Friday, December 23, 2011

last day at Cisco

So my contract at Cisco Systems has ended. I was let go for financial reasons and not because I didn't perform well enough. The contract was supposed to expire mid-November, but my boss Bing managed to extend it to the end of the year. I'm truly grateful for her actions.

The good news is that I left with no hard feelings. For starters, my supervisor Min organized a farewell lunch for me two days ago. She says it's an honor rarely given to people who leave the team. Everything she and Bing ordered was delicious. Click here for pictures from the lunch.

I even got Christmas presents: Bing bought me an iPod Shuffle while my co-worker Vicky gave me a pocket watch. That was so sweet of them. I also received a gift bag from Christine, my relationship manager at The Armada Group. There are no words to express my gratitude. I'm blessed to have had the chance to work with such wonderful people.

Looking back

The downside about being a contractor is the limited benefits package. The pay is also lower as a cut goes to Armada. Although salary isn't a big deal to me, one of my grievances is that some events were restricted to full-time employees. I was really bummed that I couldn't attend TechZone, an event for engineers to demo their projects. The fact that the executives were constantly talking about it didn't help. People had to sign an NDA and couldn't even share pictures with me. :-(

On the other hand, I got to attend Armada's events in addition to those at Cisco. For instance, the family picnic in October was really fun. That was my first company picnic in over 11 years and a highlight of the year. The lunches with Armada's HR team were pretty nice too.

Every job is a learning experience. There is always an opportunity to improve even after you're out of school. I learned a lot during my time on the TelePresence team and hope to put that knowledge to good use.

Although my departure from Cisco was graceful, losing your job always sucks, especially right before Christmas. It was definitely a bittersweet day for me. One thing for sure is that I'll miss everyone at both companies. On the bright side, at least I get a nice break before I continue my job search. :-)

Currently listening to: "Hey Santa!" by Carnie & Wendy Wilson

Thursday, December 8, 2011

work anniversary at Cicso + holiday party report

"Looks like this party is for you." -- Lakshmi

Today is my one-year anniversary at Cisco Systems. I can't believe it's been a whole year since I joined the team. It still feels like I just started my job. Time certainly flies.

So our business unit had its annual holiday party at Sheraton San Jose Hotel. The event was pretty awesome - there was music, food, prize drawings and even a photo booth. I've posted some pictures online for those curious. Some people knew it was my work anniversary and joked that the party was for me. :-)

I wish I could say all is well, but that is unfortunately not the case. From what I've been told, my boss couldn't renew my contract and is letting me go at the end of the year. Although my staffing agency is treating this as a layoff so I could get unemployment benefits, losing my job just before Christmas still sucks.

As for the next steps, I haven't decided whether to continue my job search or try to go back to school. Decisions, decisions.

Currently listening to: "Beat It" by Michael Jackson

Thursday, December 1, 2011

finally jumping on the iPad bandwagon...

Our new iPad 2 just arrived. Dad had ordered the 3G version with 64 GB of storage. He also bought a cover for the tablet as mobile screens are easily scratched. One thing for sure is that the 3G will be useful on long road trips.

The iPad needs to be charged first - this will likely take a few hours and really test my patience. In the meantime, I'm going to check the App Store to see what apps are available. :-)