Life Continues

A few months ago, I disclosed that I had left my job.

I was working for a successful startup that had all the perks. I was issued a $4,500 MacBook Pro, there was beer available at all times of the day and the office was located in downtown Ottawa. On my first week we did ax throwing as a team building activity.

There was about ten people working on our product, and only a dozen in our office. The rest were in Montreal, along with HR and higher ups, or other offices. When I was hired, I was told I was the first person they hired in a year and a half. Another team member was hired shortly after me.

The job was straight-forward, working on the API back-end for point-of-sale software. The workplace, unfortunately, wasn’t great. The team lead regularly made condescending remarks to me. He and his boss continually derided the competency of other teams. Any question about our product was met with RTFM. The team lead was unable to accept constructive feedback with his code or questionable design decisions. The tickets we were supposed to work off were often just a single sentence; and getting answers to questions was like pulling teeth.

I gained 40 lbs in my eight months there. I tried to talk to my team lead and his boss about the issues I was having to little effect. I felt as if I was seen as the problem. I told myself I’d quit mid-summer if things did not improve.

They didn’t improve. The other new hire quit on a Thursday. I quit on the Friday. After signalling my departure, I found out that three others had quit over my team lead’s behaviour. In my exit interview, HR proactively asked me if my team lead was related to my departure. They assured me they wouldn’t hire anyone before resolving this issue. For my last two weeks, the team lead stopped communicating with me and the other departing employee altogether.

Shortly after I was gone the job descriptions for my post and that of the other new hire was back up. As far as I knew, nothing changed but it wasn’t my problem anymore.

After that I took some time off. I drove across Canada and the United-States with a friend, camping along the way. I spent a week in Vancouver. I worked on a personal side project. The weight gain stopped.

I then found a job as an embedded software developer for a defense contractor. I now develop air traffic control communication systems.

It’s been great. The workplace is super close to where I live. Everyone helps each other. My team lead facilitates development where he can. People’s diverse skills are recognized and valued. We’re a good team.

And so life continues.