DIDN’T GO

Life at times can be very ironic. In the past, I’ve written several posts, including my last post, about heading to work to pick up my personal items. Well, it turns out that I woke up this morning with a bit of a stuffy nose. It was very mild and there was no mucous involved, as you might have if you had a cold.

Since mid-March, I have not experienced anything close to have a stuffy nose, but today, the day I was supposed to go into work, my left sinus had a bit of congestion. So, I faced a bit of a dilemma. The instructions from work state that no employee should come into the studio if you have any of the following symptoms: cough, trouble breathing, fever, congestion, nausea, diarrhea, and some others. I find the diarrhea one odd. Diarrhea is fairly common in my opinion and it can be caused by many things other than a virus.

Anyways, I did have a bit of nasal congestion and if I wanted to follow the instructions to a tee, I should not have gone in today to get my stuff. So, out of an abundance of caution, I stayed home today. I felt fine otherwise and by the early evening, the congestion was gone.

I don’t regret being careful. Being careful should be the norm these days. I wish more people were more cautious. Luckily, there are a few more spots next week where I can come get my stuff. I was able to re-book for next Wednesday.

GOING TO WORK

I’m scheduled tomorrow to go to work to pack up and transport home my personal items. I have not been to the studio for about five months now. I already know it will be surreal to see everything when I get there. I know that the studio will look different than the last time I saw it. It will feel familiar to be back but at the same time it will feel strange.

I’m still undecided about bringing my work chair back home with me. My home chair isn’t great but it isn’t terrible either. If I do bring it home, I will eventually need to bring it back, which is a hassle.

Disregarding the chair for a moment, I believe I’ll be able to fit all my belongings in two banker boxes. I don’t have a lot of stuff. Not sure where I’ll put all of it when I get home but that’s something I’ll have to figure out.

I’m looking forward to seeing the studio tomorrow. It will be odd.

A LITTLE INDULGENCE

This morning, I pre-ordered the Pixel 4a, which Google announced today, after months of false starts and speculation. Though the phone was officially announced today, it won’t actually ship to me for another 40 days or so. I think I can count on one hand the number of products that I’ve pre-ordered in my entire life. This isn’t the type of thing I usually do.

I debated with myself whether or not to wait until the phone was actually available to buy it, or even wait for its first discount to purchase it. I guess I should explain why I even considered getting a new phone. My current phone is a Nokia 8 which I purchased around 2017. While it performs most of the necessary functions I require from a phone on a daily basis, it definitely has degraded from the day it arrived in the mail. The camera does not work great. When I want to take a photo, it frequently is out of focus. The view finder shows the image as all wavy, as if we’re watching a cheap TV show where we’re doing a flashback to a previous episode. Luckily, the plastic camera lens cover on the back of my phone fell off almost a year ago, so the two rear cameras are totally exposed to the elements now. I learned a few months ago, that if the camera gets all wavy, if I press my finger against one of the camera lenses directly, it sorta resets them and the waviness is fixed for at least one photo. What a janky way to take a photo.

The mic is also screwed up intermittently. Sometimes I’ll make a call and all the other person will hear is static. They can’t hear my voice at all. This can be problematic when I need to talk to the bank or some governmental agency.

Lastly, the phone is no longer getting active support from Nokia. It received two years of meaningful updates but Nokia is now only releasing security patches every three to four months. The last security patch will arrive in October of this year.

For the last few months, I’ve held back on my personal discretionary spending. We live in very uncertain times and it just seemed smart to not go crazy with impulses buys for things I didn’t absolutely need. I don’t regret that strategy but today, I allowed myself a small indulgence and I think that’s ok.

DOUBLE SHIFTING

My team at work is going to divide us into two shifts starting next week. There will be a “day shift”, which will be from 10am to 6pm and then a “night shift”, which will be from 1pm to 9pm. This will be done to increase the number of hours that engineering will be available to fix a bug if QA finds one.

I’ve been on teams that have done this before and it’s generally well-received. There’s always several engineers who prefer to start their work day later, so this is great for them. We’ve been given a sign-up sheet where we can state our preferences for the next month or so. I don’t really have a preference this time around. I’m fine with either. I’m just glad we don’t have to work too much OT.

If we do have to work some OT, I’ve now been added to my team’s Uber Eats business account. Should I need to work late, I can now order food via Uber Eats, and my meal charged to the business account, rather than my personal account. That’s quite convenient. I’m hoping to not need to use that account too many times but at least it’s there. The budget is $25, which isn’t a whole lot but at least it will get you something.

ALMOST DONE

As many of you know, I am working on FIFA 21 this year. My portion of the game that I’m responsible for is almost done now. Most of the bugs have been fixed, though I’d expect QA to find a few more in the next week or so. Those will get addressed in short order.

The majority of this game was completed while everyone was working from home. I’ve never shipped a game in a remote working situation before. I’ve also never had to finish a game while under a global pandemic. Obviously, this has been new to all of us. The finish line is somewhat in sight but we have a bit more work to do. I am ready to be done this game though.

MOVEMENT

I understand that this is a great time of uncertainty for many people in terms of employment. Many have lost jobs or had their employment reduced in some capacity. For those who still have their jobs, it may seem like a logical choice to just hunker down and wait out the pandemic, I have seen some surprising amount of movement across companies, at least locally, in the video game industry.

In just the last two weeks, I was made aware of at least five people who left the company I work for. All five were pretty senior and for four of these people, they had been at the company for more than a decade. As far as I know, they all left voluntarily for new roles at new companies. I know where two of them went, both local studios, while I’m still trying to discern where the other three went.

I know it’s different for every single person and depends on many different factors, but at least from what I’ve seen, the pandemic has not slowed down job mobility in our industry. People continue to move between companies. It’s quite amazing to see and a testament perhaps to the nature of our work and the ability for us to do it almost anywhere.

I don’t expect this to be the last I hear of people moving, either away or to our local studios.

HOT

I’m not going to consult any weather records but I’ll just go and assume it was the hottest day of the year so far on Sunday. I was outside just briefly today but I started sweating almost immediately. The sun went down hours ago but it’s still hovering around 26 degrees Celsius in my bedroom right now. That is hot.

Still, I am not complaining. This is what summer is all about. It’s much better than winter in my books and while it might hot now, the colder weather is right around the corner. It’s nearly August and that will be the last hurrah of warm weather for 2020.

CRAVINGS

This week I got cravings for pizza again. I stopped seeking out pizza more than a month ago when I realized it was making me fat. It’s so delicious though. Leftover pizza is also so easy to re-heat, convenient to eat, and still delicious. Maybe I’ll fall of the wagon this weekend and succumb to my pizza desires.

While we’re on the topic of food, I finally had a Chicken McMuffin this week. It was disappointing. I believe most of my disappointment stems from how poorly made my sandwich was. They did put enough mayo in it. My chicken was also dry. The lack of mayo and the dry chicken led to a dry sandwich overall. Personally, I think a breakfast sandwich needs a slight amount of grease to make it tasty. Also, it really needs an egg in the sandwich. That would put it over the top in terms of being a fantastic breakfast sandwich.

So yeah, I’ll probably eat unhealthy things this weekend.