So my one-year contract at Cisco ended. I wasn't let go for performance, but for lack of funding. Though the contract was supposed to expire mid-November, my manager Bing was able to find last-minute funds to extend it to the end of the year. I'm truly grateful for her help.
The departure from Cisco wasn't without fanfare. For a start, my supervisor Min organized a farewell lunch for me two days ago. She says it's an honor rarely given to people that leave the team. Bing and Min ordered tons of food, all of which was delicious. You can see pictures from the meal here.
Another nice thing is that I got some Christmas presents: Bing gave me an iPod Shuffle while Vicky gave me a pocket watch. I also received a gift bag from Christine, my relationship manager at Armada. There are no words to express my gratitude. It was an awesome end to an awesome career. I'm blessed to have had the chance to work with such wonderful people.
A disadvantage of being a contractor is the limited benefits package. We get paid slightly less as the staffing agency has to take a cut. While salary wasn't a big deal to me, one of my grievances is that some events were restricted to regular employees.
The biggest downer is not being able to attend TechZone, an internal conference for engineers to demo their projects. The fact that the executives were constantly pitching the event didn't help. People couldn't even share pictures because of an NDA. :-(
On the other hand, I got to attend some of the Armada Group's events in addition to those at Cisco. Case in point, I really enjoyed the family picnic in October. That was my first company picnic in over 11 years and no doubt exciting.
Every job is a learning experience. Having learned a lot during my time on the TelePresence team, I hope to put my newfound knowledge to good use. One thing for sure is that I'll miss my co-workers at both Cisco and Armada.
As graceful as the exit from Cisco was, becoming unemployed right before Christmas sucks no matter how you look at it. The whole day was somewhat bittersweet. On the bright side, I get to enjoy a very long vacation. :P
Currently listening to: "Hey Santa!" by Carnie & Wendy Wilson