Five Minutes with Lori McLeese

Every couple weeks, we’re sitting down with an Automattician to help you get to know the people who work behind the scenes to build new features, keep Automattic running, and make the best it can be. This week, we’re very pleased to introduce you to Ms. Lori McLeese. Everybody, meet Lori!

What’s your role at Automattic?

Lori McLeese

Lori McLeese

I’m the Human Resources Lead. Once an Automattician is hired, I work with them so that they’re ready to start on their first day. That means getting them set up so that they’ll be paid on time, helping them set up a home office, and encouraging them to introduce themselves to the rest of the team through a bio on our About page or a video introduction on one of our internal P2s. I work with our team leads to help them provide feedback to team members on a regular basis and also focus on some “behind the scenes” projects like researching global compensation and benefits to make sure we’re paying Automatticians competitively.

Tell us about a project you’ve worked on recently.

I just returned from a meetup in Lisbon, Portugal, with our Happiness team. (The Happiness team does technical support for users.) I worked with several Happiness Engineers to redefine the initial training that Happiness Engineer trials and/or new Automatticians go through for their support rotation. It was fun discussing how people learn, what tools are available to Happiness Engineers, and what’s most important for new Automatticians to learn.

What have you learned that you can share with users?

Did you know that you can follow blogs in your Reader? I didn’t, until recently. Now all the blogs that I love to read are in one spot — no more opening multiple tabs each day when I boot up my computer. To follow a blog, click on “Edit” next to Blogs I Follow in the sidebar of your Reader, enter the URL of the blog and click on Follow.

What do you love most about working at Automattic?

The opportunity to interact with so many interesting and smart people around the world. I love connecting with other Automatticians — whether that’s at team meetups, our grand meetup once a year, co-working, or over IRC or Skype. I’ve never walked away from a conversation with another Automattician and not learned something.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

I love to travel and explore. I live in San Francisco and we’re lucky to have so many hiking trails nearby, both in the city and just across the Golden Gate and Bay bridges. I love being able to drive just thirty minutes and be completely surrounded by nature — giant redwood trees and sweeping vistas of the San Francisco Bay.

I also love to host dinner parties. There’s something very satisfying about making a meal then having friends over to enjoy it in the comfort of your home.

And read. I start each day poring over stories in the Reader, seeing what other people have written about on For books, I prefer fiction to non-fiction. I love a story that takes me to another time and place, so that I forget when and where I’m living.

And laugh. That’s probably my favorite thing. If you’ve got a funny (or maybe not so funny) joke, send it my way. Chances are, I’ll laugh at it.

When Lori says she loves to laugh, she’s not kidding. We love to see her laugh and we think you will, too. Did we mention that Lori leads HR at Automattic? Maybe you’d like to work with us.

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  1. Paolo

    Better than captcha: if you watch that video and don’t laugh, you definitely are not human…


  2. margaret21

    Thanks for the tip about following non-WP blogs. I’ll give it a go. Glad you had a great time in Lisbon. Maybe you should blog about your stay? 😉


  3. Jackie

    That has to be the best video ever… and yep, that’s our Lori! 😀


  4. kindredspirit23

    Lori looks fun and cute! Great to know that people like her are on the team that help us succeed.


  5. bexbagan

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the WP tip! I’ve always wondered about that…so helpful!


  6. John (Jean C) Blais (@chaletjohn)

    Would love to work with you but not if that ride is part of the interviewing process!


  7. tristangerrard

    Thank you ever so much! I will definitely check out more of your postings and blogs! Trist..


  8. Toherangi

    So glad you enjoyed the bungy while you were here in Wellington 🙂 “Now do you guys want a countdown or for me to just let you go” … Typical cheeky kiwi


  9. rizalrohman

    Such interesting story from Automatic work life and Lori personal life.. Thank’s for sharing


  10. Sapna

    Loved the video!



    Wow! What a dream job. San Francisco one day and Portugal the next.
    Love the smile. Love fiction also


  12. Charlotte Ortega

    Dear Lori, Just want you to know that I have just celebrated my second blogging birthday with my blog All about Mexico under my blogger name Charlotte Ortega. Blogging was a big deal for me as I am not from the generation which grew up with computer technology but I set up my blog after hearing Susie Albin Najera speak at the PVWG conference 2011. I have just had my first encounter with happiness engineer Jenia who is awesome and has helped me a number of suggestions to make me a better blogger. I think the word press community is awesome and I have only had positive experiences. I marvel at how the world is getting small through web linkages. I am sitting here in my kitchen in Mexico and am reaching readers in 23 different countries. That for me is the most exciting part of blogging. I would love to work for wordpress please let me know where you think I might be useful. I started life as a physician but have always loved reading and writing so am now pursuing the creative part of me. About 4-5 months are spent in Mexico and 6-7 months in Canada. Perhaps I can help grow a bigger family of word press bloggers here in Mexico and Canada???? Warmly, Jane aka blogger Charlotte Ortega PS I know about the importance of good documentation from my work as a physician and I think it is this crucial continuous thread of information that is making wordpress the success it is!

    Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2013 17:47:01 +0000 To:


  13. eof737

    Thanks for the tip Lori! I love your joyful spirit. 😉


  14. soosoosees

    “Hilarious!” After a while the guy on the right was saying, “Oh my God!” more than you! I even started clapping and laughing along. If you’d laughed any more, you’d be competing with the girl in the car commercial where a guy gives his friend’s friend a lift and she couldn’t stop laughing. (Maybe she’s in HR too, LOL!) I once worked in HR at a local television station and also laughed a lot. Someone else was in charge of benefits and other non-Soo stuff. I just LOVED going into the Creative Services closet to pick out branded mugs, stress balls, t-shirts, etc. for freebies when I worked the job fairs. Besides the online job postings, I coordinated monthly birthday celebrations where there was much happiness. Co-workers especially loved it when they made their own melty s’mores! So miss the community events the station sponsored… I remember, at a children’s festival, my kids pushed me out of the way to “tattoo” cartoon characters on cute, sticky little children!

    Well, Lori, thank you for sharing the happiness. I got my laugh medicine for the day!


  15. JJ

    Lori – I really enjoyed your article. Thank you so much for sharing. You genuinely look like you are among the happiest people in the world. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Do not forget your daily dose of gratitude. 🙂 As happy as you look I am almost positive your practice gratitude giving on a daily basis. Thank you, Lori!


  16. choppy123

    That was so funny, am still not tempted to do anything with an adrenalin rush, prefer to keep my feet firmly on the floor thanks, but it’s great watching others and boy Lori you looked like you had fun 🙂


  17. maureenjenner

    Does my heart, and my soul a power of good just seeing people laughing and enjoying life, even if it is only through photographs via my PC. Keep it up and let us share the joy.


  18. Sheri

    Best. Video. Ever. Lori, you are awesome. 🙂


  19. oldironhoss

    for those about to rock – we salute you – in happiness of course!


  20. JanBeek

    I love your laugh, Lori. It’s infectious! I loved reading your bio, too. We have lots in common. Like you, I love reading fiction that takes me to another time and place; I love giving dinner parties for friends; I love to laugh (who doesn’t?); I love to travel and explore; I love our WordPress community of bright and supportive, sharing people. Thank you for being an integral part of what makes it so wonderful! 🙂


  21. xenophobia22

    I think this blog site is pure genius. It’s nice to know Lori is helping us. You go girl! 🙂


  22. Richard

    “That wasn’t what I was expecting; haa!” – Awesome quote, hilarious video!


  23. iloveyoufromafar

    hi lori! i don’t know if this is a way to contact you directly, but i couldn’t figure out how to do that.. i was browsing the blogs on my reader and then saw your name and face and was so surprised and happy to see you there. i don’t know if you remember me, but we worked together about six or seven years ago. i guess both of us have moved on, but it’s so great to see you here. and laughing so hard 🙂


  24. Derek Springer

    Lori pretty much ties the whole company together 🙂


  25. ronkeh7

    Hullo Lori, thanks for the very useful tip. I think and its team are just superb. I am also of an older generation and in my teens and twenties there was only the manual typewriter. Then came electric typewriters and nobody ever imagined that there would be such a thing as a desktop computer (except maybe Steve Jobs!), let alone laptops, mobile phones, iPads and the world wide web!!! It is just incredible to see and experience the changes that have taken place in just the last thirty years!!! I never imagined that there would come a day when I would create a website and blog!!! And WordPress makes it so much fun! Thank you WordPress and team!


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