My First Automatticversary!

This week marks exactly one year since I started working for Automattic full time. Wow, one year! Coincidentally, I had the exact date off, and my wife did a wonderful job of making it a special day for me.

The celebrations started the night before. I finished my shifts for the day and stepped out of my room to be greeted by a “Don’t come out yet!” My wife was just putting the finishing touches on the wall decorations she had been making.

Thank you for 1 year wall decoration

The blue marble paper was handcrafted by her. She had painted the marble design with my favorite colors, then cut out the words. While I knew the following day was my first Automatticversary, I hadn’t planned on doing anything special. This was a very pleasant surprise. (Thanks Megumi! 😍)

Gratitude

Looking over the last year, I only have words of gratitude to everyone who was involved. The way I heard of the open position at Automattic is in itself a miracle, one I firmly believe God orchestrated. After working at the company a year, I am still blown away by how perfect the work and company environment are for me! I cannot but start off by thanking God for His hand in guiding me here, and helping me each day with the responsibilities I am given.

My wife has also been amazing in supporting me over the last year. I was touched by her words of “Thank you” because that is what I wanted to say to her, too. Megumi was that shoulder I could lean on when I’d had a rough day. She listened to me talk about all the technical things customers and I would get tangled up in, always showing interest in what I had to say. On days off, she would help me actually “turn off” from work so I could rest. Thank you, Megumi, for all you did for me.

I was also touched by a anniversary post my team at work prepared for me on our internal blog. Each member of my team had written some words of encouragement, and one member even drew an anime version of me!

anime version of Benjamin
Image by Retno: coriander in pho

Once the post was published, other Automatticians in other departments started commenting on the post, also sharing warm words of encouragement with me. I was touched by each one of those comments. The comradeship at Automattic is real – even though we all work from different locations and timezones. The contrast is stark to the university work I was doing in the past. While I would cross paths physically with many more people, I feel much more connected with my colleagues now. I hope I am just as much as an encouragement to them all as they are to me.

Celebration

On my Automatticversary, my wife and I spent the day quietly at home. But this is how I most like to spend my days off, so it was perfect! My wife did make my favorite foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I’ve got to share those pics!

Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, and Japanese mustard spinach & banana smoothie!

Lunch: Homemade oatmeal crust pizza and pumpkin & coconut milk soup!

Dinner: Handmade naan and tandoori chicken!

Dessert: Strawberry cheesecake!

  • bacon, eggs and green smoothie breakfast
  • makings of a home made pizza
  • home-made oatmeal crust pizza
  • pumpkin soup
  • handmade naan bread and tandoori chicken
  • tandoori chicken
  • strawberry cheesecake

We also played our favorite board game again – Settlers of Catan!

two people playing the Settlers of Catan board game

Vision

A year ago, I wrote a post on the day I passed the Trial: A New Automattician Is Born. In that post, I said the following…

Well, actually… I turn and notice what looked to be sumit was actually a small platou, leading to a new climb, a new peak, a new range of mountains to head for. While coming this far was definitely an achievement, I look at my peers and notice I still have a way to go before I can really fill the shoes of a true Happiness Engineer. There is still so much to do, so much to learn, so many areas I can improve in! I really feel like, the journey has just begun…

To be honest, I still feel the exact same way today. I have been climbing, learning, growing. and yet I am nowhere near a sumit. I look at me peers, and there is still so much ground I need to cover. The role of a Happiness Engineer is never stagnant. And it teaches you skills and character you can bring right into non-work life, too.

I look forward to the next years as I continue to learn from fellow Automatticians and customers I interact with each day. I feel the journey has still only just begun. Here is to many more Automatticversaries!!

Thanks for reading!

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