Flickr stats: me wins, my photos lose, meh

Screenshot of the Flickr app showing the all-time views, the 1st photo has had over 124K, 2nd 45K, 3rd 36K, 4th 30K, 5th 28K. All but the 4th are photos picturing me.

What my top-five most viewed photos tell me is that I should have been a model in my early thirties rather than a wannabe photographer.

I have been using Flickr since 2005.

Well, I have not used it for several years now, and I think I just understood why:

The most viewed photos are almost entirely pictures I posted that picture me. They are part of the story I told about me on this platform, but they are not photos I took. (Although I did a series of self portraits in a dusty mirror which are of me, by me.)

But I don’t use the platform to show myself (that’s what Instagram is about, right? And I left that one already), as much as to showcase my photography at the same time as I photo-document bits of my life.

The only photo where I am not, among the top five, is a byproduct of its title being the same as swingers club (a coincidence, which I blogged about in 2006 when I figured out why it was my most popular photo.)

I think I will find out how much longer the pro membership I paid is, and find an exit strategy for all of my photos on this platform. There is appetite for how I was about 10 years ago more than there is appetite for the stuff I want to show, much to my dismay.

Work won’t love you back

2022-08-03 Update: reflected that the transition to a legal entity was postponed by a year; gave link to media advisory of that transition; rewrote two phrases.

Abstract of what is on my mind: work is transactional by nature, excellent connections with coworkers are precious (I am fortunate to have many). Now, the companies that consider their work force “family” puzzle me. This is not exactly the case where I work (or is it?), BUT we are in a setting that is pretty conducive to it, AND after 27 years, this is going to change –in less than a year two years. SO I really wonder what that change will do to the current equilibrium (I’m pretty sure it’s going to put it to the test).

Screenshot of a Tweet by Kevin pointing out that work won’t love you back

This stemmed from my browsing The Twitters yesterday. I read Kevin‘s tweet.

He wrote “work won’t love you back.” And as much as I’ve loved the people I’ve worked with, it’s always turned to be correct.

Screenshot of the The tweets that Kevin quoted, referring to work as family but also as being a transaction

Kevin was quoting another Twitter thread where I read “it’s so emotionally damaging when companies self-style their workers as ‘family’. you can have deep emotional connections with your coworkers, if you’re lucky, but don’t forget that work relationships are fundamentally transactional. i hope your family is not.

I don’t consider my workplace to be like family and we aren’t self-styled as such either. But, work is very central in my life: every other week I spend most of my waking time at work (the other week, I am solo parent of a teenager, spending just normal amounts of time at work).

Firstly, I am fortunate to have very deep emotional connections with many of my coworkers, a few of which I even regard as father parent figures, many of which are true models for me, most of which I respect tremendously.

Secondly, we have very little turnover. I’ve worked there for over 22 years and many current colleagues were already in the team when I joined. And we welcome newcomers, not as siblings, but with similar care and attention to their success. As though we have a stake in it –and we do, yes.

Thirdly, we get together (we used to, pre-COVID at least) every now and then and those occasions are always enjoyable and looked forward to by most. Yes, like any other workplaces, there are difficult people who get along with fewer people, or are not interested in making any connections at all. That’s my description of our unusual work environment. In fact, I remember how I described it to my mum a few years into it: it’s like summer camp where you make new great friends and do exciting stuff, but it’s all year-round.

Now, our administrative setup allows us to do our work without a whole lot of competition, without too many frustrations, because we are employed by four different institutions that legally “host” our consortium, and in most of our cases, the people who employ us are not those we take work orders from. I think that makes a world of a difference.

Change is coming. The Hosts arrangement, in place from the start in 1994, has enough drawbacks that for a few years now we have been exploring how to become our own legal entity. This is set to happen on January 1, 2022 2023. When it does, the consortium will have its own bank account, legal and fiduciary obligations, and traditional management powers that we currently do not fully have.

The dynamics are bound to change. While today I (and many others in the team) are moved by the sheer impact our work has on society (HTML –heard of it? CSS, Web accessibility, Internationalization, etc. We are the little known consortium that makes the Web work, for everyone) and the Hosts that employ us provide the best abstraction to shield us from the reality of the transactional nature of work, this is going has the potential to hit us in the face like the train crashing Dr. Woodward’s truck in the movie Super 8!

There is a lot on our plates and most of us overwork because it’s really worth it! I remind myself on occasion that work won’t love me back, but once we are truly as valuable as our ability to make the company money, I wonder how the care will fare.

2 years a bachelorette

Today I’ve been a bachelorette for two years. It’s a fact, not a celebration, not a commemoration, not a homage. This is not a life goal either!

Hand-made envelope of a stapled white folded sheet on which colourful patches form a heart.

I love the idea of love and am happy for those who are in a good relationship. I am not sad that this isn’t my case. In practice, I have accepted that that isn’t for me.

I have had many happy moments in all of my past relationships and I cherish those memories. I am blessed with a selective memory which ensures that I retain hardly any bitterness from the unhappy times.

There isn’t any “yet”. That is all. The anniversary was on my mind because I was reminded of that time years ago when a dear friend of mine had posited that I could never stay single. It may have been the case then, and it may have shaped what I did back then to not stay single. If it was true, it hasn’t been for a while.

List-basing the next 8 months

A few minutes are all that is left of August. Then we’ll pivot into September and for me it’s the beginning of the meh months, which span about 8 months.

But there are three more weeks of summer and that’s what makes September the easiest of the meh months \o/

In order to look forward to them, I am thinking of approaching them with lists of things I want to do.

One of the lists I need to make first is that of the things or activities that bring me joy and satisfaction. Because these don’t make themselves obvious at the times I need them the most!

Another is about the things I will need to do (outside of work, that is, where I am all set with TODOs, reminders, actions, issues, one-on-ones, weekly meetings, fortnightly ones, etc.)

I feel I might need a third list, but I don’t know yet if it’s right, or if it is a subset from list number two. But it’s an important piece and perhaps that’s what warrants a specific list: one area I read want to dig in is keeping imposter’s syndrome at bay and learning to enjoy where I’m at. Here’s what I mean:

1) one has skills without necessarily realising it, and 2) one may not know how to enjoy the place they’re at when they are right where they’ve worked hard to be.

Screenshot of the fitness app showing the illustration for a new move goal

How do you get to name those skills as personal assets? How do you bask in their glory (without becoming a pompous infatuated egomaniac)? And what list to you build for this journey?