Morale was low at the company due to one of our employees becoming very somber when she was at work. Given how small the team was, this was a pretty critical problem so the co-founders decided to speak to her.

read more

1. Please tell me the feedback you have for me stretching back the last few months. What can I do better, what could we change for you to be happier ta Coursicle, etc.
2. We had our discussion on August 5th. Why didn't you feel you could bring up this stuff at that time? (this threw me off, because I thought the air was cleared but clearly it wasn't)
    1. Somber at work vs outside of work.
    2. Not engaged in teaching moments. 
3. How have you been feeling about the current tasks you've been given and their difficulty for you? 

My feedback: 
1. On August 5th I gave you the feedback that I'd like you to be more inquisitive and soak up information rather than just taking the minimum required, but I haven't really seen any change in you. 
    1. I'd like to see you have a lot more interest and curiosity in the aspects of Coursicle that you don't know about. I want to have someone who is interested because they might want to start their own company and do this one day or run some other startup's marketing or tech team.
    2. For instance on July 16th, our server went down, and Jiyu and Alice asked all about it, but you took out your headphones and put them back in. This is representative of what happens when I am talking to them and you're around. 
2. Part of what I'm looking for is someone who is excited to learn about all aspects of Coursicle: server management, development, business 
    1. When I talk to you about this stuff, you do just seem to have the attitude of "why is he telling me", rather than being engaged. Alice, Jiyu, and Monty especially all ask a lot more questions than you during my explanation for things.
    2. She felt that way when she joined, and it has waned. Is waining fixable, is it boring, or because she had expectations? 
    3. We'll come back  to this. [redacted] has something she wants to say. 
    4. Didn't feel like she's signing onto Coursicle as an engineer.
    5. college comparison tool. 
    6. She doesn't feel like that will fulfill her in the long term.
3. Starting on August 6th, I've decided that I'm going to have higher expectations for you:
    1. I'm expecting you to finish your goals every week 
        1. Have business meetings, include them in their goals. 
        2. Communicate with me when you're not finishing your goals. 
    2. I'm expecting you to be able to handle software development working mostly on your own, asking me when you're stuck. 
        1. Won't be able to ask questions immediately because of the trauma, but that will improve.
    3. I'm expecting you to be much more engaged in hearing about Coursicle's operations (both tech and business). 
        1. Yes. 
4. If you feel like you can handle a task that previously you asked me to do, then you should ask me. 
    1. She agrees. 

1. We're going to stabilize now. And once Tara is finished with applications, then Tara and Joe will have discussion about future of Coursicle. 
    1. [redacted] and joe (mainly Joe) will start looking for full-time engineer hire, whether it's a future replacement for [redacted] or it's someone we add to the team. 
2. [redacted] feels very comfortable leaving. 

Send [redacted] the expectations that I have for her moving forward (point 3). Send it via email. 

College comparison flop: 
* Certainly lack of initiative in 2019. Reasons she couldn't feel like she couldn't hit the ground running. She felt like working independently, redesigning job post page. Initial phase for coming up with college comparison tool might look like. (Joe needs to give better). 
    * Trashed what she had done. 
    * That day August 5th, at some point I just bucketed her as someone who couldn't handle that she couldn't work on it independently. She would have rather known real-time transparency. 
* Working at a two person company, is tough for her.
    * Just working with one person every day. 
    * No permanent space. 
    * Regulating water drinking to go piss every day. 
    * How frustrated she is that Tara and I are such are such a unit, and I respect Tara's opinion a lot. And Joe doesn't respect [redacted]'s opinion, as much. 
    * Early on, that I didn't trust her to proofread her emails. 
    * You want an engineer and she doesn't want to be an engineer. 

Gave her the feedback that it shouldn't take 2 months. Didn't express it was taking too long to do it. 

1. When we were meeting with Carlos, the potential hire, you seemed to understand nothing about our roadmap, which frustrated me, because you were with Tara and me when we created it. And you didn't seem bothered by not knowing it, and after the meeting you didn't ask about it. It made us look bad and you didn't seem to be bothered. 
    1. She thinks it was sprung on her. But after I said that she was there for the conversation and that she's been actively sent it in every weekly email, Tara agrees she should have known. 
2. July 16th, 2019: [redacted] has been doing a good job at executing things, but she is lacking in curiosity. When things go wrong, she does not express interest in fully understanding what went wrong and how we can make sure it doesn't happen again. This contracts greatly with Alice/Jiyu, who are always asking questions about things, like today when the server went down, they wanted to understand why, whereas [redacted] only listened for a couple seconds and then continued working, and she doesn't ask questions. We may want to talk to her about this, because she's not growing if she doesn't listen/ask questions.
    1. Tara and [redacted] agree that she should have done better here.  
3. On August 12th, you were still somber and not really engaging with the interns. It still felt like me and the interns and you were off to the side, not laughing out loud, etc. I asked you briefly after work how you were doing, and you said "fine!" and I asked if you felt like you've been quiet and you said "oh, I don't think so". 
    1. She thought I was asking about while she was walking. Not an immediate change. 
4. August 13th, forgot to get rid of changes in the generalBannerParser which would have caused massive lost of courses (limited subjects to a certain range). She also didn't update the notify script for a script that Joe asked her to fix. This upset me.
    1. More processes need to be put into place. 
    2. [redacted] should have a better workflow for how she gets assigned things. 
        1. Ability for her to put stuff on my todo list and vice versa.
5. August 19th, didn't finish your goals at all. Not sure what you got done at all this week. This upset me. 
    1. Joe will bring things up immediately, rather than be passive aggressive about stuff. 

If you're not able to do number 3, then after a couple of months we may need to discuss whether you're right for Coursicle long-term.