Saturday, January 31, 2009

6 down, 30 to go!

One milestone post deserves another.

Jan 27, I finished 6 years in the corporate world. In the tech-end of it at that! When I graduated with a bachelors in engineering, if you told me I would finish a Masters and then work in the same line for 6 years, I would have most certainly laughed at you and said you were kidding yourself. Yet here I am!

You see, when I was in engineering, only one subject interested me remotely and that was just one class in the final semester. The rest was filled with Electronics, Milman and Halkias, that bible for electronics, Digital Signal Processing and what else not! I hated that Milman and Halkias book. Electronics, holes and electrons, p- and n-, diodes and transistors were all a big mess in my head. Never liked it at all. I think I never got my basics right in that. Maybe Milman was not to blame after all. It was just me. (Subhash seems to love that blighted book!)

Anyways, the one subject I remotely liked was Computer Networks, and when I was in the final year, V, my senior (and Subhash's friend) was interviewing for Cisco and he told me prospects are great and all that. I had just heard of Cisco once before that and it was because my friend was married to a guy who worked at Cisco in Bangalore. He had a 75K take home then and that was smashing good. Worth 10 Cr in dowry, good.

So I decided ok, this is probably not such a bad option for a career choice and went with it. And ever since then, everything possible happened to detract me from that line. The school I went to, (I still don't know why the hell they admitted me) was heavily into microprocesors and networking was next to non-existant. So I funded myself by grading Math homework for a living. I took microprocessor courses and you should know how difficult that can get for a person who hates Milman. I really wanted to stick to Comp Networking so I started thinking of ways to achieve that while taking totally unfocussed subjects for finishing that horrid MS.

I interviewd with Cisco summer of 2002 for an internship. They said CCNA is a must. If I had a CCNA, they said they wold have taken me. I went and finished it in two weeks, called them back and said, now I have it. Sorry, position os filled already. I think that was the beginning of the downward slope. The next three years were horrible and that is an understatement. I started working in 2003, but it was turbulent. Never a security cover. Never a sense of permanence. I even got laid off once, and that was the lowest I probably hit!

So broke I was that I was willing to do any job as long as it paid for two meals a day and being alone in a foreign land with absolutely no family support system to fall back on was not helping at all. I applied for all kinds of jobs, but nothing worked out. I finally got back into GE but then there was always an undercurrent, always a fear of layoff. Till I interviewd with Cisco for a second time in 2005 and got in, it was one bleak canvas. But since that second try at Cisco worked, there has been no looking back, touch wood!

Well, depressing enough for a post. I just try to keep reminding myself of the horrible times so that I don't ever forget how lucky I am now, or start taking all the good things for granted. 6 years down, 30 more to go. Wow! 30 more years of working, that seems impossible to do! I don't think I can last another 30 years!!

Want to bet? ;)


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