6 months

blog5_IMG_1026

I can’t believe it has been 6 months since I made my last post. In the previous years, I managed to maintain at least one post per month. This year, I was missing in action for almost half a year. I have a lot of thoughts to write. I never run out of personal struggles to share or rant. It’s just that I never found the time to organize my thoughts. I’m also easily distracted, blame my social media accounts.  Everything is in my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Whenever I find something to write, my system will always find a way for me to forget it.

Despite my absence, my blog managed to become active. I’m regularly receiving comments on some of my posts. In particular, my posts about my job interview and application from Metrobank, job application from GSIS and my thoughts and experience with Club Ultima. This brings me, these posts made me discover a technique on how to increase hits, interaction and reader engagement. I swear, writing reviews whether good or bad is a great way to bring people to your  blog.

I’m afraid I have to cut this post short. I’m still bound to accomplish a freelance work. I badly needed the job income to replace an unexpected LCD damage in my laptop.

Wishing everyone a great weekend ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Grandpa

Today, we laid my remaining grandparent to rest. My Grandpa, who everyone fondly called Lolo, was reunited with my Lola (Grandma) on her birthday.

The last years of  Lolo involved countless trips to the hospital. It started with his eyesight problems. He developed problems in his digestive system. Later, his excretory system was affected. He underwent a sensitive operation two years ago. He survived and recovered only to suffer from stroke almost a year ago. We celebrated his 93rd birthday last November and the past months meant seeing him deteriorate each day. Though we live in the same city, I rarely see my Lolo. It was my cousins, uncles and aunties who ensured his safety and comfort.

Last Thursday, I fell asleep in our living room after a long day at work. I was tired. I was looking forward for the long weekend. Around 10 pm, my phone has been receiving endless calls and text messages. My cousins were looking for my Dad. Lolo is at his worst stage. We spent the last hours of the day until Lolo held his last breath.

After the funeral, we went home together. We rode Lolo’s jeepney and just like that, we felt happy and sentimental. That jeepney was Lolo’s main source of income. It financed his medical expenses and looking back, the jeepney served as our playground. It was Lolo’s means to spoil the desires of his grandchildren. We made road trips, watched cycling races, went to family events riding Lolo’s most treasured jeepney.

Unlike most of my cousins, it was hard for me to cry. Not that I’m suppressing my emotions or don’t feel affected. My Lolo will always have a special place in my heart. I will always remember the time when me and my cousins entered a large supermarket in Quezon City.  We were allowed to get anything we wanted from the chips and candies section. In 1992, he gave me Php 2,000 to open a bank account. At that time, I was a kid, who wanted to act like an adult, with her own savings passbook account. When my classes was scheduled in the afternoon, it was Lolo’s school bus who took me to school. And recently, I remember how Lolo contributed in shaping the current state of my career and work life.  Every Sunday, my Lolo would buy a copy of the Manila Bulletin. On Sunday night, I would take home the copy of the classified ads section. I noticed a job vacancy in the Research Department of an old school in Manila. I sent my application via email and the rest is history. Thirteen years passed, I’m still with the same company albeit in another office and position.

In times like this, much of myself is overpowered with fear. I don’t know if I can handle sickness and death within my family, my parents and lone special brother. With my Lolo, I have responsible cousins who took charge of everything. Whenever someone close to my heart suffers from sickness and death, part of me feels so frightened and nervous. Will I be able to handle everything? Being the family’s bread winner, the entire fate and future of my family is on my hands.

While my heart weeps for Lolo, I’m eaten by my own anxiety. Maybe this would last for several days. But once my real life (work and grown up concerns) starts to settle, everything will go away. I hope so….

To my dearest Lolo in heaven, thank you for everything you’ve done for the family. Thank you for the endless love and support to all your grandchildren. I will miss you dearly, family reunions will never be the same again. Please pray for me and the entire family. Help me forget all my fears, worries and guide me in every endeavor I undertake.

It was just another day

Yesterday, while everyone has been engrossed over the rare appearance of the Blue Moon, I quietly traveled home feeling melancholy. It was supposedly a great day at work because a colleague celebrated her birthday and we had a sumptuous lunch. Added to this, I don’t have evening classes. It’s one of the rare times I was able to reach home early.    Unfortunately, I had another sadness and frustration episode again. Blame everything on the contents of my Facebook newsfeed. In some days, my newsfeed is like poison that attacks the immune system of my emotional well being.

I work for a relatively small organization. It’s an institution where everybody knows everybody, especially among the segment of my fellow support staff. It has it’s own advantages because getting the job done meant dealing with lesser number of people. On the flip side, office politics is easily felt among the ranks. I have been both a silent witness and victim of people who promoted and ventured in this system. What’s worst, the people, who once told me how much they hate politics, have become its perfect ambassadors.

Yesterday, I chanced a post from someone whom I thought as my friend. The post was proof that being loyal to a powerful force can really be advantageous. It can take you to places, money and different forms of material wealth. I initially thought I’m just bitter, envious and another sore loser. After some time, I realised some unhealed wounds are starting to live again. The pain came after and soon enough, I found myself in tears.

Many years ago, I was always afraid of work. Even now that I’m seeking for new job opportunities, I’m frightened of the new environment and responsibilities. In my more than a decade of working, I realised that work eventually becomes manageable over time. You struggle, learn and eventually discover how to untie the challenges of the accomplishing the work. Beyond the task involved on each work, it’s the people and culture that come with it become the real source of struggle.

I’m not a perfect employee. I have tardiness records. I steal office hours lurking over my social media accounts. There were days when I extend my breaks to accomplish personal errands. While I have imperfections, I compensate for productivity, honesty and service beyond expectations. Modesty aside, no one can accuse me of not delivering my responsibilities. And even without support for trainings and development, I find ways to learn new things and improve the quality of my reports. I even render overtime without pay, even when it meant reporting on weekends.

While I don’t expect the management to compensate my hardwork, the least I wanted to happen is to witness how some people gain as a result of holding on to a powerful individual. This brings me, an unfortunate reality at the workplace is that, loyalty is always rewarded and hardwork will most likely be discarded.

Unfortunately, the concept of loyalty I’m dealing with here, does not lean on the honourable side. It’s full surrender to someone who can provide them gains, without experiencing the real hardwork. What these people fail to realize, there’s something beyond the gains. It’s that sense of accomplishment that I have worked hard for everything I have. But no matter how much I emphasize this thought, some things just work out that way. Bad people are always part of every life story.

Then again, this was just another day when life reminded me of some painful realities. Painful enough to make me lose my diminishing self-esteem and further demoralize my demotivated self.

 

January Updates

I don’t have plans of blogging today but the strength of the iced mocha I had is starting to kick in. I’m wide awake after a long and tiring week. Added to this, it doesn’t help that the Korean drama I’m watching is reaching the part when the villains are starting to dominate. After the last scene, I switched to another movie channel and made the wrong decision again. I landed on the scene where two female actresses are having a slapping feast. :p hahaha I have to calm down myself.

Going back, it’s been a long and tiring week. So much happened, it felt like a week wasn’t enough to contain everything. It started with the culmination of my freelance works. The first month of the year has been so good to me. I gained freelance works. Everything has been accomplished. I was blessed with cooperative clients. More importantly, all professional fees have been settled. Thanks be to God! 🙂 Although admittedly, much of my earnings have already been spent. I settled debts and purchased some rewards for myself. For the first time, I refrained from purchasing another bag. I diverted my resources to a better investment …. some pieces of jewelry. I know, I know. Money looks better when placed inside a bank account. But this has been in my bucket list for the longest time. To my defense, a piece of real gold jewelry is no doubt, better than a brand new Kate Spade bag. To which I discovered, the amount I spent for an imported branded is more than enough to purchase an 18k jewelry.

Other than the freelance work, another unexpected work came in. It was a work that came from the top management, a personal favor from someone in the top management. The details are quite complicated to explain. What I can say now, I feel so relieved because 95% of the work is over. Admittedly, it wasn’t my best effort. But everything has been done. I’ll just hope that everything will be over soon. I hope to end this saga at the workplace. I’ve been sleep deprived the entire week. I can’t find the time to squeeze in exercise. I had episodes of stress eating. My double chin is beginning to show up. 😦 I need to get back to exercise.  I want to look half decent next week.

The start of the year has been so good to me. It has been tiring but its returns of feel so rewarding. I used to say that if I win the lottery, almost all of my problems and worries will go away. But deep inside, I only pray for more freelance works or earning opportunities on top of my day job. I wish for more money, but earning it as a result of my hard work.

It’s 12:39 am here, I’m winding down the day (although its already another day) with some chips and cake. This is not stress eating, but more of rewarding myself in an evil way. :p My weight will surely be the first casualty. Hahaha

After three months

I haven’t updated this blog for three months. I attempted to maintain a blog post each month. I have thoughts waiting to be written. Unfortunately, I will get distracted as soon as I logged in. Either one of my social media accounts will generate an interesting notification. I will remember a bill I need to settle online. A pending task needs to be accomplished. I feel too tired and sleepy to blog. The more prevalent excuse, I have nothing positive to share. I feel that I’m bound to make another sad and pathetic post. True enough, much of my sentiments still deal with my career struggles, financial concerns, and aging.

I’m trying to recall anything good that happened on the last two months. But as always, the negative events dominate me. Failed job applications, lost interest in job hunting, hopelessness on my current work, hiding behind an image of positivity and enthusiasm every time I teach, debts, people who took advantage, weight problems and lost friendships.

On the positive side, I discovered real friendships that surpassed the test of time, distance and other circumstances. I freed myself from a burdening investment. I’m still with my family. I remain healthy, even when I stepped on the border of obesity. If there’s any consolation with my worklife, my teaching life is good.

With all these experiences, I succumb to the idea of writing some realizations.

  1. Working hard will never be enough. Surviving the workplace entailed surviving a myriad of factors from doing your job well, moderating everyone’s behavior, or to make it simpler, how to play with politics.
  2. You don’t need to give Christmas presents to everyone. But I think I’ve overdone it this year. My excuse, I took the season as an opportunity to thank all the people, mostly colleagues, who helped me accomplished a significant project. I realised that being a good colleague throughout the year is more than enough Christmas gift. People easily forget material stuff. Being a good colleague will always go a long way.
  3. Apart from my immediate working environment, a lot of people / strangers helped me to have a better life throughout the year. The courteous, accommodating and helpful sales personnel I encountered made life better for me. While giving tips are great, I realised that non-monetary rewards also make as great commendations. Sending sincere commendations through customer service survey forms, customer feedback email, or even through the company’s social media accounts. Trust me, it will feel great from your end too.
  4. Part of growing means some of your support system being taken away. In simpler terms, losing friends after discovering their real intentions. Or sometimes, time and distance will change everything.
  5. I’m amazed with colleagues who seem to be loved by everyone. Over time though, I learned that having a few, real and trusted friends mattered more. It’s having people who will love you, even at your worst. Also, I’ve learned to admire colleagues who seem to have a small group of friends over time. They may alienate themselves most of the time, but their years of friendship is beyond amazing.
  6. Some people will always have the talent to make you feel bad. :p I don’t wan’t to further elaborate, but some people can effortlessly ruin our day.
  7. As I grow up, I realised that even the shallowest things can make me happy and feel loved. Handwritten notes, letters and the sincerest personal messages make me feel loved.
  8. Case in point, I think I’m reaching that stage when I don’t care much about gifts or presents. I prefer presence over presents. 🙂 A birthday cake, heart warming message and a hug is more than enough. But don’t get me wrong, I still value gifts because as they say, it’s the thought that counts. I still appreciate the fact that someone took time and effort to buy me a present. I guess more than the gift, I look forward for the sincerity and love that comes with it.
  9. This year, I’ve come to accept that I cannot immediately settle all the lousy debts and financial mess I made. It will entail a number of years to wipe out everything.
  10. I may not be financially stable but I can still enjoy life. There are always blessings that come along the way. I have other reasons to smile.

I guess this post will do for now. I wanted to write more but my thoughts are all scattered. Part of me wants to go to sleep, exercise to perspire and shake off this body ache.

It will be Christmas in a few more hours. Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas! I hope you are surrounded by all the love and warmth from your loved ones.

 

PS Shout out to John who took the time to email me for any update in my blog. 🙂 I used to believe that I’m the only person reading my blog. Hahaha

13 years

13 years ago today, it was a day of many firsts. It was my first day at my first job. Five months after graduation, 13 different companies of job interviews and examinations, the 14th company made everything happen for me. 13 years after, I’m still with the same company.

In the past few years and months, there seem to be a mass departure among colleagues. I work for a school and although I teach, my base appointment is support staff. I belong to the group who handles the business and other backroom operations. Unlike faculty members, the segment of support staff seem to have a closer knit. Everybody knows everybody. When someone tenders resignation, news easily spreads out. Everyone seems to be easily affected. The presence of Facebook and other social  media tools makes everything easier and faster, especially among us Filipinos who document everything on social media. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m affected. My previous post already explained everything.

To celebrate my “workversary,” I slept the entire day today. Hahaha There was an unexpected national holiday this week. How timely that it landed today.  I have so much plans today. Read books, freelance and become productive. But my sluggish self felt so tired. I allowed myself to rest and sleep. Unfortunately, I think I overdo it. Hahaha

I don’t know what’s in store for me on the next 13 years. I have been trying out my chances in different companies. I’ve been doing this since 2015 and nothing is going right for two years already. To my count, I’ve been to seven companies, which include the negative experiences with GSIS and Metrobank. One almost had me employed. But I refused the opportunity, I followed my instincts. I never felt at home with that company, which also happens to be a school.

If I will not be given the opportunity to look for a better employer, I wish to excel in other endeavors. I wish to write and publish a book. I wish for more writing endeavors. I dream of improving my photography skills. I want to pay off my debts. I want to meet new people. I wish that one person at the workplace who never fails to make me smile will notice and eventually …. I have a lot in my list.  I’m somehow getting tired of doing this, discovering, trying, hoping and failing again and again. In worst cases, I can’t even figure out if I failed or not. I have to decipher for myself what really happened.

In a world of uncertainties, there are always opportunities.

Meanwhile, I have to brush off all these sentiments. Let me start the day by finally giving my self that much needed work out… Hopefully, a better post when I get back.

Lessons from surviving the workplace

Like my usual opening line, I don’t have intentions of blogging today. However, an incident triggered me to write.

On the way home, I had those recurring thoughts again. When will I find the courage and opportunity to leave my present work? I have all the reasons to leave. I’m on that stage when horizons are replaced by limitations. I have reached the finish line of my career and no other competitive race awaits me. All my cards lead me to the losing end. It doesn’t help that I often see my former colleagues and friends having the time of their lives.

Typing this, I remember that I’m about to reach my 13 years of working.  Maybe a milestone but as of now, my prevalent sentiment remains the same.

I’m overstaying for nothing.

Of the years I spent working, (cliche dialogue ahead) I have my own set of learning experiences. Things I never learned from school. Things I thought only exist in movies. Only to later find out, reality is way painful than those portrayed in movies and TV series.

One advice I heard from a superior was a classic

Always do your best. Keep on doing your best. People, particularly the management, will eventually notice your hard work and value.  Eventually, it will not be difficult to achieve that much prayed promotion.

I was less than 25 years old when I heard his advice. I believed and adhered to such principle in my 20s. Over time, I realized that surviving the workplace goes beyond working hard and working smart. Fine, sometimes it’s working smart > working hard. But based on my experiences, workplace survival entails a myriad of lessons you will only understand once it happened.

A few that I experienced and taught me a great lesson include the following

  1. You will lose friends at the workplace. It may or may not be your fault. But some situations will force you to burn bridges. A little lesser evil outcome would be a cold war with someone you once trusted and respected.
  2. You will embrace plasticity to some extent. In Filipino parlance, being plastic means showing off a friendly and heart warming image to someone you are dying to hate.
  3. There will always be bootlickers. You will always have that colleague who survives by kissing someone else’s ass. Unfortunately, some superiors love being patronized by this one-of-a-kind workplace prostitutes.
  4. Sometimes, you have to flatter or patronize someone to get a job done. Hell, it’s more than promotion and self-advancement. It’s making things happen for a particular project.
  5.  Once in your career lifetime, someone will backstab and use your name as a scapegoat for some selfish endeavor or mistake.
  6. If there are teachers’ pet in the classroom, the workplace has its own equivalent.
  7. You don’t adjust and cope with the demands of your workload. You adjust and customize based on what your superior desires.
  8. Someone will lie to you. Even those who came from the best universities in the country are capable of doing so.
  9. Once in a while, you will have better ideas than your boss. But because you want show some respect or you’re afraid of being tagged as “pabibo” kid, you will hold on to your silence. On the contrary, those who contradict this principle will end up being transferred to another department, outcasted by colleagues and experience a once in a lifetime superb promotion. The possibility of getting promoted is as blurred as your chance of winning the lottery.
  10. Like those usual scenes in drama series, you will wake up being framed up and accused of a workplace crime. You will be blamed for something beyond your control. You will be accused of something you don’t even knew was happening. It goes with saying that someone will always refuse to admit inefficiency. The person will drag everyone to the crime of workplace inefficiency. You will try to defend yourself, but in the end, you’ll clean up somebody else’s mess.
  11. How to get promoted at the workplace entails an algorithm of work place politics and minimal quantity of hard work and intelligence.
  12. Being smart will never be enough.
  13. The person with the loudest voice is always right.
  14. Consequently, my favorite thought and observation is, empty cans make a lot of noise.
  15. The person who can fluently and seamlessly speak in American English will always look as the smartest person. Although upon further analysis, I realized that most of them are nothing but hollow and empty cans.
  16. In different drama series, workplace quarrel meant confronting each other and hearing all those kinds of curses. In reality, you seldom see confrontation at the workplace. The battle entails complaining the person to his superior, writing a hate mail anonymously forwarded to the immediate superior, ranting in Facebook, tagging friends to plant hatred against another person, making the art of deadma and avoiding each other forever.
  17. Someone or some situations will make you feel demoralized and demotivated.
  18. It’s alright to feel demotivated, stupid and pathetic once in a while. Trust me, this will eventually make you stronger.
  19. The playing field will never be fair. It’s a sad reality. You can leave the organization, get used to the system, transform the culture which is near to impossibility.
  20. Being Filipinos, we turn these situations to a source of comic relief. We laugh about colleagues and the management involved. Bottomline, you still wake up in the same reality. There’s no guarantee that this will never happen again. It’s reality among all organizations
  21. I learned over time that  making other meaningful ventures other than your job works both as a defense and survival mechanism.
  22. Gossips are like appetizing dishes. Admit it, we love to hear it. Unfortunately, being an expert gossiper is not a good idea. Even though colleagues are benefiting from it, don’t ever earn that position. It’s tantamount to becoming the least trusted colleague.
  23. Fine, gossiping cannot be avoided. However! However, there’s a proper way to unearth or discover gossips in the most discrete and dignifying way.  Use your analytical and research skills. :p
  24. Secrets, secrets and secrets. A secret only remains as a secret when you keep it to yourself. Once you leak it to another person, even if that person is your most trusted friend… trust me, it is no longer a secret. You have opened the door to its explosion.
  25. Petty workplace offenses are punished while major offenses aren’t. Take it from a personal experience. I have colleagues, who were proven to commit fund malversation, used benefits of their position for personal gains, and committed something that led to the oppression of another person. Most of the time, people who made serious offenses are given the option to make a graceful exit. They were simply eliminated.  In another case, an employee who struggle with punctuality, failed to beat a particular deadline, will be subjected for painful disciplinary action. This makes me sad because more employees will feel the presence of equality, justice. In the end, everyone is demoralized.
  26. Frugality, prudence are great attributes. But don’t overdo it … Once in a while, treat your colleagues apart from your birthday. Give small gifts to a colleague who has been very supportive and contributing in accomplishing a project.
  27. Once in a while be a hidden angel to a deserving colleague. Help someone secretly. 🙂 Trust me, it will feel so fulfilling in the end.
  28. Use your vacation leaves, even if you don’t have the money to fund an out-of-town trip. It’s good to detoxify once in a while. There are a number of non-money wrecking activities you can do during a paid vacation leave.
  29. Don’t bring everything in social media. You can rant using a Facebook status message, but please.. filter its reach. Don’t semi-backstab someone in your Facebook account. You equally dislike people talking behind your back. Trust me, that semi-backstabbing session through status messages and comments will reach the person concerned.
  30. One thing you will never regret, always do your job. Accomplish your responsibilities, even on situations when you feel demoralized and demotivated. If accomplishing a task meant indulging to an expensive Starbucks frappe, huge bag of potato chips, sweetest slice of cake, oiliest burger … by all means, have it. You will gain more than enough respect and confidence from your colleagues. If the management does not recognize employees within your rank, the least you can do is to deliver even in the most hurtful and disheartening situations. You’ll never know, a colleague whom who have once assisted or served well will pave the way for a better opportunity. Great reputation is priceless. We all have that colleague, classmate, friend or popular celebrities, whose reputation cannot be salvaged even by hiring the best image enhancement company. Reputation is like virginity.  🙂 Once lost, you’ll never find and return it again.