The List

So things at the workplace are becoming more complicated. The longer you stay, the harder it is to leave. Added to this some unexpected tasks and issues I have to face. It didn’t help that some people are throwing those half-meant jokes on me. Yesterday, everyone at the workplace had the chance to leave early. Office work has been suspended because we attended the funeral mass of the former president. It was supposedly a sad and gloomy day. In my case however, my sadness arises from other reasons.

We were brought to a place I rarely visit. In order for me to reach home, I have to passed by this huge shopping mall and if you know me well, you know what happened next. Swipe! I took home a new polo shirt. Although I spent the entire afternoon hopping from one shop to another. I needed a channel to vent out my angsts in life. And the powers of shopping can temporarily cure everything. If the male populace are known for their drinking sessions as temporary escape, mine has always been a new blouse, shoes or bag.

I came home very exhausted as a result of the¬†excessive hours of walking. I thought sleep would be enough to save me. I woke up very late and there’s no way for me to catch my 7 am classes. @#$%^& Nevertheless, I still reported for work. I was tired and irritated. It didn’t help that I forgot to charge my favourite commuting buddy, my iPod nano. I thought my agitation level would further accelerate. Everything changed when I noticed something from a fellow jeepney passenger.

I notice the male passenger beside me. He is probably in his late teenage years or early twenties.¬†I may not know his exact age, but from his looks and frame, he should still be going to school. What caught my attention was this huge scar around his neck. ¬†I maybe wrong but it appeared to me as traces of serious burns. In the middle of the trip, he took out a pen and some pieces of paper from his backpack. He was about to write something. It wasn’t my intention but I was able to glance on his handwritten notes. I saw a list of items.

Cellphone –

Watch –

Savings –

There were corresponding figures behind each item and my short glance didn’t provide me enough information. But it was a relatively long list.

It was a short list of items and expenditures. I have a feeling it was his wish list. Or maybe, it was a list of itemised debts. Although based from his looks and age, I was leaning to the fact that it was his Xmas wish list or maybe, a bucket list of needs and wants. My initial response then was to utter a silent prayer for this kid. I asked God to grant the kid’s wishes.

I may not personally know the kid but I felt that rare pinches in my heart again. I saw my old self in him. Ten years ago, I was the same college kid who was just starting to earn. I have my own share of wish list for myself and family. I also had that habit of listing down everything. I used to have a notebook that contained all the items I want to buy for myself and family. I have estimated costs and I still had that habit of setting aside part of my money. Gradually, I will be able to cross out some items after all the needed money has been pooled.

Ten years after, everything changed. The process actually reversed. Blame the evil rectangular devices. I purchase the items I like, and list them down as payables in my credit card. LOL It’s no longer a wish list. What I’m currently writing is a list of debts and payments. I set aside money to pay for past purchases.

But seriously, I’m trying my best to clean up my own mess. Though recently, the workplace issues, weight gain problems and all the quarter life crisis attacks are not helping me eliminate this evil habit.

I wrote this post for the kid who reminded me of my simple yet fulfilling life 10 years ago. I hope simplicity and hard work will remain ¬†and thrive in him 10 years after. I hope he doesn’t end up like me. But at this point, what I really wish that someone can play Santa Claus for him this Xmas. I hope he will be able to cross out items from his list. I hope he will be given the gift he truly deserves. As for my grown up self, I have to endure that bitter pill of paying everything.

Should I Stay # 2

My current working schedule is way better than the previous semester . I handle two consecutive classes in the morning and my remaining hours are spent for my office work. I love the fact that I can go home early. No more evening exhausting evening classes. Just when I was about to start office work, I learned that two of my colleagues are tendering their resignation. One will study abroad and the other will pursue her dream of pursuing a career in the industrial sector. Sigh… Here we go again. I’m not friends with these colleagues. No personal relationships but why am I affected? It’s not that I will miss them. We’re never friends. But something has intensified in me again.

People are leaving and I’m being left behind. What now for me? I’m beginning to feel that I’m left in the flock of losers.

As I was beginning to over analyse things again, the following thoughts dawned to me

1. I admire people who are willing to accept lower salaries in another company – In exchange for more possibilities of career growth, this colleague admitted that she is very willing to accept a lower salary to start and build her career in the corporate sector. This will never work for me. My New Journey Series will explain. I have a new insurance policy and I need to build my savings account.

2. I fear the uncertainty – If I move to a new company, I fear the new boss and colleagues to deal with. For sure, there are patience testing experiences again.

3. I don’t want to leave my job just because everyone is leaving – I don’t want to appear as someone who only joins¬†the trend. When I will tender that resignation, I want to do it because I’m convinced that it is the best decision for me.

4. It’s hard to leave a very understanding Boss – This has been one of my greatest struggles. My current Boss is highly respected in the company. He has led successful projects. He is best known for being one of most considerate and understanding superiors in the workplace. How can you give up¬†the best?

5. My recent conversation with my Mother – I told her last weekend that I’m already having second thoughts of transferring to another company. I also advised her that I would most likely land on a BPO company that requires graveyard shift. These BPOs are surviving the employment market of the Philippines. You know, the classic stories of American and European companies who transferred bulk of their operations to Asian economies to avail of cheaper operations costs. After explaining this situation, my Mother encouraged me to remain where I am. Magtiyaga ka na anak sa ______, kesa naman sa gabi ka magtrabaho. Ikakamatay mo pa ‘yan. Mapapadali ang buhay mo¬†nyan.¬† I can’t blame her. I have a friend who works for a contact centre and later found her health deteriorating. After 3 years of working, she passed away. Months after, I learned that one of my friend’s colleagues also passed away,¬†same reason accounted.

6. I’m halfway writing this post when I realised that it was already lunch time. I left my table for a while and purchased my lunch. As I was returning to the office, a colleague behind me blurted… mag-isa ka na lang ngayon, wala na yung kasama mo mag-lunch. Good thing another colleague approached him I almost want to say, SH@#$% you don’t need to emphasise it. I KNOW ! I KNOW! I know better because I was able to find a best friend for 10 years at the workplace. And you?¬†Look at you, you have been eating lunches on your own for more than 15 years. I can’t imagine how miserable is the workplace for you.¬†

I’m more confused now. Or maybe, I already have a decision it’s just that I’m refusing to accept and face it.

Credibility and Blogging

Credibility, the first time I heard or maybe understood the word was when I was 16 years old. Yes, I have poor English vocabulary. When I was 13 years old, the annual achievement test administered by our school showed that I only have the English vocabulary of an 11 year old kid. When I started working for a school, my bitter self realised that the test might be unsuitable for a Filipino student. I can vividly recall the credits written at the back of the test booklet. It was a standardised examination made in US.

This post will not dwell on my vocabulary deficiency. As always, there was a recent experience that awakened my sleeping interest to blog.

I heard and understood the word¬†credibility¬†when I attended our pre-graduation recollection. There was a classmate who blurted her disgust to our Physics teacher during the group sharing. If I remember it right, her troop¬†of friends exaggeratedly hated our Physics teacher. There was an issue that intensified their hatred.¬†During the¬†sharing, one of our classmates revealed what she overheard during the conversation with the Principal. Our Physics teacher was quoted saying,¬†¬†If I will give in to the amends of the students, it’s good as I’m giving up my credibility as a teacher. What happened after was chaotic. You wouldn’t expect to hear it from a student, who grew up in a reputable and exclusive school for girls.

The incident gave me one of those experiences when my understanding was drawn from a real life experience. I learned credibility more than its dictionary meaning. Up until today, I never bothered to look for the definition of credibility. It’s one of those words I cannot verbally explain, but the understanding was significantly deep-rooted in me.

Back when I regained my interest in blogging, my real intention was influenced by my desire to earn additional money. I have been inspired by bloggers who turned their interest to money making opportunities. My blogging story turned out the exact opposite. I was initially propelled my money but I realised later that blogging is more than money. Blogging has become my safe haven. Whenever my emotions are heightened, I will surely end up writing a blog post. I’ve been doing this therapy for the last four years and I intend to stay here.

These successful and famous bloggers became one of my driving forces to write again. Because I was too amazed with their lives, achievements and writing prowess, I once tried to reach out to them. There was one blogger who would often mention that she loves receiving letters of appreciation from her readers. She claims answering all emails and¬†messages¬†she receives.¬†Being one of her readers, I sent my handwritten letter and a simple gift. I expressed how her blog influenced me and how I admired her own way to success.¬†Months and years passed, I didn’t get any response from this blogger. I felt a bit disappointed but given her high readership, I realised that she might be receiving tons of letters everyday. It was almost impossible for her to reply. I continued reading her blog only to later realise that her credibility is gradually dying on me. Her blog became a showcase of sponsored posts. Nothing against this but if the real posts are being outnumbered by the sponsored, it felt like I was buying a magazine erupting with all the humongous¬†ads. It felt empty. I also remember how she would mention her disgust to¬†this local female celebrity. Only to later discover, she has a sponsored post that gives soft praises to this celebrity. lol If she is still firm with her disgust to this local celebrity, it must have been so hard for her to write that post.

Just when I was writing this post, another blogger expressed her intention to boycott the products sold by this family of politicians. It was prompted by her abhorrence with the family’s patriarch. When I was checking my Instagram feed, I noticed a photo upload of this product she intends to boycott. She was apparently thanking the sponsor for sending her ginormous product supply. No hate feelings though, I just want to laugh how some freebies¬†can¬†change what I thought as a firm standpoint.

When I started this small business with a friend, I thought of collaborating with my favourite¬†local bloggers. I emailed my target bloggers and offered sending some product samples. If I remember it right, they have clearly stated in their “sponsorship and advertising” tabs that they have a soft spot for starting entrepreneurs with all those flowery and sympathetic words. Of the six¬†“hi-profile” bloggers we emailed, only two¬†welcomed us. I guess not bad only to later discover that collaborating with them would cost an arm and a leg. It was like surrendering my half-month salary for that single blog post.

Maybe I wasn’t prepared. I might be drawn by the idea¬†that they are angels and saints who would welcome everyone. As for their rates, I’m still clueless about this system¬† But I’ll be honest. This money making system somehow lessened the credibility I have for some bloggers. I was awakened by the fact that I should learn to filter whatever information they present in their respective blogs. Or maybe, I have an incorrect way of understanding them. If they say that they love comments and letters from readers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will reciprocate with a response. If they provide their email address and other contact means, this doesn’t oblige them to answer queries.

My possibly worst experience was when I have to personally transact with the two bloggers who were willing¬†to accept our product samples. One of them agreed that I’ll deliver our products in her home address. When I landed to her doorstep, the kind neighbour told me that she might still be asleep. I don’t want to cause any hassle so I was really thankful for the kindest neighbour who took care of my product samples. Heck, we have agreed with the delivery time considering your utmost convenience.

The other blogger welcomed our offer of receiving the products via courier. I made some alterations with the product because of perishability reasons. After several days, she sent me an email expressing a little dissatisfaction. Okay, I have my own fault. But I cannot help but cry for all the efforts and hardships I have rendered. Me and my business partner shelled out part of our meagre income from our day jobs. We carried tons of supplies, carefully packed each item and finally carried two heavy boxes to the courier. In fairness to this blogger, she uttered some words of gratitude. But her dissatisfaction was more overpowering.

So much for this long post. I actually don’t know how to end it. For some of you, I may sound as the bitter entrepreneur who ranted about her disappointments. I admit to some extent. But I believe much of what I wrote today leads to one big lesson I learned in my four years of stay. Credibility is far more important than all those blogging milestones and achievements. And if I were to¬†set the standards, I will go for credibility. I prefer to read and be influenced by those whose reputation remains untainted.

Random things from the workplace

Because my life evolves mostly from the workplace lately or like forever since I turned 21 …

1. Tardiness seem to be a problem of everyone – I noticed the correlation between years of service and frequency of tardiness. All the while I thought I was the only person making this statistic. Apparently, there’s a lot of us in the same boat.

2. Those who are itching to move to another company are those who are most likely to stay – I’ve heard colleagues who would complain of the limited benefits and low early retirement pay. Only to later realise that they mostly comprise the service awardees

3. Practice what you preach. Walk the talk. Unfortunately, there are people who only preach and talk. What a wonderful world ‚ô™‚ô™‚ô™ (insert sarcastic face here)

5. Everyone gains that barrels of bravery in Facebook status messages. Unfortunately, the bravest people in Facebook are the weakest in real life. Seriously, can you really tell your boss to get lost?

6. Some people just don’t realize that ranting in Facebook does not make them a better person. If you rant about your boss or colleague, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are right and better. Little do you know, you are worse because you emphasise things that should have been confidential in the first place.

7.  I have nothing against Facebook. In fact it has become one of my happy places (no pun intended, promise). However, I feel bad that it has become an avenue for people to unconsciously spread their immaturity. Worst, it has burned bridges and created hurtful memories for some. I have been a witness as to how some students and colleagues rift relationships because of that 420 character allocation. To some extent, even some of my family members are doing it.

8. I have this colleague turned friend who would always lecture about how we are wasting our money. When we once tried the slot machine at Resorts World, when we went to tried Tacsiyapo and all those silly yet memorable adventures we made. I respect her opinion about frugality. But when the law of happiness and living your life to the fullest are¬†considered, I strongly object. I’m a firm believer of venturing to new experiences every year. It may not be necessarily expensive though. Splurging once is enough to draw that rare smile on your face every time you reminisce. You may have a fat bank account, real property, insurance, own car and all those material wealth. At the end of the day however, what weighs more the amount of happiness stored in your heart.

9. The pressure of doing good is degrees higher if you work for a school. Maybe my colleagues will not agree. But in my case, this is my strong belief. Kids are our clients. More than academics, we have the power to influence their value system. This personal belief further intensified when I started teaching. I lost my right to say those bad yet relaxing words whenever I feel pressured and irritated. I will never be heard shouting that “f” and “s” words inside the class. I have to control myself. I don’t cut in the queue of lines (one of my pet peeves) to show respect, even though the canteen attendant gives me the opportunity.

10. The famous Filipino proverb about tomatoes. One rotten tomato is enough to spread spoilage to a bunch of fresh tomatoes. Spoilage rate is higher if a fresh tomato is placed in a basket of rotten tomatoes. Most of the times, this is true. My years of working however taught me that in most instances, there are always exceptions.