Saturday, 10 April 2010

The first few days of not being an i-flexer!

My first post after leaving i-flex, and its been 10 days since! And a hectic 10 days if I may add.

First few days in NIIT (Yes I've joined NIIT Technologies for those who don't know yet) have been decent enough... too early to comment whether its for better or worse, but its definitely not unmanageable, except for the commute. It takes me 1.5 hours or more either way, and for a person who has till date managed to stay close to office or have office transport available, this is definitely the most difficult hurdle thatz come in the new job. This blog is about my life at i-flex, so won't say more about my NIIT experience here.

Many friends have repeatedly asked me how it feels to be out of i-flex and into a new job. And I repeatedly keep telling them - too early to tell. Too early to tell what...??? The latter yes, possibly (will definitely take more than a few days to know how I feel about the new job), but how I feel being out of i-flex, it was very much evident and known much before I actually left.

Leaving i-flex, as I have said again and again, was definitely not an easy decision, but I think it was made much easier by the fact that last 1.5+ years was spent in Equinox (OFSBPO). Now before I'm misunderstood, the OFSBPO experience was great, with ample amount of learning coming with it. But no one would deny that the Equinox office culture was nothing like i-flex (maybe better, maybe worse, but definitely not the same). Had I been in Bangalore or Mumbai when I resigned, it would have been much much more difficult. But in a way my exit was cushioned by the move to Equinox (much like if you fall off height but a break in the fall saves you from getting hurt). When I moved to Equinox, I was still connected to i-flex but at the same time, it was already like joining a different organization, and the final exit in a way was from Equinox, and not from i-flex.

Still, severance from equinox wasn't easy either, as I'd grown into a comfort zone in equinox pretty fast, made a lot of good friends in Gurgaon office, and in a way had recreated i-flex for myself there. There are a lot of things I'll miss about i-flex, some I may come to ignore, some I may get in other places, and yet, some that will always be missed. The recognition that came to you when you walked into any office (Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore) even when in some cases it was after years is something I doubt I'll ever get elsewhere. And I know, even now after leaving i-flex, I'll get the same whenever I choose to walk in.

A recent example of this was when I was in GO office and a security guard came up to me. The gentleman was happy seeing me (I was seeing him after at least 5-6 years) and told me that he is now based in SEEPZ and happened to see my entry in SEEPZ register a few months back on his off day and was disappointed to miss the chance of meeting me. This incident touched me a lot... getting this kind of respect from Security/Housekeeping after so many years is something I hold more dear than getting the same from other colleagues. Not to sound prejudiced, its just that with others, even if you don't visit them in their office, you tend to interact on email/messenger, but with the security staff whom you've not interacted at all in years, and even when you did it was limited interaction... you'll assume they'd have forgotten you by now! And the fact that they still remember you shows you must have done some good.

Now that I've started in the new organization, I wait and watch how things will turn out. Maybe life will be good after all, but it will never be the same!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Final Countdown!

There are people who treat a job as just that - A JOB and a means to earn their livelihood. And then there are those, who find a home, a family in their job and colleagues. My journey of 11 years in i-flex, the second company I worked for, would fall into the latter category.

Before someone comments on the name, yes I know its no longer i-flex. It was CITIL when I joined, and OFSS when I leave, so technically I never joined a company called i-flex and will not be leaving a company called i-flex either... but I'll always prefer to call it i-flex solutions.

It has been almost 11 years now since the day I stepped into the city of Mumbai and reached this building in a side-road (took me a while to find). And the sight that welcomed me on arrival is etched vividly in my mind - a building under construction (VP office had 2 floors then, 3rd and 4th were still under construction) with wooden frames all around it, construction material spread everywhere. This sure didn't help quell the already running thoughts in my mind about the wrong decision I'd made by joining CITIL (more on my entry into the organization in my next post) but anyway, there was no turning back at that point, so slowly I made my way in... to face the music!

That was the day when I became part of a 700 strong organization, and now I have reached the point where I'll soon be leaving a 15000+ organization (not counting the Oracle numbers). In precisely 10 days from now!

Leaving i-flex was never going to be a easy decision for me. My wife always referred to i-flex as my first wife, and even when I'd officially resigned, she refused to believe I'm leaving, firm in her belief that I'll sooner than later retract my resignation. Proving her wrong (FINALLY) is a mixed feeling for sure!!!

Now that I stand on this juncture, moving into my last 10 days in i-flex, I felt it apt to start a blog and share my 11 years in the company, my views of the organization and the people I've known here.

This will I believe give me the right forum to acknowledge almost everyone (almost because I may inadvertently miss out some) who impacted my life in i-flex. Sending those Good Bye mails reaching everyone has sure become cumbersome after moving to Oracle emails.

Friends reading this who may have some pictures that form a part of my i-flex journey, please share the same with me. I'd love to include them in my future posts here.