My New Job

I was quiet about starting a new job jet another time. It sounds so millennial to have four jobs in the course of fifteen months, but I can’t say I made mistakes.

I spoke at length about my last two job changes, why I decided to leave Braviant and join BorkerX, and why I left after being there for only five months.

I was very excited to join EDB for a number of reasons. I moved to a non-abusive environment where everybody treated me with respect. I worked in one company with the best people from the Postgres community. For the first time in my life, I was in a truly international company that accumulated the best talents from all over the world. I could Slack Postgres contributors any time:). I learned new things each and single day.

Still, I knew from my first day at EDB that I won’t stay there forever. There was a reason why I resisted the offers from EDB and 2nd Quadrant for so many years. I genuinely loved the people who worked there and admired their work all that time. But I knew I didn’t want to do consulting, and I was not good at product development. I needed to see the material impact of my work; I didn’t enjoy giving advice and not knowing whether they were used and whether things worked how I thought they should.

I was (and still am) very thankful for the opportunity to work at EDB, and I thought I should stay there at least for a year to reciprocate. But then, all of a sudden, there was an email that started the conversation. At first, I ignored it. They were persistent. Reluctantly, I started to talk, but it was too soon; I had been at EDB for less than five months.

The company offered more money than I was making in EDB, but I would never go just for money alone. During our first conversation, I said it was not interesting for me to do the work I was offered to do, and we partied. I felt good that I didn’t go for more money but not interesting work. But a month later, a miracle happened: the same company offered me a dream position, allowing me to do all the things I dreamed about.

The process was long. I met and talked with many people from different departments, and after each conversation, I was more and more excited about this opportunity. There were so many things I could do, and I could do it right, and people wanted me to do it right!

It’s only four days that I am with my new company, but I am already over the moon. At this moment, I am on my way to Europe – my company acknowledges all my previous speaking commitments, and I will be presenting in Amsterdam, Vienna, and then New York.

It Feels Right

I am back in the office, and it feels absolutely right. Last night, I was running around the house remembering all the things needed to go to the office – I thought I would never need them again, and I am so glad that the need had come!

Probably the most interesting part is that because the new office is located right next to the Ogilvie Train Station, it makes perfect sense to me to take Metra. During the morning rush hour, the trains run every 15 minutes, so it’s not much different from taking CTA, and the walk to the Rogers Park Metra station is so much nicer than it was in Palatine!

I took out my Samsonite backpack, which I bought for myself during the Black Friday sale, and I thought I would never need it again:). And here I am, and I even brought all of my little things to the new office.

This completely forgotten feeling that you can and should have things in the office. And that all the office supplies are there and available. And there are snacks and coffee, a hot breakfast and hot lunch every day, and salads and sandwiches whenever. And even the frozen yogurt!
But the most important thing is that there are people, live people in the office, people who need my skills.

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 🙂