Malcolm Gladwell once said that you must put in 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to become a master at something. Well, the remarkable Tessa Sullivan put in her 10,000 hours and now she’s finally an expert at using Google Hangouts, formerly known as Gchat!
“I didn’t initially set out to become an expert in Gchat,” says Sullivan. “I was pretty focused on my actual job for a while until I realized like 70 percent of my day was just Gchatting my friends and boyfriend. That’s when I was like, I should just do this on purpose so I can get really good.”
And “get really good” she did! Sullivan spent almost four years tirelessly chatting with friends and groups throughout the workday. Besides the usual sending and receiving messages, she frequently uses the messaging service to disseminate important files, organize group chats, and share images she saves from the internet.
“The work Tessa has put into Gchat is really amazing,” says one friend, Nancy Fries. “It’s hard to explain, but Gchatting with her isn’t like a regular Gchat. It’s next level. I don’t exactly know how it helps improve her work, but she makes little lobsters crawl across the screen and everything!”
Sullivan made sure to take her practice very seriously, and stuck diligently to a daily schedule.
“I would just get to work, log on to Gchat, and then chat with my friends the rest of the day,” she claims.
At first she focused on her typing. But once her WPM was up to snuff, she moved on to more complicated goals, like memorizing all the codes that launch fun animations in the text box, and setting up group chats.
“Once I really dug in, I started picking up things really quickly,” she admits. “Like, did you know it’s not even really called “Gchat?” It’s technically called Google Hangouts. But people like the term Gchat so I’ll continue to use it colloquially.”
Mastering an internet messaging service wasn’t easy, but all of Sullivan’s hard work is starting to pay off. Even her boss has noticed.
“Tessa seems really distracted at work and has for a while,” says her boss, Dan Williams. “But we can’t let her go because she’s the only one in the office who can remember that cool trick that changes the chat window different colors. So fun!”
As for Sullivan, she will be teaching a course in Gchat at Cape Cod Community College next semester.
“I’m proud of the work I’ve done on Gchat,” she says. “But I know I can always work harder. Do better. I’m considering putting 10,000 hours into the Notes app And after that, I might go focus on Venmo. There’s just so much to learn.”