Catch up

Sorry for the long absence. The past couple of months have been terribly busy. I finally joined my new job. I was very under prepared for what was in store there. I thought I would get time to familiarize myself with the new surroundings and get a lot of time to learn the product and the technology behind it. But no! On my first day itself they put me on the product development team and assigned me a few defects to fix! So for the first few days I was running around and trying to take in as much knowledge as possible. I must say though, things have improved quite a bit now.

Oh, and I got married! The wedding deserves a whole new post, if not a series of posts. It was very stressful, as all weddings are, and also a lot of fun! I spent the entire month of Feb gorging on wonderful South Indian and equally awesome Mumbai food 🙂 Needless to say, I put on many pounds (8! 😦 )

People have been asking us where we are going for our honeymoon. Well, we really want to take some time off as I have been very very busy the past month. So guys please give me suggestions! We have already been to Switzerland, Germany and France (though I wouldn’t mind going there again :D) A few places that came up during our discussions were –

Peru (Machhu Pichu etc, maybe make a detour and explore a bit of Rio and Brazil)
London (many many friends and relatives there)
NZ (lord of the rings ftw!)
Hawaii (Not super keen, but convince me!)
Cancun or the Bermudas
No vacation, reserve leaves for next India trip
No vacation, enjoy summer in NYC (Sam’s suggestion, Booooringggg)

What do you think?

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The end of an era? A new beginning?

Today is the last day of my job. I belong to the probably rare breed of people who really love their jobs. About three years back, I had just moved to NYC with my fiancé after spending a year in a terrible job in upstate NY. I was apprehensive about the new job. What if I hate it like the previous job? What if I dislike the people like I did my previous colleagues? What if they don’t like me and throw me out? How will I pay my education loan off?

I still remember the first day of work. I was introduced to F, who was supposed to be my mentor for my first project. I met with him in the morning and the first thing that struck me was that he’s so friendly! He treats me like an equal, not like a member of the workforce. It was almost unnerving how different he was than the colleagues I had in the previous job.  

As time progressed, I learnt a great deal too. My colleagues actually liked me! And I them! Some of them were my personal friends too! I was treated so well there. My opinions were respected. I was given time to learn. My inputs were considered and brought into execution. Most importantly people treated each other like equals irrespective of their positions. 

I have learnt a lot here. I have had my ups and downs, for sure, but have learnt from my mistakes. I have had a lot of opportunities to prove myself. Have gone a couple of rungs up the ladder. Have mentored other people. Have spoken to clients. Handled end-to-end development of a couple of projects as well.

And now the time has come that I move on. I am emerging more confident about myself than I was three years back. Will I love my new job? Will my new colleagues be just as friendly? Will I be loved and respected as I was here? Time will tell. For now, I am taking it one step at a time. Have to attend my send off today, catch a flight, go home, get married, come back and join my new job. It definitely is the end of an era. I hope everyone who made my life easier in my old job does really well in life and is happy wherever they are.

Ethical grey area

Today I gave someone some advice that I probably should not have given. 

A colleague of mine (actually he’s more of a friend than a colleague) took me out for lunch today. We went to a Mexican restaurant called Pinche Taqueria nearby. Ordered a couple of tacos and margaritas (I know it was lunch, so what?) We got around to discussing about jobs, and my new job. I don’t know if it was the margarita, or if he just sees me as a friend, but he blurted out his salary to me.

Now this guy has a bit of a back story. He had to join this company in the middle of recession 3 yrs back as an unpaid intern or he would need to return to his country (he’s from Qatar). After the internship he was hired full time and has been here since then. He was a mentor to me when I joined, and is now a tech lead. 

The shocking part is, his salary is very very very very low. By low I mean Mariana Trench low. Forgive the dumb metaphor, but I felt very sorry for the guy. We live in NYC, where expenses are sky high. He’s so bright and hardworking. He has done a part time Masters after he joined here. And the worst part is, he did not even know he’s terribly underpaid! 

At first I didn’t know what to say. I loved working here and I love the people here. They have lost quite a few employees in the recent past. If I tell this guy the truth, would he choose to leave? 

Anyway, I decided to tell him. I said, “Erm Jim, you know you deserve to get way more than what you do right now, right?” He just thought I’m being nice to him and shrugged it off. I decided to go all out and told him my salary and my fiancé’s salary. He was dumbfounded. He really did not know that software developers do get paid a decent amount. I urged him to speak to our manager or if that doesn’t work out, just look for a new job.

I am not sure if I did the right thing here. Because of me the company may end up losing a really brilliant guy. Also, Jim likes it here. Money isn’t everything right? Job satisfaction is also important? What if he ends up getting another job that pays him well but that he doesn’t like as much? 

I do hope the company gives him what he’s really worth and it works out for everyone!

To go or not to go?

After a series of grueling telephonic and online technical interviews, I have been called onsite for the final round of interviewing with this big shot silicon valley company. Its one of the best that exists. BUT the position is in bay area. I don’t want to move there. Not right now. I know that once I move there, I will move only to move to India. There will be no chance of moving back to beloved NYC. BUT its a great opportunity, and if I get it, I will be earning close to a 30k more than what I make right now! To go or not to go for the onsite round is the question :-/

Dull grey Friday

Considering it is Friday today and I am writing this post at 2.30pm, its obviously been a dull day at work. I just moved to Secaucus two days back to a sparkling new never-inhabited-before apartment. It has a lot of perks, with free gym, free club room and media room that are filled with a couple of dozen gleaming brand-new iMacs. I am one of the first people to move into this wing, so when I visited the media room yesterday I was one of the only three people there.

Anyway, I digress. The move from Newport to Secaucus was meant to go a bit easy on the pocket and have more comforts. But that came with a price – a bitch of a commute to work. Now I have to take a shuttle to the train station, then the NJTransit train into New York City and then a 10 min walk to the subway.

Even so, I reached work at 9am, well before all my other colleagues started showing up. Also, I went without my morning coffee since there are no spoons in the house(!!) I went to Walmart to pick up necessary stuff yesterday but forgot spoons. This was my list –

1. Toilet paper
2. Shower liner
3. Wireless router
4. Vacuum cleaner
5. Couple of plates
6. Coffee & sugar
7. Mugs?

The ones in bold being most critical. All this I bring, but forget spoons!

At work, I am working on a web application meant to be on smart phones and tablets. The part I am right now is particularly boring and I have allotted myself a week to finish the task. And who starts working on the first day of the week when you have 6 long days ahead? Not me. I am the struggling-to-finish-with-work-at-the-last-minute kinda gal.

All in all these events have resulted in the creation of a blog and writing of not 1 but 2 blog posts (the introduction one does count!) I can’t wait for the day to get over and head to my brand new sparkling apartment with spoons (gonna pick em up on my way home)! Till next time!