jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
I've been working mainly on elections stuff lately, but also a few other bits. Ira's posts have more details expanding on the minutes. I spend a fair amount of time with the strategic planning workgroup. I've also worked on some diagrams of organisational structure for the board, and we're now talking about writing up a proper job description before the election, setting out rough expected workload.

It's still exhausting, and my day job has also been busy, but there are some good signs of progress. At least we're having these conversations, and also planning to formalise the emerita board and set up an advisory board. Volcom are also making progress on their big projects for the code of conduct and related processes, which is exciting.

Tired

Jul. 4th, 2012 07:33 am
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
[personal profile] awatson wrote a great post on burnout recently. I've mostly been suffering from those symptoms too much to write in here, despite my early dreams. If you want more OTW news, [personal profile] renay and [personal profile] hl are also writing a bit from different perspectives.

Board is difficult. We have three people who can hardly ever make a meeting at the moment. I would say you can see from our minutes, but I'm having trouble getting a quorum to approve the minutes so I can post them. And it's getting to be holiday season, so it's only going to get harder. We can't really have the discussions of big issues that we need if only half the board are there. So we tick along on the admin side, and work on making specific committees more sustainable.

That's an uphill battle, too. We have had an unlucky year, with six chairs having to step down in the first six months of the year - that's significantly higher than normal. We've also had a lot of experienced staffers finally hit the point of "too much". So for those who are left, training newbies is balanced with keeping things running, and trying to fit in some long-term strategic thinking in the gaps. It's easy to think that all we need to do is train and mentor more people for future leadership, but mentoring is hard work, even if it's rewarding. There are people who say they have tons of professional experience, but then don't seem to apply any of the expected skills to their org work. Which applies to me some days, too - I forget that the day-job skills for dealing with difficult clients could be applied to fannish friends in the org.

The AO3 performance problems have slipped off the headlines, but behind the scenes everyone knows it's only a temporary reprieve - we need to fix the actual problems so they don't recur. And because of the stress that's causing, still no-one wants to talk about any of the issues that were raised publicly during the last election.

I wanted to end this on a hopeful note, but I can't think of one right now. I guess that's another of the symptoms of burnout. Anyone want to volunteer for Board next year?

Tiredness

Apr. 25th, 2012 10:24 pm
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
Renay posts about Volcom work

Sanders posts about Board work

I guess I've had some of the same problems as Sanders and Renay here, in terms of talking about my work in the OTW, except one step worse because I haven't even been keeping up with Dreamwidth.

Talking about work and my mental state is difficult. I've kind of got out of the habit. As I mentioned on my personal journal a few months back, that's partly because it's not actually that bad. I look back to my previous project at work, and yes, the end of that was very tough. At the beginning of my new project, I was exhuasted and facing the standard challenges of settling in to a new area of work. I had a week's holiday in October and it was nowhere near enough, particularly with the OTW election on top of everything else. By mid-December I was seeing my GP about depression - it was the middle of winter, my SAD was hitting me worse than it had in years, I was overloaded with work and struggling to cope. And yet the hardest thing, in a way, was that it wasn't as bad as, say, 4 years ago. I have all my coping mechanisms for when things are really bad, but it wasn't like that. I had no coping mechanisms for mild depression, for balancing the days when things were okay with the days when things weren't.

Thing have improved since then. I got a good break over Christmas, and things have been looking up in terms of work. I'm still tired, but not nearly as badly. Spring helps.

But then I look at OTW stuff. We've made huge progress. I'm so pleased about the drive going well, and emailing the AO3 users. Our strategic planning workgroup have made brilliant progress, and I'm so excited that their post is up so you can all read about it. I am ridiculously excited about the Code of Conduct, because we need it so desperately. I have dreams for my role as Elections Officer next year. Open Doors has really got going and has big plans - Mishie is doing a great job as a new chair, after Heather had to step down for personal reasons. Support goes from strength to strength, and the AO3 Docs workgroup are getting going to improve the FAQs and other documentation. Finance has new people and is looking at improving their documentation, too.

But...there's always a but. I have reached a new level of burnout. I haven't coded anything in over two months. I spent two years reading every word of every transcript in the OTW Coders room on Campfire, and I've probably spent less than an hour in there in the past month. There are some areas where I can't bring myself to care anymore, because it hurts too much. I've said before that the thing that causes burnout isn't too much work, but too little support, and I'm finding the truth of that yet again. I'm seeing more different ways that well-intentioned people can hurt each other.

I still have hope. We're still making progress, and we can make things better. But it's hard work, and we lose good people along the way, and we can't solve it all at once. Please keep wishing us well, and please keep asking questions, holding us accountable, letting us know where we need to be more transparent, and above all, whatever your level of involvement, please remember there is a human being at the other end of the computer screen.
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
I feel like this week has been all fire-fighting, and I desperately want to take a step back and see where it fits into the bigger picture, but I haven't yet had time for that. So, in lieu of the proper post that has to wait until my day job work and the AO3 deploy have calmed down a bit, here are some quick notes. I'd be happy to expand on any of these in comments if people want to know more - each paragraph could easily have been a post in itself.

The AO3 deploy has been a rush and a big deal. Support have done an amazing job. There are things I strongly disagree with about how this deploy was handled, but I've said the key things internally and I don't think there's anything to be gained by going over it here. Suffice it to say that the people who made mistakes have also been doing sterling work helping to clean up the mess, and I want to give full credit for that. I know some of the changes and the way we dealt with them have annoyed and upset people, and I'm sorry for that. I'm also looking forward to all the underlying improvements, and enjoying the benefit of them once the dust has settled. I hope that some day we can regain the trust we've lost.

I am sad about Lucy's resignation. I was looking forward to working with her on the Board if either of us got elected. I understand the need for self-care, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in various areas of the org. I'm also looking forward to implementing some of her suggestions - the things we've all mentioned in the chats can be put forward as proposals, regardless of who gets elected.

I want to link to lim's post about her work. I have really appreciated working with lim over the past few years, and I am very upset that she is leaving. From my point of view as a member of AD&T, the bad aspects of this deploy have not all been her fault - there are several other stages where the backlash could have been prevented. I want to extend a huge thank you for all the work she's done on accessibility. I hope we can finish the code off in such a way that people can see the benefits of the work she's done.

Read more... )

And lastly - a giant thank you to everyone who's supported me in this election. I am reading, even when I don't have the energy to comment, and I appreciate hearing all your views. The encouragement, both for me and for my colleagues, is a big help when we're all doing our best for the OTW.

♥ fandom ♥

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