Professional & Personal Self-Care With George Miranda

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 1, 2020
George Miranda returns as a guest to talk about how we need to all have more empathy for each other, be more gentle, and have anchors in our lives that can help us deal with incidents that aren’t over

Show Notes

George talks about how we’re going through an astonishing moment of civilizational grief and disorientation. And, this grief is different because the things we’re losing feel very ambiguous because they have no closure.

Myth About Self-Care

The biggest myth about self-care is that it’s not entirely about you. It starts with you; you have to help yourself before you help others. You should make sure that you are your own top priority, but those priorities need to be balanced.

Why This Topic Now

George talks about how he’s going through the worst emotional period of his adult life. He describes that we all are experiencing incidents in our own lives, and it’s our instinct to try and resolve them. One way we do this, at least temporarily, is to compartmentalize our incidents to give us time to deal with other things before addressing the problems. But, at some point, we run out of compartments.

Lessons That Apply Both Personally and Professionally

Everyone is struggling to cope with these ambiguous losses. We have all experienced loss of many things that kept us going. And that grief is hard to deal with because there is no end in sight. “Everyone, and I mean everyone, is going though this. Live is hard right now no matter how you slice it.”

George talks about how we’ve been at this for a little over six months now and are now hitting a wall where we are all running at diminished capacities. And he recommends we need to walk with empathy for our fellow humans.

How To Not Trigger Personal Incidents

I think we need to have each others backs–which isn’t all that different than dealing with things professionally. We need to be gentle with each others psychological safety. We need to be gentle with each other

We need to go above and beyond when we communicate with those we call friends. That’s how we build and maintain trust.

Mindful of Professional Self-Care

We have to be ruthless about prioritizing what we’re going to work on. If we’re lucky, we have really only about 3-4 good focus hours in a day. Then you have to decide where is it going to be okay to under deliver? Things are going to fall.

It falls on the leadership to set the pace, but it also falls the the team to return in kind.

Handling Incidents From Perspective of Self-Care

Scott and George talk about how the number of incidents appears to be increasing during the COVID era. Scott shares that PagerDuty has seen the volume of incidents handled by its customers remained fairly flat for several leading up to March 2020. Since that time incident volume has steadily increased by 7% each month.

George refers to a Honeycomb meta-incident writeup about a couple of back-to-back incidents Honeycomb experienced recently.

Additional Resources


George Miranda

George Miranda

George Miranda directs Product Marketing at Honeycomb, where he helps people improve the ways they run software in production. He made a 20+ year career as a Web Operations engineer at a variety of small dotcoms and large enterprises by obsessively focusing on continuous improvement for people and systems. He now works with software vendors that create meaningful tools to solve prevalent IT industry problems. He’s a former Page It to the Limit host.

George tackled distributed systems problems in the Finance and Entertainment industries before working with Buoyant, Chef Software, and PagerDuty. He’s a trained EMT and First Responder who geeks out on emergency response practices. He owns a home in the American Pacific Northwest, has no idea where home is anymore, and loves writing speaker biographies that no one reads.


Scott McAllister

Scott McAllister

Scott McAllister is a Developer Advocate for PagerDuty. He has been building web applications in several industries for over a decade. Now he’s helping others learn about a wide range of web technologies. When he’s not coding, writing or speaking he enjoys long walks with his wife, skipping rocks with his kids, and is happy whenever Real Salt Lake can manage a win.