That last day, as I walked from B4 to the Powerhouse Gate for that last bus ride home, I tried to take in as many of the sightes and sounds as possible… Most of them had become so familiar that I would walk on unseeingly. That day I felt a strange sense of nostalgia – and joy- at my departure from the place that made it all happen for me. I might not have loved my job to the point of being passionate about it, but I loved the atmosphere, the people, the transparency of the organization and I loved just generally being part of it all. The company gave me the freedom to be what I was, to distribute my time between work and all the extra-curricular stuff I was doing and in the process, gave me self-confidence and set a standard for how the workplace should be. If the initial few months gave me my fantastic friends, the latter months gave me a chance to work with some amazing individuals as colleagues. Most unforgettable are my 3 managers from WAG and KRFT – In the span of a year spent working under these 3 people, I learnt more than I did from anyone else. One taught me time management – get to office at 8, leave at 5 and get everything wrapped in that time, including fun! Another taught me the traits of a true manager – team spirit, encouragement, support – be it while helping her team through a downsize or sitting through a quiz as audience after hours just to provide support to her team and see them through to victory or while recognizing the talent in each team member and pushing them to achieve visibility in the organization. My last manager at the company taught me the all-important skills of organizing and conducting meetings and liaising with client folk, while showing faith in my abilities. To all three of them: I may not have been the best or star member of your team, but you made me feel like I was important enough and that gave me the impetus to outperform. I carry the lessons you all taught me all the way to business school. I may never work with you again, but every time I practice any of the lessons you taught me, rest assured I will send out a silent prayer of thanks.
Finally, here is a picture from the company… inspite of monickers like dog-tag and mangalsutra, a colleague and fellow-quitter agreed with me that the pride we felt the first time we swiped our ID cards at the gates of the office was unparalleled and undiminished despite any unhappiness we might have felt or any achievements in the months since that day. I beeped in one last time at the swipe-cards in the reception at B4 that morning and as I handed in my temporary ID card that evening, I walked away with a confusion of a smile and a grimace. I felt sad to leave but I felt happy to have been a part of the experience, a part of the monumental achievement of 5 people who started out on a dream and have never given up since then. I wished I'd gotten to keep my ID card and out that evening at the B4 reception, the way I'd done it for the past two years. But I guess in some ways it's good I didn't. Perhaps that's what's so special about Infy. You can leave, but you can never really get it out of your system. In some corner of your memory, you're always an Infy-ite. I like that feeling...
Here’s to Infosys and it’s bright and prosperous future!
Afterthought: As I reflect on the last couple of days at Infy, I realize I couldn't have made a better exit - I won a general + business quiz held at Shols DC a day before I left. I partnered with a friend and our attendance was very last-minute; in fact, the only reason I was present at the audi was to tell the quizmaster, a friend of mine, that I would have to skip the quiz even though I'd promised to attend. But the sight of that presentation and the curiousity to explore what lay beyond Slide 1 got me sitting there and going through the entire quiz... and even winning it on the tie-breaker! It was good to go out with a bang than just fade away like the countless others.