An Open Letter to our Incoming President

Dear Mr. President,

This letter has surely no way to reach you. There are only a few workplace friends and family members who recognize this blog. Among my workplace friends, those who are aware of this page have moved to other companies. They left the institution because of better career opportunities. That’s what most of them mentioned during their exit interviews. Truth is, my friends who left lost faith in the company. I will not deny my real sentiments. I’m one with my friends who have gradually lost hope, faith and trust to our second beloved home.

I hope you have  noticed my preference of calling the institution as home. Cliche as it may sound, we have considered the company as our home.  As Catholics, we love that we can exercise our religion without restrictions. The perks of being hired in Catholic institution! At the same time, we learned to love the institution for its openness to accept non-Catholic students and employees. All the more our company deserves to be called home. Our company imbibes the real essence of Catholicism. Welcome and respect your brothers and sisters, regardless of their beliefs and preferred religions. We also love that we have the annual spiritual retreat. Most of our Catholic friends, relatives and family members only experienced the spiritual retreat during their last year in High School or College. In our case, we are blessed to experience it once every school year. Added to this, we love that we are not forced to report for work whenever Manila is about to be hit by a disastrous typhoon. On December, we have a prolonged Christmas break. How many companies will allow a two-week paid break during the Christmas season? As compared to other organizations, we believe that our home offers a relatively relaxed working environment. Those who cannot beat deadlines are not punished but understood. ūüôā We always exercise the virtue of patience and compromise. When a colleague loses a family member, we love the efforts extended by your brothers, our dearest priests. Priests are taking time to say the Holy Mass to the bereaved family member, even though it meant reaching the farthest provinces in Luzon. We may not have the best compensation and benefit packages. We are however compensated with a relatively relaxed working environment.

Unfortunately, these blessings and conveniences lost its luster and appreciation among my colleagues. As proof to this, there was a sudden increase in the number of resignations over the past months. A portion of these casualties include my lone best friend and other colleagues who have turned to become great friends. My opinion might sound too biased but really, the colleagues who decided to leave form the few best assets of our second home. It would take years before another set of valuable employees will be sufficient to replace them.

A few weeks ago I heard pieces of information about upcoming changes. The biggest income generating sector of the company is having a new head. You were also bringing in a chief consultant who was once a powerful department head. I was one of the few persons who appreciated this move because the chief consultant has sufficient knowledge and experience about the systems and culture in the organization. The consultant knew the real story and struggles happening in our second home. This was way better than the move of the previous administration. People from the “superior” sister company were brought in only to fix things that were not really broken.

Tomorrow, will be your big day. I assume. The most awaited formal appointment ceremonies will be held tomorrow. I have colleagues who were tapped to assist in the programme and ceremonies. While me? Let me tell you something… I have been an idle being for the past weeks. I’ve been reporting for work for nothing. My workplan is empty. It’s good as, I’m paid to do nothing. Lucky problems for some of my colleagues. In my case however, this adds up to my quarter life crisis, dwindling self-esteem and other personal struggles. I’ve relayed my condition to my superior but as of date, he has nothing for me. Oh well, this is another story to begin with.

Speaking of my superior, I learned that you had initial talks with him. I assume you’ve given him instructions to produce several documents for your review. My superior requested me to generate one of the documents. I finished everything in one day… After this task, I’m left hanging in the tree of uncertainty.

My letter is getting longer but I haven’t reached even the tip of my sentiments. I intend to relate the real condition of the workplace, at least in the point of view of a staff who has been there for the past decade.

You are about to embrace a home that was once blissful. It used to be a home for my colleagues who left. They say that home is where the heart is. True even for my colleagues and friends who left. They don’t hate the institution. Who could ever hate the home where they grew up? Unfortunately, the home they treasure has been broken by different forces. One of which is the presence of some leaders who failed to lead. We had our own share of leaders who were more interested with the position, than the responsibility. This gradually devastated what was once we considered home. Little by little, the damage has been felt. And for my friends and colleagues who left, it felt like they are bound to fix something that is totally broken. It’s better to leave things broken than hurting yourself trying to fix it. In my case, I never imagined how my second home would eventually make me self destructive.

There are a lot of things that needed to be fixed and HEALED. Placing everything in the right place is not a walk in the park. You will be inheriting problems. Unfortunately, problems are not designed to diminish or at the very least, remain constant over time. There will be more to come. One of which is this government legislation that is bound to lessen the revenue of the company in the next four years. So much can happen in the next four years! I can imagine how many more good employees are about to leave. And for those were left, their spirits are dampened especially when the management is leaning to downsizing. Those who leave are no longer replaced. There are lesser clients but the work load remains the same. The diminishing revenue further deprives employees of their much needed salary increase, rewards and the little things that can relieve their hardwork.

The employees are fully aware that the company is not at its best now. The others that feel alarmed and who can still afford to transfer are moving out. Those who are left accept the miserable fate of the organization. Leaving them dissatisfied and simply working for payday.

Much is expected from you Dear President. The previous administration was quite lucky to inherit a relatively systematized and orderly systems and procedures. In your case, you are inheriting a problematic environment. Worst of the worst, the problematic system is coupled with diminishing profit over the next four years.

Despite of all the negativities, I’m wishing you all the best in your leadership and administration. You have a big shoes to fill in. There’s a long, winding, rough and uncertain road ahead. What’s only certain now, people are praying and wishing for a better and brighter life ahead.

P.S. : Of my more than a decade of working for the institution, I never had the chance to witness any installation ceremony. When I first arrived in the institution, the current President was about to end his term. During the installation of the succeeding President (who is now crippled by Parkinsons disease), I filed for a vacation leave. It wasn’t intentional though. I filed for the leave months before the ceremony was scheduled. With his leadership, everyone even the rank and file employees were invited.

On your installation ceremony, only a few colleagues were given the chance to attend. The managers were all required to attend. My colleagues who are also rank and file employees were required to attend to serve as usher and usherettes. I’m not trying to insinuate something. I’m just too observant about everything. ūüôā

Freudian Slip

I started this post yesterday. I don’t know what happened but the original post vanished. I thought I was able to finish this entry¬†in time before my overtime work. Something came in the way (an upset stomach) that forced me to hide from everyone else. ūüôā I badly needed silence and seclusion. Immediately after relieving myself, I received the deployment order from my colleague. It’s time to get things done. I closed the lid of my laptop and assumed that my draft was automatically saved. When I went back to my workstation, I don’t remember logging out of my account. On a usual day, I would continue blogging at home. But my exhaustion made other plans.

I checked my wordpress account this morning and much to my surprise, my drafts folder was empty. How frustrating! Having no choice, I have to reconstruct all the adrenaline of my outpouring emotions. And yes, you can guess it right. That was another blog post that was conceived right after an incident.

Anyway, here it is ūüôā

Freudian Slip. This is a favourite! If it¬†is a pair of shoes or bag, this will always be the main content of all my credit card transactions and shopaholic attacks. If it was¬†a dish, this will surely be my guilty pleasure and the reason for my expanding and widening belly. It’s a concept I learned in the study of Human Behaviour. Unfortunately, I learned and understood the concept from my dearest friend T. My professor in Psychology 101 failed to discuss it and I can claim this to be true because I was never absent in his class. I only skipped classes in college three times, one was when I joined an academic competition, I sought the assistance of a tutor in Statistics, and that one instance when I joined my classmates for boycotting our last subject.

I remember learning Freudian Slip through a hilarious incident at the workplace. Female Colleague A, who serves as our team leader, was distributing our respective tasks in our station room. There was male Colleague B whose real gender confuses everyone. And as you can sense it, Colleague B has been suspiciously tagged as a member of the happy and gay community. Everyone was focussed on their respective assignments when Colleague A called the attention of Colleague B. Much to everyone’s surprise, Colleague A called Colleague B as Baby Girl.

Baby Girl eto oh, yung para sa ‘yo.”

OMG! Everyone pretended to be more busy. No one dared to look at each other. One thing sure, when the eyes of my friend T and I meet, our control hormones will fail. We will erupt in full laughter and everyone else will follow. Good thing though, the reflexes of Colleague A came to her rescue. Colleague A turned her attention to a younger female colleague.

After the incident I heard my friend T saying, that was a perfect FREUDIAN SLIP.

I didn’t seek for further explanation. I immediately understood the concept. True enough, this was just one of those rare moments depicting that experience is the best teaching approach.

spur of the moment


caught in the act

unconsciously saying something you really  mean

that unconscious mind.. thank you for coining the term Sigmund Freud!!!

Seeing people commit this unconscious act gives me those rare yet great source pleasure. And yes I admit, I get mean and hideously naughty at some times.

While it has been a great entertainment to watch people commit their own Freudian Slip, I will not pretend to have clean hands. I have my own share of Freudian Slip moments and one happened yesterday. And yes, the real reason for this post is just about to start. Hahaha The previous paragraphs served as a brief introduction. lol

Colleague Z related an encounter he had earlier. Z went to another office that houses a group of Academic Supervisors. These Academic Supervisors report directly to one¬†Academic Director. The Academic Director entered the room announcing that she was waiting for everyone for the meeting to start. Turns out, the¬†Academic Supervisors thought that the meeting was already cancelled. The Academic Supervisors were claiming that an office personnel informed them of the cancellation. According to Z’s narration, the Academic Director went out to probably verify the office personnel who announced the alleged cancellation. When the Academic Director returned to the office of the Academic Supervisors, her tone was already different. As Z described it, the Academic Director was no longer diplomatic. She was raising her voice, there was sarcasm attached to it, and¬†one can easily sense tension. The Academic Director was insinuating a demand to follow her. This was the end of Z’s accounted narration.

Prior to relating the incident, Z threw a random question on me. Z asked me how do I see the performance of the Academic Director. I told him my honest and “edited” opinion. (Oh yes, I don’t trust Z that much.) I told Z that the Academic Director is doing her job. Although her rookie year has points for improvement. I also relayed my sentiments that sometimes, the Academic Director can’t be blamed because she didn’t expect the position. When some reorganisation and resignation happened, the tables turned and the current Academic Director was forced to take the helm.

After I rendered my opinion, Z expressed his own sentiments. The way I understood it, ¬†Z’ thinks that the¬†Academic Director has became rude and harsh. The behaviour of the Academic Director was way too inappropriate for the Academic Supervisors, who are “professionals,” PhD holders or doctors in their respective fields of disciplines. When I heard that last clause… “because they are doctoral degree holders,” something ignited in me.¬†Or as Sigmund Freud describes it, my unconscious overpowered me.

I told Z that

PhDs, doctoral degrees and all those alphabets attached to a person’s last name do not serve as my reference point for RESPECT. Having those academic¬†degrees do not entitle anyone to earn my respect

So admittedly, I had my own Freudian Slip moment here.

It’s good as I said, I don’t get impressed with people who have advanced academic degrees. How ironic because I work in the academe. I’m involved in the business of education and yet I’m one shouting evidence of contradiction. I have explained my sentiments on this matter in a previous post.

My mistake¬†is that I allowed¬†my emotions and convictions to blew me away. I¬†became¬†partial to the¬†Academic Director¬†and¬†Colleague Z was taking the side of the Academic Supervisor. I unconsciously ventured to a debate and I had this firm sentiments to prove that what I’m claiming is right and incorruptible. When Z used the premise that the people ¬†disrespected by the Academic Director have high and multiple educational attainment, I should have responded with the the idea that,

everyone deserves to be respected regardless of position and educational attainment. More academic degrees do not deem more respect. Academic degree is an achievement while respect is something else. And just because you have achieved something, it will automatically impose more respect. The two are not synonyms or precursors to each other.

Oh well, me and my unconscious mouth. Hahaha I forgot to say, Z is pursuing is his doctoral degree. So I will not be surprised if I’ve accidentally stepped on his ego. I know I’m bad. But at the end of the day, no… I’m still firm with my concept about respect and academic achievement.

Teachers can’t teach everything

Some months ago a friend introduced me to her friend who also happens to be an educator. ¬†Admittedly, I have very poor social skills and it would take a lot of effort from me to initiate and sustain a meaningful conversation. Good thing the person introduced to me was naturally articulate. Quite an irony for the educator in me. Consider me then as the rare exemption. Although I talk a lot in my part time profession, I’m not a good material for socialization.

I thought I was discovering a great acquaintance not until he uttered something that somehow demeaned and disrespected my field of discipline. He asked what subjects I handle in my years of teaching. Having been a major in Economics, I told him I handle Basic Economics and Research Writing related subjects. I even lamented that educators within my field are starting to get extinct at least in our college. There’s only a few of us left handling the subjects, added to it the fact that enrolment in our discipline is decreasing. He later expressed a self-proclaimed conclusion that even majors of other business studies such as Marketing and Finance are capable of teaching Economics. Hence, the need to have Economics majors to teach the subject is no longer needed.

If you quite know me, you can easily guessed what happened next.

I initiated an intellectual debate that turned to a drama series catfight.

Of course not, LOL. I faked a smile, turned quiet and left the conversation.

I allowed my composure to prevail and avoided an instant debate. Under the rule of etiquette, I might have acted right. However, under the unwritten rules of my field of discipline, I’m definitely a disgrace. I failed to uplift my specialisation. I disappointed Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes and my other great grandfathers in the profession.

If I were PMSing or blessed with more debate hormones, I would have ditched out his lame conclusion by saying that I can also teach Accounting. Yeah right, I cursed to never study that subject again. But my general understanding is enough to transfer information and education to the non-business majors. I can teach Basic¬†Accounting to the non-Accounting majors. In like manner, I can also teach Marketing and Finance because God knows I have been learning the two subjects from the books and in practice… my everyday life. Evidence? Read my New Journey Series. And I’m 100% sure that an Accountant or an Accounting major will equally feel insulted when an Economics major is given the license to teach even Basic Accounting.

Maybe an Accounting major like him is equipped with basic information on Economics. I don’t doubt his capacity to teach. Given him the reference materials and stocked knowledge from his college Economics, he can no doubt teach the subject. I however like to provide another approach to prove my point.

Consider a car being sold by two seasoned salesmen. Salesman X started his career in selling cards across brands and distributors. There’s also Salesman Y who shared the same years of experience with Salesman X. Salesman Y however is engaged in selling¬†cosmetics and other beauty related¬†products. Who can better sell the car?

Salesman Y can sell the car because he has the selling skills. He knows the approach in selling. He knows the general behaviour of the customers. He can sell because he knows the process of selling.

Salesman X can obviously sell because of his skills and experiences. However, what gives Salesman X the exclusive right in selling cars is the KNOWLEDGE about cars. More than the process of selling, Salesman X truly knows what he is selling. He knows the core information of what he is doing.  Something that Salesman Y does not possess.

In like manner, Salesman X may have the skills in selling. But give him the responsibility to sell cosmetics and other beauty products, Salesman X’s reputation in selling will surely be ruined. Salesman X can sell, but he cannot sell what he has not been selling.

Fine, I overreacted and made a fuss from something that should have been ignored. I will end my point with this simple statement that should have been my saving grace.

All teachers can teach, but they cannot teach everything.

For 2015

The holiday break is almost over. My two-week vacation is about to end in a few days. I enjoyed my slow and quiet time at home. I subjected myself to a full house arrest to avoid the expenditures. Although I was able to go out in between. I still have pending tasks, mostly self-imposed, to accomplish. One is the annual decluttering tradition. Before the year ends, I clean my room and collect all the useless items I accumulated. Mostly credit card bills, I decided to receive them online this year. Clothes, bags, impulse purchases and other items should be gathered and taken out of my room. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do this tomorrow.

While most people are writing about resolutions, I intend to write down the things I look forward for 2015. Eleven months after, I should check back this post and verify the outcome of each.

1. The Major Project at Work – My major project at work was finally accomplished in the last quarter of 2014. In the previous years and based from the experiences of other companies, results are released before the year ends. In the case of my company, we are still hanging in the tree of uncertainty. While I’m trying to condition myself not to expect anything, I will not deny that part of me is wishing for positive results. If the Boss above will grant my prayer, it will create¬†a win-win situation for the company and myself.

More than the success, another reason why I’m praying for positive results is the little emotional attachment I have for this project. We started the project with another President and CEO, along the way his health condition abruptly deteriorated. The Board was forced to designated an¬†interim President and CEO. We don’t have problems with our new Boss. ¬†In fact he was ¬†equally supportive. Should the project yield positive results, I would like to consider it as my personal gift to our past President & CEO. He has done his share. He has the best intentions for the company. I’d like pay forward his purest and kindest intentions. Hopefully, this project will make it happen.

2. The new insurance – I got another insurance policy late last year. Since I don’t have an extensive HMO, I expect the new insurance to give me support and protection on health concerns. There will be another 10 years to pay and work for.

3. More time and new experiences with my family – If the¬†belief that how you spend your 1st day of the year will reflect your fate for the entire year, then I’m more than thankful. I spent the first day of the year with my family and relatives. Although recently I’ve been frightened by news about death of friends, acquaintances and other relatives. I know that I will not spend my entire lifetime with my family. My only prayer is not now and God will give me enough strength, financial resources and support system.

4. The Credit Card Bills – The New Journey Series will hopefully come to an end. It’s all my fault, I know. But this year, I want to devote much of my freelance earnings to settle the bills.

5. More freelance works – I don’t do anything to¬†promote¬†my professional services and portfolio. I prefer it that way because I want my past and satisfied clients to speak and promote for me. Hopefully, there will be more for this year. Last year, I was abundantly blessed in the beginning and middle of the year. I have pending clients at the end of 2014, I hope they will push through with their projects.

6. Plans about my career – Everything is still uncertain today. I haven’t really decided. One thing sure though, I have to arrange my financial condition before anything else. ¬†I was also fortunate to be granted an educational grant for a professional course. Hopefully, I’ll satisfactorily finish it before the first trimester of the year ends.

New Journey Series : Before 2014 ends

I was so optimistic with my last New Journey Series post. As I was back reading my entry, I recalled how I was able to totally eliminate one credit card. Great news! Great news for me. I thought I was progressing. I thought I was stepping to the road of financial maturity. Sadly, everything was ruined again. It was all my fault.

It started with my other dormant credit card. I was surprised to discover that I haven’t used the card for a year. I called my bank to request for a possible waiver of annual fee. I was granted the waiver provided that I will make an accumulated or single receipt purchase worth Php 5,000. Best about everything, I can even convert the purchase to zero interest instalment. I got too overwhelmed with everything. And as you can sense it, I messed up again.

Another incident that prompted me to ruin my improving financial record is my professional fee that has long been delayed. My payment for this project was delayed for almost two months. I admit, I made a mistake. I counted my blessings early. I spent my money way before I was about to receive. I used my credit cards to finance the advance purchases. I held on to the fact that I have an upcoming income. Unfortunately, I failed to monitor the expenses. As a result, the debts piled up again. I gave in. I counted my eggs before they were hatched.

Last weekend, my most awaited 13th month pay already arrived. I started with my expenses and savings. And just like that my money almost vanished. I have my birthday celebration. I have to meet my good old friends and that would mean money going away again. I’m not even sure if my remaining balance can still survive me. Adding up to this, I opened another insurance policy that will provide me financial support in cases when I’m stricken with any dreaded disease. My company does not provide an extensive and comprehensive health plan. Hence, I was forced and convinced to buy this new policy.

At this point, I have to admit defeat again. I will end 2014 with another set of financial burden. It was my fault. My only consolation then, everyone in the family is healthy. We were spared from the tragedies of the recent typhoon. I messed up again. My only hope, I will have more freelance clients and additional work to survive me.

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.

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.