24 August, 2012

A New Apprehensive Beginning


This whole starting off with an excuse for having over a month’s gap between blogs is getting quite ridiculous. But then, I really have no other choice. Life the last few months has just been that way. So what’s the excuse this time around? Yours truly has moved on to a new company after ending a 5 year long relationship with his previous organization. It’s almost unheard of for someone in my generation, working in the IT sector, to have spent 5 years in one company. While that did involve a break of one year in between for the post-graduation, the last company was the only company I had ever worked for right from the time I graduated in 2006.

 So where have I moved on to? I’ve moved on to India’s second largest ‘provider of business consulting, technology, engineering and outsourcing services’. With all the various policies we have, I’m scared to put down the name of the company, even though it has been the bellwether for the Indian IT sector whose employees are driven by intellect and are powered by values. While the company is definitely going to be an experience to work for, almost everyone I know has questioned my timing of the move. Most folks try to play it safe and join places that are not being bashed by the media, employees and share-holders for less than commendable quarterly performances. Somewhere in that head of mine, I figure that all these big companies deal with this at some point in time and it is nothing new that I should get overly worried about. The way I see it, if we do emerge from this so-called downward spiral, we all get taken care of fairly and people call it a bold yet risky move on my part. And if we don’t well, I get to learn a lot and still have a pretty respectable addition to my resume.

So how does it feel in the new place? Well, it’s very different from the old place. There are things about the place I really like, and things I am not comfortable with. It could just be that I have gotten used to a certain way of doing things from working at one place for 5 years. I only hope that I get used to the same here. The first few days were a world of difference. The sheer size of the campus and the number of people had me feeling a bit lost….. Kind of like when you travel by the Mumbai local for the very first time. The usual apprehensions of being a little fish in a huge ocean set in, but then that should go away with time.

 The first question a lot of friends asked me after the first day was regarding members of the opposite sex. Some even suggested I post one of those ‘Tam Bram boy seeking alliance with girl’ ads on the various forums available. Dear well-wishers, trying to find ‘The one’ in this place is like standing in the middle of CST in Mumbai and hoping some girl sees you and the whole ‘love at first sight’ nonsense happens. Maybe if it were in a Switzerland train station or something, that’s a different story….. I digress. Besides that, with all the sexual harassment policies in place, I’m afraid to even look at women here. I find a certain comfort in staring at my shoes and walking only to glance up occasionally to ensure I don’t walk into a pole. So that’s where it will remain. I still don’t get how people meet their significant others in a crowd of people like this. Luck… planetary alignment…. Love potions…. I don’t know.

I remember walking in with a lot of expectations purely based on what a lot of my friends who joined said company way back in 2006 had told me. I could not help but feel a little let down. And it’s no ones fault. I guess it has to do with this whole ‘growing up and maturity’ nonsense. I guess the expectations of a kid who gets his first job with this company vs.  a grown up with over half a decade of work experience differ greatly. One tends to not get overly impressed with features but tends to look for more deeper(read boring) things like the kind of customers, the time it takes for decisions to be made, exposure to higher management rather than the obvious (read truly exciting) stuff like subsidized beverages at the Coffee Day, girls decked up on a Friday, the tennis and basketball courts,etc. Whether those expectations will get met, only time will tell.

The apprehensions aside, I’m pretty pleased with the move. I know two people who for some unexplainable reason are overly happy. The parental unit is super proud and is going around telling people that their son is in the marketing team of *insert company name here*. I don’t think they’ve been so proud of me in a really really long time. Needless to say, they’re already telling me to buy a new car, make investments, and buy land and what not. Whoa parents whoa! Let’s calm down. While I am taking home a prettier sum than before, let’s look at the way the prices of everything is going up. Best not to get carried away, and buy a whole bunch of nonsense that I really don’t need, and really can’t afford.

And if they are expecting the marriage thing to kick in by the end of 2013, I’ve got to have some savings. Unlike a lot of my peers, my profile does not allow for these on-site visits where you make a ton of money and buy houses once back and start every sentence with, “from my time in the US….” Come to think of it, most of my peers must think I am pretty retarded to bother with a profile that does not allow one to go onsite. All that aside, the truth is my folks are middle class Indians with typical middle class dreams. Despite the fact that almost every second person you bump into has worked for said company, it is still a matter of pride for them. And I guess I owe them that much after a decade of disappointment.

Anyway, I hope you all will pray that I have a good time here and do well in my job. I hope to go back to writing more often about the things I see. I am sure a lot of interesting insights (sarcastic view of the world from being single and lonely for so long) will emerge as time goes by. I shall make a sincere attempt to not start the next blog with an apology.