Labor Day

Today I have overextended my stay in The Company by exactly one month.

I've always thought it odd that during my interview they told me they hoped - hoped - that I stay for at least two years. And that was it. Not "we hope you build your career with us," or "but we hope you stay longer than that." Just two years.

I never did regret my choice of a first job (and by saying first, I mean there will be a second). In fact for the first few months I kept wondering why I was surrounded by people who are either resigning, or are in the verge of resignation.

Well apparently you figure things out after two years. And now I feel so naive and stupid, even. I guess I secretly hoped that it's possible a flourishing career in microelectronics without having to leave the country. But now I realize I'm working for a company that would rather hire fresh grads than retain their current roster. Apparently engineers with three years of experience can easily be replaced by a fresh college grad. It kinda brings you down. Severely. To be fair, there was the so-called "retention policy" which was launched after a mass resignation ensued early this year. If anything, it succeeded in making the new hires and the rookies happy.

And for the record, in a field as specialized as this, no amount of college excellence can measure up with experience. Whenever people leave, when project members leave, they just think they can replace them with some new hire and it's all going to be great. Same manhours equals same productivity. What they don't see is the amount of effort we exert in training them, the amount of time we lose in tech transfer, and the huge huge loss of quality because let's face it - nobody gets it right the first time.

The sad sad thing is, I realize this only now when I have had ample brooding time, I guess. The annoying thing about this company is that the technical work itself is great, and the people around you are great, and you get so comfortable that no matter how frustrated you get and how dim your future may appear, it's quite hard to leave. It's like you're in a really really comfortable chair and you look around and everything is a mess and in theory, you want to clean it up, and maybe do your groceries too, and maybe exercise because you've been gaining weight, but maybe you'll do that later, you'll just sit and watch TV for a while, until you realize the day is over and you have accomplished nothing. In hindsight, I guess that's why we congratulate people who actually muster enough strength to resign.

The original game plan was to work for two years, and then get my MS, and then we'll take it from there. But it's a bit too late to be applying for universities abroad. So I guess I'll just have to grin and bear it for another year or so. And then I'm so out of here. This company and this country. Watch me.

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