A sleepy Michelle, briefly outside of her natural habitat, the indoors
This is part of a series we’re doing to help people in our community get to know the person behind the chat screen. Say hi to Michelle at @michelle in the chat room.
Hey there, I’m Michelle. I’m the newest addition to the support team at Trello. If you’d asked me a year ago, I would not have guessed that I’d be working in support, learning programming, and planning a wedding right now. This has me very excited for next year.
In the rare moments I’m not staring at a screen, you can find me in my Brooklyn apartment, working on my culinary skills—right now, I’m focusing on cakes.
Wake up thirty minutes before my alarm. I am not super thrilled about this, but I am awake, so up I get. On the bright side, this is the perfect time to catch my family, who lives abroad in Beijing. We message back and forth on WhatsApp (apparently they just got back from Taiwan!) before I sign off and get ready for work.
Before I head out, I check my phone for the email summarizing our current case load. Today’s a little high for a Thursday, so I’m ready to go as my partner Jack and I head for the subway. We work in the same office, so we tend to leave around the same time. I made the mistake of handing him my camera, so the commute takes a little longer than usual as he insists on taking pictures of me the whole way there.
It’s surprisingly un-weird to work in the same office space as Jack. I think I would draw the line at having to interact professionally (would I guilt him into staying late to fix my least favorite bugs?), but we’re technically at different companies, even though we can make eye contact from our desks.
Arrived! I set my things down, use hand sanitizer (subways are gross, yo), and beeline for the loose-leaf tea.
The tea enthusiasts in the office have banded together to create a tea stash in the office (to get access, donate one blend per month), so I have quite a few to choose from. I’m going with Russian Caravan today.
Alright. I’m ready for the queue now.
This is our chest of treasures, and the Manatea is our club mascot. H/t to Pirijan, who lets us keep this at his desk.
I hop on to appear.in to have a quick chat with Ben, my team lead. Ben’s on vacation this week, but he’s graciously taking time in the middle of that to watch me run through a presentation I’m about to give, and show me his new shelf-organization system. Okay, that sounds boring, but I asked, and organization systems are sort of a hobby of mine (yes, Trello is an excellent fit for me, thanks for asking).
Appear.in room names have been cropped out to protect the awesome one we always use.
Time for the Trello Town Hall!
Once a month, the whole company gets together in digital space to touch base, introduce new folks, give updates, etc. This month’s is very engaging—lots of succinct summaries of big leaps forward, including a very harrowing play-by-play of a recent sale that gives me a newfound respect for all salespeople.
As I hinted at earlier, I was one of these presentations. One of my many takeaways from UserConf was that infographics are very compelling, so I’ve put together some infographics about how Trello sends swag. I run through them to great compliments and applause. I guess we can consider this swag project… shipped.
Lunchtime! Lunch is catered for Fog Creek/Trello employees, which is pretty amazing. On the way back to my desk, our resident brewmaster Quentin grabs me to discuss the beer I’m going to start brewing next week. It’s a green tea witbier! (Yes, tea is a recurring theme in my life.) I’ve never brewed a beer before, but Quentin has kindly guided many a newbie to officebrewing a delicious keg, to the point where we have a new beer on tap every week or so.
Back to the queue. I don’t usually have many cases in the afternoon, but this morning was busy, and I’m going a bit slowly because I’m try to force myself to rely on keyboard shortcuts.
Between Vimium and the built-in Apple shortcuts, it’s very possible to do most things without the mouse, but it won’t be efficient until I get a lot faster.
Astute observers will notice that my desk is the lowest in this picture, and yet my arm posture is not quite ergonomic. The truth is… the desk doesn’t go any lower. Another inch or two would be perfect, though. Anyone have a good footrest recommendation?
I duck into an empty office for a digital hang-out with Emily, who’s also on the support team. Half of Trello (and my team) are remote, so I try to socialize in cyberspace as much as possible: attending videochat remote beer bashes, lurking on the mixtape server for the mixtape competition, and spending a lot of time in Slack. This eases the pain of having such cool coworkers live so far away from me.
Startup Santa came by the office which is… not an everyday occurrance. Free notebooks and candy canes for everyone! I have to admit, I haven’t felt this excited and simultaneously embarrassed about being excited since I was eleven.
Not pictured: the immense joy I got from teaching my Swiss coworker about those toys that suddenly spring up without warning after you’ve set them.
I ended up working a little late today, after being interrupted by both calls and elves. But the queue is vanquished! Time for some board games.
I attended my first game night three years before I interviewed at Trello, and it is easily my favorite event. If you’re ever in New York on a Thursday evening and looking to play board games, let me know. These are way more fun than Monopoly, or even Settlers of Catan. (This is a bit controversial, but Settlers of Catan has too much randomness for my liking. Also, if you are into Settlers of Catan, we have it and the Star Trek version, and other game night attendees would love to play it with you—just not me.)
I get there just in time for Hanabi, which is a collaborative card game where you can’t look at your own cards. I highly recommend it as long as you’re feeling sober and awake, because memorization is involved.
The conceit of the game is that you are drunk and/or very forgetful fireworks engineers. You win by not blowing up. To be fair, playing the game drunk and/or tired is still a lot of fun… just not for anyone you’re playing with.
…Much, much later pm
Just more round of Drawful, and… wait, I have work tomorrow?! I thought it was Friday 😭