Work-work Balance :)

Most of the things which concern me these days are somehow professional. Although there are several different issues, they have something in common, which is – I am not learning new things fast enough. 

I submitted two segments of my first educational video, and I received a critique, which I find completely justified. I was thinking along these lines myself, so the critique was not unexpected. 

It has been going on for a while, but I think I reached a critical point – people are putting together presentations differently these days. They are way more animated, using screen recordings and other effects, not “the lecture style,” as I was told. 

I understand that this is related not only to these videos but also to my two presentations which I am giving in a month. I thought that “I had them” and just needed to add a couple of new slides, but now I understand that I need to rework them completely if I want people to listen:). And I am frustrated that it takes me so long!

Similar things are happening at work. I learned a lot in the past six months, but still, I often face some customers’ questions that require me to read volumes of documentation I never read before! 

And overall, I feel like I am behind with everything, although so many people help me! 

OK, that was a moment of venting. I am done:)

So – What Happened?

It has been three weeks with EDB for me and four weeks since I left my previous job. In private conversations, I was pretty open about why I left my previous job, being there for less than half a year – the shortest tenure in my professional life.

My peers who are not very close to me reacted to my new position without giving it a second thought, just commenting, “you belong there.” But my close friends knew how excited I was to start with my previous company and how I was saying to everybody that I dreamed about working with this person again for the past ten years. They wondered what had happened.

In short: they started to be rude and disrespectful to me. Multiple issues started almost from the first day of my employment, varying from the business model to specific technical solutions. But none of it would rise to a tipping point. I always expected and welcomed productive discussions, especially with smart people – when it would be indeed a discussion, not humiliation. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that those were not isolated incidents, and it was not like I said something wrong or did something wrong. It took me a while to stop finding excuses, thinking that a person may be stressed out and that it was my fault that I didn’t remember or didn’t understand what I was told to do. It was very difficult to initiate conversations when the other party did not express any desire to talk; it was very difficult to ask a simple question: why you treat me differently now?

Finally, when I said: you are yelling at me! I got a reply: yes, I yell at you because you are not listening to me! And “because” was a pivotal word. There can’t be any “because,” there is no justification for yelling at people.

I reached out to my friend who wanted me to join his organization for many years and told him that I was available if he still wanted me. And then things moved fast. The conversations I had were about which department I should go to. Since I wanted to move fast, I went to the department with immediate openings. Three and a half weeks after our first conversation, I received a written offer and resigned immediately. It was Wednesday before the Thanksgiving. On Monday, I came to the office to drop off my laptop and pick up my stuff.

Theoretically, I had a week off between two jobs, but practically I had no time. On December 1, I went to the conference, and that day was my first day with the new company. I had to redo my presentation to have the new company template, and I had to do a million HR-related things. Also, I didn’t have a proper onboarding – it started a week later, and my new laptop arrived only on the sixth day of my employment, all this with cookies and cards in between :).

I was hesitant to write about all of this, but then I decided that somebody should talk about emotional abuse in the workplace. At least, somebody should start this conversation. I am incredibly sorry that I lost the professional relationships so important to me for many years. I am sad that things didn’t play the way I was hoping for. But I am also glad that I was not stuck in this situation. It’s amazing how many people do nothing finding themselves in similar situations and resolve just “to survive.” I hope that my story will encourage others not to put up with such situations.

How It Feels

Life still seems not real. During the conference, the time felt thick with all of the events happening. I gave two talks, and I talked to people literally all the time. I could catch up with many people I knew before and make new connections. Also, I spent a lot of time with my new co-workers. Usually, you won’t spend time with your co-workers at the conference, but since at EDB, we are remote by definition, it was a rare opportunity to meet people in person.
“We – at EDB” – this still sounds and feels unreal. I could not imagine what an impact it would have on me. I was setting up my new email yesterday and typing my name followed by “” I felt like, “this can’t be true!”

And at the same time, it feels so right, so normal… all these emails coming to my new account, all meeting invites.

The comments on LinkedIn blow off my mind… and it’s funny how people congratulate EDB with almost the same frequency as they congratulate me:)

Oh, and I am still baking cookies, decorating the house, and thinking about presents…

At NYC, At The New Job, And My Life Just Took a Sharp Turn Again!

It does not feel real. Today is a week since I accepted the offer from EDB, just a week and Thanksgiving weekend in between, and two million things happening simultaneously. All the paperwork with the new company, cleaning the previous company laptop, getting ready for the conference, working on the program committee, with all the last-minute cancellations and talks substitutes, and – did you update your talk template?! – no, I didn’t, should I?!
Today is my first day, and that’s the day I flew to NYC – the first live conference since Jan 2020. I am in NYC for the conference, and I was at the EDB team dinner, and for the whole dinner, I was at one table with Robert Haas (not to mention Bruce). And the CTO walked to me and drank with me for the big day! It does not feel real – to be in the very heart of Postgres and to be there for real, not as an “honorary member.”
Yes, I know – a million things happened in the past week, and I didn’t blog about any of them, and my world had changed again – OMG, how did it change!!! It is more than happiness…

How Is My New Job

At work, there are so many things every day that I do not type fast enough :). It’s a very different environment, different ways of doing things. In the beginning, I felt like Chad is breaking his promises and does not let me do the right things. However, it was not the case, and yesterday, we had a conversation that I do not even know how to describe. In this conversation, we started with some very practical questions, but then we went into a very theoretical discussion about levels of database modeling. I can’t remember when was the last time I discussed such things, especially as a part of my job responsibilities :).
It’s breathtaking how many things are out there for me to improve and to create from scratch.

As usual, one me is not enough:)

Hello, New Job!

My multiple posts about “life in general” and “history” will have to wait.

Today was the day.

I just posted my updates on LinkedIn, and LinkedIn is exploding. As for me – I am just happy. I didn’t even think I will be that happy. I already worked for BrokerX for a while, I already had fights with almost everybody, and I was sad to leave Braviant. I didn’t think today will make such a difference. But it did. 

Do you know what the best part of my day was? When I left work at 5-30, which was not early at all, I realized that I do not need to rush home to do work for my second job! I will have less money now, significantly less, both because my new position pays less and because I am losing consulting income, but I felt so happy! For the whole workday, I could 100% focus on the work I wanted to do for a long time! 

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an “I am so happy” picture on Instagram. I was referring to my new place, saying that I am so happy to live here.

Now, I want to post the same picture here, because it reflects my level of happiness 🙂

Goodbye, Previous Job!

Yesterday was my last day at Braviant Holdings, and I had a Farewell Party. It turned out it was close to impossible to reserve a space anywhere in the Loop without a substantial deposit. If it weren’t for Vlad, who still knows everybody in the hospitality business, I would be miserable. But because of his connections, we ended up having a corner in Miller’s pub and had a great time.
I am very thankful for the people who came out to see me off in person!

The Soft Start

Friday was my “soft start” in the new company. I needed to start before July 1 to be eligible for medical coverage starting from August 1. It will still be three weeks on no coverage, but at least I will be insured for the next stage of my dental work.

First, Chad wanted me to “start” on June 30 and not bill eight hours of my work. But I told him that since we have “summer Fridays,” and I still have some unused PTO, I can just take half-Friday off and come to his office and make a full workday. It ended up being a great idea since it turned out their HR will be off the week before the holidays. So on Friday, I submitted all my paperwork and was onboarded. I had a badge to enter the building even earlier, so now it’s funny that I work at two places simultaneously. I joked with Boris that now there is no way back, “the marriage certificate is issued,” and Boris told me there was no way back a long time ago.

I am not saying it’s pure joy. I need to do a lot of convincing work with my new coworkers and my new boss, but I am ready for that. I know that I need to understand how exactly my work impacts the company’s financial prosperity. And I love that feeling when the SQL you deployed in production yesterday affects today’s bottom line 🙂

My News Of The Week

On Monday, I did something which many people will consider the most stupid thing I could do. An official LinkedIn announcement won’t appear until after the fact, but I wanted to tell my close friends, especially because some of you know it was in the works for a while.

In four weeks, I will leave the company I am with now, and I will start a new position in an even smaller startup. I will work with my former colleague with whom I have wanted to work again for the past ten years. Or rather, we both wanted to work together, and the timing was never right. At some point, I realized that there would never be the right time. His new company is operating for over a year, and if I don’t jump in now, it could very well be “never”.

Now, why is it “stupid”? That’s because I am taking the biggest pay cut I ever have taken, and that’s what “normal” people don’t do. But if I would be in a position to work for him for free, I would.

I am not mentioning people’s names without their explicit consent, but some of my friends know whom I am talking about :). And yes, that’s what I started earlier in the year as a “side job,” which was the most delightful thing, but we quickly realized that what we want to accomplish can’t be accomplished as a part-time job.

So – yet another new life 🙂

State Of Mind

I had one conversation at work today, which didn’t go well. I know why I started this conversation – I wanted to make sure that I tried everything that was in my power to remedy the situation. If I don’t start this conversation, I would always think that it was a lost opportunity. Now, twelve hours after this conversation, I am going through it in my mind again and replay the parts that went particularly bad. I almost want this conversation not happened, but I would then think that I didn’t try hard.

The worst part is that, in part, because of that conversation, I completed less than I could. This week was particularly bad in terms of the number of emergencies, and almost every day, I was putting up fires instead of doing project work.

At the same time, we had a minor crisis at my side job. And at the same time, I need to move ahead with all the processes related to my move. I feel like there are too many threads that I need to keep in control. Multiple papers related to my new mortgage, I feel like I am signing ten of them every day. Documents related to my house sale. Mom’s apartment and what we need to buy there. Painting. Appliances purchase and repair. My and mom’s dentist appointments.

Objectively, things are moving. But sometimes, it’s just too much :).