Sleepless nights – Money matters!

Wow! I am in the gang of people who actually have sleepless nights worrying over money matters.
And to add to injury, this is happening for the biggest dream of my life.

Good news first, I got an unconditional offer of admission from the University of the West of England to study BSc. (Hons) – Web Design from their Franchy campus at Bristol, starting 13th September this year. This comes with a 3 year student visa and work permit for following couple of years. Also, included in this is work visa for my wife for the entire duration.

Can it get bigger than this?

I think not.

Now the laundry list:

1. Apply for loan
2. Pay the fee
3. Sit for IELTS (for just being on the safer side)
4. Apply for visa
5. Book tickets
6. Fly!

I have resigned from Rishabh yesterday and serving the notice period for the last two months. Now to kick the list above, first thing I need to go with is the loan application and the most important document missing there is the clearance from the bank as need to clear the education loan taken for Priyanka’s MBA.

Aww man!

This is gonna make me lose weight.

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Moving Office Space

On a very special request from a client, one of my project team is shifting to another building with the marketing and HR department from Monday onwards.

This is good news since moving to a new location is certainly going to revitalize the energy and we can carry the tasks afresh in the new environment.

I am getting envious glances from fellow designers here because they feel that I’ll be in a more comfortable position than them.  🙂 I won’t deny their point but just wish to tell them that it is all about willingness to push the envelope. If one can stand for self and prove to be an asset for the working team and can consolidate the position, happiness come following.

Though, as promised by the management, this move is only for the 3 months till they get another office ready in the building where the current development team stays, I feel that this is not that easy and may take longer than that.

I just went through various teams and bid people farewell till the next meeting. I can say that most of the guys around here are pretty nice and good to work with.

Wedding Anniversary and Weekend Study

Office work is going as usual and the buzz about appraisals is going stronger by the day. As I mentioned in my new year’s blog, the designation upgrade is on the cards this time around. This sums up as not just the appraisals and raise but a promotion as well.

I asked Himanshu to come over for the weekend and he did so we started with the IELTS preparation and dedicate the whole weekend for some kick-ass English study. I am pretty confident about my command over the language but it is different to blog and write something very formal. A test, is always a test. Plus, you got to be serious when the fee is about 7.5 K for the attempt.

As soon I can get the results, hoping I am going to score above 6.5 bands, I am going to send my applications to Northumbria University for the BSc (Hons.) Web Design.

Should I write this here after the first statement? What if someone from the management reads this and cancels my promotion?

LOL! Anyways I am just applying, an admission is a far away thing and second, the session I am targeting is January.

Well, in the end, Himanshu and I agreed upon blogging everyday about a common topic and share here at WordPress. His blog ‘Life in Motion’ is at http://himanshukhede.wordpress.com and to tell you, here is a guy with a lot of ideas and a lot to say with a different perspective towards life. I hope he catches up with the language and hopefully we will be in for some fantastic twisted blog posts! 🙂

Yesterday, 26th April, marked third wedding anniversary for Priyanka and me and to celebrate the occasion, on Sunday evening, we went to Pavagadh and a dinner and coffee at Barista last night. It has been such a wonderful journey with many ups and downs, but I must confess, I am happy.

Dear Himanshu,

As discussed, here is my blog post about IELTS and other stuff, waiting for yours.

AND I think our next topic should be ‘Baheti Colony Days’.

Are you in?

Summer Afternoons and A Work Week

Nothing can be written when one has the extreme moods. Being way too happy or upset or angry can never help one who seeks out some inspiration to write.

In my opinion the best writings which can be presented as honest opinions from a person’s mind come when it is full with mixed emotions.

A lot has happened over the last post I wrote here and life seems headed on its own path which is as curvy as road from Dehradoon to Masoori. Priyanka has returned from Indore and a lot of things being discussed between two of us.

This is April, time of the year when corporate appraisals take place. My best bets are a designation upgrade and a salary pack at par with the current market offerings.

The reviews have been done and management has taken the decision on the next year’s fate of its dear employees. It is just a matter of a couple of days before the verdict comes out. Figures crossed.

For my personal front where my family life and career occupy the most of thoughts, I am still in looking for the perfect solution to all my worries.

I am planning for a big CV update with new academic enhancements which will take almost three year (You are right… a degree in Web Design) to follow.

My office has got a new leave management system which tells me that I have 7.68 leaves balance which I can avail with prior notice. Now that was a surprise for a guy like me who went on leaves without pay for last 6 months. Now, I am not sure as to how to use all those balance leaves.

A trip to Indore or Barwani, inclusive of 2 weekends and a workweek sounds just the way.

For the occasion, I think inauguration of my uncle’s new home will be the best time for this plan. Dates will be, as I have been told, around 20th May. HOT summer!!!

The temperature today at Vadodara is 41 degree centigrade and as if that is not enough, the prediction of this week remains almost at the same mark. Late in last month, we had it almost 43 degrees for an entire week. Talk about global warming. I say, it’s not a farce.

Move it dude, there is so much happening, just in a way which is so not cool.

By the way, my boss, Mr. Apurva Shah, resigned from his position as Delivery Head and so my Team Lead Meetul.

More later.

Confused as always

Why it happens that when one is in very good mood or bad mood it gets difficult to blog? The thought of blogging something which is happening around rises but the will to put it into words just goes so weak that it becomes a task impossible.

I sent back Priyanka to Indore for some very strange reasons. My first excuse was the signs of uncomfortable-ness in my professional commitments which might hamper her prospects of having a stable career at any organization. Two, it was something to do with her promise for the PhD in Marketing which she feels is not possible in her life for the time being. The thought of not leaving the scenario of dead end career and not being able to move around made me somewhat disturbed and I chose to have some time off from her and think over the plans of the future.

Everyone tells me why have plans when life is so uncertain and I reply, life without a plan is a plane without a pilot.

It’s gonna crash!

I think the biggest drawback that I am facing with my carrier is related to relevancy of my education and my work profile. All the big shot companies are looking for someone with a BFA or HUI degree for their design needs and looking at the long term goals, it seems proper that I must move with accomplishing something which can help me grow as a professional.

The options I am considering are derived from the thought of having a degree in the domain I am having 8 years of experience, Web Design.

I hope I can pull this off this time around.

Over the weekend I visited Rajesh Bhai’s home at Kalol with Himanshu and it was all fun and cheers.

Rest is thoughts and confusion.

Projects, weekend, life

PS: This was drafted on December 28th 2009, forgot to publish it.. so here it is:

We are almost done with small module and another patch in the contact page in another module. QA for another project is done and bug fixes are in proceedings. One is live, another will go live EoD tomorrow and the last is slated for a 1st January release. Just don’t know what will befall after these projects are over.

I always dread it when projects get over and there is nothing substantial to look at. All these years experience tells me that in such situations all the web designers, however experienced they might be are called to design the company’s own website. This is where the darkest hour of the employment starts. The client, i.e. company management thinks they can call for of as many changes as they wish to as there is nothing of the importance is on the cards and designers must be kept busy. It is hardest to design when doing it for the management.

This is not a new thing and I have done it so many a times that it is now understood that until it is of prime emergency, the layout, however good it may be, rarely goes live. The process for the company website takes it own root which starts from the point of just-design-3-samples-and-send-over than information architecture or usability design.

This is really bad practice to do. As I said in one of my previous posts, the end result never hits the mark and makes a mess out of the situation blaming the designer for the blooper.

I am just hoping to not jump in the same thing all over again and getting my hands on some new client project where the rules of projects are written, agreed upon and settled before we spell ‘layout’!

Tomorrow, as they tell me, there is a party which is organized by Advait, Murli naidu and me for the other two’s respective weddings and my birthday. Don’t know how I got in the organizers list, but it is on. Though the party idea was initiated from another project team where I work with the developers for one specific client, I have invited my Design team in the party too.

I hope to have a good time.

Weekend was nothing much to quote of, we made fresh beans collected from my back garden and got some plum cake to enjoy the Christmas time. On Sunday, I went to see Dharmesh’s family. Dharmesh and I are friends from my Westbase days in Pune. He is now in the USA from some company in Pune and I am here in his home town.

All is fine and that’s all for now!

Cricket, SEO and Movies

Social Media Marketing for ODScommerce is keeping me busy these days and it is getting harder to keep track here. Anyways, it was a good long workweek for us all at office.

On Monday evening, as I came out of office I saw Nayan Mongia coming out of his shop with family. As he lives just across the road from my office, I saw him many a times doing his chores. Brajesh, who was with me waiting for other people to go play cricket tournament with some other corporate team, suggested we must go and meet him.

So we went and after a formal introduction, I told him about how we used to discuss about him and his wicket keeping skills.

The guy was humble and gave us all ears for what we were telling him. It was great!

On the professional front, I got to attend this webinar about the trends in 2010 to double the web traffic, organized by WebMarketing123.

The best thing about the entire experience was that, it consolidated all my beliefs and learning about SEO by just summarizing what I learned about SEO and SEM all these years.

On a conversation over twitter, I asked the webmarketing123 people if it is possible for me to do guest blogging for them and they said, I need to list out the topics I am interested in and then we may proceed.

Coming back to square one here, it requires some time to actually sit and write about the best in technology about which much has been written already.

Over the weekend, I watched bulk of movies and see if I can remember the names: The Blind Side, Julie and Julia and Inglorious Basterds among the lot!

I bet there were 4 more. LOL!

See ya later!