Insight of working in a young large web company


#1

Hi guys, glad to meet this awesome site and be able to read all your threads and share my story with you.
So, my story begins with me, being a guy with 30 years old, in an industry that i love, with no degree and yet presented with an opportunity that few had the privilege to achieve - working for a “sexy” IT company that shines in every resume. Im working there for almost 6 months and i have to say, the first 3 months were very good. I was happy, thrilled, feeling productive and getting along very well with my team. The layout of our working environment is an open space filled up with at least 50+ colleagues. The tasks i am working on are purely debugging and fixing problems on our website and infrastructure.

For the last 2 months i have been presented with tasks that even though i felt i was not ready, i still made an effort to prove myself and others that i was capable to deliver and i did it. But because of that i sacrificed a lot. I became more stressful and anxious, making me to distance myself from my colleagues and now im feeling weird around them, exhausted and my mood is dropping by the day. I work along with very young and talented people in their mid 20´s. As you can imagine the workplace seems more like a kindergarten and sometimes for me is very hard to focus. The headaches im having are becoming an issue. Any dumb playful disturbance annoys me and i really dont know what to do. I can´t rely on my team leaders (they contribute a lot with the office noise and allow it) and for what i saw they dont have a support and helpfull way to deal with this kind of situations. I often hear them openly mocking about everyones code and playful blaming everyone by their little mistakes. Even playful, it´s not pleasant. I think it´s their way to show how cool and informal our company is!

Lately im literally shutting down in my world, with my music, googling a lot and trying to get things done. I feel my colleagues are resenting my “behavior” and im beginning to feel set aside. I like my team though.

Well, to summarize this, im learning from this experience, i can´t say otherwise but things are getting exhausting, mental and physical. It´s like you are expected to deliver high quality code while being socially awesome and entertaining all the time! There is no middle ground and if you try to set boundaries, things get weird!

Thank you for reading!


#2

Hi mrekko,

Sorry to hear that things at your job have been changing. I once worked at an agency I thought I was fairly happy at until I eventually realized that I couldn’t mentally/physically thrive there anymore. I’m also an introvert and when I go through a lot of personal issues at home or with family, I tend to withdraw from people more.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and as a result, I found that I’d become snappy with co-workers, was fast to point out mistakes or inefficiencies and basically had no room whatsoever for nonsense that made working more difficult as I had enough on my plate. I needed to have that team sharing, where we learn from one another, collaborate or brain storm. A lot of devs sometimes will keep to themselves and that drives me crazy. I don’t want to be best buddies and I don’t want to go out for lunch, but at the very least, there should be some sort of camaraderie every now and then. At the same time, I hated that high school peer pressure feeling where everyone wants to know your personal business, you have to have something special planned on the weekend to wow people, you’re asked to hang out randomly after work at events that either the job itself planned or co-workers and then you look like the odd one out when you just want to go home and be with your family.

We can’t always be the sunshine in the office that eggs everyone on to the newest code mission and pumps up morale, is the life of the party, and is also some kind of code genius. It’s okay to be your own person and not give into this “frat” feeling at work, that everyone’s gotta be “bros” and do karaoke after work or else they look strange. We all have our own priorities and for me, my family and my personal time are number one 90% of the time over my co-workers and their shenanigans.

Maybe there’s a manager you can talk to? Mention it’s been hard to focus and maybe you can change your shift or work from home sometimes? Also if you do want to socialize with your co-workers, maybe just set some breaks here and there to put down the headphones and have a small chat. Or I always like to grab a co-worker and brainstorm when I’m about to build something new or I’m not sure the best way to go about something. Not always when I get stuck and need help, but getting someone’s else’s insight is cool too. Maybe limiting your conversations to things like that with co-workers will make it easier on you?

I hope things improve for you soon. Take care.


#3

Hi Rachie,

Thank you for your time and response. First of all i would like to say, i truly wish your mother gets better. Does someone in your company knows about that?

Well, i am not by far an introvert person. In fact not a long time ago, i was one of those guys - funny, mysterious and always leading conversations to where i wanted to go and people could also enjoy.

In this company i am now, i feel it´s very easy for a guy in my position (struggling to be a better professional in a “sea of experts” as someone in this forum called it) feeling a little less of himself and adding to all the nonsense and unprofessional behavior i see everyday, i prefer to be on my corner. Conversations and interactions are always superficial and the work itself is carried out by team-leaders and some devs with roughness and with little respect for other people. It´s an environment where i can´t be my true self.

I´m not sure. I feel if i come up with this problem to a manager, he will think of me as not fit for this work. They also contribute with the noise and childish environment and sometimes it even seems they encourage it. Even if they understand my point of view, it would certainly backfire me.

By now, i gave up lunching with my colleagues. I gone rogue.

It´s not that i think of myself as being better than they are, as im sure it´s not your case either, i just don´t have the time or mood to go for a small talk marathon of corny jokes while having a meal. It´s the only time i have during the day to clear my head and hopefully improve my mood.

Thank you again!


#4

[quote=“mrekko, post:3, topic:574”]
I feel if i come up with this problem to a manager, he will think of me as not fit for this work. [/quote]

I used to work for a startup where I was the first employee hired. The co-founders were really smart guys and a little older than me. We got along and it was great to come to work and learn from these guys. I had meaningful conversations with them every day.

Then fast-forward a couple of years later… new employees were hired that were 7-8 years younger and suddenly, I felt like I was working in a kindergarten just like you. They would play video games during office hours and take 3 hour long lunch breaks… and I felt like the grumpy grandpa. I knew the company would fail. There was just no focus. It folded 4 months later.

Put yourself in your manager’s shoes. Would you like to get good honest feedback from your employees if there’s an issue? If you have issues with focus and you feel you can’t be at your best in the office, don’t you think your manager will at least consider what you have to say ?

This is what I would say: “Would you mind if I work from home tuesdays and thursdays ? Sometimes it’s hard for me to focus in the office and I really want to get project X done”

I’ve been in a similar situation. I like going to cafes and restaurants near the office and have lunch by myself sometimes to take a break and unwind.

But I advise that you make an effort to have lunch with your colleagues a couple times a week… to take a pulse of the office. There’s got to be at least one colleague you can talk to.


#5

Thank you about my mom. :smile:

Well even though you say you’re not an introvert, you may have a little in you haha. I tend to like having my alone time to gather my thoughts and at times just calm down as well. Sometimes I just need a break from people. It’s not that I don’t like people, I just can’t overdo it. Especially with deadlines looming, I really don’t like being distracted either.

I agree with moneypatching that if your manager is a good manager, he should appreciate honest feedback. You should be able to be yourself at a company or else you’re in the wrong company. Unfortunately we don’t always get to choose as work is work, and work pays the bills, but ideally, you’d want to be comfortable where you work.

Maybe you can put aside two times out of the week where you’ll allow yourself to joke around with your co-workers. Just to feel part of that culture if you do want to get involved or perhaps there’s a co-worker somewhere who’s more like-minded and the two of you can bond over not being as distracting as the other guys haha. I do think there’s a time to goof off and then there’s crunch time. If might be useful to evaluate too if you’re getting stressed over deadlines that aren’t as tight as you think. Is it possible the other guys goof off because they actually have the time or are they just not very good employees? Haha if it’s the latter, you don’t want to follow in their foot steps and instead, hopefully serve as a role model. At the very least, at your performance review, they can say, hey mrekko’s a guy who gets things done versus the guy who hangs out by the cooler talking about SNL or whatever.

Hope things have improved. Take care.