far with these discussions yet (partially due to my lack of time) but it’s a start.
  • A colleague and I are getting the ball rolling on a remote cross-government research meetup. It’s exciting but again, I’m frustrated by my own lack of capacity to get this going sooner.

Last week I posted a rant about my tax situation and it has still not been resolved although I’m starting to get some clarity — it looks like I will need to claim all of my taxes from last year back from HMRC to pay to this money to the Canadian government, and I’ll have to pay a significant chunk to an accountant to do this for me because these systems are too complex for mere mortals (which is an aggravating issue on its own.) I’m feeling terrifically anxious about all of this, particularly dealing with the Canada Revenue Agency which (in my experience) by default seems to treat everyone as if they have done something wrong, which I haven’t. To top it all off, I can’t even get my P60 or payslips from the Cabinet Office because they don’t allow me to access any of their online systems.

This week someone told me that young kids ask around 200 questions a day and I believe it. This is basically my life all the time now.