1 year on

So, today is my 1 year anniversary of working at Reading Room. Holy moly, what a year.

This is a l-o-n-g post, but c’mon, a lot can happen in a year.

I wanted to write up some quick thoughts about my year here, I ended up bullet-pointing a load of things I’ve done, or memories I’ve got.


  • First project was working on a project that was fully redesigned a year later. This intranet went live a couple of weeks ago, close to my 1 year anniversary.


  • Worked on SKODA, became obsessed with metrics and Google Analytics real time. SKODA is a big amazing account to work on, there are factory-imposed limitations which means we work hard to fit in with their guides, but also get the best experience for our UK market. This was equal parts stressful and awesome. (and being called a “UX expert” and getting praised by one of the UK SKODA leaders – total highlight!)


  • Took part in so many poker games, went to so many new starters parties, so many gallery nights – RR is so social. It’s like being with friends and family, and we love to make the company a great place to spend time. I’ve lost so much money at poker (I’m crap..), I’ve experienced so many new starters parties (“garden party”, “curry night”, “cocktail night” – all just end up with everyone crammed on the balcony laughing all evening), and I’m so proud of the RR Gallery – awesome central London gallery space, we’ve exhibited some brilliant work and helped some good causes.


  • Spent the summer evenings on the roof terrace – a central London roof terrace is such a treat. We use ours a lot.


  • Watching Euro football on the roof – beer, champagne, pizzas, friends – what’s not to like.


  • Singing “Call Me Maybe” to the MD while drunk – not in a dodgy way, but it was accompanied by the Abercrombie & Fitch models YouTube video, which made it a bit more dodgy.


  • Kept the Carlisle (aka Meeting Room C) in business – this is our local pub, and it’s safe to say they keep us plied with Jagerbombs in the summer, and we keep them in business.


  • Learned that its okay to be hungover at work – I’m actually pretty productive!


  • Worked with a dream client on a project were everyone liked each other; worked on a nightmare project where everyone hated each other. This is industry life, it’s not all roses, but when things go well, it’s the best place to be.


  • Serenaded the receptionist on a daily basis – I will sing along to almost everything. Sometimes she’ll get a little dance off me too. (note: not a lapdance)


  • Got stuck in the basement lift – bringing up Christmas decorations with some of the guys, one of whom accidentally pressed the Stop button. Getting stuck down there = not a great life experience, but a damn funny one.


  • Over-decorated the division for Christmas – this was my first time of decorating an office space for Christmas, so we Went. To. Town. Somewhere between a Santa’s Grotto and a drag queen show. Sparkly!


  • Paris! So much in Paris! The patient Eurostar staff and passengers, the restaurant with unlimited booze, the circle of trust. Paris was our Christmas trip – 90-odd Roomies on a Eurostar with too much booze, getting to Gare-du-Nord and everyone scattering like kittens, the restaurant with the dancing. Saw some sights too, apparently.


  • Accidental drunken nights ending up in G-A-Y and Heaven – when G-A-Y won’t let us in because we’re too drunk, schlepping over to Heaven sounds like an ideal plan.


  • Getting a hug off Margaret Manning first time I met her – one of the top business people in the world, is such a lovely woman.


  • Feeling like I truly fit in. Reading Room brings together such great people. I’m not going to be arrogant and say I’m great therefore I fit in, I’m going to let you figure that out by yourself.


  • Having a myriad of job titles that I give myself – I like to think I’m a UX Consultant, but I get to throw my hat into all areas of work – design, front end development, back end development, heck I fixed my broken computer once, just call me SysAdmin! (turns out the cable fell out.. but I fixed it all by myself!).


  • R Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest” being overplayed. Those people know who they are.


  • Eating more cake than I knew I was possible. Think you’re a cake addict? Try working here. It’s a wonder we’re not all mega fatties.


  • Walking out in the afternoon having a stressy wobble and declaring I’m going to quit, buying cake and realising I don’t want to quit.


With the last point, I think it could be applied to anything in life. Or life itself. At Reading Room, I’ve had space to grow, I’ve had encouragement to succeed, I’ve had support when I need it.


That leads me nicely to one of my favourite quotes – “without the bitter, the sweet ain’t as sweet.“. 


P.S. Read more about what my days are like on the Reading Room blog – A day in the life of a UX-er!

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