Sunday, September 05, 2004

Back to the grind

I accepted an offer and started work for a big financial company a week ago. I wanted this kind of work for the longest time and I finally got an offer to work on the server/database. I am really happy about it; I was bored with doing the same kind of work on the client. There is a lot to learn though; I am unfamiliar with most of the financial instruments. My manager seems to be the kind of person who enjoys teaching. He explains things in great detail, assuming the other person does not know anything, which is the best way. Reasons I accepted this offer as opposed to others were work (server-side), location in the city (I always wanted to live and work in the city), big company (stability), different industry (nice change from working for software companies) and pay (can't believe they are paying me this much).

I enjoyed my vacation, but it feels good to be working again. However, waking up early in the morning is no fun. I am definitely not a morning person and used to get to work around 11 am at my previous job. At this new job everyone reaches work by 9 am. I hated it the first week, but I've grown used to it now. I get to work early so I leave work around 6 pm and have so much time left in the evening for myself. I workout, cook (yeah me cook; I'm so proud of myself), study, watch some TV. All this is good, especially the cooking. I have cooked 2 times in 2 weeks. The food was no good the first time and my friend told me honestly that the food was bad (why do I have to have honest friends?) So second time I invited the same friend and got complimented (truthfully I can safely assume).

A problem with working in the city is parking. Parking is outrageously expensive so I take local transport. This is the first time I ever traveled by means other than my car and it feels good. I get to observe people, really see what's going on around me. When you are traveling by car, you miss everything that you would otherwise notice on foot. Although walking can be hazardous if you are not wearing the proper shoes. I fell flat on my face walking today. I was wearing recently bought shoes that looked good, but apparently weren't very practical. All in all, I feel a sense of achievement about waking up early, getting something other than work done on weekdays, and taking local transport (conserving gas). I get so much more done when I'm working rather than when I'm unemployed. I guess inertia tends to do that to you.

There are some things I don't like about working. It is a pain in the butt, literally. My butt really hurt from sitting all day; especially the first few days. It makes working out all the more necessary since I sit all day in front of the computer. There are some differences in the culture when you're working for a big company versus a small company. Apparently I can't use yahoo messenger, which is a bummer. All my friends contact me through messenger. I tend to eat more when I'm working and consequently gain weight easily. I seem to be the only single person around and probably the youngest. This had always been the case at my previous companies except the very last one. There was a younger girl, but she was married. So I have no lunch partner and end up eating alone most times - which I don't mind as much since I like exploring the area on foot. It is quite happening around lunch time with the awesome weather we're seeing in SF lately, the hustle-bustle of people walking back/to lunch and the music playing on the street. A new guy is joining in our group soon; I hope he's single or a young married guy who doesn't get his lunch from home so I can go to lunch with him.

Another con is that I have to dress up for work. I can't wear my jeans, shorts, tank tops to work. I dress up in pants and skirts. I was looking out the window while running in the gym and noticed that everyone wears only 4 colors - black, gray, blue and tan. And I realized I was doing the same so the next day I wore a sweater with pink, purple, orange and brown in it. It looked good.

I am proud to travel by bus but there is one disadvantage to that too. I do not get to listen to NPR in my car anymore. It was my favorite thing about driving. I hardly listen to the radio at work or home unless it's science Friday when I would tune in at work. Today when taking a ride from a friend's place I heard a program about Tihar jail on NPR. It was nice listening to hindi being spoken and hindi songs on NPR. I tend to get excited about such things and call all my friends asking them to tune in; especially if it's something about cricket. Most of my guy friends and some women too are cricket fanatics.

I pride myself on being a quick learner and have started contributing in the team already. However the ramp up is harder here because I don't have the domain knowledge. Sometimes after a hard day I wonder if I should have just accepted the offer at my previous job. It would have been comfortable. But then the only way to progress is to put oneself in a slightly uncomfortable, yet challenging position. So my professional life seems to be in good shape; time to start working on my non-existent love life.

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