Starting at Campaign Monitor

Commute

I made the right call when I was first offered the job late 2013; that is not to say that there is anything wrong with the job per-se, because Campaign Monitor has already proven an awesome place to work. The commute would have killed me 6 months in.

Tuesday - fresh muffins with breakfast
Tuesday – fresh muffins with breakfast

On Monday morning, I made it from home to work in 70 minutes, door to door. Not bad, but not quite the 60 minutes I thought achievable. My manager suggested I try a different route home, which due to evening traffic also came to 70 minutes, and sadly a missed Pilates class.

Then this morning, Google told me to expect 1h42m, to which I scoffed “No Way”.
Alas, “Yes Way”… multiple incidents and accidents, hints and allegations later, 90 minutes door-to-door.

I am somewhat hopeful after a 60-minute commute this afternoon that I can fine-tune this a little further for the next 4 weeks after which the office will move to a gorgeous new CBD location. I am considering waking up at the not-a-real-time of 6:30am so that I can start early, finish early, and hopefully mostly avoid the traffic both ways.

A small limited-duration sacrifice to the sleep gods may be warranted. And limiting my gym classes to Tuesday evening and the weekend for now.

Food

This job comes with breakfast and lunch included.

And not just something quickly thrown-together either. The Three Chefs start their day at 7am, first to make breakfast and coffee orders for 8:30am, then to make lunch for 12:30pm, and finally an afternoon snack and coffee at 2:30pm.

Tuesdays' menu - I can still smell the lamb ribs on my t-shirt
Tuesdays’ menu – I can still smell the lamb ribs on my t-shirt

It’s definitely better fare than I’d be able to buy myself for an average $10, and it’s not costing me anything. It’s also a great time to sit down and chat with co-workers. Sadly I am horrendous with names, and I’m sure I’ll have to be reminded for a while longer… but it’s a great way to get to know my coworkers.

There is an internal web page where the menu for the week is published, and from what I understand the chefs do not like repeating themselves, so I am looking forward to never having the same lunch again. Also, probably healthier than I’d otherwise eat (mostly).

Learning Curve

Getting started is always a bit intimidating, when you come in feeling like you know nothing. The Engineering department has a buddy system in place though, so I have someone to ask when I need to figure something out.

There have been a few false starts where I needed a hand, but otherwise, the internal Wiki is amazingly comprehensive. I have learned an awful lot already in only two days from just poking around.

DiSC - 6515 - Creative (apparently!)
DiSC – 6515 – Creative (apparently!)

Today I had my first one-on-one with my team lead. Having used Manager Tools myself, I already knew what to expect. And I had seen many staff with DiSC profiles displayed in their windows, so I asked if I should get one of those done as well.

“Oh sure, there is a Wiki page, and here are the credit card details… just make sure you send an invoice to myself and the accountant when you’ve bought something.”

*blink* … no red tape indeed!

Culture

Which brings me to CM culture.

Friendly and relaxed does not even begin to describe it. “We’re all smart adults here” might as well be the company motto. The change feels a little disorienting to me, but I’m sure I will adapt quickly enough.

Dress code is: “whatever you are comfortable in” (within reason, of course, see “smart adult” above), but there are plenty of staff in t-shirts, shorts and no-shoes.

Tomorrow's Lunch - Sous Vide chicken.
Tomorrow’s Lunch – Sous Vide chicken.

I have been invited to try ping-pong, XBox, after-work trainer sessions… So far, I have politely declined while I get my bearings a bit more and work out my commute and sleep patterns.

But I already know, I’m right at home.

Day 277 – Defeat: A How-To Guide

89 – Top 100 Places to Eat in Sydney

My morning stint at the gym felt great during the doing, but left my legs more wobbly than I had anticipated. This would not normally be a great concern, but today I was going out and options calling for walking were on the table. I feared I might be reduced to crawling as my only means for survival.

“Luckily”* it turned out that neither Lexi nor Abbey were up for much walking either.
Lunch it is!

Rather than going to the usual suspects around here, we decided to travel a little further to the Australian Brewery Hotel. I briefly sneaked a peak at their website to make sure they were open, because my back-up plan was not as well prepared as I wanted to pretend it was.

Abbey had never been.

It does not look like much from the outside, but looks are deceiving. The décor on the inside isn’t fancy, but it is solid, warmer and more inviting than you’d suspect from a space the size.

I had talked up the food beforehand, and now I was hoping it was going to live up to my hyping.

Lexi decided on the “petite sirloin” to match the size of her appetite, and Abbey and I thought we were properly hungry; me with a plate of slow roasted lamb, and she with a pulled-pork roll. Everything was larger than we expected.

Unfortunately, the food was excellent, and the resulting left-overs were making us all sad and dejected. The dog scored some slow roasted lamb out of the deal, and we had to abandon all hope of finishing even just the crunchiest fries.

My Waterloo
My Waterloo

Once defeated by a dish, there really isn’t much that can hide the evidence. In a last-ditch effort I spread the remaining lamb chunks around a bit, nibbled on some more leaves and sliced another piece of bread.

Also: nobody will call you on your declared defeat when they were all defeated themselves. I’m not sure there’s much practical advice in that one though.


* – I’d have much rather pushed through myself though… if only that could fix exhaustion in others.

Day 235 – Kinokuniya

First of all, lest I leave you wondering, the gym went well this morning. When I said I had been unwell earlier in the week, Nikki was very concerned that I shouldn’t over-exert myself; I was more concerned to properly separate my week and my weekend. Her classes always fill me with some trepidation upfront, and end it calm and satisfaction. This weekend was no different.

As I was driving home I saw the most terrifying thing ever. I wish I had been able to take a picture without feeling even more terrified of my snapping-while-driving. A big motorcycle overtook my car; it was doing one of those weaving-around-through-slow-cars moves.

The driver was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Which is bad. Terrifyingly bad. But he made his own decision and that’s fine. He had what I assumed to be his daughter on the back. By the look of her, probably a 12-year-old. Also, in shorts and a t-shirt. And he looked like he was showing off a little for her entertainment. I try not to let the images invade my mind’s eye, but I still physically cringe.

These are called "Books"
These are called “Books”

I bought a very quick coffee along the way home. And then I had two very quick sandwiches at the kitchen bench. I had to catch a train into the city with Lexi for some quality nothing-to-do-with-helping-her-study time.

On the platform waiting for my train I encountered the first batch of teenagers travelling to the city. Overhearing their conversation I learned a great many things that aren’t fit to blog, as well as the fact that apparently “selfies” are cool once more. Clearly Ellen is the modern-day trend-setter for the 18-25 crowd.

I had to wait at the next station for Lexi to get there. Luckily I had brought supplies, including my bluetooth headset, allowing me to enjoy some Dan Savage while I was waiting.

At the station, a small accident occurred on the stairs. A girl had slipped and was curled up on the stairs not getting up. Her friend looked concerned for her, then concerned for the time, then distraught at missing the opening act for the music festival that all the teens on the trains were heading for. Plans are stressful. She didn’t cope well. The toppled girl managed to stand up later and get up the stairs, presumably on her way to the hospital to get checked out.

Our Just Desserts
Our Just Desserts

Along the way to the city we encountered a batch of bogans that seemed to spend most of their time in between carriages to smoke. Three-four of them. Crammed into a tiny space outside between moving carriages. It’s a miracle nothing went wrong. They also were very obsessed with selfies.

Once we got to Central the party girl of that group was trying to entice Lexi and myself to come along to the music festival. She was Thai. She didn’t speak much English. She acted very drunk, regardless of whether she was or not. We tried to politely decline, and she wasn’t taking the hint. Luckily Bogan-Mum stepped in and helped us out there.

The first main feature of our trip was a visit to Kinokuniya in the city. It is a store containing many “Books” which are bound bundles of paper that contain words that form coherent stories when read in sequential order.

My Acquisition
My Acquisition

I was more interested in having a browse in the comics section. I had never partaken of this particular section of nerd-dom before, but I am enjoying The Walking Dead, and I have heard many good things about the comics on the Nerdist podcast. And I decided I wanted to dive in.

I walked out with compendium one and two, which cover a good chunk of the available issues. I haven’t opened them yet. I intend to shortly as a reward for finishing this post.

Next, Lexi led me down Pitt Street to go to Westfields. I wasn’t sure where exactly we were going, and I was no more enlightened when she led me onto the longest escalator I had ever seen. It was the express escalator directly to level 5 of the centre.

It contains the most wondrous food court I’ve ever seen. It has no McDonalds. It has no KFC. It has mostly (only?) stores that I had never seen before. I need to go here many more times to sample more of the wares.

For “lunch” I had a chicken shish on top of a pile of vegetables. I felt slightly smug at the lack of carbs. Then we went to the pastry shop and I had a delicious “Pistachio Cake” with the worst hot chocolate I’ve had in a long time. They know their cakes. They flub their hot beverages.

I had a great day.

And now I need to have a quick outside-shower (don’t ask), and then I shall open Compendium One and have a look at what’s inside.

Day 52 – 10 Years

It whooshed by mostly unnoticed. I certainly hadn’t paid detailed attention myself. Working for a company for 10 years is a long time, but it really doesn’t feel like it has been that long to me.

To be precise, my 10 year work-aversary was on the 18th of August.

For the occasion, which I share with two other developers (Jeff and Peter), Jeff decided to organise a pizza lunch. This probably sounds much more magnanimous than it really is. There is one specific pizza called a Thai Foon that Jeff loves, and he’ll use the flimsiest of excuses to organise a pizza lunch for the excuse of having that one specific pizza.

Not that anyone complains of course.

As a result I do feel rather full and sluggish this evening. Maybe I’ll drag myself out for a walk in the dark later because it’s such a nice evening. Maybe I’ll blog a second time.

Who knows; anything is possible 😉

Day 22 – Sherlock and Tea

I wanted to get better pictures for today. But I didn’t. Also, I’m a little drunk right now, but let’s not skip ahead too far in today’s story.

First of all, whenever we’re down here in Melbourne, Hamish and I make a regular appearance at the Sherlock Holmes Inn for lunch. It’s a very quaint little pub downstairs on Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD. The menu seems very typical on the surface, albeit Sherlock Holmes themed in the menu. But the actual food that arrives at our table is far above what expectations we might have every time. Also, the atmosphere is very jovial and friendly.

And that would have been that.

But then we were invited to dinner. With 4 general managers and our CIO and a few other managers. I had suspected we’d go to a place in Chinatown I’d been once before with a similar crowd, and I wasn’t disappointed.

We had great food, and also great drinks. With a wine connoisseur in tow you wouldn’t expect anything else, and I’m always happy to follow along.

Having that much upper management in one place might sound like a recipe for guarded conversations, but it’s surprising how comfortable and jovial every one is. I think there is a really good chemistry between the IT managers.

But…

I think the safest approach now that I’m back in my room is to go lie in bed and read a book. Then have a good nights’ sleep (FitBit will tell me once I get home) and look bright and perky in the morning.