Monday, July 19, 2010

Professional hazards - II continued

Remember I said I was in mourning? Scratch that. I was in denial. I thought it would be difficult for me to get over, but that G would be there even after V was gone, and that would be enough.

This morning, G pinged and asked whether I could speak for a few minutes. I gladly agreed, assuming that it was about some urgent tasks for the upcoming product release. I never suspected what I'd be hit with. And then she said the words. She's about to move on too.

Although, I'm very, very glad for her, because it's a wonderful opportunity--she's getting the exact job she wanted, without taking a pay cut. She can continue working from her home office twice a week, and the rest of the days have fixed work timings. It sounds like a really wonderful opportunity for her.

G is so sweet and considerate, I could die of all the sweetness! She informed our manager about this on Friday, and could have dropped the rest of us an email, or spoken to us on the same day. She waited until Monday morning when I reached office to break the news, because she knew it would have ruined my weekend, had she done otherwise. I'm really thankful to her for that, because I had an unexpectedly nice weekend. Bless her soul!

And now, I'm at a loss for words and feelings. G was my last reason to have any emotional attachment to my project teammates. I'll forever feel the void when working with this team now. I thought I'd be crying my eyes out when this happened, but I'm not. I think I shielded my heart after L left, so even V's news didn't hurt enough. I'm not letting the pain reach within. Right now, we have to focus on the impending release, and make sure all the necessary tasks are done. There's no time for mourning too.

Also, even though our managers would appreciate us taking over V's and G's responsibilities in such a short time, it just wouldn't feel right to me. I think I jinxed the team through and through. Now I have a very silly hope that our managers would be able to contact the folks we lost or let go earlier, and convince them to come back. Like I said: silly hope. I'm in denial and I don't want to get out of it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Professional hazards - II

This one isn't funny. Not one bit. Remember how I mentioned that I work with the best team in the world? Well, all my blabbering took its toll. I jinxed it.

When I joined my current company 3 years ago, I wasn't sure of what I was getting into. I'd moved on from a very fun work environment. Not that all was rosy, a lot of people complained, but their issues were alien to me. I didn't think about how my new team would be, I just switched jobs because I had to move cities and it was the easiest thing to do. When they hired me here, they had two positions open and weren't sure which team to put me on. It was my terrific luck that I landed where I am. I had a very professional and gentlemanly manager, and it was inspiring to see him at work.

He moved on within less that a year of my joining. Fortunately, I wasn't working with anyone else locally, my team stayed intact. Then came the horrible month of December 2008 when a LOT of employees were laid off globally. We lost the most senior and knowledgeable member of the team and also a contractor who part-timed with us. In 2009, our lead decided to move to another project. We couldn't complain, because she was on the same project for a decade and needed change! Later that year we also came to know that our manager was battling with a dreadful disease. Even though she wasn't around a lot, we heard from her via emails, and assumed that she'd be with us for a few more years. We lost her earlier this year.

Soon after, there was another round of lay-offs, and the next most senior member (am I seeing a pattern here?) was let go. It was a shock and I was sad and angry for quite a few days. What sort of business strategy aims for success by laying off people with over 20 years of experience and replacing them with freshers or folks with 3-5 years of experience in a country where they don't even have the relevant curriculum?! (It's another matter that we learn and adapt well.) Now, there were only2 of the 6 members that I started off with. I decided that I'd stick around as long as there was at least one of them. Today morning, we received an email that one of those two is leaving.

This awesome woman has resigned, and she'll be gone in 2 weeks! I hate change and I'm officially in mourning.

What's the hazard here? Well, in my profession, you need excellent communication skills. That is one thing, which if used correctly and with good intent, can make life easier for everyone around you. However, people can also use it to manipulate and twist things only for their personal advantage. It's a subtle power that can disrupt the harmony of a near-perfect community. The wonderful people that I have been with will always be my benchmark for future teams. And I'm not sure I'll be third-time lucky.

PS: G, with V gone, it'll be just you and me, that too in different continents. I hope you don't decide to leave too. I'll have no motivation to stay put. I'll hate coming to work. Baaawwwwwwllllll!