I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You?

This post is for my Brazen Careerist peeps, no dirty sex or douchebaggery today. I’m blogging about jobs and stuff.

So the deal is I scored a job with a Web technology startup just under a year ago. I ostensibly do Sales, but as anyone who has ever worked for a startup knows, you wear a lot of different hats in these situations. Besides sales I’ve done some marketing, account management, business development, customer service, SEO, and even a bit of design work. I assist and work with our CEO on a daily basis and I’ve seen all aspects of the business end of the firm. It’s a pretty solid situation to be in.

I really like the way our office is set up. It’s vastly different from any other place I’ve ever worked. Firstly, our startup does a SCRUM-style of development (wiki that if you’re interested in details) which is a very intense way to run development. Its strengths are agility and rapid deployment, which is critical for us because we’re in a competitive space and we have to make stuff really fast.

One aspect of SCRUM is that every single morning at 9:00 am we have a “stand-up” meeting of the entire firm (a dozen people). Stand-up literally means we’re all standing in a circle and each person states what they did the previous day and what they’re working on today. The developers says things like they finished this-and-that ticket and the designers say they finished so-and-so graphics for a particular project. I give a 10 second sales report. Our project manager gives an update on the overall progress of the week and our CEO tells what business and strategic progress we’ve made and will often say a few words intended to get us pumped up for the day.

I was shocked the first week I did stand-ups because it meant everyone knew exactly what you were doing and what you had done, and it also meant you HAD to be on-time every day. So for the past year, unless I’ve been out sick, I’ve been on-time to work every single day. I think I was five minutes late once because of traffic and I still did the stand-up. I’ve never been in an office situation where every person is on-time every day so I feel that this is an incredibly effective system. It also creates a decent sense of team and equality…no one person is given more or less time during the meeting, even the interns.

Another thing I like is that everyone uses MacBooks on a wireless network and we walk around with our laptops to show stuff or take notes or do whatever we need anywhere in the office. I usually work in a sales office where I can close the door if I need, but I can always pick up a cordless and make a call in the hallway if I wanted. There are couches in the hallway, so sometimes I sit out there and work.

We use a shared Google calendar to track and schedule events. If I need to meet with our CEO or CTO, I simply schedule a block

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on the gcal. Then I walk to his desk with my laptop and take notes on Evernote for whatever it is we’re talking about. It’s pretty close to an office without boundaries and we actually use technology to make us more efficient. We also heavily use webinars and Skype for online meetings. We also use Google Docs spreadsheets to track several other aspects of the company, such as workflow, and I share Sales resources over Docs also.

We have TONS of meetings, however, most meetings are short and sweet, say ten minutes on average. A meeting might be me and the CTO discussing a technical solution so I can write about it in a proposal. It’s closer to the equivalent of asking the guy in the cube next to you a question. We do have longer meetings as needed, but these are always on point. It seems to be a pretty effective way of running an office.

Things I don’t like: the pay could be better and the daily intensity is pretty high. I’m well equipped to manage the intensity but still sometimes it stresses me out. Speaking of stress, there’s always the threat that the company will go under and I’ll be out of work. That threat is there every week pretty much. Another thing that sucks is it’s a total sausage fest in the office, only two chicks and the rest dudes. The good news is we can tell dirty jokes or download porn whenever we want.

Other things that sucked: I do have benefits but it took over five months for me to get them. There was supposed to be a 90 day review period but my performance review kept getting pushed back and then we got a new HR manager and that delayed everything, so I got pretty pissed about that situation. But, now I have benefits, and it’s a pretty damned good package for a startup. The last web development firm I worked for had benefits but they were non-existent compared to this place, so that’s good.

We’ve gotten paid late before and that sucked. I can go to lunch whenever the hell I want, but sometimes I have to eat at my desk because I’m slammed. Since we’re small and everyone is so busy, it’s pretty much up to me to improve and expand our sales process. I can build our system and team to whatever my vision is, which is awesome. I love that level of responsibility. So, provided I dont show up one day and the doors are closed because we ran out of money, I like it pretty good here. That’s life in a startup.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I looooove my job. Always neat to hear about what other people do – what about benefits? Sick time? Vacation time? Is this what you trained to do? Do you enjoy it?

    We are a google campus so we use a lot of their apps. The nicest so far is googledocs – that way myself, the business manager, and the graduate director can all view and edit the spreadsheet I’m in charge of simultaneously and know that everyone is accessing the most recent version (which, since it’s a $400K spreadsheet, is important in avoiding errors!).
    .-= Honey´s last blog …I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You? =-.

  • http://www.thedateabledork.com The Dateable Dork

    Wow, this is like the total opposite of my office – we’re insanely inefficient and nobody seems to notice or care. It’s ridiculous! Everyone is late everyday and the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. So glad I’m outta there in a few months!

    Lance, I think it’s pretty cool that you have such a high level of responsibility/respect in the sales arena, and sometimes the high stress level can be worth it. Hope it works out for you!
    .-= The Dateable Dork´s last blog …My super swanky date with a European gentleman =-.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    We’re super inefficient, too, DD. Actually, I prefer it that way. I’d way rather spend 3 out of 8 hours surfing the net than 8 out of 8 hours working!
    .-= Honey´s last blog …I Can Download Porn At Work, Can You? =-.

  • http://katwilder.com Kat Wilder

    There’s nothing quite like the energy that goes into a new venture — kinda like the beginning of a relationship, when you’re almost obsessed and not focusing on much more than that. And then ….

    Sounds like you’re having fun (despite the stress), and I can’t understand why anyone would work at a job at which he/she wasn’t having fun — and feeling like you’re part of something real.

    I feel that way about my job, even though it has its problems. But I feel bitching about it nowadays. damn economy has taken away all the fun of that.

    And, no I can’t download porn at work, but I do have a lot of nice eye candy ..
    .-= Kat Wilder´s last blog …What would Kat do? =-.

  • http://www.thedateabledork.com The Dateable Dork

    Exactly! : )
    .-= The Dateable Dork´s last blog …The end-of-the-weekend man round-up =-.

  • http://social-masters.com/blog David Black

    I love working with the SCRUM system. I find it helps my team with motivation as much as organisation, having us all talk about what we’re doing and have done. It’s great.

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