Saturday, June 04, 2005

A month as a journalist

Mark this day. It has been a month into experiencing sea change. Yesterday, the bank sends me an sms that my salary is credited. I am not too excited but this is my first salary as a different professional.

From staring at code windows for hours and hours together, now my closest interaction with software remains MS Word and a little bit of backend to upload stories.

For the last two weeks, I have moved into a new team. And that reminds me, the last time I blogged was the day the shift came. Smitha's comment in my previous post got a silly smile on my face. How irresponsible of me!:)

Work couldn't get more rewarding and exciting. I have been offered the best of opportunities, despite the fact that I am almost new to this entire spectrum of reporting. My ignorance is pardoned and support comes big time. It is a great feeling having done three soft stories that carry a byline to my credit and also having attended two press conferences ,within a month of joining.

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Press Conferences. You get the royal treatment there. I almost felt like a child gaping at the treatment and all the glamour that surrounds it. It is good to be a beginner, because you can ask dumb questions!

The first one, I missed out on the good lunch because.. (Oh don't ask! The tensions of attending your first official press conf!). The second one that was yesterday, I didn't repeat the mistake and I ensured that I hogged on the three different desserts that they served, between all that stuff on a mutual fund launch. Ain't I learning?
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And then your mobile keeps buzzing as financial consultants and big shots from banks try to reach you and confirm on the interviews and emails. Thanks to the tag, you almost get what you want for your story. At ACJ, I remember how I struggled to get my sources to talk!!

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I am tired of seeing raised eyebrows. "Oh! So what did you do before your ACJ course?" The answer received a million different responses - "Wow!", "That's interesting!", "You are f***ing mad!!", "Why the shift?" (and I am tired of singing like a tape recorder for this question!). The new kid in the block (well, am new too, but she joined ten days later!) asks me, "Oh so you are the one?" The HR told us during the induction that they have an engineer from .... around. Boy, I almost went red!!

And then the HR manager walks in. She puts her hand around me and asks me, "How are you? Are you settled into this place? Are you liking what you are doing?" and I smile back gratefully, "Yeah, everything is fine, really!!" And What is more, I am busy running away from attention!! :)

I have loads of fun with my team lead. The other day, the backend threw some weird javascript error. "You are an engineer, fix it no?" she said. The next instant, I had a couple of debug windows open in front of me. "D, the problem is here" and I pointed to that yellow block and she burst out laughing! And we are still trying to fix it!!

I am sounding so kid like. Well, well, this is not how journos sound. But that is ok. First this is my blog and second, I am not doing a business report!!


Oh damn, my bus would have gone!!!!!!

28 comments:

sathish said...

hey, can u let me know how u managed 2 change ur profession all together?? looks an interesting article... i think i can learn lot frm that... am sick of this field...

Vivhyd said...

Hi Anu.. 1st time arnd here!! Me an Engineer 2.. gr8 circuits to columns eh?? How did ya do tht? Although I must warn u.. like u faced a situation with the debugging.. u cud hear a couple "U r an Engineer nah.. try fix this"

S m i t h a said...

LOL!!
i was laughing all the way through the post....hahaha
"U r an Engineer nah..fix this" took the cake though... LOL... i can imagine!
and congrats on completing a month!
btw - thanks for the mention :)

Twin-Gemini said...

Royal treatment is it? Thats nice to hear. It would have taken you ages to get that kind of treatment had you remained in your previous profession :-)

See, knowing software helps in all places :-)

So, pretty soon we are going to see you interviewing celebrities and such?

Chez said...

Nice to see u settling down in ur job.. And the javascript debugging part was hilarious. Great job. Am sure u would have debugged. or havent u yet.

anyway. keep going, they say sky is the limit.. thats for those who look at the sky. Look beyond. and u'll find reaching the sky is crossing just another level :-)

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Sathish, frankly it is no big deal..I wanted to change, so I changed..! oh btw, welcome here! :)

vivhyd, Hi! glad you dropped by. Yeah right, from circuits to columns!! for ur question, pls refer previous response!

Smitha, Thanks! and My pleasure!:)

Twin-Gemini, very smart eh? You link s/w up to everything? ;). Actually, one of the mantras here is to market yourself as an engr from so n so place, turned journo, to people you meet. My team lead says it really helps! But am yet to try that out!

Anand, Nice thing to say in the end. It really is encouraging. Thanks and thanks again for visiting my blog. :) Oh yeah, the javascript part - we are planning to catch the system guys!! ;)

MrGonSings said...

Congrats for that first month in the journo world!!!
I'm really glad you are enjoying the change/experience.
The "you could fix this" 'cause you were an engineer will eventually turn into the "why don't write about this?" once people find out that you are a professional journo... And it will happen to you everywhere...
Let's say you go get a driver's license and the guy working there will suggest "you know, nobody ever writes about our job... maybe you could do a note about it."...
Or you'll be travelling in a bus and the lady next to you will say "you know, I come from this really nice town... Why don't you do a note about it!"...
Or you'll be in a shop buying shoes and the girl taking care of you will let you know "you know, we've got this really awesome collection coming this season... Don't you wanna write about it"...
Believe me, if people find out you are a journo, most of them will come out with suggestions for their life/work to be told...
Hope you are patient!
Keep having a great time!
:)

Sriram said...

Anu,
Try my way. if someone asks me a stupid question, I just ask them if they've heard about the phrase "there are no stupid questions" and irrespective of their answer, I say " Well, there are no stupid questions, but only stupid people like you" and flip them off. Believe me, it works!

Me said...

gud to know that u r having fun....exciting than engg...

Sriram C S said...

Very interesting...how did you go about making the career shift? As in did you take up a special course or something? Any pointers?

biju said...

It always makes me happy to hear people do what they *want* to do. Yeah, I wanted to get into computers but not the kind of mess i am currently in. :-)
One of my classmates from B.Tech. went to ACJ too (I think). last heard he was with CNBC. His decision made me think abt journalism (I *think* I like to write). But people are a major handicap with me. I cannot, cannot ever, initiate conversation. So I now try and engage in conversation with my laptop. :-)

Bijesh

Art said...

hey thats gr8, that u have been enjoying ur new profession. May be a lot of people will be influenced by u...
Hey by the way arent u travelling in the local train...

Vani Viswanathan said...

hehe...
atleast they din ask you to fix hardware problems coz u did EEE!!!!! (well that's what i thought you do in my 7th std.! :) )
have fun dear!

vijay said...

Mu ha hya ha ha hah!

Anupama Viswanathan said...

MrGonsings, :). There you have a list of stories for me, don't you? True enough, I guess many people see media as having ultimate power and delivering the most powerful! And I hope I am patient too and continue to enjoy myself, by being of some use to people! :)

Sriram, you are teaching me bad bad things?? No,no - very bad! ;)

Me, Thanks! :) Hmm..Engineering? Well, I actually find electronics interesting too! :)

Agnibarathi, yes, I did a post grad diploma program from Asian College of Journalism..it is a ten month programme..great fun!

Biju, you knew another engineer in ACJ..that's great! and he is in CNBC?? Wow! Whatz his name? I can check out if I know him..:)

Hi Art, trains? not atleast to office..But yeah, I have finally gotten on to local trains coupla times now..:)

Hey Vans, finally I found out what the problem was dee..It was a problem with the OS..the thing works fine with 2000..I am glad my engg brains came of some use!! :) (chumma sollika vendi thaan..)

Vijay, I am glad I made you laugh..:) (I am trying to be nice to you!!)..btw, why are you confusing people by changing your profile name?

Chakra Sampath said...

Fantastic... great that u hav settled down quickly.. gud luck to u!

saranyan said...

great you have started liking it. inime madam bayangara busy innu nenaikkaren :)

Sriram C S said...

That's interesting...some more information on the course sometime please. I'll try googling as well...I plan to retire in 2-5 years, so might as well take up learning!!!

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Chakra, thanks! :)

Saranyan, amaam, naan romba busyyyyy!! :)

Agnibarathi, check out
www.asianmedia.org

Amrita said...

hi anu, sorry for arriving late..i know about all that. who else would, for i am the first confidante u have in the office. I guess all of us see ups and downs in our new occupations even i am..don't worry everything would soon be ok..u will live up to everyone's expectations. So do notrun away from them.

Rathish said...

hey Anu,
You have been Tagged
:)

RS said...

Wish I could do something as daring as you did. I know I will wake up when I am 56 and think, "Now, why did I not try to become a writer/journalist?" :(

Prabha said...

Hi!First time here..
Iam kinda shocked at ur engg-turned-journalist..wow!this is really great..!!
I shud be congratulating you :)

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Amrita, am still here, I haven't run away..:)
Rs, nice to see you here! :). Daring? God, why use big words? ;)...Nothing daring about it, honestly! It is just that I did what you want to do at 56, some 33 years ahead of you..:)

Prabha, hi! :)..I thought you have already been to my blog once before..:|..Anyways, welcome! :).Sorry that am giving you shockers as soon as you landed here..:)..Thanks for the 'congrats'.:)

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Rathish, thanks! :) Frankly, I wouldn't have known about it, if you hadn't left this comment..:)

REFLEX said...

I am coming here after a long time, the reason is u were hanging in the book store for a long time ( no post for a long time after that book store post ) :). Hope u dont get more Debug windows in future.

Anupama Viswanathan said...

hi reflex,
nice to see you here after a long time as well..I have been really busy with work and am not really comfortable blogging from office..so my posts are getting slightly spaced out..:)..and yeah, the debug windows, they keep comin up and we keep fixing it..:)

Anonymous said...

hello,

bumped into this site while staying late at work! one of your seniors actually. great to know that you are not taking the beaten path. wish you all the best and make us all proud to be bitsians!