Back in 2023 I had the worst 24 hours for a long time. It feels weird writing about this since when I look back it’s just so completely insane that everything happened like it did. I’m trying to be as eloquent as possible but it’s hard for reasons you’ll read.

I’ve redacted everything I can, $work is whatever job I was working at at the time, while not impossible to find out where it’s not worth it.

It all started at around 5pm on a Thursday (it wasn’t) I started my coding test for $work a semi simple application that takes some photos does some processing no big deal. Side note: shame on $work for trying to get a free solution out of interviewees. I spent a few hours on it, was happy with the result committed it to Github, sent if off and went about the rest of my day. I cooked food for us both and watched tv for the rest of the evening.

When I went to bed I couldn’t sleep, my brain wouldn’t shut down I had this anxiety in my chest that something was wrong, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t actually completed the $work test, I’d missed some vital part of the instructions. I got up and went downstairs to the lounge, opened my laptop and quickly finished the test off. Thankfully I sent it off late enough that no one was going to evaluate it at that time so I could push my changes and forget about it. I was relieved but still agitated so went back to bed and tried to get some sleep.

I got a random phone call around 5am, it somehow managed to get through Androids “Do Not Disturb” mode, I didn’t think much at the time as I was so tired, I just swiped it off and went back to sleep. When I eventually woke up I checked my phone and I had a voice mail. Fuck. I knew that number and I knew what it was about. As I went to listen to the voicemail I broke out into tears, I didn’t need to know what the nice lady was going to say. Our cat Snowy was dead. I listened to the message and broke the news to my partner. We both sat together and cried mourning the loss. We don’t really know what happened other than he was taken to the emergency vets where he passed away.

My partner went off to work (I wish she hadn’t) and I decided that wouldn’t be going to $place for the team retro, I didn’t want to travel and no one wants to see a grown man cry over the death of his cat. My team were lovely and completely understood, I ended up spending the day on the video call they set up. Things should have ended there but they didn’t. I was applying to $work because of issues I was having at $work, a story for another time if I ever feel like it is I was being bullied by $someone and my position had become untenable. It was during that long video retro that $person decided to be extra special and go to town on me in front my colleagues. I messaged my PM and pointed them to the Slack thread and politely said I’m done for the day and signed off. I was angry, sad and disappointed. I hadn’t quite decided that I was serious about moving jobs but that cemented it.

I spent the rest of the day in a haze, it was horrible everything that could have gone wrong did and there was just no escaping how horrible the entire thing was. I was glad for the day to be over.

I learnt a lot in that 24 hours, it’ll forever stick in my head just how crazy things can get.

I quit $work not long after and moved to $work which itself was a mistake. As part of my exit interview I outlined everything $person had done, the 6 month delayed promotion, the missing salary and the bullying. At the end of the call the HR lady said she’d only been there a few weeks so I said good luck and ended the call. There are some amazing people at $work and I still miss them.

I’m finally happy at $work it’s not perfect but nowhere ever is but I’m enjoying it which if you now me in real life is something I say very rarely.

We still have Lilly who’s Snowys half-sister and Shadow. Both cats are awesome and we love them even more.

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