Objectively Looped In

December 3 of 31 December-ish posts

What’s your favourite subject in school, I ask a kid.

Recess, he replies.

What’s the best part of your job, I ask myself.

Working from home a few days a week, I almost write.

Except that’s not really true.

What made your job
interesting in 2022?

I’ve spent a few posts this year writing about the possibility of job change.

And I’ve been serious. Last week I marked the twelve year anniversary at my current employer, and at times like that, birthdays, anniversaries, new years, one tends to get reflective and contemplative about life, the universe and everything. It’s a double-shame for me because all those things tend to fall within roughly one month and I have a heckuva December feeling all philosophical about my life.

I try to keep the line between work and my words here pretty fuzzy because, well the thing is, I’m a public servant. We have strong codes of conduct, by which I mean documents that tell us how we should conduct ourselves in our roles inside and outside of the office, and those codes of conduct do include things like internet participation and having a public opinion particularly under the flag of our professional role. That gets tricky to navigate especially when I want to write about all the things I do in our parks and the runs and walks I take on our trails and even the various fun I have in my own backyard. Why? Because those are spaces sometimes managed or governed by bylaws and services provided by my colleagues.

For example, I have a fire pit in my backyard that I use to build adventures and that leads to me sharing stories and content here on this site.

But there are rules for how fire pits are allowed to be used properly. Minimum clearances. Fire bans get declared routinely. Good neighbour policies exist and overlap with smoke dispersal, and noise bylaws and ash disposal. If I was to declare myself such and such an employee and suggest (which I’m definitely not doing) that my job gave me some kind of authority to set an example or declare exceptions or shrug off proper processes (all of which I also am definitely not doing) I could get into a bit of hot water for implying that professional connection.

So, I keep a fuzzy line.

This guy who you are reading here is just a guy, a guy who lives and plays in this place. My expertise is personal, and I (and this is actually pretty true because all I really do is work in one of our technology teams and not any of those more hands-on services) have no special knowledge or influence on anything related to these places or spaces about which I sometimes write. And I definitely have no power over decisions or budgets or political stuff. I’m just a dwarf in the silicon mines.

That said, things do get interesting because I’m a guy who seems like he should have special knowledge, but doesn’t really. That I’m in this weird position to see behind the curtain of the show, but I’m little more than a set designer, and usually go take my seat with the rest of the audience when the show starts.

In the context of what I do, why I do it, why I continue to do it amidst the possibility of so many other options, and deep down how that is rooted in why my job can be interesting is this: I could have a different job. I could be selling or buying or moving or building or driving or talking or any of a hundred different tasks. But at the heart of what I do is that I’m creating and informing.

That is why things are so fuzzy.

I try to create and inform for fun. I build websites, I draw pictures. I write stories. I grow and cook and explore and tell more tales about all that.

And then for a job I build websites. I commission pictures. I post information. I watch as everyone else at work grows and makes and cleans and serves, and we share more information about that.

I work daily with the teams doing the interesting work of keeping this place running.

I know people who are integral to the functioning of our community.

I help a million folks who live here stay informed about all of it.

Objectively, I’m looped in. That’s a pretty sweet (and interesting) place to be even if it’s often a lot of hard, thankless work.

Reminder: Blogs are not a replacement for professional advice. Please read my note on safety and safe participation.