Cloudflare TV

Home Office TV

Presented by Amy Bibeau, Jason Kincaid
Originally aired on 

Join Amy as she provides you with a sneak peek into how the Cloudflare Team has been doing with the transition from daily office life to working from home. How is the team adapting to the shift? What do they miss and not miss about office life? What snacks are they eating? How has it been sharing a workspace with family or housemates? Tune in to find out!


Transcript (Beta)

Good morning. Welcome to Cloudflare TV, Home Office TV. I'm Amy Bibeau. Today we have the illustrious Jason Kincaid.

Jason. Hey, thank you for having me, Amy. I think illustrious may be slightly overstating it, but thank you very much.

I mean, like, I believe in, you know, positive adjectives.

So this is your first official, you know, visit to my show.

You did fill in once when we had a late guest, so thanks for coming back and being my official guest.

Glad to be here. You know, I got a taste of the show and I was like, I got to get back in that.

I need more. I need more.

So my big question that I like to ask people is like, how's it going? How are you doing?

How's it going, Jason? That is such a great question. And, you know, it sort of depends on the day and the time of day.

But let me start riffing on it. I would say on the whole, I'm holding up OK.

I've gotten increasingly optimistic over the last few weeks.

I think that, you know, the vaccine news has me really optimistic.

I will say I was in college. I studied biology and took a lot of classes on, you know, viruses and that sort of thing.

And so earlier this year, when people were sort of optimistic about having a vaccine, you know, in the immediate future, I was I was a little skeptical because I, you know, I knew what a difficult challenge it would be to develop a vaccine as quickly as researchers were hoping to.

And now we're getting these these reports that hopefully, you know, knock on wood, but it looks like we're on the right trajectory there.

So I'm doing a lot better. You know, I don't want to say there's a light at the end of the tunnel, but maybe there's, you know.

And there's a little a little bit of light just peeping through.

So on that front, good, good news. And then as far as, you know, trying to trying to keep my sanity.

Thankfully, some of my old standbys for for hobbies and so on have helped keep me pretty grounded.

I I play guitar and that's been something I've done for about 20 years now.

And every time I'm sort of getting kind of down and black, reach for the guitar, and usually that'll help me forget.

Also getting and I know how this sounds, getting back into reading books.

You know, every time I go to reach for Twitter or, you know, scrolling through headlines and so on, I'm trying to re relearn my habit of instead of doing that, you know, picking up a book, picking up a Kindle and and those have been serving me well too.

So doing all right. That's a good idea. Book reading.

I have used to have a lot more books. I've moved a lot. Like, I don't know where they've all ended up.

Like, is there a pile of them in Minnesota, like in a crawlspace in my sister's, you know, garage that's filled with motorcycles?

I think there is.

Books. I like that. What are you reading? Anything in particular that you want to share with the people?

Sure. In fact, I'm excited to. All right. So there's this book.

So I like history in theory, but sometimes I'll like read a book about history and they just are kind of dry.

Sometimes, you know, it can be and I'm pretty sensitive.

If the book isn't engaging, it's going to lose me. I can try to make myself, you know, if it's like a historical document, I'll try to expend the energy to stick with it.

But in general, not so much. But there's a series of books.

I came across it on Twitter. So I guess. Thank you, Twitter. There's a book called Twenty Four Hours in Ancient Rome.

And essentially what the structure of the book is, is you have these short stories and yet it's like each chapter is maybe five pages long, seven pages long.

And what it does is it sort of conveys what is we'll say, like, here's one chapter.

It's from noon to one p.m. And we're going to see what is life like for a lawyer in ancient Rome.

And so you spend that hour with them and where are they concerned about and where the relationships they're maintaining and sort of the power dynamics do they have?

There's a system of clients and so on.

And then you get to one o'clock and it's like, OK, now you're on to the barkeep who is dealing with the lunch crowd at their tavern.

And so throughout the book, you sort of you bounce between these different people with different professions, different concerns, different times of day.

And it really helped kind of it made the it made it way less academic. It helped me really sort of put myself in the shoes of what it would be like living in those times.

And so this particular author I've liked. So now I'm on a kick reading some of his other books.

I'm reading a book about Greek and Roman mythology and now also a book about the Caesars and like the sort of the lineage after Julius Caesar.

I'll be perfectly honest. If you had quizzed me on like Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar and dot, dot, dot, I feel like I could have fumbled my way through what was going on there.

But now that I'm actually reading history, I'm like, this is super confusing.

They all have the same names. So I just want to say to anyone watching, if the whole thing about Julius Caesar, which one's which, it's it's just their naming schemes were really not designed for easy understanding.

So it's not just for clarity, like exactly future, like sure.

In the moment, they all knew which Caesar they were.

Exactly. But they would name like so you'd have a daughter and you'd name her Julia Caesar.

And yeah, so any historians watching are just, you know, face palming right now.

But, you know, and it's almost 24 hours, an ancient whatever.

They got Rome, Greece, China. So check it out. Cool. I mean, I think it's a good way to broaden, you know, your vision about the world, you know, because we do tend to sometimes get like narrow perspectives or whatever the curriculum was at our particular schools is what we learned, you know, which is why, you know, it's so interesting.

I think being a human during this like information age where there's there's so much information.

And then it's like, well, what do we care about?

Like what information do we want? Like, are we just in an echo chamber of our own beliefs?

You know, that's that's usually where I prefer to hang out. Like I've seen over into like what the other people believe in.

I don't want to hang out in their echo chamber, you know, so like, totally, you know, this sounds like a fun way to learn.

And to that point, I would think this has been one of my biggest challenges, struggles really through the through the quarantine is that I'm on Twitter and I don't really use Facebook so much anymore, but I'm as much in these echo chambers as anyone.

And they're so, you know, you don't even think about it.

You're just there and it's just like the natural place to go. And so really trying to be more deliberate about where I'm directing my time and attention.

I think not only do I feel better afterward because I'm like, wow, I did something sort of productive, you know, but it I feel happier.

You know, I think the doom scrolling is named that way for a reason.

And it's sort of it's, you know, I'll kind of chuckle to myself while I'm doing it, but then I'm just like, this makes me feel bad, you know?

Yeah, I think, you know, taking responsibility for like how we are feeling, you know, it's not like it's, you know, we feel certain ways because we get certain information that our brain processes that causes us, you know, to to have certain emotions.

So, you know, it's like, yeah, we all are entitled to our feelings, but we do have a lot more control.

It's not just an arbitrary thing, like how we're feeling, like the way that we spend our time.

Speaking of that, how do you know when to start and end your day now that you're working from home?

That's one of the things that we kind of discuss on the show is like some people are working more, you know, because they're working from home.

How do you know when your day starts and ends?

Well, you know, for the last six months or so, it's been mostly one is the first Cloudflare TV session and one is the last one.

But I would say, and the reason I say that is for anyone who's watching, I've had the good fortune of helping keep the Cloudflare TV train on the tracks, and it has been quite a ride.

And thank you to Amy for all of your help as well. I'd say in general, though, I try to keep an eye on the clock and adhere to something resembling like a typical workday, you know, like a nine to five.

And sometimes I'll start before then.

And sometimes I'll end after that. But if I am working sort of during off hours, I really try to remind myself, you know, do whatever you need to do, but then try to get back to really anything else, go for a walk.

Because if I don't do that, you know, my batteries don't recharge and I get dumber.

I get like legitimately less productive.

And so it actually becomes counterproductive if I just keep pushing myself indefinitely.

I'm trying to think if there's any other signals where I've really, you know, I'll also try to keep an eye out for, let's say I'm reviewing some text, you know, a Google Doc or something.

And there are some things I've noticed in myself where my eyes will kind of glaze over.

I'll start having to reread things several times. And that's when it's time to, you know, clock out if only for an hour or so, and give myself a little bit of a breather.

Because otherwise, you know, again, I'll keep pushing through it. And then I might make a mistake.

I might miss something, that sort of thing. So. That's a good point.

So what do you miss about office life? Did you, you know, were you commuting?

Did you have a big commute? Like, what was the journey like? I miss, you know, I miss more than I would have guessed before this started.

So I live in San Francisco, I was commuting on the bus to the office.

And it was, it worked out really well.

You know, my commute wasn't bad. As long as I kept to my schedule and was at the stop the time I needed to be.

And I didn't, if you know, if it was cold and windy, after work, that wasn't always ideal.

But you know what, I really can't complain too much.

And as far as what I miss, I think like everyone else, I just miss seeing people, I miss sort of those spontaneous bumping into folks who, you know, maybe you don't necessarily work together super often.

But you do enjoy seeing each other, whether it's at lunch or before our all hands meetings and that sort of thing.

I miss some of, I mean, I know how this sounds, but I had a certain itinerary in terms of snacks, you know, helped me sort of mark the day is in sort of, it's cheesestick time, you know, and now I, unless I've thought ahead to get the cheesesticks, doesn't happen that way anymore.

I'm trying to think of what are some other things about being in the office that, you know, Cloudflare's office is in this great area that it's a great jumping off point for other things, you know, so I would really enjoy going to Giants games from time to time and right across the street from Cloudflare office and, you know, strolling around Selma a bit, going up to Market Street, wasn't a very long walk, walking along the Embarcadero.

So I miss all of that. I really miss just having a reason to get out of the house and then, you know, go on various adventures and then come back and do it all over again the next day.

So yeah, those are some of the things I miss, but really the big thing is the people and that sort of communal vibe you get when you walk into a room, there's dozens of people all having their own conversations and you feel that sort of warmth.

Same way you might in a cafe or something like that.

I miss that. Oh, one more thing I miss. This isn't about the office per se, but it was something that I really enjoyed, which is I really like going on like a street corner and strumming a guitar.

That's sort of my decompression thing.

And I don't do that anymore. And occasionally I would actually take the, I would put my guitar sort of like under a table or something.

And then after work, I would stroll over to the Embarcadero and I'd just be that guy who's sitting on the bench and like, not good enough that you're going like, oh, I need to go hear that guy.

But yeah, that was, that was a decompression thing where I'd done that a few times during quarantine where I'll like pick a corner, like in front of a building that I don't think anyone's going to get too close, but it's just not the same, you know, you gotta have your radar up, what's going on.

Is there somebody without a mask coming up next to you?

Are the police, like no, I miss that too, the organic, like the people just out and about, you know, like I miss my, I used to want to set up my, I have my own religion idea that I want to have, which would be me speaking for the water.

So basically like I envisioned myself setting up like next to where the, because the Jehovah's Witnesses are everywhere.

You know, they always have their sign that's like, what's going on?

Are you worried about the future?

So I want to like make my own little setup where it would be like me and it'd be like, how is water, you know, like right for you, like is worshiping, you know, the earth, you know, like part of your religion.

Like I want to be able to set up next to the Jehovah's Witnesses with my own religion.

And like, now that we have the pandemic, I can't do that.

Like, I really want to be like at the Ferry building with my own, like, you know, ask, you know, it's my water religion that I want to like develop, but maybe this is, this is the time for you to jot that all down, prepare your materials and so on.

And then get it set up so that when, when we come back, I can have my own little book, you know, like the Christmas.

And I mentioned earlier, you know, I'm reading about the ancient Greeks and Romans and, and, and their gods and so on.

You might want to, you know, they have some stuff about the earth and the, and the sea and stuff.

You might be able to draw some inspiration.

Maybe we could like make this whole, I just, I believe in discussing the mystery of life.

I just never think people should argue about mystery because it's, you know, if we can agree that there's some kind of a mystery, can't we just agree that it's a mystery?

Like let's not make arguments and fighting about like which magical sky God is winning when we know that the water that's on the planet, it keeps us all alive.

I think you've got your first pamphlet right there.

So what else is going on?

Is there been any specific challenges? Like what's, what's been your greatest challenge?

For me, it's motivation. I'm just like, I don't care very much.

Yeah, that's a great question. I'd say that sort of in, in the usual times, um, what keeps me going in general is I enjoy writing and like, and music.

And, um, I really like kind of curling up and writing an essay. And like, I, I usually don't even like put it anywhere, but it's more, it's just as much for me to sort of figure out what do I think I find writing is a very, it's a, this is borrowing from, from various people have written about writing.

Um, but it's a way to sort of pull threads of ideas out of your head in a way that is actually quite difficult just through speech or through thinking, thinking it on your own.

Um, because generally, if you're just thinking some thoughts, they tend not to be particularly linear kind of bounce between different things.

Whereas if you start writing down a sentence, you're probably going to finish writing that sentence.

And if you're go from there, you know, the same paragraph, you're probably not going to jump to a totally disjointed idea.

So I really like doing that, um, generally, and to be perfectly honest, I don't find myself doing it as much, uh, as I would typically.

And I think a lot of it has to do with, um, there's a great line. I think it's, it's, I think Mike Birbiglia, the comedian, I heard him say it, and I think he cited his brother.

So this is, this is a tribute to Mike Birbiglia's brother.

And he liked talking about how he let, he want, he let his mind go for a walk as part of his creative process.

It was this sort of, um, taking yourself, removing yourself from the day -to-day, uh, anxieties around what's going on in the news.

What do I have to do as far as, you know, I got to do my laundry, that kind of stuff.

Um, and just sort of like seeing where you're thinking took you and people will do this.

Maybe it's on a walk. Maybe it's, um, they're, they're standing in the shower and they're daydreaming or whatever.

Um, maybe it's, it's in math class and you're not paying attention, whatever the case might be, but there is this thing.

I think everyone's sort of familiar with that, that state. And I like being there because it helps me figure out what am I thinking about?

What, what are, um, various directions my thoughts could go.

And my mind's just not going on as many walks these days.

And I think part of it is, you know, when I do go on an actual walk, um, again, you got to have your sort of radar up, you know, are there going to be other folks?

Is there going to be a cyclist or a jogger? And, and, you know, those are generally, even if a jogger did run past me pretty low risk, but it's not quite, um, it's just not the same as it used to be.

So that I would say that's one of my biggest challenges is, is how do I get myself back into that creative groove or, or on a music front?

Um, I like sitting around sort of, I'll just play some chords.

I'll start improvising some scales over it. And, and when things are going well, again, sort of in the normal times I'll play like a riff and I'll like, Ooh, I'm going to build that into a whole song.

And these days, I think more often I'll be like, I liked that and I'll come back to it later.

Um, and so I, I just, I look forward to, to getting into a place where sort of the ambient level of, of stress, anxiety, and so on lines up a little bit.

And I think I'll sort of return to my old ways.

Be able to like dive in a little bit deeper and like feel more inspired.

I think like I, I find like a bit of a lack of inspiration for myself.

Like I have a guitar it's sitting here. I should be practicing it.

Like I really should. I want to learn the guitar. Yeah. Literally right there.

And I have time and, and I'm just like, somehow not picking it up, you know?

And it's like last night, cause I just moved a couple of months ago. It takes me a while to settle in after I moved last night, I finally got like a little table set up where I can make art again.

So I made some paintings. That's, that's been my little, um, creative journey.

Cause it's like, I make jewelry, but that always feels like it has to have a place to go.

Like if I'm making jewelry, it's cause I want to sell it, you know?

And it's a big mess of pulling out all the beads.

It gets real crazy. Um, with like painting, like I make watercolors. It's very like flicky flicky.

I just, you know, I do whatever I want and it doesn't have, it doesn't have an output.

It doesn't have to go somewhere. It's, it's not, it doesn't need it's, it's not for somebody else, you know?

So that, that gives me a little more freedom, but like finding that inspiration and we're fortunate, like we're going through this pandemic with great jobs, stable housing.

You know, I have a community of like loving friends and family.

They might not be as close to me as I want them to during the pandemic, but they do exist, you know?

So I just have like so much, you know, like worry and compassion for the other humans who are going through having to be parents and, and, you know, your kid normally gets fed at school and now you have to somehow feed them, but you're supposed to be at work and you're a frontline worker and your kids don't have care.

Like this pandemic is like a mess for so many people on so many levels.

Like my biggest challenge is like, eh, I'm eating too much pudding.

Well, to that point, I'd say, I think that perspective is, is great to have.

It's really important. And I think sort of that can be a way to sort of re -energize yourself.

At the same time, the thing, you know, when you mentioned, you know, you should be doing guitar.

A little pep talk I recently gave myself is as lucky as we are and, you know, I'll underscore that we are tremendously lucky.

I think this is a time that's really challenging to pretty much everyone.

And so, you know, it would be great if you picked up that guitar and you found yourself, you know, learning a few new chords and working on those calluses on your fingers and so on.

But at the same time, I think it's worth giving yourself a break and just, and remembering that, you know, everyone, even if, if we're lucky enough to be able to, to mostly isolate and rely on things like delivery and so on, all of us are like, we have needs for, for interaction, you know, for, for community, for that feeling where you walk into, into the room or the group setting, and there's like a bunch of people and you recognize some of them and none of us have that.

So yeah, I guess the point is, you know, give yourself a break, give your, you know, give yourself like stretch goals, or, you know, it would be, I would say, position yourself for success, put the chord sheet out with the guitar, but if you don't get through it, you know, maybe it waits till after the pandemic.

It's true. I think I'm always an advocate of other people being gentle with themselves and their process, you know, that's a great, I always advocate for that for other people.

And, and for myself also, you know, I was fortunate.

I did just go to Brazil on an airplane and, you know, to a very small retreat where I was fortunate to be, you know, we, you know, we got tested, we, you know, tried to follow protocols, but I mean, it definitely, you know, 25 people type retreat.

And I needed that desperately to recharge because I was like, not, but, but even like having just had that now I've still feel like totally back to, you know what I mean?

Like, like when you're in the moment, I think that's one of the things we have to learn to as humans is like being really being present for the different moments that we're going through.

It's like, okay, like all things pass, like this moment might be difficult today, but like you said, it depends on the day.

It's like, some days I wake up like feeling happy and inspired other days I wake up and I eat ice cream and pudding and toast, you know what I mean?

And, and other days I eat a big salad and I'm like, okay, like I'm doing good today, but like, you know, it is, it is a really challenging time on the planet, you know, and, and with the way humans have been making our collective choices for the last hundred years, the challenging times that we could be facing could even just be ramping up.

And so I think, you know, maybe we're slowly kind of getting some kind of like firmeza we say in Portuguese, like some kind of firmness, some kind of like footing in the fact that we might have some challenging years ahead and how can we develop our own, you know, inner sense of peace, inner sense of calm and, and, you know, our own stable foundations.

And because there's so much reliance on the external world to entertain us and to, you know, provide us, you know, with these things that like ultimately we do need to find for ourselves in our lives.

Yeah. And to that point, I mean, I, I started getting into sort of meditation stuff some years ago and listen to some Alan Watts and, and, and dabbled that stuff.

I'm not guru by any means, but I have found some of the, some of the tools from, from that stuff to be quite useful in, in reminding myself of, of both perspective and recognizing some of the, the less productive thoughts for what they are, that kind of thing.

So that's, that's sort of been my prescription for, for myself.

So to anyone watching who, who is struggling, you know, I would encourage you to check out there, some great apps out there.

I think they're all probably pretty solid these days. And that to me has been without, without some of those tools, I probably would have been in worse shape than I have been.

And I'll also say to, to your point earlier about we've got to be prepared for more issues on the road ahead.

I am hopeful that, that at the very least, this will help us be prepared for the next time there is something like a pandemic.

But I think you are right, that there are probably going to be, you know, between climate change, between, you know, we live in a world that's got a lot of risk in it and being able to basically, I'm trying to think, help, helping take care of yourself and the people around you, I do think is going to be a vital skill for all of us.

Although I should say that, you know, the last hundred years has been full of plenty of risks.

I read these stories about, I'm big into, you know, rock and roll folks.

And you read about like, Keith Richards being in like a bomb shelter when he's like a little kid.

And you're like, okay, you know, I didn't have to do these drills.

I mean, in some ways I was lucky.

My schooling didn't involve drills for nuclear attacks, nor did they involve active shooter situations, which, you know, those are, you know, kids these days are having to deal with.

And so I'm hopeful that we come out of this pandemic with a better understanding of ourselves and how, you know, hopefully there will be more cohesion around, you know, and I'm a little skeptical about how far that cohesion will go.

But hopefully more folks wake up to the fact that we're really all in this together.

And probably like our best bet is if there's an alien threat that actually turns out to be fairly benign, but humanity can rally around our shared, you know, humanity.

I don't think the alien invasion though is coming. So we got to figure out something else.

I do agree that, you know, how we can see our interconnectedness to each other, to the world, you know, I mean, I just remember I studied biology a lot.

Also my family is very like science oriented. My dad was a science teacher, you know, so as a child, you know, I learned, you learn about ecosystems, you learn about the web of life, you learn how we're all, you know, ultimately connected, you know, like my belief system tends to, you know, say that we're, you know, collectively having this experience and that everything we kind of do to the earth and to others, we're kind of doing to ourselves.

And, you know, so it's like the more we can make harmonious choices with like, what is really ultimately the best thing for future generations?

What is the best thing for the planet?

What are the best thing for like the living beings, you know, that are contained here.

And like, maybe this global pandemic, one friend of mine said, she's like, you know, she was excited about the pandemic because everything was happening to everyone at the same time, like the same thing was happening to everyone.

You know, like we're all kind of going through this trial together. And I do hope that at the end of this trial, we can come through it with a sense of, like you said, more cohesion, more connectedness, concern for others, ability to, and, you know, hopefully, you know, we'll get some, you know, something passed in the government that'll take the financial pressures off the humans and, you know, in our country, like, and, you know, and we'll make it through with it with a vaccine and a lot of like Firmeza and Cloudflare TV to entertain us.

Cloudflare TV to entertain us.

And to help us learn. Thank you for all your work with that.

We have about a minute left. So any final thoughts that you want to share with the people that might be watching?

Final thoughts, gee whiz. Well, I guess, you know, kind of continuing the theme of this conversation, I'd say, to those of you who might be running into a tough time, hang in there.

I, you know, I think there's lots of reason for optimism.

And hopefully, you can find some things that'll help educate you, entertain you, whether that's books, probably not Twitter.

I don't think Twitter or Facebook. Music. Yes, music. I'm a huge fan of like, listen to music, find the music that you love.

And that'll be our closing.

Music. What band should people listen to? I think people should listen to my very favorite human, Carioca Freitas, the Brazilian musical genius, and Pink Floyd.

All right, there we go. On that note. Thanks, everyone. Thank you very much.

Bye, everybody. Bye.