It’s Going to Hit You With a Big Wave

April 14, 2011

Here’s something I haven’t done in a while:  force myself to write a blog post for the sake of writing a blog post.  Since my last post, not a whole lot has changed.  Life continues to continue, and I am still relatively chipper.  At the moment, only a couple of things are constants (in terms of things I’m doing–which doesn’t include my wife [attempt at bad joke]):  work and school.
Work.
What do I even say about work.  It’s pretty damn boring.  It has certainly picked up a lot since I started though.  I’ve been given more responsibilities and as a result, expanded my job role within the company.  Let’s be honest, albeit a bit cocky–I’m too good for this job as is, but that’s because my job doesn’t involve much thinking.  It used to involve a lot less thinking, but I have since been deemed as “worthy enough” to take on more work.  After about 5 months here, the pregnant lady I was filling in for decided she wants to stay home to be a full time mother instead.  During months 4 to 5 though, there was a lot of speculation about what my fate within the company would be.  The money mongering side of me was sad because I’d be out of a job that pays me well for the lame crap that I do.  But on the other hand, the knowledge-seeking, experience-yearning me was hoping to leave this job in order to force myself to follow my true passion (as corny as that sounds).
But like I said, the pregnant lady left, and I am/will be a permanent employee.  Over those months of being here, I think everyone that matters has seen how good of a little bitch I am, and thus wanted me to stay.  By little bitch, I mean I shut up and did my work and didn’t give anyone lip–at most, politely disagree with other people.  (It’s funny how some people don’t understand this concept.  Check your tone of voice, people.)  Not only that, the pregnant lady was apparently a huge bitch to everyone so no one really liked her, which made them like me even more because I’m quite the opposite of the pregnant lady.  (I know this is probably annoying you to no end reading how I’m shamelessly tooting the crap out of my horn, but I don’t normally tell people this in person so I have no one to share my good feelings with.)  I only worked with her for one week, so my only impression of her was a good one because she was very nice and patient with me while she was teaching me her job.  And so I would always feel bad when my coworkers would tell me stories of how she was terrible to work with and how they hope she doesn’t come back because I’ve never personally seen that side of her before, and simply think of her as this friendly woman who taught me how to do my job really well.
Anyways, during many one-on-one meetings with my boss, he kept repeating what a valuable asset I am to the team and how I helped strengthen the team’s dynamics, and how much awesome work I did in such a short amount of time.  This isn’t a cheap attempt at modesty by any means (because I wouldn’t be talking about myself this much if I was trying to be modest), but I often didn’t know how to respond to all the praises because quite frankly, I’ve never been praised that much at once.  But it was a fantastic feeling knowing that they legitimately wanted me to stay, and that they do notice the little things that I try to do to improve parts of the shitty system we have set up within our department.  Even more good news though, is that I may slowly tackle design related work from the design team while I’m working on my team.  The goal is to eventually fully migrate over there, but we shall see how that goes.  I’ve already took the initiative and made two webpage forms to help with performing existing tasks that suck.  So far, that has been received well.  I hope I get acknowledged for it.
School.
I’m taking extension classes on the weekend to get a certificate in user experience and usability.  I don’t know why I’m even slightly surprised that half of the time I’m kind of bored.  I mean, I’ve read a pretty thick text book about most of the stuff I’ve learned in my classes so far so I should have expected this.  Maybe it’s my stubbornness that doesn’t want to concede to the fact that this isn’t what I want to do, or maybe I am genuinely interested (which I think and feel like I am)–who knows.  I’m hoping that the remaining classes will dive more deeply into the design aspect of things, rather than research.  If not, then this still would have been a great series of classes to take purely for the ability to say I know how to conduct usability tests.
My only worry is that if I want to get serious about this field, I’ll have to make a good portfolio, which kind of means I should start as soon as possible.  The problem there is that I don’t know if this is exactly what I want to do, or if I want to focus more on the design aspect of a product’s development.  Which leads me to my next concern:  I want to go back to school, but is UX what I want to go back for?  I plan to have a solid understanding of UX and its various areas of focus after I get my certificate, so I’m hoping to know what’s out there (and whether or not interaction design is really what I thought it was) before I look more seriously into graduate school.  Also, on top of all my concerns, paying for these classes is a bitch.  There’s about three sessions per class, and each class is more or less $700.  I’m hoping that I get my full-time employee paper work filled out soon so I can ask HR about subsidizing my education, because I’m starting to have no room to spend on anything fun.
And that’s my update.  Just some rambling thoughts.  I actually have plenty more, but I’m pretty sick of typing and want to watch a movie on Netflix, so all my, what–two? three?–loyal readers will have to wait until I can muster up the will power to pour my heart and soul into another blog post.

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