July 30, 2006

[Persona] The Weekend Recharge

I took this weekend off of work. When I say "off," I don't mean my normal off of still checking the forums to help those who need help. I don't mean my normal "trying to plan out the next week from a task perspective." I mean "off," as in I did nothing work-related this weekend at all. I played about six hours of "Knights of the Old Republic," purged some unnecessary files from my PC, played the demo for "N3: Ninety-Nine Nights," and slept...mostly slept.

It felt refreshing. Tonight, I feel recharged, and that's a good thing. I haven't really taken any time for me since February, and it started to show in my work and my demeanor.

I did go see "Clerks II" today, and I must say that it was the perfect movie to cap the weekend off with. It reminded me of something I learned back while I was at Microsoft about employee happiness.

A great, informal way to see how happy someone is with their job is to talk to them about work and see how many times they use the word "we" when talking about their job. Lots of "we" comments means that they feel they belong at work, and are happy there. They feel like they are part of a family. Very few "we" comments usually means an unhappy work environment.

I used that rule of thumb when I came down for my last interview at Ritual. I heard the company name once. The rest of the time, everyone who interviewed me used the word "we." How could I say "no?"

There is a corrolary rule that I forgot about, however, and it's the "I" rule. When you are talking to someone about work and the constant phrase is "I" instead of "we" or the company name, it's a person that feels overworked and/or overstressed.

I went back and looked at my answers to forum questions, my answers during the interview and what I posted during the blog post, and I saw a lot of "I" there. I even had one person call it out in the forums, and I missed it.

Hopefuly, now that I've taken some time to recharge, I'll be missing fewer things.

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