Are You the Hero?

Are You the Hero?

Are You the Hero?

The year is 2019. You sit in your car for 35 minutes going 30mph on a dirty freeway every Monday through Friday morning. You listen to an audio book about 'the hustle' narrated by a 'hustler'. You dream of your measly equity and a future reality where the startup you work at gets "big".

The year is 2019. You sit in your car for 35 minutes going 30mph on a dirty freeway every Monday through Friday morning. You listen to an audio book about 'the hustle' narrated by a 'hustler'. You dream of your measly equity and a future reality where the startup you work at gets "big".

The year is 2019. You sit in your car for 35 minutes going 30mph on a dirty freeway every Monday through Friday morning. You listen to an audio book about 'the hustle' narrated by a 'hustler'. You dream of your measly equity and a future reality where the startup you work at gets "big".

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It’s 9am

It’s 9am

It’s 9am

You wake up. Reach down to your phone. Glasses off, brain off, in that dimension between wild sleep fantasy and mundane cocoa pebbles breakfast. Notifications. You read some work emails first. The dread sets in. Four meetings await you. You know some designers will want you to review their work as soon as you get to your desk. A slick modal interaction beckons for your time. Jira needs updating. Engineers will be waiting with 8+ slack messages about an icon and you have to schedule 10 participants for your teams next user testing session. Plus, set up this afternoon’s testing session with someone who has yet to respond to your emails. It’s 9am, in that dimension between wild sleep fantasy and mundane cocoa pebbles breakfast…


And this is just work stuff. 


Not to mention all the people stuff, political stuff ( office and otherwise ), and family stuff going on. And then, remember your watch list on ebay, those father john misty tickets that go on sale at noon, you got a DnD session tonight ( gotta avoid that shambling mound… and your warlock is cursed ), and you need cat 😼 food too. 


Rinse. Repeat. 

You wake up. Reach down to your phone. Glasses off, brain off, in that dimension between wild sleep fantasy and mundane cocoa pebbles breakfast. Notifications. You read some work emails first. The dread sets in. Four meetings await you. You know some designers will want you to review their work as soon as you get to your desk. A slick modal interaction beckons for your time. Jira needs updating. Engineers will be waiting with 8+ slack messages about an icon and you have to schedule 10 participants for your teams next user testing session. Plus, set up this afternoon’s testing session with someone who has yet to respond to your emails. It’s 9am, in that dimension between wild sleep fantasy and mundane cocoa pebbles breakfast…


And this is just work stuff. 


Not to mention all the people stuff, political stuff ( office and otherwise ), and family stuff going on. And then, remember your watch list on ebay, those father john misty tickets that go on sale at noon, you got a DnD session tonight ( gotta avoid that shambling mound… and your warlock is cursed ), and you need cat 😼 food too. 


Rinse. Repeat. 

You wake up. Reach down to your phone. Glasses off, brain off, in that dimension between wild sleep fantasy and mundane cocoa pebbles breakfast. Notifications. You read some work emails first. The dread sets in. Four meetings await you. You know some designers will want you to review their work as soon as you get to your desk. A slick modal interaction beckons for your time. Jira needs updating. Engineers will be waiting with 8+ slack messages about an icon and you have to schedule 10 participants for your teams next user testing session. Plus, set up this afternoon’s testing session with someone who has yet to respond to your emails. It’s 9am, in that dimension between wild sleep fantasy and mundane cocoa pebbles breakfast…


And this is just work stuff. 


Not to mention all the people stuff, political stuff ( office and otherwise ), and family stuff going on. And then, remember your watch list on ebay, those father john misty tickets that go on sale at noon, you got a DnD session tonight ( gotta avoid that shambling mound… and your warlock is cursed ), and you need cat food too. 


Rinse. Repeat. 

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Thinking Back...

Thinking Back...

When you first started this job, you fought for a lot of things. You established a design system, lead the way in tackling accessibility, spearheaded a user testing cadence and program….all in under a year while re-designing the core bread and butter application. All this seems impossible and it probably was. But you fought for a lot of things. You really did. You really wanted to be that design hero. Fighting for 'process', 'respect' and all that good stuff.


So how did you get stuck? Why now are you scolded for lack of effort or questioned about how much you care about your team? 


You?  You point your finger at your chest, squint your eyes and stare out the plate glass window towards the lush green hills outside. Think Jonathan.


The guy who doesn’t take a vacation. The guy who makes the icons even though it seems like a waste of his skill/time/knowledge. The guy who sets others up to win… The guy who was always willing to help. The guy who takes no credit. The guy who sacraficed his relationship just to work more and 'succeed' in the tech world.


You?

When you first started this job, you fought for a lot of things. You established a design system, lead the way in tackling accessibility, spearheaded a user testing cadence and program….all in under a year while re-designing the core bread and butter application. All this seems impossible and it probably was. But you fought for a lot of things. You really did. You really wanted to be that design hero. Fighting for 'process', 'respect' and all that good stuff.


So how did you get stuck? Why now are you scolded for lack of effort or questioned about how much you care about your team? 


You?  You point your finger at your chest, squint your eyes and stare out the plate glass window towards the lush green hills outside. Think Jonathan.


The guy who doesn’t take a vacation. The guy who makes the icons even though it seems like a waste of his skill/time/knowledge. The guy who sets others up to win… The guy who was always willing to help. The guy who takes no credit. The guy who sacraficed his relationship just to work more and 'succeed' in the tech world.


You?

When you first started this job, you fought for a lot of things. You established a design system, lead the way in tackling accessibility, spearheaded a user testing cadence and program….all in under a year while re-designing the core bread and butter application. All this seems impossible and it probably was. But you fought for a lot of things. You really did. You really wanted to be that design hero. Fighting for 'process', 'respect' and all that good stuff.


So how did you get stuck? Why now are you scolded for lack of effort or questioned about how much you care about your team? 


You?  You point your finger at your chest, squint your eyes and stare out the plate glass window towards the lush green hills outside. Think Jonathan.


The guy who doesn’t take a vacation. The guy who makes the icons even though it seems like a waste of his skill/time/knowledge. The guy who sets others up to win… The guy who was always willing to help. The guy who takes no credit. The guy who sacraficed his relationship just to work more and 'succeed' in the tech world.


You?

TOP

"This Above All Else To Thine Own Self Be True" William Shakespeare

"This Above All Else To Thine Own Self Be True" William Shakespeare

"This Above All Else To Thine Own Self Be True" William Shakespeare

BOTTOM
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You Reach Your Hand Into Your Pocket and Pull Out Some Lint and an Old Lottery Ticket

You Reach Your Hand Into Your Pocket and Pull Out Some Lint and an Old Lottery Ticket

One year and 15lbs after you were hired, what do you have to show for it?

  • A laundry list of complaints from your CPO
  • Petty things
  • A handful of friends and maybe a gigabyte of new knowledge
  • Five nice memories
  • One hundred and one arguments over a trivial design element
  • A dead-end career and the disdain of the top brass

One year and 15lbs after you were hired, what do you have to show for it?

  • A laundry list of complaints from your CPO
  • Petty things
  • A handful of friends and maybe a gigabyte of new knowledge
  • Five nice memories
  • One hundred and one arguments over a trivial design element
  • A dead-end career and the disdain of the top brass

One year and 15lbs after you were hired, what do you have to show for it?

  • A laundry list of complaints from your CPO
  • Petty things
  • A handful of friends and maybe a gigabyte of new knowledge
  • Five nice memories
  • One hundred and one arguments over a trivial design element
  • A dead-end career and the disdain of the top brass
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No Exit

I firmly believe I’m the best there is at what I do. I bring knowledge, deep thinking and years of skill to the field. So how can this happen, Sartre?

I firmly believe I’m the best there is at what I do. I bring knowledge, deep thinking and years of skill to the field. So how can this happen, Sartre?

I firmly believe I’m the best there is at what I do. I bring knowledge, deep thinking and years of skill to the field. So how can this happen, Sartre?

"Consciousness is not alone in the world. It must accommodate itself with other minds, which are also fighting to exist." - Sartre

"Consciousness is not alone in the world. It must accommodate itself with other minds, which are also fighting to exist." - Sartre

"Consciousness is not alone in the world. It must accommodate itself with other minds, which are also fighting to exist." - Sartre

Sartre famously wrote that “hell is other people”.  


Actually, he wrote it like this:HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!” ← there might be a reason for that

Sartre famously wrote that “hell is other people”.  


Actually, he wrote it like this:HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!” ← there might be a reason for that

Sartre famously wrote that “hell is other people”.  


Actually, he wrote it like this: “HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!” ← there might be a reason for that

TOP

Sometimes I think that the most noble pathways in life are the hardest to do.

Sometimes I think that the most noble pathways in life are the hardest to do.

BOTTOM

Sartre wanted to illustrate the difficult coexistence of people: the fact that others – and their gaze – is what alienates and locks you in a particular kind of being. It deprives you of your freedom. You can try all you want to control your actions, your words, your efforts…but it still all depends on how it is perceived by the other. Most people can never escape being influenced by what they imagine everyone else is thinking of them. He asserted that we cannot really know ourselves without taking into account how we are regarded by others. This sucks because we want to define ourselves.


And maybe this was my mistake. I try to be myself. I disagreed with the bosses in wrong places. I stood by my beliefs however rough they were. I challenged and changed through sheer personal will and staying true to myself. Maybe this makes people afraid. The ones who play the office political games. The ones who aren’t spiritual warriors. The ones who use manipulation and social influence. Maybe for a brief moment they saw that you can try to escape the gaze, the judgment, the hell… Maybe that made them envious. Made them desire what I had. It made them want to knock me down a peg, force their gaze/judgement on me. Or maybe they misunderstood me. Miscommunication is responsible for 100% of all errors in judgement. Maybe our wires got crossed somewhere and we just pulled the knots tighter by struggling with them like those crappy Apple wired headphones. Maybe I said something somewhere and I shouldn’t have. Maybe I should have a better filter. Maybe there's another way to be the hero. Maybe it was one or more or even all of these things….


Or maybe they just hate my smile...

Sartre wanted to illustrate the difficult coexistence of people: the fact that others – and their gaze – is what alienates and locks you in a particular kind of being. It deprives you of your freedom. You can try all you want to control your actions, your words, your efforts…but it still all depends on how it is perceived by the other. Most people can never escape being influenced by what they imagine everyone else is thinking of them. He asserted that we cannot really know ourselves without taking into account how we are regarded by others. This sucks because we want to define ourselves.


And maybe this was my mistake. I try to be myself. I disagreed with the bosses in wrong places. I stood by my beliefs however rough they were. I challenged and changed through sheer personal will and staying true to myself. Maybe this makes people afraid. The ones who play the office political games. The ones who aren’t spiritual warriors. The ones who use manipulation and social influence. Maybe for a brief moment they saw that you can try to escape the gaze, the judgment, the hell… Maybe that made them envious. Made them desire what I had. It made them want to knock me down a peg, force their gaze/judgement on me. Or maybe they misunderstood me. Miscommunication is responsible for 100% of all errors in judgement. Maybe our wires got crossed somewhere and we just pulled the knots tighter by struggling with them like those crappy Apple wired headphones. Maybe I said something somewhere and I shouldn’t have. Maybe I should have a better filter. Maybe there's another way to be the hero. Maybe it was one or more or even all of these things….


Or maybe they just hate my smile...

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© 2022 Jonathan Brazeau

© 2022 Jonathan Brazeau

© 2022 Jonathan Brazeau

© 2022 Jonathan Brazeau