Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On Leaving Wiki

If there’s one thing my time spent here at the Wikimedia Foundation has taught me, it’s that nerds have no shame about taking the loudest, nastiest-sounding shits I’ve ever encountered. Nine out of ten who relieve themselves in the stall next to the one with the big window that I habitually lay claim over at approximately 11:13 every morning do so with a near-epic level of accompanying flatulence and splatter sound effects. I’ve seen residual toilet bowl streaks every color of the rainbow, and I can’t believe these people who take such abnormal poops don’t wait after they flush to make sure any embarrassing remnant has washed away. It’s baffling.

Of course, there does lurk below this observation another concern, which is: why am I so secretive and dignified about something that doesn’t really deserve a huge amount of discretion? If everyone is taking horrific craps, shouldn’t I be down with following suit? Is anyone sitting in the stall next to me ever thinking “now there’s a guy who poops silently. Hot damn.”

Troubling, to be sure. Let’s blame it on St. Francis again.

But back to Wiki. I can recall a morning in February when I stumbled into this place an eager, wide-eyed naif. I aimed to prove myself and land a job, and while I earned Jay’s favor, the job part didn’t work out. I can’t much help the fact that I’m not willing to move to India or Brazil for a Communications position - never mind that I don’t even speak the languages. And so I sat here and wrote. And edited. And organized and efficiencized and used the label maker to a near-extreme degree. Large photos hang on the wall where I wanted them to hang, and banners ban where I wanted them to ban. The entire merchandising system runs the way it does because I was all “oh no you didn’t!” when I saw how it worked previously, and 2011’s forthcoming Annual Report is going to read extra delightfully in certain segments because I’ve proved trustworthy enough to pen entire 200-word segments of the document. Yay for me.

What I think I’m getting at here is that this internship experience has primarily functioned to make me confident in my ability to walk around a legitimate work setting and actively contribute to its output. With Apple, the system was set up such that a monkey could do my job - and the monkey could probably do it better because I don’t think monkeys feel shame to quite such an acute degree as humans.

Plus I really enjoy feeling guiltless about the work I contribute to. Spreading free knowledge to the entire population of the globe? Yes, please.

I’ll miss it all, that’s for sure. Part of me feels like this is one of the final bastions shielding my young-adult existence from the epic reality of full-on adult life. God knows they’ve got enough M&Ms and free pop around here.

When I do leave, a week or two or whenever from now, it’s going to be a proud departure. Because this is one opportunity I took maximum advantage of here in SF, and it’s largely kept me afloat.

No comments: