About Me: An update

Three years ago I wrote the about me page. This year, much of it changed.

1) Employer -> Not with IBM anymore.  After like 14 years which is crazy.  There’s a bunch I could write about that experience but it pretty much could be summed up with:

I watched the final scene of the first episode of “Halt and Catch Fire” – where the blue flood of IBM employees comes through the door – with a series of contradictory emotions.

Actually hell I watched the entire first season of Halt and Catch Fire and felt a series of contradictory emotions and not all of them had anything to do with IBM. (Flashlight dancing in the rain? And this is our awakening? Really?!)

2) Industry focus -> Went from service management / data center management to Healthcare.

Where did I end up going after IBM, you may ask? This place (athenahealth.com)

Why did you do that, you may ask?  Many reasons, is the short answer.  The long answer is that the loss of my husband four years ago peeled away a lot of things for me about the tech industry, and even more about how healthcare is practiced in the USA.  So it therefore interests me when the opportunity arises to slam one into the other.

What I personally do at the moment is work one of three Austin-based product managers for athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program.  We’re building a big team in Austin, as well as a whole new health-tech incubator down town.  So watch this space as that evolves.

3) My Kid has gotten older -> lucky me, really.

She’s in kindergarten now, which means she has a school record. An attendance record to be more precise. So we’re squares now who have to be at a place on time and do homework.

4) No longer a new runner –> I did four half marathons in one year, which I feel places me in the advanced category.  The last one was on my daughter’s 5th birthday, and it was part of the Glass Slipper Challenge at Disneyworld.  The Glass Slipper challenge consists of doing a 10K on a Saturday, spending the rest of that Saturday at Disneyworld, and then getting up on Sunday and running a half marathon.

I had done the 3m half as part of my training for that set of races, paired with 5 miles the day before. What I reckoned without was the whole “Walk an additional five miles at Disneyworld” thing that would happen after the 10K. Yow.  I didn’t keep track of my steps that weekend and I feel like that was the only thing that allowed me to actually do it.

Oh that reminds me I’m taking a Fitbit break and it’s glorious.

5) Don’t work from home anymore. -> I’m not sure if I’d ever brought up the intensely remote nature of my job in prior blog posts.  Even though I was in Austin I worked between 85- 100% at home for years. This was great when I had a small child but got increasingly isolating as time wore on. Thusly leading to the big change discussed in item 1.  I have to get up every morning, put on clothes that aren’t pajamas and actually see people.  It’s been a revelation.  My fashions have been revitalized.  My ability to string coherent sentences together for entire working days has resurged.  And I also I discovered that, true to demographic profiling

6) I am old. -> Old old old old old. Wow am I old.

Remember all that theoretical stuff I posted about “the millennials” and how baby boomers needed to let up?  Whew. Definitely chose the right side of the line on that one.  I have clothes older than some of my co-workers. As a result, I was terrified when I started that things were going to run on the same chaotic drama level I remember from working in a startup.  Days where you wandered in at 11:45 and were stuck there until your boss went home after dinner at 9:45.  Days where after the car ride home you worked until 2:30.  Days where you were lucky if you lathered and rinsed before you repeated.

But no. It’s a highly focused group.  No one wanders in late, wearing last night’s club makeup. No one’s mom calls the boss, concerned for their kid’s self-esteem and actualization levels.  And everyone works the normally accepted 8:30- 5:30 beat, which means I’m not the solo parent trying to sneak out of late meetings to go pick up my kid on time.

That said I have to relate this little parable.

Yesterday, while at work, we were reading aloud from a list of 80’s and 90’s classic movies and trying to determine whether one of the other product managers had ever seen them.  It devolved quickly from “have you ever seen this” to “have you ever heard of this” and then hit its nadir here:

Us: Heathers
Her: Nope. Never heard of it.
Us: Sixteen Candles.
Her: Have heard of it.
Us: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Her: Never.Even.Heard.Of.It.

So that is the update. I’ll update the Who Am I Page…or maybe archive it. Not sure.

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