Day 1

I am an Automattician. That is to say that today is my first day working at Automattic. It’s been a long road getting here and I’m thrilled it’s finally arrived.

Automattic is the company behind WordPress. WordPress itself is an open source project but there are a lot of services behind it and that’s where Automattic comes in. My role, specifically, is Technical Account Engineer on the Special Projects team. It’s like a Project Manager but more. If you follow the link just above, you will see that they we work on some pretty amazing sites for some pretty amazing people. (And if you know what sites I’ve managed the last four years you will know how desperately I need to work on positive sites like these!)

I have known about Automattic for years as I have worked with WordPress in one form or another for over a decade now. They were always on my radar as a place I would love to work. And when I was laid off from my last job in October, I took a look at it again. And got encouragement from someone I met at a WordPress Meetup here in Rhode Island who works there. And the rest is history.

Today I train for my first two weeks working as part of the support team as a “Happiness Engineer” and then, two weeks from today, I begin my new role.

These last four months have been rough. Job searching is never fun and doing it around the holidays is a terrible time of year as no one really hires then. But my family has been fantastically supportive and we got through it and I have not only landed on my feet, but I feel like I landed with style.


I haven’t gotten a chain letter in quite some time. I think I have managed to train most people around me that they are usually flat out wrong (or at very best, wildly outdated) and, if nothing else, sending them to me means that I will take the time to debunk them and will reply telling the sender that and a small diatribe on the evils of chain letters. I figure most people have either learned not to forward them at all or, more likely, to avoid sending them to me.

So, imagine my surprise when I received one late last night about how illegal immigrants are costing this country more than the Iraq war has and blames our economic woes on them. That was too good to pass up. It only took me about 3 minutes of searching while sitting in Panera this morning to find a good debuking of the entire email and send it along.

I hope I was nice about it. I’ve long known that being a jerk to people about chain letters makes them ignore the fact that you just debunked their screed and just get mad at me for being a jerk. So I am very nice about it, usually ending with a statement about being cranky when I get chain mail or some such.

But to me, the biggest revelation of this little event is how infrequently I get chain letters. It took receiving one to realize how long it’s been since I last got one. So, that’s an improvement!

Now, I have to go forward this email to ten friends so I can win a million dollars next week. Drinks are on me!