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#1316: “I finally have a friend and my wife is jealous.”

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Hi Captain Awkward,

I am a lesbian who’s been married to a woman for about 5 years. We have two kids and are generally very happy together. We live in the small city where my wife grew up; I moved here for a short-term job and stayed because I fell in love with my wife. I really like it here but the community is very insular and I haven’t really had close, intimate friends since I’ve lived here. That’s been sort of tough for me, because before living here I always valued having close friendships.

In the past year or so, I’ve developed a friendship with a woman “Jane” who my wife has known forever. Our friendship developed organically because our kids play together, but I feel like she’s a kindred spirit and it has meant a lot to me to finally have a friend who I can really talk to and connect with. Jane is bisexual and has been in relationships with men and women, but is happily married to a man. I have no romantic feelings for Jane and she’s never said or done anything to indicate romantic feelings for me.

Lately my wife has been getting jealous of my friendship with Jane. For example, Jane and I occasionally go grocery shopping, and my wife has said that this makes her uncomfortable because that’s something people do when they live together, not something friends do. I think part of it is just that my wife feels left out. She’s known Jane forever and they’ve never been close, and she feels like suddenly we’re friends and she’s not part of it. I also think she’s jealous in a romantic way; on some level she feels like Jane is a threat I guess, which is compounded by Jane being bisexual.

My wife hasn’t told me to stop seeing Jane or anything like that, but she will occasionally tell me that some plan I’ve made with Jane makes her “uncomfortable.” Part of me thinks well, she’s my wife, and if she’s uncomfortable I should stop seeing Jane. My relationship and my family are the priority. But part of me thinks, I finally have a friend and that’s really important to me too! I just don’t know what’s “normal” here because I have never had both a best friend and a spouse. Is it weird to go to the grocery store with your friend once a week and then maybe have a glass of wine on a weeknight? I’m really confused by the whole thing. I want to respect my wife’s feelings of course but I just don’t know whether she’s being reasonable.

Thank you for all of your help!!

Everybody involved in this question uses she/her. 

Hello, thanks for your question! 

I can understand your wife feeling a little jealous that you hit it off with Jane as a friend in a way your wife never did, or feeling some wistfulness that the the three of you never evolved into a balanced brunching triad. I can understand feeling pandemic fatigue (and pandemic parenting fatigue) that comes out as jealousy about doing something fun outside the house when the two of you haven’t had a real date in a year and everybody’s a little bit sick of each other’s faces and farts and unromantic cohabitation tasks. I can understand feeling jealous in a way that might prompt your wife to look at her own friendships and family relationships outside of her marriage,  and think, “I wish I had a friend like that.” Not everyone is destined to get along, so if your wife was like, “I don’t know, I just don’t like her, she’s always eating crackers, but go have fun as long as I don’t have to hang out with her,” that wouldn’t be an outlier, but they were friends before you moved there, so ????? Also, a good parent-friend whose kids like playing with your kids is a prize above rubies, or so I’ve heard, so again, ??????????

But when you mention the part where your wife is threatened by Jane’s bisexuality, something clicked. Zounds! Not a home-wrecking bisexual! Good People of Awkwardland, time to lock up your wives, sons, daughters, husbands, cousins, parents, uncles, aunts, any distinguished grandparents of unusual hotness, just lock up everyone, probably, ’cause the bisexuals are here!  We will steal your lady, dress up in her clothes, steal somebody’s man while wearing your lady’s clothes, then steal his warmest hoodie or flannel in order to tuck it sensuously around yet another person’s lady or man, like, “I’ll keep you warm, babe, I’m a bisexual, we keep everybody warm, let’s get some groceries.” Didn’t you know that being attracted to someone in more than one category of gender means being uncontrollably attracted to all people of any gender and totally unable to distinguish “friendship,” “attraction,” and “committed relationships” as separate categories? [/sarcasm]

If there is something sketchy, home-wrecker-y, racist, larcenous, mean, shady, toxic, etc. that Jane *has actually done* besides “be bisexual” that your wife knows about and hasn’t told you, it’s time she spilled it. If you have cheated on your wife before, or have developed a wicked case of mentionitis or flirty hide-your-phone-itis with regard to Jane that your wife is picking up on, that would be relevant. Assuming neither is the case, the “threatening” nature of Jane’s bisexuality seems to be coming from inside your wife, and the word for that is “biphobia.” That’s why the “grocery shopping” thing seems not just like a reach (which it is), but also like a search for some rational, acceptable, independent justification for what she’s feeling. 

I also can’t understand what exactly you are supposed to do about all this discomfort. It is not weird or unreasonable to have friends or want to spend time with them, including time that does not include your spouse, including combining grocery shopping (or any other routine errand) with something fun, especially in a time of very limited socialization. However, expecting a spouse or other romantic partner to give up friendships or interests IS highly unreasonable and can lead to real badness. Is that what your wife expects to happen? 

Not all discomfort warrants action, especially other people’s actions. Is your wife expressing a feeling she’s having, in the name of honesty, because she’d want you to do the same if the situation were reversed and you were jealous? Sometimes “I’m uncomfortable” is more of a fact about yourself than anything else. I’m hungry. These shoes pinch. It’s cold in here. Is your wife trying to say, “I know you aren’t doing anything wrong, and I want you to have friends, but I’m really lonely right now, I feel left out. Help me figure this out?” Or something more like, “Oh, I wish I could go grocery shopping with you,” or, “I wish you would stay home with me tonight,” but without the expectation that you’ll actually do it?

Is there something she expects you to do? Like…not be friends…with your dearest friend…? Like…avoid the seductive temptations of the cereal aisle, for there be adultery and sin? (Plus, if you reach for a box of Quaker Oats at the same time a bisexual person reaches for it, you have to have sex with each other. It’s the law.) (That was sarcasm again). 

Quaker Oat Guy
Oh, the steamy liaisons this icon has witnessed!

It sounds like it’s time to find out what’s really going on here. I can put possible words in your wife’s mouth in this post, and make jokes about grocery store granola glances, but I suggest that you not do that in your conversations. Assume nothing. Ask your wife. Be gentle and open to what she has to say and give her a chance to get it out without judgment. You can wait until the next time she expresses discomfort about your plans, but that would mean tensions are already up. It might be better to wait for a quiet moment, be proactive, and ask her question like:

  • “Can we talk about Jane, and the discomfort you have with us hanging out lately?”
  • “Is there something specific that’s prompting this?”
  • “What is it you are asking me to do when you say that you’re uncomfortable?” 
  • “What aren’t you telling me?” 
  • “In a perfect world, where you get everything you want, how would this get resolved?” 

She will hopefully tell you what’s actually going on and you can sort out the reasonable from the unreasonable together. Try to listen more than you talk, and when in doubt, go with “short sentences, mostly questions” until she’s really had a chance to have her say.

And, don’t panic and immediately jump on it if some highly unreasonable stuff does come out in this conversation. When I’m a seething ball of anxiety, some highly unreasonable things come out of me, and sometimes it’s only when I say them out loud that I can see how ridiculous they are and actually deal with what’s behind them. I try to keep most of that contained to therapy nowadays, but it’s not a perfect system. The things our “best” selves don’t really mean still carry weight if our “wildly freaking out” selves actually say them, so if your wife gets very agitated and hurts your feelings or crosses your boundaries or reveals some biphobic stuff during this conversation, I’m not suggesting that you carry on like it never happened, I’m just saying, wait a couple of beats before you respond. Use the beloved trick of teachers and documentary filmmakers, and stay silent for a few moments. so she can hear, collect, and possibly clarify her thoughts. If she doubles down on badness, then at least you know what fight you’re actually having. 

I hope you work it out, but before I wrap up, I want to say again: It is a very, very bad precedent for one spouse to be like, “I feel very anxious/jealous/uncomfortable, and that’s why if you love me, you’ll stop grocery shopping and doing other fun things with your best friend.” And it is bad precedent considering that you uprooted yourself from a community where you had these friendships to one where you didn’t. “I liked it better when I was the sole center of your world,” may be a real emotion that your wife is feeling somewhere in the mix, but it’s not a good basis for decisions about who you’re allowed to see and have in your life. 

So, to the part of your question where you wondered if you should drop the friendship in the name of “putting family your first,” my answer is NO. Not without a whole lot more information, and possibly still no, even with more information. 

If there’s something else going on here, she needs to say. If that something else is biphobia, it needs to be acknowledged so it can be uprooted. If there’s something specific that would help reassure her, she needs to tell you what it is. 

If this is her brain being a jerk with anxiety, or her own loneliness and wistfulness about friendships, you can be sympathetic and help her sort it out, but you’re still not going to give up your best friend. Turning negative feelings and fears about what might happen into an excuse to limit and control a partner’s actions and friendships is not okay. Not only is it not okay from an ethical standpoint, it is not particularly effective, as the Jerkbrain can always manufacture new grievances. 

I think there is one small thing you could do here, out of respect for your wife, and that is to be aware of your wife’s privacy and how much you discuss your wife with Jane, especially your wife’s private stuff, body stuff, sex stuff, and issues the two of you have. It’s not that you can’t or shouldn’t discuss relationships with friends and vice versa, everybody gets to confide things and vent sometimes, including to internet advice writers!

Just, from long before getting married, my personal ethic has been that if I find myself routinely talking about a partner in ways I’ve never discussed with that partner, or ways that I think that partner would be very uncomfortable with if they knew, or in ways that I’d be ashamed of if my partner heard those words repeated back, that’s a sign that something is off. You’re probably well in the clear here with Jane, but a mental spot check of those boundaries isn’t going to make anything worse than it already is and may give you peace of mind that the friendship is not the real issue here.

I hope everyone can work this out to a happy resolution where you keep your lovely wife and your lovely friend whose kids play with yours and this all gets filed under Pandemic Weirdness/The Year Nobody Was Crushing It and quickly forgotten. Fingers firmly crossed. 



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bibliogrrl
142 days ago
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#1315: How do I tell acquaintances about a death in the family without sounding dramatic?

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Hey Captain Awkward,

My dad passed away two months ago from COVID complications. We’re doing pretty okay in our grief. Some of us have started grief counseling and are encouraging the others to do so as well. I’ve done all of the formal notifications to work, and close friends and family members. What I don’t know how to do is how to mention it to a casual friend group, or if I even should?

I play a game online with a group who I’ve never met in person. We’re friendly acquaintances who share life events like job changes, pet photos, and over the last year a little of our individual COVID experiences and struggles. I took a several month hiatus when my dad fell sick and am about to rejoin. I’m looking forward to it, though a part of me is a little unsure if anything will be, like, grief triggering, if that makes sense. How do I mention that hey, my dad died without sounding dramatic and attention-seeking, or (conversely) weirdly blasé? It feels weird to not mention a major life-altering event but is mentioning it to a casual gaming group emotional hijacking? I don’t want to feel like I’m hiding it somehow but telling acquaintances that your dad died feels manipulative somehow.

Awkward in Grief
she/her/hers

Dear Awkward-In-Grief,

I’m so sorry about your dad. 

You can absolutely tell your gaming group about his death. It is not “attention-seeking,” “manipulative,” or “emotional hijacking.” You were gone, now you are back, there was a reason, it is okay to tell people what’s up with you. 

Also, “dramatic” was your wording in your email subject, but death is actually very dramatic. You. Lost. Your. Dad. Forever. I’m going to suggest scripts for talking about it matter-of-factly within your online gaming group, so that you can maintain your hard-won equilibrium and choose how much you engage about it, but it would be entirely understandable if you metaphorically pushed both double-doors open, sashayed into the group chat clad in head-to-toe black velvet and leather, smashed a jeweled goblet or elaborate candelabra onto the floor, announced, “I am devastated because my dad died, I’m basically held together with this excellent goth villain fetish gear and poor coping mechanisms, who wants to play a game?” and then swooned theatrically onto a nearby throne or dais to weep behind the lace veil that spiders wove for you. I don’t know where your internal “Oh, let’s not be dramatic about it” admonishments are coming from, and I get that being able to control when you fall apart and when you hold it together is part of coping with grief, but please don’t pre-judge yourself for being insufficiently breezy about something that is a very big deal. 

Consider also that you are probably far from alone in losing somebody this year. If someone else in the group mentioned a death in their family, would you think they were “hijacking” the discussion? Probably not, or at least I hope not? You know the culture of your own group better than I, of course, but in general, if people get mad at you for being a human being with a family and a life cycle, you are not the problem. You are not obligated to tell, if it’s important for you that the group be a totally separate sphere of your life, but you certainly can. 

For a glimpse of how this might go: I play a distractingly fun, low-intensity phone game where I’m part of an “Alliance” of total strangers, we aren’t even to the closeness point of “pet chitchat,” never mind photos, and it’s still very routine for someone to say in the general stranger-chat, “Hey, sorry I haven’t been around to [do game stuff], I’ve been dealing with [life stuff]” (divorce, death in family, illness, job loss, work deadlines). Usually other players say some variation of “I’m so sorry” and “How are you?” and “Take whatever time you need!” or “I’m so sorry, but very glad you are back!” — in other words, people only say nice things, and nobody presses for details — and then we all get back to whaling on monsters together. The most detailed or personal it’s ever gotten since I joined was a stressed new dad, killing monsters while awake on the night-feeding shift with the baby, and the other dads in the group being like “Oh, it’s brutal, do you need diaper-changing instruction vids, though? Because new moms are like babies: If they’re sleeping, LET THEM.” Wholesome content! 

If you decide to disclose, you can keep it very simple. 

“Hi everyone, sorry I haven’t been around, I had a death in the family and didn’t have much brain for gaming. But’s very good to see all of you.” 

You can be a little more specific to fend off the potential “what happened?” questions. 

“Hi everyone, it’s so nice to see you. I took some time off after my dad died (COVID, sadly), but I’m ready to start playing again. What’s new with you?” 

Comment on something you can see in the chat – “Good to see Mr. StinkyPaws is still a handsome dog-sweater model” – and you’ll be back in the swing in no time. 

One thing I always recommend when there is big news of some kind but you don’t want to fend off a million “what happened” questions: Use direct messaging to ask the moderator and/or the most social, active, connected member  or members of the group to spread the news for you. 

“Hello, [specific person], I hope you are doing well and I’m sorry we haven’t talked in a while. I took some time off from the game after my dad died of COVID, but I want to start playing again. I’m not sure how to bring it up in our group chat, is there any way you can spread the news for me so I don’t have to field a bunch of ‘what happened?’ questions all at once?” 

If there is something specific you want that person to share like, “I appreciate well-wishes but I’d rather not talk about it, I just wanted people to know” tell them that, too. 

You will still get some condolences, but it will hopefully be less visceral after someone else has spread the news, and there’s no reason you can’t acknowledge that when you do rejoin- “Thanks ______ for getting everyone up to date about my family stuff. I’m so glad to see all of you.” 

As you predicted, you might feel renewed grief when you tell new people, and you should plan for people telling you that they are sorry and asking you if you are okay, the same way they did when you ran the co-worker and wider social group grief-gauntlet. You know these likely call-and-response scripts already, but I will make a list of the things people tend to say when someone dies, in order of nicest, to least-weird, to actually offensive, along with some expected replies. Use any of them that are useful, otherwise tailor them to what you actually need to say, and when in doubt, let the truth be your default setting. 

“I’m so sorry.”

  • “Thank you, he was very loved.”* (If you or someone reading was estranged, you don’t have to say this – pick another reply!) 
  • “Thank you, nobody in our family was ready to say goodbye.” 
  • “Thank you, it’s been a rough couple of months.”
  • “Thank you, it’s been a lot to deal with.” 

“How are you?”

  • “I miss him a lot, but I’m hanging in there, thanks for asking.” 
  • “I was hoping to never learn about Zoom funerals, but it was not to be. I’m feeling more like myself now, though, and I missed all of you. What level are we on?” 
  • “I’ve been really sad and stressed out from managing all the details, thanks for asking. How are you?” 
  • “Sad, but ready to come out of the Grief Cocoon and do stuff with all of you again, thanks for asking. What’s the latest with you?” 

“Is there anything I/we can do for you?” 

  • “Thanks, you are so kind. Get me up to speed on the game and feed some pet photos directly into my eyes?” 
  • “Thanks, you are so kind to offer. This place has always been great for a sense of normalcy, I’m just ready to get back into it.” 
  • “Thanks, you are so kind. There is no need to do anything, but my dad’s favorite charity was ______, that’s where we sent everyone who wanted to do something after the funeral.” (This is for people who ask you more than once or insist that they want to do something. The _______ can be your favorite charity, btw, if your dad didn’t have one.) 
  • With friends (not necessarily these casual gaming buds, but friends asking what they can do), if there is something you do actually need or want, assume that anyone who asks this means it, and tell them. People are better at wanting to help than at guessing at exactly how to deliver it. Tell them. 

“I lost someone, too.”

  • A reality for so many people right now! 
  • “Then you know. I’m so sorry.”
  • “Oh, how awful. How are you holding up?” 

“Were you close?” “How did he die?” 

  • You don’t have to answer any question you don’t want to.
  • Oh, thanks for asking, but I don’t want to get into the details. I just wanted people to know where I’d been before jumping back into the game.”
  • “Oh, thanks for asking, but it’s still really hard for me to talk about it.” 
  • If you say this, and follow up by asking the person an anodyne question about themselves, most people will take your lead. Anyone who doesn’t is the one making it weird, not you, and you do not have to turn mental cartwheels to figure out what to say to them about it. 
  • You can tell the bald truth, even if it uncomfortable or you sense that it is not what the person wants to hear. Even if it is messy, scary, or sad. That is not” emotional hijacking.” If they didn’t want to know, they wouldn’t have asked. 

“Well, he’s in a better place.” “It’s God’s will.” “Well, at least he’s at peace now.” “I’ll pray for him.” 

  • I don’t know about you, or the crowd you game with, but I do not find this kind of thing comforting. Clearly others do, so it’s good to be prepared. (There are theoretically “5 stages” of grief, I tend to lean hard into anger.)
  • When somebody has said this stuff to me at actual funerals, I’ve tried to remind myself that it’s really about them — This is what they believe, this is what they would want to hear in the same circumstances, this is what they were taught to say — and I try to respond to the kind intentions more than the words themselves.
  • Especially if the dead person was very religious and did believe in an afterlife, I try to keep whatever this is between the praying person and the formerly prayerful deceased: “He believed in a better place, so he would be pleased to hear you say that.” “He would be pleased to know you’re thinking of him.” “He’d probably thank you for praying and tell you he needs all the help he can get!”  😉
  • That said, the sooner I move away from someone who wants to tell me how “it’s God’s will” that someone I love be dead, the better for everyone, and whatever I say next will have the sole goal of making this conversation be over as soon as possible. “Thanks for the kind wishes, please excuse me.” 
  • If you share something and any group member makes it weird for you, and you need to nope out temporarily, do it. It was likely a very passing thing that was more about the person speaking than it was about you, it doesn’t mean the chat will always be like that, but take care of yourself first and other people’s feelings about you later. 

“COVID is a hoax anyway ” “Did he wear a mask?” 

  • Like the ghouls who ask “Did they smoke” about people who die of lung cancer or who use natural disasters where people are dying to score “fun” political points by blaming them for their feckless leaders instead of helping, comments like this are signs that your chat has been infiltrated by assholes. Say “goodbye,” “fuck you,” delete, and block, in whatever order that works for you, and know that you did not cause this to happen by mentioning your dad’s death. 

It probably will not go like that, and I do think that once you do tell the news, most people will follow your lead. If you seem like you want to talk about it more, they may ask you follow-up questions, assume anyone who does truly wants to know and is open to talking about it more. Edited: When I say that people will take cues from you, that goes both ways and includes cues about sharing stories about your dad or more information about how you are doing. If you want to talk about your dad more, you’re the one who might have to take the lead, since avoidance of death as a topic and cultural pressure against “making someone talk about death or grief” are strong. If you seem like you don’t want to talk about it, most people will gratefully follow your subject changes back to game details and everyone’s day-to-day. If they reply with platitudes, that’s probably okay. Platitudes can be useful, they give us a guide for what to say when we know we must say something but can’t think of what, and they don’t demand detailed responses. If somebody won’t drop it or let it go, that’s most likely about their weirdness, not because of you. 

Once again, I’m sorry about your dad, and I’m sorry that in addition to your grief you’re feeling a compulsive bright-siding cultural pressure to never admit that you are sad or that death exists, especially when grief is all around us. I hope returning to this fun group gives you a much-needed lift in coming days. ❤

 



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bibliogrrl
142 days ago
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angelchrys
159 days ago
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02/22/2020

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John K. Samson’s new song, Millennium for All, protests the underfunding and over-securitization of his favourite library

On February 25, 2019, Winnipeg’s Millennium Library installed intrusive airport-style security and began physical searches of everyone entering the library. They did so despite overwhelming evidence that such measures hurt vulnerable and marginalized people and don’t make anyone safer, and without consulting any community groups, experts, elected officials or library patrons. These measures, unprecedented in Canada, have led to a massive drop in attendance. Many no longer feel welcome at their library.

“I wanted to write a song about the Millennium Library, which I visited and worked at weekly for most of my life until the security was installed a year ago,” says Samson, who with his partner Christine Fellows was the 2016-17 Winnipeg Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence. “I wanted to demonstrate how the Millennium is so much more than a building full of books. It’s the heart of my community and I miss it.”

Samson is accompanied on Millennium for All by Winnipeg musicians Ashley Au, Christine Fellows, Scott Nolan and Jason Tait. Christine also made the remarkable cut and paste stop motion video that accompanies the song, and local artist Jonathan Dyck drew the birds.

The song is named after activist group Millennium for All, which was formed to resist securitization and advocate for a fully funded, decolonial, accessible and welcoming library. Over the last year they’ve held protests and zine-making parties, have done research, written reports, letters and op-eds, made presentations at info sessions and city hall, and engaged with other concerned Winnipeg residents and communities.

The song and video also have a practical purpose. “I want to help promote the upcoming week of events being organized by Millennium for All and Budget for All Winnipeg. We need to make it clear to the city and library management that we don’t accept exclusionary security in our library, and also remind politicians that libraries require committed investment. All Winnipeg’s libraries are underfunded and understaffed, yet the mayor and councillors are threatening to cut funding even further to these and other essential services in their proposed city budget next month. We can’t let that happen.”

Samson believes libraries are at the centre of the struggle for social justice. “I’ve been really inspired by people acting on behalf of libraries, from community resistance to transphobia at the Toronto Public Library to Winnipegger’s protests against the racist and exclusionary security at the Millennium. We need our libraries to be truly welcoming and fully funded.”

For more info on Millennium for All’s week of events, see budgetforall.org, and follow millennium4all and budgetforallwpg

JOIN US FOR A RALLY IN THE LOBBY OF MILLENNIUM LIBRARY, TUESDAY, FEB 25, 4:30 PM, TO OBSERVE THE ANNIVERSARY OF INVASIVE SECURITY AND TO PROTEST THE PROPOSED CITY BUDGET CUTS TO LIBRARIES AND OTHER LIFE-SUSTAINING SERVICES!

AND GET READY FOR BUDGET FOR ALL WINNIPEG’S DAY OF ACTION, MARCH 14!

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bibliogrrl
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On the hunt

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After 7 years at Mozilla I am now looking for a new job. 70 of us were laid off in mid-January. I tweeted about it on the day of the layoff; my tweet was quoted in the tech press and some newspapers. For a few days, this got a lot of attention. Meanwhile, also on the day of the layoffs, we started a Slack channel for mutual aid, and a spreadsheet with our names, contact info, job titles, and links to resumes or LinkedIn profiles. From the tweet getting the attention, a lot of recruiters and hiring managers looked at our spreadsheet. And, awesomely, I found out later that when Wayfair laid off 500+ people, they copied our spreadsheet format for their own organizing! This, for me, put a healthy spin on the layoff. The solidarity we expressed was and is very cheering. The story was now about our teamwork and support for each other.

As I looked into open release manager positions it became clear that the closest role to it was Technical Program Manager, and you can think of release management as a specialty of being a TPM.

Initially I was keeping notes on what I applied for in the Mac Notes app, but that got clunky. So, I created a project board in GitHub to manage all the applications I was sending out. Each job listing became a GitHub issue, and the project board has columns for “Interested”, “Applied”, “Interviewing”, “On-site”, and “Nope”. As my applications move through these stages I simply move its card. Within the columns, it’s also useful to me to have colored labels for “Waiting for a response”, “Scheduling in progress”, “Interview scheduled” and “Study needed”. Each issue contains the job listing, a link to the listing, names of people who I’ve talked with and their contact info. And, every interview or email I have for that job gets its own comment on the issue.

Sharing that project board didn’t work as easily as I would like. I made a generic version of the repo, with blank cards and an explanation of a way to use it, but when you fork a public repo, you can’t then make it private. The project boards also don’t fork – they have to be copied separately.

So, I made the same job hunting board in Trello and have shared it for anyone to use.

It’s very helpful to have an organized system like this — it lets you apply to many jobs at once and keep all the details readily at hand.

I am actually enjoying the interviews and studying for them. To study, I read about the company, maybe looking up all the tech in the stack they use or reading about the general space they’re in, their competitors, etc. For someone like me who enjoys diving into endless Wikipedia ratholes this is a pleasure. I try to write out what I’ve learned, sometimes more than once to synthesize the information in different ways.

Another way to study and prepare is to write out my answers to various common questions. For a program or release manager role, this seems to be focused on describing situations you’ve been in and what you’ve done. For example, describe a technically complex project you worked on and how you managed it. Describe a time when you got negative feedback and how you responded. Tell about a time when you had to balance many different projects and what tools you used and describe the result. So, here I tried to reflect on things I’d done at Mozilla that I was particularly proud of and could remember well enough to describe! Writing them out in paragraphs and then as bullet points means that I won’t get stuck for answers to questions about my own experiences.

Another type of question that needs study is the “system design” problem. So, say you are starting out on a project to create a photo sharing app. WHAT DO YOU DO. Fun! At least I think so. There’s plenty of guides on thinking through problems of this sort, some general and some specific. Here’s one I really liked, Vasanth’s System Design Cheatsheet. You can take this general structure and work through some specific situations like a photo sharing app or a messaging app.

Anyway, I miss Mozilla, and working on Firefox, but I’m learning a lot and keeping my spirits up. I have plenty of interviews. Wherever I end up I’ll learn some new skills and advance in my career. Going into Mozilla, I wanted to work as part of a large collaboration alongside many other engineers. I definitely got that — I learned so much and am grateful for all the opportunities I had there and fabulous people I got to meet.

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bibliogrrl
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How to Draw Birds

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HOW TO DRAW AN EAGLE
  1.  Draw a Pac-Man ghost
  2.  Give it a beak
  3.  Done


HOW TO DRAW A SANDPIPER
  1. Draw a chair
  2. Make it into a sandpiper
  3. That's all


HOW TO DRAW A DUCK
  1. Draw a floor lamp
  2. Make it look like a duck
  3. You're all done


HOW TO DRAW A SPARROW
  1. Draw a baby cradle
  2. Add some bird things
  3. Stop because you're done


HOW TO DRAW A CARDINAL
  1. Draw a happy eel
  2. Turn it on its side
  3. Good job





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jad
682 days ago
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MaryEllenCG
683 days ago
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Greater Bostonia
bibliogrrl
683 days ago
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Chicago!
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In the 4th chapter of Luke’s gospel, Jesus gets up in the...

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In the 4th chapter of Luke’s gospel, Jesus gets up in the synagogue to read from the Scriptures. He said, “The spirit of God is on me and has told me to give good news to the impoverished, release the incarcerated, recover the sight of the blind, and release the oppressed.” 

He put down the scroll and said “Today this is fulfilled,” and then a mob tried to throw him off a cliff. 

I made some prints of angels and demons to illustrate those good old time religion promises. 

Available for sale soon at benwildflower.com. 

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jepler
696 days ago
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Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
jad
696 days ago
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bibliogrrl
696 days ago
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Chicago!
eilatan
691 days ago
I really like this art, but I went to his website and he's selling an anti-GMO print and...I just can't.
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