My First Automattic Christmas party

I was looking forward to this event since I started working at Automattic last June. Eventually, December arrived and it comes also the time to enjoy my company annual Christmas party!

My first Automattic Christmas party
My first Automattic Christmas party was such a blast! I had the pleasure to meet up with some of the Automatticians living in the UK. Another bunch of us had a very cool Christmas party in London too, but I couldn’t attend to that one :( They had a nice lunch and then went to a bowling place.

On the other hand, we went ice skating! Last time I tried ice skating was nearly 10 years ago! Saying that I had the best time on the ice rink with my colleagues does not even remotely explain how happy I was in there. I feel like I was born on the ice. Some of my fellow Automatticians had a bit of troubles on the ice, so Rachel (on the pic above bottom right) and I tried to help them out. It turned out I was very useless when trying to aid my friends. Here’s a bad video shot by me whilst skating – it was also on my Instagram stories.

At some point I dared to attempt an angel figure on the ice, with one of my leg flexed out first, then bent over toward my back. I succeeded! I was pretty proud of myself, and my core and stabilising muscles. After the bad injury I had a few years ago I’d never dreamt of performing something like that ❤️
Too bad no one saw my exercise, a part from a couple of guys who applauded me. Better than nothing!

Then we head over Mother India cafe, where we had a lot of good Indian food. The funny thing was the service. It looked like the staff had no clue about what we ordered and to whom to deliver the food. To be honest, I’m not sure if I wouldn’t be able to handle it better, since we were a group of thirty people spread out into two long tables, all cheering and laughing out loud.

The cherry on top was when the lightbulbs in the room started exploding for some reasons, and then a waiter made a tall pile of dishes crash on the ground. It was like we were on Candid Camera, but the food was utterly excellent, so thumbs up!

Edinburgh has been the perfect setting for a lovely evening with the best people.

As a nice side note, the afternoon I arrived in Edinburgh I also met up with my cousin Antonella who moved there last August from sunny Sardinia. It looks like she’s settled there well and I’m happy about it. This is a (rough) pic we took just before having haggis, one of the most delicious food on Earth (that’s why I’m smiling with all my teeth!)
Me, Franz and cousin Antonella in Edinbugh

And if you think that was the end of the fun, think again. The day after the Automattic Christmas party I headed to Matlock, Derbyshire, for the annual Human Made Christmas dinner. I wasn’t the only Automattician invited, as my the girlfriend of my colleague Jack, Daisy, works at Human Made together with my husband Franz (of course plus ones were welcomed in both dinners).
That was my second Human Made Christmas party, and as always it’s been a pleasure to meet up with people I can call family already.

Everybody was dressed smart casual, and I was too – underneath my brilliant Code is Poetry Christmas jumper I sported with proud also in Edinburgh.
I didn’t shoot any pictures in Matlock because time flew and was too busy chatting with everyone, but the great Noel Tock took a couple of pics for me:

All in all, I can cry out loud that I’m so privileged to be part of the Automattic and WordPress families ❤️

Taken at Edinburgh and Matlock, United Kingdom
More pictures and video have been added to my Instagram Stories! Have you missed them out?

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The importance of the group photos at my Automattic annual meet up

The Automattic Grand Meetup has been a grand success for me. Being almost 498 Automatticians gathered in Whistler, BA, Canada, for one week has definitely paid off for me in terms of many aspects.

Automattic photo 2016 Whistler, group photos

I dare you to find myself in here. Photo by Donncha Ó Caoimh

The workshops and the classes we attended during the retreat are going to have a huge impact in my daily job. We’re there together to have fun, to better know each other, and to learn something new that maybe we don’t have time to expand or study during your daily routine workload.

Group photos = good energy to bring home

Mostly, what I’m going to keep and treasure from now till the next meetup with my colleagues are the group photos we took.
It might sound a bit silly, but I do see a great value in the group photos.
As we work remotely, we never (or rarely) see each other – and the weekly video chats don’t count much.
Being together and feeling the need to shoot group pics is a healthy feedback for the teams.

Whenever I feel alone, working in my daily routine, or in distress because there’s no one online and I need help with an issue, I can have a look at those pics and not feel the burden of this anymore.

One of the main takeaways of this meetup is the energy and the positive vibes I’m bringing home. The people I work with are even kinder and nicer than when i interact with them online. It looks like there are not horrible people working at Automattic! If you don’t believe me, check out this photo gallery I put together with all the group photos we took!