This post was written against my own will. As much as I want to call this as a sponsored post, it wouldn’t qualify because there’s no compensation involved. Haha Truth is, one of my friends requested me to write this.

Before I express my own sentiments, allow me to relate the story behind this post.

My friend G has been “unfriended” in Facebook by a group of colleagues. It started with one colleague. Months after, she noticed that colleague’s entire troop of friends “unfriended” her.

Being “unfriended” or removed from another person’s list of friends may mean nothing for some. Some may think that it’s just a shallow act that we exaggerated and elevated to an issue. Oh well, you have to remember that everyone involved in my friend’s story are bitches females.

When my friend discovered that she was “unfriended.” She searched for the Facebook profiles of colleague’s real troop of friends. She was surprised to discover that she can no longer access their pages. I told my friend that they might have blocked her in their lists as well.

Being “unfriended” or “blocked” from a friend’s list obviously emanates from something. We may not be able to know but at the end of the day, we can only conclude that colleagues wanted her out of their social networking life.

My friend was bothered and she kept asking me questions to explain her story. I told her that for sure, you’ve done something they secretly disliked. It’s also possible that they are not comfortable with your mere online presence.

Between “adding someone as a friend” vs. “unfriending someone” which is more honest and truthful?

In my opinion, we tend to be more honest in the case of “unfriending.”

Whenever we add or get invites to become “friends,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are real “friends.”

On the contrary, when we “unfriend” or remove someone from our list of friends, there’s a high chance that we see them as enemies or simply, people we don’t like to be friends with.

I hope my dear friend gets my point of irony.

In the end my dear friend, you were not really “friends” with them in real life. Hence, when they deleted or “unfriended” you in Facebook, it was never really a loss in the first place.

Weekly Photo Challenge : In the Background

silent wish

This photo was taken two years ago. Two years seem so near but when I recall all the changes that happened in my life, this span of time was never short.

It was coupled with its own unexpected changes.

During this time, I remember having a silent wish. And when I say silent, that wish only thrived within myself. I never confided it with my best friend and even to any of my blogs. It’s only my heart and mind who can betray me then.

Fast forward now, I recall that silent wish. Did the wish come true? It didn’t. Destiny made all means not to fulfill my dream despite my incessant prayers.

The next question would be, does it remain to be the sane silent wish?

It remains the same silent wish I’ve been praying for years. It’s just that this time, my wish shifted to another dimension.

There were changes but my heart still longs for that silent dream.

The disadvantage of knowing Customer Service

When I was transferred to another department, my research function took a back seat.  I went to Corporate Planning and my work life took a 360 degrees turn.  There were no definite and routine tasks.  Since the office directly reports to the Office of the President, our activities are dependent to the will of the highest man in the company. If President wants a new project, our office maps out plans and identify means to make it happen. If the President is troubled with a major problem, we act like surgeons to control the damage and patch up troubles. Our existence was defined by our dependency to the highest office of the institution.

Until recently, the President wanted to implement this major project that demands a revolutionary change in the entire organization. My Big Boss was very optimistic but in my mind, I was having doubts about the successful implementation of the project. Having been in the institution for eight years, I’m familiar with the culture, climate and the real termites that silently ruin the institution.

To make this project possible, the Big Boss sent me to various seminars and workshops about Customer Service. Oh well, one of my favorite topics to blog here. In the few seminars I’ve attended I was fortunate to discover the different dimensions of Customer Service.  It was through these learning opportunities that I have seen the real meaning of Customer Service. I particularly learned how Customer Service should be viewed by the top management to the rank and file employees. The most significant among my learning exposure is how companies should properly treat customer complaints.  In a way, I felt fortunate to learn the right approaches in addressing complaints. Come with the gain is the weight of disappointment on how other companies handle customer complaints.

The problem of being equipped with the right information is that you suddenly know what should be done, how it should be done, when should it be done and why should it be done.

In effect, the disappointed customer in me now feels more disappointed whenever I witness a failed customer service experience. I almost wanted to wear my hat as a teacher and lecture the sales personnel and the manager. But of course, the silent person in me will never do that. I still believe that they know better than me and as always, I prefer to blog the experience.

So here goes the pathetic loser again

Aside from being a part-time educator, I juggle a third job. I work as a freelance research consultant and statistician. My years in the research department and my degree in Economics opened this world for me. I assist students who are having difficulties in finishing their masteral thesis. Make it simpler, I’m a technical writer in the academe. Aside from writing, my background in the quantitative sciences earned me to be adept with different statistical techniques. In my previous job, I used to breath and eat numbers. I tell stories and weave words from numbers.

Research is what makes my heart beat apart from teaching. Unfortunately, some unexpected circumstances took away this passion. Changes were implemented in the organization. It’s a long story that can form another blog to relate the details. In the end, I decided that I’ll be better off if I leave my research post and transfer to another office.

Relating stories from numbers form one of my passions, I secretly prayed that I’ll be given related opportunities. Since I was able to establish myself, freelance works started to came in. My freelance career started with a client I never met. I survived with the marketing principle of referral or word of mouth.

My clients serve as my gateway to another client. Hence, I really ensure that I’ll do my best to serve each of them. I wanted my freelance work to grow. With my limited means, I know that there’s no other way for me to increase my network but to do my job well. This system paid off because I’m able to gain clients every year. The minimal income I receive then was used to repaint the house, purchase a few home appliances, finance my past trips, and as always, to settle the debts.

I was doing fine with my freelance works not until two colleagues ruined everything. They aren’t my friends but of all people, why do I need to suffer from them?

Most of my past freelance clients were total strangers. I never knew them at all. They were simply referred. In fact I had one client I never met. We were working things through email, text messages and phone calls. I was surprised that we finished everything. My other clients, I only meet them once or twice. We make things happen through email.

The situation was different with my two colleagues. I regularly see them everyday so there was more interaction with the work. I thought everything will emerge better. Turns out, they were one of the worst clients I’ve ever encountered.

They always caught me with the constraint of time. They left everything on me. I embraced tasks which are beyond my responsibility.

I wouldn’t really mind if they demanded a lot more. I did my job in the hope that they will do their own part. The least I wanted them to do is to settle my professional fee.

I hate to admit it but this appears to be another money issue. It is. But for me, it’s more than another deprived income.

As it appears to me, my two colleagues didn’t recognize and respect me enough as a freelancer.

They didn’t value my hard-earned skills. They never realized that it took me years to be in this profession.

They don’t see my services in the professional category. Oh well, I admit that I cannot equate to lawyers and doctors. At this point, it appears to me that the only professional services they recognize are those that are granted with licensure examinations. Since I’m not one of those with alphabets to extend my name, I can practice my profession but I don’t have the right to get paid.

I felt belittled. It didn’t took me a snap to finish their paper. It took me sleepless nights to make things happen. While they have been having the most comfortable sleep, I deprived myself of sleeping hours to beat their impossible deadline.

They made me feel useless and worthless. Sometimes I envy those service workers in the informal sector. Some of them are offering illegal services but how come they get paid? I equally abuse my body and place my health to risk because of the prolonged working hours. All I was asking was my modest professional fee that can’t even afford a chemotherapy or a dialysis session. When their paper gets recognition, I don’t ever remember receiving additional income or even some pat on the back. I don’t demand one either. My only wish is for them to settle my modest professional fee. Why did they choose to deprive me?

I can always provide extension and prolong my patience. In fact, I never asked for down payment or due dates. I just tell them to pay me once my work is done. If they cannot afford the full amount, I even told them that they can pay me in terms. A year after they received their diploma and promotion, I haven’t heard anything from them. Whenever I would encounter them on institutional events, they would simply ignore and avoid me. How disrespectful. Considering that we are all educated individuals, they only prove that education doesn’t buy values.

The last thing I want to happen is to kneel down and beg for my professional fee. It looks harsh and degrading but figuratively, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been discretely communicating with my two colleagues. What ironically hurts is that I seem to carry the burden of everything.

Untold Teacher Story

I will hold on to my belief that I belong to one of the most noble professions in the world.

I’m a part time college instructor.

I may not be a full pledged educator. I only became one by virtue of my part time job. But the fact that I’m teaching, I claim the rights of becoming a member of this elite group.

As much as I want to forever feel honored of being in this profession, two instances threatened to ruin everything.

Some years ago, one of my students approached me for an unlikely favor. He wanted to borrow some amount of money from me. At first I was surprised because for all I know, all the kids enrolled in our school came from middle to high income families. In our conversations, I even remember him telling me that his Father’s secretary assisted him in encoding the responses in his survey questionnaires. I gave him the money he needed. After some months, he fulfilled his promise of repaying his debt. Weeks after, he made the same request. He is a candidate for graduation so I again lend him the amount he needed. He promised to pay me after graduation. Months passed and I heard no words from him. I communicated with him through email. He asked for my account number and later told me he deposited the payment. I checked my bank account and discovered nothing. I told him what I found out and he never communicated with me again.

Months ago, a former student added me on Facebook. She was very eager to communicate with me. We would regularly exchange messages. I even gave her my mobile number, which I don’t allow with my current students. A week later, she surprised me with a text message. She was attempting to borrow a significant amount of money. I deposited a lesser amount to her bank account. I really wanted to help so I told her to pay me when she already has the means.

Weeks after, she was again attempting to borrow money. This time, I felt terrified. I didn’t bother to ask what was happening to her. I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Though one of my friends told me that I should have asked. Since it’s my money that will be used, I deserve to know. To my defense, I told my friend that I have my own quota of worries. I don’t want to burden myself more. This time, I wasn’t able to lend money. Aside from the fact that my savings account is threatened, I have a feeling that I’m opening myself to be abused. As of this day, my student never communicated with me again.

I related my story to my Mother and as expected, it was another bad decision I made.

As I was recalling these two stories, frustration transpired as my prevalent sentiment. I was frustrated for many reasons.

I was frustrated because I was convinced that our students will all have a better life after graduation. I assumed that their lives are mapped out that way. I failed to see the reality that finishing school is not guarantee of financial progress. Oh well, I should have seen myself as a living example. I have a Master’s degree but I’m troubled with all the debts I have to pay. Added to these are my fears of not being able to support my aging parents and special brother.

Another source of my frustration is the respect that I seemed to lost. When my first student decided to deceive me, I felt disrespected. It wasn’t really because of the money that he failed to return. The feeling of being disrespected emanates from his attempt of lying to me. I may not even qualify as a good teacher but at the very least, he knows that I did my job. I made all means so that they can beat the deadline for the thesis defense. I slept with their paper and did my best to have them submit a decent work.

As for my other student, my sentiments remain the same. She and her classmates know that I’m an equally struggling educator. They see me commute everyday. I take all forms of public transportation. I don’t eat in the expensive school canteen. I never owned an expensive phone. I use same pair of black shoes. She sees me lining up at Bayad Centers for the pile of bills. But why did she choose to rely to their equally struggling teacher? But I think the better question would be, why did they choose to disregard me when they have all means to reach me. I felt used and abused. I felt disrespected.

At this point, I’m no longer after the money that they promised to return. I’m actually fine extending some assistance. What rather frustrates me is that while they have all the means to tell me the truth, they chose to hide and ignore my existence.

If they care enough to respect me as a person, they should have told me that they don’t have plans of treating me one.