This Grand Meetup which I just returned from has been a bit of a roller coaster for me. Really my emotions leading up to it, while I was there, then coming home have had me all over the place. Realistically I’m still processing a lot of what I learned, what I’m going to take away, and how I’m going to incorporate these things into my daily life. There was one particular event that after talking to others and reading more thoughts I think really sums up what kind of environment Grand Meetup and Automattic is. That is the Automattic 10th Anniversary Party on the final night.
Honestly after dinner I was really thinking that it was going to be the end of my night. Before the party though I went and had a nice quiet conversation and coffee with a couple of co-workers. After talking with them I gave in and said I’d at least go give it a chance, I am so glad I did.
The party started with different groups of Automatticians taking the stage and rocking it hard. They only played together for a week and kept switching people up after each song. It really blew my mind. We are made up of such talented people in so many ways and this was just one of them. It really turned my mood around listening and watching these folks get up and perform for us. So I grabbed a drink and turned to party mode.
What happened later on still surprises me and shocked my wife, but I actually was up and dancing to our special guests The Jane Doze who flew in to take care of music for us. For many people this isn’t a big deal and something they do all the time, for me I haven’t done it since elementary school. That’s because at my first dance, where I thought I was with friends, I was laughed at and made fun of enough that it caused me to run away crying and leave. Since that time I haven’t danced ever except for a few slow songs which was basically just me moving in circles with someone else.
It would be pretty easy to simply thank the whisky I had been drinking for my new found bravery, but that isn’t it, at least not completely. Over my teenage years there were plenty of times that I was in the position to get up and dance being fully lubricated with alcohol but still didn’t. It also wasn’t only me. There are at least two other accounts that I’ve heard of where people got up and danced and it wasn’t something they normally do. In fact it was one of them who helped convince me to give it a try.
The real reason that I felt comfortable enough to do this was because of the atmosphere of acceptance and friendship I felt from everyone I encountered. It really felt like a safe, fun place to let my guard down. Chances are my dancing skills were every much as bad or worse than that time in grade school, but I never heard anyone laughing or pointing at me. That said, I still hope there isn’t any video evidence, but there very well could be.
Readers of this blog are likely getting sick of hearing me say things like this, but I’m so happy and thankful for the opportunity that I have to work at Automattic and with all the people who make it such a special company. That really starts right from the top with CEO Matt Mullenweg, right down to one of the newest members on my team Alicia Henry and really everyone in between who I was able to meet. So thank you to everyone! I haven’t listed all the names, but that could take me a long time and I don’t want to leave anyone out by mistake.
I’ll end this post with this pitch, if this sounds like the kind of place you want to be a part of, go to our work with us page and contact our obviously super human hiring team.