It’s been great. Some highlights:
I can walk to work. It takes about 25 minutes each way. It’s a particularly lovely walk in the (early) morning, even though it’s mostly uphill. The streets are quiet and the air is cool, and it’s a much nicer way to start the day than running for a bus. Or waiting for a bus that’s late. I may love the buses here, but let’s face it, bus rides during rush hour are a whole different story. (Admittedly, when we move I won’t be able to walk anymore. Well, I could, but it’d take twice as long. And by then I’ll be well on my way to enormous, and it’ll soon be dark when I leave in the morning. And come home at night. And I happen to have seen the very bus that I’ll be taking from the new place twice this week, which means we’re already on the same schedule. So the bus may be fine, but I’m appreciating the walk while I can.)
I get to design studies, make complicated spreadsheets, and talk to people.
You know what’s easier than spending a day with a two year old? Working. It’s not always as much fun. But it is a hell of a lot easier. I kind of feel like a slacker for having a job now. That is not exactly what I was expecting.
The kid’s doing really well at nursery – really, he is, which is a huge relief – but he is also SO excited to see me in the evening. I’m talking jump on the bed and talk to bananas excited. I like having that effect on people.
I spent a long time trying to find a good job in the Bay Area. I figured, given my experience 1) researching people, 2) programming web studies and 3) testing those studies on people before deploying them, that user experience research would be a pretty logical fit. Unfortunately, the UX world didn’t really agree. Now, that’s only fair – San Francisco is full of people who have a lot more experience doing that kind of work than I do. But you know what I did yesterday? User testing. All day. So now I am officially an experienced UX researcher. That didn’t take very long, now did it? (Saying something like “suck it, Bay Area job market” here would probably be inappropriate, right?)
The cafe in the building is super cheap. (Which comes in handy when I need to eat five meals a day. There’s only so much food I can fit in my bag.) Scones – big scones, with nary a raisin to be found, that while perhaps resembling puffy hockey pucks as scones here tend to do at least don’t taste like them – cost 70p. They are yummy balls of mid-morning energy. I think I will be eating a lot of scones.
My days end at 4:30 (most of the time) and I have Fridays off.