Sunday, January 22, 2012

7 Years with Infy - Part 2

Joining Date : 18-Oct-2004,
Relieved Date : 28-Dec-2011

Package was 14844, and had to join on 18-Oct-2004 @ Mysore. My fresher package was almost same or better than my dad's package that time with his 30yrs of experience in TNHB. Came home quitting the motor servicing job. Went to Mysore, got into the campus, guy who came along, Rathish Kumar, became my room mate to share apartment. When i went in to the apartment, it was a like a 5-star hotel that i had never even seen in dreams. TV, Mattress, Room Service, Coffee supply, a dream life...that too to come to such a place from the blore shared acco was a...OMG. Especially the most lovely was the bathroom with the amazing shower. The shower head on rotation will change the flow of water and that was fun. havent still seen such a good shower yet after these 7 yrs. i believe they deducted 1500 per month for acco from sal.

Training was OK. I followed my own formula to prepare for exams and clear. it wasnt easy as anyone would say, Infy training is one of the worlds best. Guys would get a second chance to clear exams but would be thrown out if not cleared. It became more harsh for batches after us and did hear myself of ppl being thrown out. there were also night mare stories of ppl getting caught by all kinds of mischief. But, of all these, mysore stay was absolutely pleasant. With all the facilities and atmosphere and ambience.... Did have a glimpse of NRN once or twice for functions. For most of the functions, there would be free food and i regretted those days for being a pure veg(now am a pure non-veg :D, was veg for period of 5 years until chicago). Dint aim myself to top the classes but just to clear the training smoothly. But when they brought in this variable pay concept for trainees well, felt cheated as would have sure joined the race had i been told on time.

Chandramouli was one gud friendship i got who kind of met my wave length tho he talked always less. Rathish, my room mate was all fun. Basically a mallu, but a brought up Northiee, he is a real genius, but kept himself low always. Used to tell me a lot about north, hindi films, kerala....etc and we used to discuss abt a lot of topics. But sure was a little lazy guy. Even after we left training to our posted DCs, he used to frequently call me and kept in touch. Almost i believe even after 5 yrs he did have me in touch. i always told him that i would call him next time myself but i never did :(. Did meet many others but most of them dint match my wavelength and Nandini, tho i did admire her attitude, dint have time or circumstance to get along. There was all this romantic stories happening around and i had nothing along my way :(.

On my first salary, as i promised, went to blore and did treat my x-roomies in a local hotel. On my stay for months, did see around places in and arnd Mysore. The palace, i went with Rathish for Pankaj Udas Gazal, that chitti song....yeah i remember. Also been to Srirangapatna and Chamundi Hills. Traveled unreserved thro train to vellore. My training was for 4 months, long cycle, as i was from EE. On traingin completion, got the original posting to IVS, mysore. Without much idea about IVS, started trying for a swap to chennai posting. Alok, a very matured guy, who wanted a mysore posting, offered to swap and we together with his directions, pushed the HR to agree to the swap and did finally succeed. But then came a twist. one other chennai posted girl of my batch was asked to go on deputation to TVM, kerala for 4 months for a project along with abt 10+ others. after trying others she finally came to me. She did have tears, i couldnt do much, also i had this additional 4k allowance (:D) pushing me if i take this. So another swap happened.

Got into my first project in Infy in Trivandrum. A real god's own country. The first thing that comes to mind on hearing TVM is the green trees, was around there every where. First week was given accommodation by Infy at Arya Nivas. Train mates already praised the Hotel with me. Havent tasted such delicious dosas ever, not even at HSB. Made sure we get there every time we get a chance. Should be proud that it was by tamil ppl (i hope so). Hotel was very close to Railway station. Bus stand was also very close. There was also this India coffee House on a spiral building near the station which you should try. But the office was more than 10 kms away at Kazha kuttam. Usually took the prepaid auto in the morning. Got joined with other 8 guys of the team and together we got a duplex individual house. Guess the rent was 9k. It was 30 mins by walk from office, other wise auto/bus/shuttle. i preferred to walk which i usually did while returning late from office. Our team, most of them tamil, almost gave the others a rebel gang feel. we stayed late in the office while all the others left on time.

I personally was living my life. Felt settled for life and on cloud 9, was given a job which wasnt much technical. In other words, a dummy job. Was sure my PM would know whats right for me, for he knows my profile. it helped myself a lot as well for I spent most of my time reading fwds from all around the world and re-fwding the right ones to enlighten/entertain others. There was this virtual race of sending most fwds within freshers and being the first to send a best fwd....etc...not sure if its all there now amongst freshers....So when did i work? oh yeah, when everyone is left for the day, spent an hr or 2 and did my job. It was more than enough and we still got customer appreciation, tho it was an internal customer, a customer is a customer. we went around places(usually beaches) for treats and proj parties. Varkala was one of the most beautiful i have seen then. But there were lots of temples i wanted to explore around. Without right company, went around myself in the weekends. Been to Suseendhiram, Kanyakumari(3 hrs from TVM by bus), Aatukal Bagavathy and ofcourse Padbanabaswamy. Once in a while we went to tamil movies getting released, did watch chandramukhi there. we also went to a 'local' movie at a local Mahadeva theater with high expectations and it was horrible :D. There was this geetanjali hotel with tamil guys and daily food was manageable. One thing u would note is that most hotels serve only hot jeera(cumin) water instead of plain water.

An interesting incident that whole of our gang would always remember was the stay at Kazha Kuttam police station for an hr or so. It was after a night show movie from the city, we returned late night by bus, all 9 of us together walking to our home and at the junction, the police jeep saw us and followed slowly, when it came near, he dint ask us anything but to get into the jeep. Everyone was shocked and when one of the friends tried to show ID card, he dragged him inside and others followed without any hesitation looking at it horrified. On getting down at station, i tried to show the movie tickets, but he wasnt ready for anything. He just dropped us all in the station and left. Without knowing wat to do, slowly after some time, we gathered courage to call ppl that we know. Infy HR/Security (Not sure who) did speak and gave some confidence. After an hour or so, our TVM Infy security head came by to the station at around 2/3 AM and relieved us. we all 8/9 of us got into that single Indica(hope so), just to avoid confronting the SI(not sure, could be Inspector), tho uncomfortably and dropped us all home. Luckily none of us were drunk, infact all of us were teetotalers then. We were lil afraid next day in office, on how ppl wud take us as we already had our reputation. But surprisingly, everyone supported us including the DC head and assured us of taking relevant action. After a week we heard that the police guy was transferred from that location but we were also warned to be careful as that location was already marked sensitive. Anyways, we were proud be being part of Infy :)

i used to transfer to Hari to give it to my mom and my Mom recently recalled it saying the first big money was that 15k from Hari and i remember i did it intentionally as a surprise. When i came home @ vellore for my second vacation, there were some changes happening in the team back at TVM. So, when my manager called me to ask if i would agree to change my base location to TVM which would give me 1 lakh or something as relocation expense, i said no as already informed by friends. Then my whole team took to train closing the deputation at TVM and got my luggage from them at katpadi on their way to Chennai :).

It wasnt exactly chennai, but sholinganallur. And now, it itself is a proper chennai, so much of traffic, chaos and real estate hike. Continued in the same project and worked in sholinganallur for a month or two before moving to Mcity. Met this guy Venkatesh for first time and also Nandini whom i have met in training. Slowly we got better interactions and we moved to Mcity to continue. It was the first appraisal that taught me whats a profession, what you should expect and wat it expects...almost everything slowly started to make sense after the lowest rating i got. It was also the 2 other mates who worked with me on the dummy project who got the lowest rating. Its not NRN who shapes your career, not even your manager, its finally you and if you are not sure to what you want and wat is given to you, ofcourse, you will be screwed like myself. The rating did impact me and hurt me until i left Infy. Ppl whom i thot didnt make any sense in the way they worked, actually made sense. It brought the 1st significant difference in salary between myself and my other batch mates. The first dummy project made me take a slow start in the later projects as well. But on the positive side, the first 2 yrs helped me the later years, helped me make the right decisions and raise right questions. I never ever regretted any of my professional decision after that.

All the while, stayed in S. P Koil, got friendship with uppili family, who actually helped with dinner for many infoscions lived around s. p. koil. Later, Uppili family slowly became family friends with me and my family. For the next one year, career wise, it was the same, i tried to just output the expected and started getting pissed off with the same project from the internal client. Had an interesting fight at the second yr appraisal and though the rating wasnt satisfactory appraisal discussion was for me. Finally got out of it and moved to a retail Java project, it was there i started learning a lot and delivering a lot. Though once dropped to a dummy proj again came back to dev work within 2 months and delivered and indeed got appreciation from the DM. Saravanan was my lead officially then and not sure if he played any part there :D. Got a role change after 3 yrs to Programmer Analyst. Did help my family on financial problems as much as possible meanwhile.

For the 4 yrs of my infy life, i always earned just about the expense for the month. ie, after transferring amt to family expense, paying all personal loans and rent, would have around 3/4 k for monthly expenses for my own which would be nill by the end of the month :D. i still managed to enjoy myself with a lot of trips to temples around with friends. Enjoyed chengalpet theaters with Saravanan in his unicorn, almost all possible movies and once in a while to sathyam cinemas as well. During my college days, had rarely gone to a movie, even after a lot of compulsion from friends, i kept avoiding them bcz of money. cant digest easily some one else paying me. And now this is wat i did compensate. i bought my first dream bike, blue pulsar 180, of my own money on my 4th year at Infy.

Ending Part-2, continued in Part-3.

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