Reflecting On My Sabbatical

Last week I returned to work at Automattic following a paid three month sabbatical. Yep, you heard that right. Everyone at our company is entitled to take a two to three month period off following their five year anniversary (which I hit at the end of November).

It’s an amazing benefit that I must admit I felt a bit guilty about taking. No one in my life has ever experienced or been offered such an opportunity.

At first I felt a bit lost about how to use the time. I’d arranged it to be at the holidays so sure, I had plenty of things on my to do list to keep me busy. But I felt like I should use the time to give back to others in some way because I was so fortunate to have the time. While I did find ways to help others where I could, I never ended up doing substantial volunteering like I thought I might. The time passed quickly due to the holidays, my son staying home sick a few times, work on our house we had planned, and a few small trips.

While I felt guilty about this at first, I realized I accomplished something far more needed at the time.

I put myself first for once.

The Future of Customer Support Depends on YOU

How many of you have heard people or companies refer to Customer Support as a cost center? How many of you have felt like your requests for more resources for your support teams weren’t valued or taken seriously? How many of you have heard that Customer Support isn’t a career?

I’m going to take a chance and say – all of you.

Go ahead… raise your hand… you know I’m right

Now, how many of you actually believe any of that? How many of you believe there is more to support teams than solving customer problems? How many of you see opportunities in your company you could have an impact on passing you by because you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to it?

Yes Kristen, those of us active in the support community or who have been doing this work a few years know and believe all of this. So what? There’s only so much in our control!

While I agree that’s completely fair to say, I also think there is more we can do and I’m going to tell you how.