How to think through tickets you really, really don't understand

& some thoughts about why you should take a sabbatical!

Hey everyone,

I have an interesting update.

I am back in my office, full-time. I got the J&J vaccine in early April, and after being immunized, I put in a special request to come back. I’m a very routine-oriented person, so I’ve almost immediately felt 10x better by just having a commute again. I am also one of very few people in this multi-million dollar office every day. It’s a fun time, but it’s also been very difficult to ramp up that whole office life routine again.

How to think through tickets you really, really don't understand

I did a few really smart things when I joined OpenTable that helped me get comfortable and reach expertise, something that never really happened in the job I held before that.

  1. I set up an internal wiki just for myself because people kept saying these words I could not understand at all.

  2. I would reason through tickets on paper.

  3. I'd ask my teammates lots of questions that I hope came across as educated, but I know often did not.

I want to talk about all three of these things eventually, but today, we’re focusing on #2.

Right now at work, I got put on a tiger team (basically away from my normal team and normal product work) for the month and I’m looking at these systems/infrastructure tickets that are totally outside my wheelhouse. I’m finding myself revisiting that feeling of being new at a job again, so I’ve been following my process for parsing tickets every day.

Hopefully, this process is helpful to you as well. It should at least spark some ideas even if our brains don’t really think the same way.

Consider taking a sabbatical

I decided I’m going to take a year off of work whenever I leave a job sometime between the ages of 27 and 30. I’m not planning to rely on a company to support this sabbatical, I’m just going to do it between jobs.

Whenever I’ve taken time off this past year, it has struck me just how normal and full the days and weeks still are. During everyone’s extended Christmas holiday with a significant absence of parties to attend and host, it was interesting the way that just a few weeks without work became normal. It was hard to remember how we lived our lives when we spent so much time on work most of the time.

I’d like to take a year off in a few years to remind myself that life can be normal without work. There’s always so much life-work to do that we neglect because of work-work, and I want the chance to put that life-work first.

I encourage you to consider the same if you are able. Put your life before your work for just one year.

(Btw, not linking to anything here because I’ve read too many posts say it was helpful to their career to take a sabbatical. No, take a sabbatical for you and your life. Not because it’s actually a career hack or something.)

🔥 Hot take of the month: 🔥 I love the office. I will never accept an offer from a company that doesn’t have an office I can go to. I’d maybe compromise on a company paying for a private office for me, but honestly, it doesn’t hit the same as a company office.

I don’t drive, so I plan my entire life around the fact that I need to live somewhere I can survive with just walking and public transportation. With all the remote work advocates who don’t live in metropolitan areas making their points so loudly, I feel like people who are like me are being drowned out. So, I’d just like to say, we’re still here.

As always, thanks for reading. You can reach me by replying directly to this email.

Radhika Morabia