A lot has happened since I started working at Automattic. We lost our house in a fire, had a child, travelled, weathered a global pandemic.
When I joined, there were a ~240 Automattians, but it still felt like a small company. Fast forward to today and Automattic has grown to 2000 employees. All working where ever they want in the world, within a fully distributed company.
I learned so much during my six years years. Met so many amazing people. Travelled to places I would have otherwise never seen.
Today I signed out of work for the last time. I had five weeks to prepare for this and going into today, I was ready. But when I closed my laptop it hit me… and I was not ready.
The tears are a great reminder that six years ago I made the right decision joining Automattic. They’re a reminder of all the great experiences and people I met. Next week I start a new adventure, but for right now I think I’ll spend a bit more time reminiscing,
Winter is here, which means I’ll be grumpy for the next 5 months 😂
Over the past month Willow has become really attached to Abbie. Abbie seems to feel the same way as she’s started jumping into Willow’s bed every night when we are doing story time. It’s very cute to see this friendship grow.
This was also Willow’s first REAL Christmas. I say that for two reasons.
Last Christmas we were all in lockdown, so she didn’t get to spend the time with her extended family. As well, she was a bit too young to grasp the excitement of the day.
This year though, being that extra year old made a big difference. Her daycare also hyped up the holidays as well, which didn’t help 😂 So all this to say, Willow was a maniac on Christmas 😂
In 36hrs, I’ll be back at work. Having finished my 3 month sabbatical.
Such an amazing perk of my work and I’m so lucky to have it. However, that doesn’t make this any less difficult 😛 Going back is going to be tough. Especially since about 1/3rd of my sabbatical was spent doing daycare for my daughter every time she got tiniest bit sick at daycare and had to stay home (thanks COVID).
In any case, it was still an amazing break. Lots of hiking with the dogs, watching TV Shows/Movies that have been on my “watch lists” forever. And even a couple little projects around the house.
As much as I’d love to get paid to remain on vacation, I am excited to see what my team has been up to. My role at work this year was very scattered and temporarily took on a lot of responsibilities that kept me from completed my actual goals. So it will be nice to be able to actually dive into the work I wanted to be doing before I went on sabbatical.
Quick summary on the last couple months:
Willow LOVED Halloween. She talked about dressing up as a witch for almost two months leading up to Halloween. She was too young to really appreciate it last year. However this year, she thought it was incredible that she just knocked on someone’s door and got candy!
Willow also got to feed and ride a horse for the first time and she loved it. I feel like she might grow up to be a horse girl, just like her mommy was.
Fall seemed to pass by way too quickly and we jumped right into snow. That’s my queue to now be grumpy 24/7 until around May 🙂
August marked my 5 year anniversary at Automattic.
This is a momentus occasion for two reasons:
First, it’s the longest that I’ve been at job in my adult life. My last four jobs before this were all in the 3-4 year span. I will say though, I hadn’t planned on leaving FreshBooks, as I was still quite happy and developing there. However life cicumstances (needing to move away and then struggling to be the only remote employee in the entire company), dictated otherwise.
Second, all Automatticians get to celebrate their 5 year anniversary (and every 5 years after that) with a three month, fully paid sabbatical.
Summer is almost wrapped up. With that, Willow is also wrapping up at her home daycare.
We’ve had Willow in a home daycare since September of last year. Finding the right daycare was a long and stressful process for us. Ultimately though, it was worth the journey as her provider (Paola) turned out to be better than we could have imagined.
In the year that Willow has been there, she has exploded in her development. Her talking, problem solving skills, social nature, and nap habbits all improved. Paola’s care and guidance had such a huge impact on Willow. She really became an extension of our family… which is why when she told us she was shutting down to pursue teaching, it hurt so much.
Immediately our thoughts went to: “What if we can’t find someone else that we like in time?”, “What if they aren’t as good and Willow’s development slows down?”, “What if Willow doesn’t like the new place?”…What if, What if.
After a bunch of research and comparing by my wife we settled on a new daycare. This time it’s a centre, not a home daycare. With COVID, the larger class sizes made us hesitant, however we feel that it is the right place for her.
In true Paola fashion, she’s planned an amazing send off week for all the children. Including Halloween in August, a Teddy Bear picnic, renting a ball pit and snow cone machine, etc.
My name is Phil Thompson. I'm a customer support enthusiast working at Automattic, currently with the Pressable support team.
I love customers, animals, people, video games, and technology (in no particular order).