Author: Sridhar

SUNDAY 122

Time: 8:26
Place: Aliabad

Sunday post after a couple of weeks. Couldn’t write last week as I was in Karimnagar for Dasara. Couldn’t write the week before as I was busy with some work.

Its been a disappointing week. I had an initial call with AWS yesterday.. and got rejected immediately. It’s an opportunity that I lost. Aditya had given me the topics for the interviews one month in advance. There can be no excuses for why I could not prepare for the interviews. I wasn’t expecting them to focus entirely on networking. But I should have been better prepared.

I have now squandered 2 opportunities. 3 counting the Walmart last year. I have been overconfident and lax in my preparation. I have to do better. But how?

There are too many things running in my mind right now. I need to relax and clear my mind. Perhaps take a day off. I need to refocus and think about what I have to do. Too many times I do too much planning and very little execution. I should stop doing that.

I’ll need to think about things this week.

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SUNDAY 121

Time: 10:16
Place: Home

Sunday post on a Monday as I was busy yesterday.

So after a lot of posturing, OCM work finally arrived at our doorsteps. Its arrived in heaps. I had to spend a couple of days in night shift last week to shadow the US guys and learn OCM. There is bound to be more work in the coming weeks.

I learned this week that the Mrs. has an education loan of 2.9L amount to pay off. I am borrowing money for Mr. AB to pay the loan amount. I have planned to take a rental advance from the office for 1.8L to pay him back. The advance will get deposited in my account minus the tax so I will need to arrange about 50K extra in the coming months to pay him off.

I have asked the In Laws to stay back in Bangalore until the resolution of the education loan.

I posted my reply of the one year thing this week. I will need to make the time to write another letter this week.

A letter to Sridhar – 2016

one-year

To,

Sridhar Reddy
Aged 27 years 9 Months

Hey pal. It’s me, you from the future.

Yes I am 28 years 9 months old. Time inevitably moves only in one direction. The only way to fight the passage of time is by controlling the self. Age after all, is just a number.

All things considered, its going good. The Mrs. is happy, with me and with herself. We have no kids yet, and none are on the way just yet.

It has been a turbulent year, just as you predicted. Its difficult enough to learn to live with a new person when you have no past experience to bank on. My life has been made more difficult with various things happening with me and around me. I have learn’t a little about myself these past few months and I certainly have changed a lot.

Do I chronicle all of my difficulties this past year? Since its just you and things will stay between us, I will.

It all started with the marriage. I had a hard time arranging funds for the marriage. I got no help from dad whatsoever. I thought bro will help me out by being there for me. That didn’t happen either. I had to plan and arrange every small detail myself. I was so caught up arranging my marriage, I did not have the time to enjoy it.

One would think the weeks after marriage would be good right? Not for me. I was uncomfortable living with the in laws in the beginning. I did not have my own personal space and I felt like I was living in someone else’s living room. The Mrs. was oblivious to my discomfort and continued to live the way she was living before marriage,  which was irritating for me. We got into lots of fights in those first 2 months.

Then we had the problems with sex. At first I got to know I had a problem. I went through a surgery and spent a few difficult weeks thereafter. Then we realized even she has a problem. I felt the need to correct my problem. She does not. Even if she did, I’m not sure if there are ways to correct the problem. At first I thought, and I still think to a certain extent, that her problem is psychological. Whatever the case may be, sex has been a struggle and we got into lots of fights because of it.

We fought because she is untidy. We fought because I am stubborn about money. We fought about her lack of interest in changing her job. We fought because of her unwillingness to communicate with my dad. And then we fought about silly reasons. Just yesterday we had a fight about her thoughtlessness. I can count the number of weeks I haven’t made her cry on one hand. The number of weeks while I was in India that is.

We fight. But then we get back to each other. I don’t know if it is love. Sure we tell each other that we love each other. But what is love? All I know is that I cannot spend 2 full days being mad at her. I would go back to her and would apologize for my behavior even if I felt she is the one who was wrong. I would find a way to make her laugh. Then everything would be fine. Until the next fight.

I guess its a good thing all our fights have been for silly reasons. We never had a strong enough reason to stay mad at each other. Over the course of the last few months, I feel we have come to understand each other. The kind of things that bothered us in the past, don’t bother us much anymore. That does not mean its all rosy and gold. Like I said, we had a fight yesterday.

We cannot give each other all of the things that we want from each other. We both have to compromise about certain things. We are close enough that we tell each other everything. But most of the times we don’t really understand why something is so important to the other. Neither of us backs down. Both of us have strong egos. Both of us have flaws that we point out to each other. Neither of us likes to be reminded about our flaws. But we are still together. We fit. I don’t think there are a lot of women who would have handled my overbearing and controlling nature. I don’t think there are a lot of men who would have handled her childishness and general incompetence about certain things. We fight and we grumble but on most of the days, we kiss each other good night and we kiss each other good morning.

What other problems did I have? Oh yes, money! Ah man. Money. I don’t have aspirations of being rich. I would be satisfied if I had a small fixed income and I could invest to build our future. I am sick and tired of paying loans. I have spent all of my working life paying loans. I have spent most of my working life paying at least 2 loans. Finally I get married to a women who is working and who is earning a decent pay. What do I get along with it? More loans. Do you want to guess the reason why we fought yesterday?

For a man who likes to be in control of everything, not being able to see out the end of these loans is so frustrating. I get frustrated when I look at other people who earn more than I do. I get frustrated when I apply for jobs, prepare hard for them, and the only company who bothers to take my interview rejects me because I have a bad “attitude”. I get frustrated when I don’t get good work in the office. I get frustrated when I don’t see a rise in my pay. Most of all, I am frustrated because I have to keep my frustration to myself. Even the Mrs. does not really understand. Can someone please throw this dog a bone.

Even as I write this post, I can see its depressing. I will stop my rant because it has not been entirely bad. There have been good days too. I am lucky enough to have friends who I get to meet and spend quality time with most weekends. I have been on a couple of very good trips. I am planning to go to South Africa in November for what should be a very good trip.

Men often make the mistake of highlighting the bad things and not appreciating the good things. For all of my talk about having fights with the Mrs, we have spent very little time of our life fighting each other. Most of the time we are kind and loving towards each other. We have collected some good memories and have had some great moments. Regardless of how things turn out to be in the future, I am sure we will continue to accumulate good memories.

This is why when you ask me how things are going, I would all things considered, it is going good. In a weeks time, I will need to sit down and write another letter, similar to the one you wrote to me. Life is starting to ask me some very difficult questions, and starting today, I need to prepare myself to answer those questions. I hope I get some answers.

SUNDAY 120

Time: 18:29
Place: Home

A so-so week.

Didn’t get much work done. Did some planning for the south africa trip.

In laws are visiting tomorrow and will stay for a week. Needless to say I will spend most of my time out of home and in the office.

4 workout days in the week.

SUNDAY 119

Time: 17:18
Place: Home

Another okayish week. On Monday I got to know that I got rejected from Wells. The manager apparently did not like my attitude. In retrospect, I can understand why he felt that way. I now understand that it doesn’t serve my purpose by being completely frank in job interviews. In other news, the Mrs. did not receive any calls.

Amazon will not be calling me this month. I am not expecting any other calls this month. I have to get down to work now. I have wasted the last couple of months. I have to complete the RAC certification by end of this month. I have a 10 day engagement with Fidelity coming up. I don’t know how much time that will end up taking. I have to start accepting the fact that I might be stuck at Oracle for some time to come and I have to learn the most from any new work that comes up.

I visited Tirumala on the weekend along with Friends. Though tiring, it was a good trip. I have made plans to visit Hyderabad this month end. I will staying there for a week.

After a lot of consideration, I agreed to the SA trip. It is going to be a costly trip and it not something I can truly afford right now. I may not have friends ready to tour with me when I do have the money for the tour though. I used Mr. B’s credit card for the flight tickets. The international tickets cost me 48638 (54042-10%) and the domestic tickets cost me about 9000.

 

SUNDAY 118

Time: 16:30
Place: Home

A long weekend this week. Didnt do a lot of productive work but spent some quality time with friends. Mr. B gave a treat yesterday at Windmills. It was fun. The gang have planned for a trip to South Africa in October. They want us to come too. I would like to go but I can’t afford the trip right now.

Wells Fargo didn’t get back to me. I will send them an email tomorrow and ask them about what is going on. The Mrs got a call for interview with Accenture. The interview might be scheduled in the coming couple of weeks. I hope it goes well for her.

OCM shadowing is about to start in the coming weeks. Its becoming very difficult to deal with now. I haven’t done much work with  Mercedes too this past few weeks. It is going to catch up on me very soon. I really need to get my act together fast.

4 day workout week. I did a good lower body workout yesterday after a long time. Legs really sore right now but its nice to get back in the groove. I need to make a 5 day workout week next week.

SUNDAY 117

Time: 09:04
Place: Home

An up and down week. I was stuck in the escalation with iQor till Monday. Tuesday was a holiday and I visited Nellore for the wedding on Wednesday. I received a call on Wednesday from Wells Fargo. They wanted to do a manager round. I attended the interview on Friday and it went well.

The problem with Wells Fargo is that the work is not that great. Its mostly going to be maintenance work on Exadata machines. The other problem is the location of the work. I can choose between Bangalore and Hyderabad but I cannot change my location once I join. That makes planning our logistics very difficult. Do I join in Bangalore and commit to being here for the next 2 years at least. Or do I join in Hyderabad in leave the Mrs. here to fend for her own.

There are some positives though. At least its not L1, L2 work. They are building a team and are planning to go up to 20 from the current 5. It would be good to join such a team. They are migrating several applications onto Exadata. This means that there is going to be a lot of work in the coming 2 years. Good job security.

I wish there were more options for me to choose from. I feel as if I am standing with my 2 feet on 2 separate boats, and the boats are moving in different directions. The escalation over the last weekend would not have happened if I had been focused on my work. OCM work will start sooner or later and I will need to get ready. I don’t have the time to dilly-dally.

I had a long discussion with the Mrs. today. We talked about what we should do if Wells did end up giving me an offer. It would be a difficult decision to make, so I gave her a week to make up her mind.

Meanwhile, I will spend as of time as possible this week preparing for the last technical round in Wells.

SUNDAY 116

Time: 10:04
Place: Home

I’m back. 4 months after my last Sunday post. 9 Months into my marriage. I am back to regularly writing the Sunday posts. Hopefully.

Continuing the theme of being stuck from the last post. I have had some time to reflect on my situation. It has been almost 2 months since I posted my resume to companies. I managed 2 referrals, one of which went to interviews. There has been no progress whatsoever.

There is only so much I can do. There is no point in being hard on myself and feeling down.  I need to accept my situation and adapt to the framework. It does not however mean that I abandon all ambitions. I need to be prepared for any opportunities that come my way as well.

So what’s my situation?

It’s been tough financially. Me and the Mrs have just 40K balance in the account. The Mrs. has completed paying off her marriage loans this month but will need to start paying her Education loan starting next month. At this rate it seems like I would end the year with net savings of 1L. I can’t even use that to pay advance for my next place if I move.

About moving: There would be no moving. I have been grumbling about having to stay so far away and having to spend so much time travelling to the office. I need to get used to the fact that I will be staying in the same place the rest of this year at least. No furniture as well. Living with minimal comforts doesn’t really bother me. I have lived this way for a long time.

Work: OCM work will start eventually. I will need to put in a lot of effort to scale up. That will affect the amount of time that I have for self skill development and to stay fresh for interviews.

So:
1. Budget is tight.
2. I stay in the same shitty place.
3. I struggle at work.

Looking at the bright side:
1. I will still end up with 10L in total career savings by end of this year. Most of them are immovable assets but they still count.
2. Its not so bad. Its quiet and breezy and not smelly.
3. I got an outstanding rating so I should get a promotion and a raise. Also Oracle is doing good relatively so its not a bad place to be at right now.

So the framework. How do I best utilize my time to continue a good career, and to stay happy?

The chat that I had with Chaman had some benefits. I am off the hook for this month at least. I can put off travelling to OTP for the rest of this month. I can continue travelling to PTP. I have a good opportunity to sit with the Apps folks and to learn from them. It will definitely do good to my career. I have reached saturation with regards to database certifications anyway. Adding Apps certifications will go a long way in improving my career and employability.

So I have a 3 pronged strategy: I spend time on OCM, Interviews and Apps. With regards to interviews, I think its best I do test cases every day. Working on test cases will give me real experience. 3 hours on each should keep me busy this month. It will not be easy however. Maintaining focus on 3 different things at the same time is very challenging. I have never done it in my life. I will get mentally fatigued and frustrated. I will once again use this journal as a medium to vent my frustration and to track and motivate myself.

Jai ho!

Stuck

I am coming back to writing in this journal after 4 months. I did feel the need to write more often during this time, but did not want it enough to actually invest the time.

This Journal has been my solace during difficult times. It kept me going when I had little control over other aspects of my life. It helped me deal with loss, disappointment and depression. And now I am back. Why?

I have been married for 8 months now. Life was progressing at a decent pace till recently but has come to a grinding halt now. I need change in life. I cannot bear being the same or doing the same things day in and day out.

I have these plans that I make up in my mind. I have a need to implement those plans. When factors external to me stop me from doing what I want to do, I feel helpless and unhappy. I am in such a state right now.

I don’t feel settled where I am right now. I do not like the home that I stay in. I having been planning to move out from a while now. But move where? I wanted to move to Hyderabad. My “grand” plan was that the Mrs. would get a job in Hyderabad and then I would take a transfer from Oracle and then we would move to Hyderabad and live happily for ever.

That didn’t happen. Its been 4 months and the Mrs. hasn’t received a single call. I have pushed her till the point where it affected our relationship. She says she is trying. I don’t see any results so I don’t know if she is trying enough. But there is no way for me to know. I can only rely on what she tells me. And what she tells me is that either there or no jobs for her experience or she doesn’t have the time to prepare for interviews.

At one point I decided to stop pushing her and instead focus on myself. I wanted to change my own job and then look at what we could do about hers. For 4 weeks I worked hard to prepare for interviews and I applied to all the good companies. I am yet to receive a single call.

I can’t change my job and she can’t change her job so we are stuck where we are. Its not just the location that is the problem. We need more money. We need the raise in salary that a job change will bring us. We have too many loans right now and no savings. I want to live a better lifestyle but I need more disposable money to do that.

I have dealt with much worse before. The real challenge is with my work. I don’t have good work left to do in Oracle. I am not interested in the work that is going to come. I have been pretty much idle these last 2 months. The idle time is affecting my thinking and making things even worse.

I think the symptoms of my ailment match mid life crisis. Mid life crisis at 28?  That is too bad.

So what can I do to deal with this phase of my life?

I think the first thing I should focus on is my life. I feel good about myself when I am fit. I am not fit right now. I have averaged one day in the gym for the last few months. I need to do better than that.

What else can I do better?

Buenos Aye 2 Day 0,1

I made it to the shores of Argentina in one piece. The travel was extremely tiring. All sorts or body parts started acting up and aching. I managed to arrive at the hotel without a lot of hassle, thanks to the cab service that Oracle arranged for me.

Ordered room service to have diner and then slept off. Checked emails before going to bed and found out that the next couple of days are holidays because of easter.

Day 1 was bad. Dropped my phone in the morning and the screen cracked. It will cost me a lot to get the screen replaced. Had a heavy breakfast in the morning which did not digest until the evening. Skipped lunch and ended up eating cookies throughout the day. In the evening went to bed with the intention of waking up after couple of hours. Ended up waking up at 12:30 pm. Had to order room service again.