Winds of change

"How long have you been in the company ya Lilo?"

I have heard this question many times from every new comer to my company, but this time it sounded different. This time I would tell him/her the period I spent... with no hope of making it longer. This time I am counting the years, and knowing they will never increase another year.

"Three years. In January I will complete three years in eSmart."

OH MY GOD! Three years. Three years have passed that quick? Three years passed and I'm supposed to be older, wiser and more experienced.... (I doubt the second;-) )

I loved this company the moment I walked in. I still remember this day... It was before new year's eve of 2002-2003. I couldn't find the building, it was dark & cold, and my car was burning! I have forgotten to check on the radiator water as usual :D

"163 el Hegaz street".

This is all what the secretary told me. This secretary was later my so good friend Noura... but she was so brief in describing the address and i wasn't that good in the streets of masr el gedida... Anyway, I kept searching the Hegaz street from Roxy to el Hegaz!
All of a sudden I saw a tall building and I had a feeling it was it! And it was right building ...
Then I had another feeling that it was on the first floor, she hadn't told me the floor number!! And it was the right floor :)
And of the 5 doors that were there, I chose to knock the door that turned out to be the company's door :)

Too much of good luck, and I had my first interview. Well, after negociations and refusing then another interview and negociating again... all in all it took me one week to decide to move to eSmart with a salary LESS than what I was earning in the first job. I just loved the place & people. And my 3 wonderful hard working years started. I began on the 20th of January 2003.

"Which desk do you want to sit on?"

YES! I actually chose the desk I sat on. I joined the company when it was only 3 months old, and there weren't any young engineers then, only 3 managers & 2 senior developers. I chose the desk i sat on out of 6 desks ready for the new engineers. It was fun! Though the work wasn't so appealing at first, but I had fun. It was my first real job, my first job was in a amateur small company.

I have lots & lots of memories there.... we were many working there from our class of handaza. It was like my section at college :) I had many friends working with me, and after few weeks we became family. I still remember how I used to go on Saturdays to a super market to buy grocery for the new week :D yeah we used to collect money every week & buy food. We would call (beta3 el 3eesh) from the balcony and buy (be 2 geneh 3eesh) everyday :-D

"Who didn't pay you this week ya Lilo?"

We had this Excel sheet to show who paid how much, and I would check it everyday with Sally :) We made a very cooperative team Sally & me, but we would fight like cats at times :)

"We have a presentation tomorrow. Get ready."

We used to go make presentations, Sally & me, and we had so much fun doing it. We went to many different places all over Cairo, and even outside Cairo. I enjoyed those presentations cause I learnt a lot from them. I developed more self confidence & self esteem. I learnt to face people, and not ordinary people, but ones who are experts in the IT world, and I had to convince them with our dear tool Smart Reports .
Not to mention that I liked going out of the office too;)

Years passed, and every few months someone would leave or a new one would come. We had a high employee turn over. But I loved them all, and i find it hard now to leave. eSmart now is not a company to me, it's a home. I can come and go any time or day. I can come at night to find colleagues still working. I would come on a Saturday to find colleagues working harder than weekdays. We would go together and play basket ball at club :D and then go eat by the swimming pool. We would gather every Ramadan on one table and have break-fast together. We would share each others news, laughs and cries. But most of our times were laughter.

Three years have passed and then came a time when I have to make the decision that i've been dreading most: leave eSmart !!! I couldn't imagine at first how i can do it... and I thought I would refuse the new offer as I did with all the previous offers I got during my stay in eSmart. But this time I just couldn't! All sane people agree that I cannot refuse my new offer. And I had to make this decision: leave. Leave home, and try to make a new one.

"You are leaving?!!!?! You are kidding, right? You can't be leaving. You can't leave aslan!"

Without talking about all the tears, all the worries and all the sadness that the decision implied, i am now in my final few days in eSmart. I can't talk about how my friends and colleagues took the news. They all thought i was kidding, and that seeing me leave was the last thing they ever expected. I am the oldest engineer now and people took it for granted that I'll always stay. I did too. I tried explaining why I took the decision, but no use. I felt trapped! So I really can't leave?!

For a few days everybody was awaiting me to change my mind. I was suspecting that I might do too. But I didn't. I am leaving. When everyone realized it was really happening, they began giving me this sad look of disappoinment, love and "we'll miss you". Oh God, I can't take it! It's really ripping my heart apart. Should I leave a good career opportunity for the sake of people I love & am attached to? Or should I go and try as hard as I can to keep in touch with them? I had many tough days thinking it over. Finally I realized I'm a career girl. I can never forgive myself for a mistake in my career. I'll go and may God help me keep those wonderful people in touch.

"We will miss you ya abou el Leel (as Mario liked to call me:))."
"And I will too. I cannot describe well how I feel, but I will miss you all dear friends, brothers, sisters, and mentors. I will always remeber every single one I met here. Wish me luck in my new job, and try as hard as I'll do to keep in touch."


Mohamed Yousef said...

although i worked in eSmartSoft for almost a year, but i do remember everyone i met there...i remeber all the funny stuff we did...and ofcourse, i remember " el ragel betaa3 el 3eesh ".. :-D
and our meetings in the kitchen in our lunch hour...

those were really fun days, but the most wonderful thing i won by working in eSmartSoft was winning a good & special friend like you..

good luck & my best wishes for u ya leeloo in your new job.

Shady El Mously said...

i am sure that by a very little time, you will find yourself drowned in the new job, forgetting all the tears and sorrow, i left 2 works until now...timespasses very fast..i still remember when i was in prom of school, we were all crying ...that was 10 years ago, now most of the people who were with me in college, wont be recognizable anymore by e...i wish you good luck in ur next job lilian...

Noha said...

Lelo ana mesh b3raf aklem awi fi el mwakef dih bas begad...
i will miss u so mush anti 3arfa tab3an 2d aih .. until now ana mesh msd2a anek mashia :(
but I wish you good luck in your new job

Tarek said...

For me leelo is one of the company's signs and i do wish her the best in everything she do and best of luck in her new job

for leelo
((A friend is someone who fills our lives
with beauty, joy, and grace.
And makes the whole world we live in
a better and happier place))

Ahmed Shokeir said...

فعلا ياليلو زى ماشادى بيقول فوق ، بعد فترة قصيرة هاتندمجى فى شغلك الجديد وبرده هاتلاقى ناس ظراف بس عمرهم ماهايكونوا زى المجموعة الحالية لكن برده لهم طعم جميل ومختلف
أحلى حاجة إنك سجلتي مشاعرك فى اللحظة لأنك عمرك ماكنتي هاتعرفي تسجليها زي ماكتبتيها دلوقتى وبعد سنين بوست زي ده هايفكرك بيهم دايما ويفكرك بمشاعرك وإنتي سايباهم .. هاتحسي أد إيه إنتي بريئة
وبعدين بالرغم من إني لااعرفكم ولاعمري إشتغلت معاكم لكن حاسس إني عايز أعيط

KING TOOOT said...

الحياة لقى و فراق على كل لون
و ناس نحس أن حياتنا من غيرهم جنون
و بعد فترة كبيرة نقابلهم مصادفه
تصحى جوه قلوبنا فرح و شجون
و عـجـبى

honeybee0608 said...

Lilly i was touched by ur post..
all i can say is: good luck for ur new job and path, i really wish u success and gr8 achievements for the coming new year !
merry christmas and happy new year!

Hakim said...

U said : takin a step forward...
sounds nice,,
I know dat we all will miss u.
Some confortable faces in this Co. we were used to see them.
May Allah bless u and keep u in progress.

Amr ,,,, who is called Hakim :)

Granimo said...

How come ?! ,the first face I'd seen in my workmates is the first one I see leaving!,Lillian is really very bright one,who will translate ya lillian,who will give me novels:( ,3moman I wish u all of good luck and happy life :)

Galal said...

I still can not believe that u'r leaving , one of our most good , smart , active persons in the company ,

However , "c'est la vie"

all of us hope hearing from u again & abt u all the good news

NEVER forget abt us , n so we will not

ahmed sharaka said...

lillooo i know u from fue days but i feel that i know u from a long time like u say 2 me we became friends in 2 days i feel that u r my sister ill miss u but i promiss u call u and see u :(