Society

Severance Pay: White Collar Hush Money

Severance pay is a beautiful thing when you need it, but it can have a dark side.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its essential shutdown of our economy, like millions of others, I was laid off. In a single instant, my world was rocked to its core. Job prospects were dismal and the outlook was grim. 

In America, we live in a society where money talks. As I sit here, I struggle to think of a thing that money can’t buy me except for love. Some people claim that money can’t buy happiness.

Those people have never been poor.

Money can buy you comfort, stability, and peace of mind — all driving factors to one’s happiness. 

In a capitalist society, money can bring you both pleasure and despair. It is the basis by which we live and die. Because of this, even in the land of the free, individuals often find themselves powerless against, and at the mercy of, large companies with unlimited resources.

Tech Industry

Teacups

My eyes are drawn down to the long, wooden conference table. I’m taking in the details, following the grain along the edge. I’m losing interest. I scan along all the men seated in front of me, paying attention to what they’re doing and how they’re carrying themselves. They’re deeply discussing how minimally useful the Agile training was, but they’re doing it in a political way. As I reach the last man, I move my gaze up to the windows. It’s a beautiful day outside. My mind starts to drift away …

Circular conversations. 

Tech Industry

Champions of Multitasking

It’s early, 8am in fact. I’m tired, it’s raining, and I’m already over it. 

I enter the bougie hotel in downtown Austin and as I turn the corner, I am greeted with a grand banquet room filled with fifteen circular tables, complete with elegant stemmed glasses and pristine table cloths. Honestly, it could have been the scene of a low-budget wedding. As I walk in, along the back, I see a long table full of cute little pastries nicely laid out on bright white ceramic dishes. The pastries are calling me, for sure, but I am on a mission to find someone I know. 

As I look up to the screen, there’s a terrible clipart graphic, circa 1991, of a laptop with words plastered over it “Sit with your team”. I spot my Tech Lead and join him at his table. Mission accomplished.

Tech Industry

Stripped

Summary // Silly girl, opportunities are for boys

During my first month at Javan, I was assigned to a team of mostly junior engineers with a new Tech Lead and a mediocre Product Manager. I jumped right in as Scrum Master for the team and received positive feedback about the changes. 

It wasn’t long before one of my peers, Joe, came to me and asked about how I was doing ceremonies on my team. After walking him through my cadence and ceremonies, I offered to help his team identify friction points in their processes. I sat in on their refinement meetings, checked out their Jira project, and asked them what their team’s three biggest problems were. I gave both Joe and his Product Manager advice, tips, and tricks to solve their three problems.