This post is part of a series describing what Automatticians do on a daily basis. You can read more posts like this by following the tag #a8cday on WordPress.com and Twitter.

7:30 AM:  This is when I intend to get up.  If I set the coffee pot to brew the night before, I often manage to meet this intention.  By get up I mean get out of bed, get coffee, and then go back to bed to drink it and play with my phone.  This time is a mix of catching up on Slack, reading P2 posts, reading Facebook and playing Frozen Free Fall.  The exact mix changes day to day.

9:00 AM:  I am almost always out of bed at this time.  I make breakfast, get more coffee, head toward my desk to do getting ready for the day things: Check the ticket queue and chat schedule, look at my calendar to finish planning my day, etc.

10:00 AM:  Chat time.  Our main focus for support right now is live text chat with our users.  If you have a question about a WordPress.com site and you have one of our upgrade plans, getting help almost certianly means you will text with me or one of my co-workers.  I am mostly focused on tickets (e-mail support)  at the moment so I tend to do two hours of chat a day.  Other HEs do more like five.  This changes based on what our users needs, what my team needs, what I’m able to focus on at the time.  Being open to change is key to being a happy Happiness Engineer!

12:00 Noon:  The early afternoon is my flex time.  Today I have a chat with one of my co-workers, a one on one chat with one of our business users.  Somedays I have team meetings, or a meeting with my team lead during this time.  This is also the time I use to write blog posts for our internal P2s, investigate bugs, shower, eat lunch or go to the gym.

3:00 PM:  This is the time I focus on tickets.  Our users with paid upgrades, but no plans can get help via email, and if a user responds to a receipt, their question goes to the email queue.  When chat is full, users also have the option to send an email.  I like to finish my day with tickets, because they require a little less energy (for me) than chat so even though I’m fresher in the morning, I can get through a lot of tickets in the last hours of the day.

5:30 PM:  I’m mostly done for the day by this time.  If I went to the gym during the day, or things are really busy, or I slept late, I will finish up after dinner, but most days not.  I also tend to read Slack and P2s again before I go to sleep, but I’m working on letting those wait until the morning.

What about weekends?

WordPress.com users don’t take weekends off from their sites, so it’s important that we have Happiness Engineers around to help.  It’s also important that we have time to be with our friends and family and take care of regular life stuff.  We work together to balance those needs.  Some HEs work weekends as part of their regular schedule (not because they were told to, but because they chose to). The rest of us split up the rest of the weekend work that needs to be done.  Sometimes that means working a little bit most weekends, or putting in one or two full weekend days per month (in exchange for a weekday)–it all depends on what works for you and what your team needs.  It’s not always easy to balance, but we care deeply about both goals so we work together to get it right.

Sound like your kind of gig?  We are hiring! 

Posted by:Maureen Carruthers

Smart. Kind. Funny. At least that's the goal. I care about encouraging girls to consider STEM careers, helping nonprofits be the best they can be, cats, and German-style boardgames.

One thought on “A Day in the Life

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