Checking in for April

Checking in again, just to ensure that this blog is updated and remains alive at least once every month.

Despite my laziness to update this blog, I still receive hits and comments. In particular, my experience from Club Ultima drove the most number of readers. I can’t remember when did that post start to generate readers. I started to recognise everything when on the average, I get notifications for the post every month. Sometimes, at least once a week. There were readers who shared my experience and agreed with my sentiments. Likewise, there were those who opposed and seemed to protect the company involved. There were a few who insinuated a cyber quarrel. A few years ago, this can probably provoke an ire on my end. I admit to feel affected especially when the tone of the reader tends to make me appear stupid and dishonest. But these days, all the grown up concerns I have are overpowering me. Hence, those petty commenters just appear to be irritating dirt I can easily shrug off. Is this a sign of maturity? If yes, then I can probably claim that I have unlock at least one level of maturity achievement. Hahahaha

Meanwhile, my new journey series is still…. a journey and struggle. As much as I want to bring good news, I’m still on the process of cleaning my credit card mess. A few years ago, I forecasted that I’m over and done at the age of 33. With the way things are going, I’m still   working my way.

I have so much to share. I have so much to write. Most are unfortunately not good. I’m not saying that everything I have in my life now is so bad. There are still some good things I’m thankful for. It’s just that at this point, the struggles are overpowering me. Whatever it is, as always, I have to keep things going. If I have good friends who can read this, I humbly seek prayers from your end. Just utter a little prayer for me 🙂 I always believe that prayers, regardless of religion, works in its own mysterious ways.

Have a great week ahead 🙂

Advertisements

The truth about some bloggers

Years ago, me and my friend established a little business. We weren’t planning something grand. In a way, we were just testing the waters of doing business on top of our day job. Along the way I have to admit, we have secret hopes and ambitions. At the end of the day, we wanted something that can complement our employment earnings.

I was aware that we will not survive by simply relying to referrals or contacts from relatives. We needed a concrete promotional machinery. Biased as I maybe, I suggested to promote our business through bloggers. I prepared proposal letters to a number of selected bloggers. I was excited and optimistic. I have been reading these bloggers for quite some time. I was inspired, impressed and moved by their friendly attitude and regular emphasis of their willingness to support start up and promising businesses.

Sadly, the response rate of my proposal letter was not good. I was optimistic because the bloggers I approached gave me an image that they are a community of friends, partners and fairy godmothers, who have a heart for starting businesses. I approached them because I have read in one of their posts that they are open for partnerships and collaborations, especially for businesses that complemented their personality and interests. I had high hopes. Sadly, I can only count the bloggers who took time to respond.

I was thankful to the few who responded. Unfortunately, that little glimmer of hope for collaboration, sponsorships leading to promotion faded away. I was blown away by probably, the unwritten practice or culture of blog sponsorships and collaborations.

One blogger agreed to accept our services for the birthday of a family member. Problem is, everything went as a short notice. I even got sick along the way. I offered to send product samples in exchange for an article. I retreated my effort because apart from the product samples, I have to pay some money for the article. Nevertheless, I appreciate this blogger’s response.

Another blogger offered a different partnership. She wanted a commissioned work . We were constrained with time again. I offered to sponsor materials for her own project. I even volunteered to personally deliver the items for her own convenience. There were minor problems along the way, which I will no longer mention. But how this blogger treated me was something not worth mentioning anymore. As much as we value our own time, I believe we need to foster the same level of respect to other’s people time …. more so, efforts.

My worst experience was from this food blogger who promised to do two things. An ad space and an article in exchange for the product samples we sent. We had a little misunderstanding along the way. I humbly apologised though. I accepted our fault. As much as I want to give the benefit of the doubt, this blogger did not conform with our agreement. She never blogged about the product sample. Although the side bar ad was existent for a while. I tried to email her several times. I never received any response so I took it as a sign that she has no intentions to publish or even mention us in one of her articles.

The only blogger who was able to show us a high level of professionalism was S. Our business proposal came before I personally met and become friends with S. I sent an email to S. S willingly accommodated our proposal. S was more than willing to accept our product samples. S even agreed to place a sidebar ad for free. I was surprised. While it would cost me thousand of pesos to place a side bar to other bloggers, here is S willing to adopt our little and struggling business. Although my fault because I never got to send her the jpg file and the html codes. At that time, I was beginning to drift away from using bloggers as partners for promotions.

I’m aware of the fact that I cannot force other people to accommodate our proposal. I may appear bitter but I keep wondering, how some bloggers would often emphasise their inclination to support small and starting businesses. Some would even claim that it would be a humbling opportunity for their blogs to pave the way for promising business. I was easily convinced by these words. Only to later discover the amount of money and products I needed to shell out, to gain a space for promotions or even just a mention in one of their articles. I will not however discount the fact that these bloggers have exerted efforts and expenses to reach their current state, popularity and influence. They know their worth and I respect that. However, part of me always feels confused whenever I would hear / read them saying that they love to help entrepreneurs and start up businesses.

There are are bloggers claiming to fulfill their passion to share, become a good influence and spread some positivity in the blogosphere. But at the end of the day and all the experiences I had, everything translated as to how much resources I can venture on them.

I’d like to think that the bloggers I approached are treating blogging as a profession. Hence, everything requires a professional fee. Maybe I can equate it in my position as a part time freelancer. I don’t feel good when a client tends to haggle with my professional fee. Bloggers are professionals as well. Hence, the professional fees I have to incur. However, I believe that my position as a freelancer is incomparable because in the first place, I never projected a welcoming aura of deceit. I’m always clear to my clients that I implement professional fee rates for the kind of work I can offer. I don’t present an artificial image of myself in order to win clients.

It seems to me now that I have to calibrate my expectations. While it is always inspiring to hear encouraging and welcoming words from some bloggers, part of me should bear in mind that at the end of the day…. there’s no free lunch and somewhere along the way, there’s always that layer of sugar coat I have to learn to discretely and skillfully scrape off.

Please grant the wish of this Smart Prepaid Subscriber for 20 years

I finally got myself a new phone. Thankful to all the unexpected freelance works. I’m a happy owner of a better and faster phone. With a better phone, I thought life would be easier. I underestimate one important aspect of smartphones. The need to convert to nano sim. Long before I switched to another phone, I visited the SM Marikina branch of Smart Wireless Center. I asked if it’s possible to convert the old humonguous sim to nano size, given that I’m a prepaid subscriber. I was told that my request is possible. I went home feeling complacent. I don’t need to undergo the hassle of changing numbers.

When I finally acquired the new phone, I went to my original plan. I visited the same branch. I was about to request the conversion and replacement of my old sim to nano size. Problem is, I was informed that most branches have limited stocks of the blank nano sim cards. I visited another branch, particularly Sta.Lucia East Grand Mall.The guard dismissed my request. No stocks available. I visited another branch in SM Masinag. I was told to wait. I was very optimistic only to end up with nothing.

I moved to another branch, SM Manila. I was expecting the same outcome. It happened. I tried the Gateway Mall branch. Waley.  Nothing happened. The last I tried was the Ali Mall branch. I observed consistency. Nothing.

I tried six branches. All ended as futile attempts.I tried calling the customer service hotline (8881111). Failed. The customer service assistant cannot assist me. On her end, I was told that they don’t have access to the stocks of wireless centers. I asked for alternatives. Nothing was given. I was the one who initiated alternative, to change number which I will never do. She advised me to manually cut my sim card. Sorry, I don’t like it. I prefer to have a real nano sim, LTE and under my old number.

So there goes my life over the past three days. Haha I’m ranting, sorry. But you see, I’ve been a loyal subscriber for almost two decades. I hope Smart recognizes this.But since I’m a prepaid subscriber, craaaap. I’m not a valuable client. Not a priority. Not a major source of concern. Smart may deny it but on my end, this is how I feel.

Learning point : If you wanted to be treated well, be a postpaid subscriber.

 

2016

It’s another year. My two-week holiday break is over and as of typing this, I feel the laziest person alive. It’s been almost a week since I reported for work. But God knows, I still haven’t recovered. I’m not ready yet.

I’ve been juggling a number of job assignments. The rest are manageable. This one major task is unfortunately killing me. Not that it’s difficult and draining. The bitter truth is, I just feel too lazy. Maybe I can forgive myself for being lazy on the first work week. But next week, I need to do it. I need to face it. I need to make things moving.

Aside from this major task at work, I have been blessed with freelance works. During the holiday break, I was able to finish around 3 assignments. Unfortunately, there was this freelance work for a large company that is (borrowing the lyrics from a popular song) killing me softly..not with this song.. but with the client’s requests. He has results on his mind. He wanted the study to generate findings on his terms and conditions. I’m so dead. But for the sake of my dying mobile phone and bills to pay, okay I surrender. Hahaha

I wanted to write more because there has been some blog worthy…. irritating stories and adventures about my life to document. Hahaha But I have to return to my work.

Ciao, wish me hardwork and more patience 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

Random useless thoughts :)

Half way again of another month. As usual, I have nothing to write. I have nothing to post here. I’m not at my best now and I’m still struggling. Years ago, I can publish a blog post at least once a week. I used to join the Weekly Photo Challenge and other blogging series. I refuse to blog because I have nothing positive to write. I will compose another sad and pathetic post again. I’m tired. While I still wallow in misery, part of me have been wanting to escape. Unfortunately, escape is not and will never be an option. The problem with loneliness, dwindling self-esteem and quarter life crisis, it demands to be felt. The only way gain freedom from all these sources of misery is to feel each pain each day. When all the pain has been felt and exhausted, you’ll feel immune and realized that the pain has gone away. By that time, another source of pain will get in and the cycle continues, which hopefully makes us better and smart beings.

Anyhow, I’m starting so much drama agin. I never had intentions of writing another blog post, not until this appeared in my inbox

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 5.00.27 PM

Why did I ever decide to buy my own domain name? 🙂 I have another blog in another platform and convenience wise, I could say that Blogger outperforms WordPress. In Blogger, you only pay once for your domain name service provider. In WordPress, you are incurring two separate fees should you wish to have your domain name. One for the domain name service provider and another for the mapping services from WordPress. Should you wish to change your blog’s design, you can easily navigate things around Blogger. You can hire a graphic artist to embed those html codes, upload to the Blogger account and everything is done. In WordPress, I learned several years ago that wordpress.com accounts are limited to the free or in-house paid templates. Should you wish to customize your blog’s design, you have to open a separate wordpress.org account. I also learned that image uploads in WordPress are limited.

While WordPress seem to provide all the inconvenience, I’m wondering why most of the popular bloggers I know are moving to WordPress. It seems to me that those who are receiving success in blogging are favouring WordPress. What I’m not sure, WordPress offers relatively stable platform? The comment form which is better in WordPress because non-bloggers can comment.

Another convenient feature I love about WordPress is the ease of answering to comments. I love the  the mechanism which enables the blogger and the commenter to track their responses or conversation.

Apart from the interface, I both tried using the mobile app for WordPress and Blogger. Although both performs well, can I just say that WordPress has better mobile app than Blogger? 🙂

This might appear unrelated but can I just say that I prefer the old writing interface of WordPress?

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 5.04.08 PM

I’m insisting of using this format when composing blog posts. 🙂

It’s 5:40 pm here, I need to go. 🙂 I promised to take care of myself more. This include going home early and avoiding all those unnecessary stressors in life.

Understanding

Before the day ends, all I wanted to do is cry.

I received my first suspension at work. Blame all the tardiness I’ve been accumulating over the past months. It’s payback time.

It hurts. Although I’m completely aware that there’s no one to blame but myself.

Of 15 years I spent in school, I was never given any form of disciplinary action. I never excelled in class but I can proudly claim that I’m well-behaved, disciplined and have been observant of rules and regulations.

Prior to this suspension, I can proudly claim that I have a very clean slate at work. In my first few years of working, I even collected monthly perfect attendance awards. I was almost a contender for the annual award, if only fever and flu did not struck me a month before the year ended. In terms of output and productivity, I believe that I’m doing well. I may not produce the best outputs but I’ve never been the source of worries and headaches of present and past superiors. I comply with deadlines. I produce what is expected from me. I have also been a good colleague. I hated a few, but I never committed anything against them. I had my share of petty misunderstandings with a few, but I was able to resolve things on my own.  I was able to iron out things even without the assistance of my superiors. I have been unfairly treated, but I’ve never avenged. I was never complained for inefficiency, insubordination and all those offenses against person.

Okay, I’m trying to uplift myself. I’m trying to make myself believe that I’m not a total mess. I screwed up myself but I’m not an embarrassment. But then again, no matter how much I convince myself, I will not deny that this has been the lowest point of my career life. I feel like a stupid and useless crap.

When my Boss presented the suspension order issued by the HR, I easily accepted it. I accepted my fate. I was even given the freedom to choose the dates of my two-day suspension. It will be next week. I was actually not surprised with the suspension. I knew it was coming. But like my other experiences, everything feels different once it happens. True enough, after  I signed and accepted my suspension order, I was  controlling my tears. My initial defense mechanism was to salvage my remaining self-esteem. I filed for week long leave immediately after my two-day suspension.

To console myself, I invited a few friends to eat out a while ago. I also have another source of frustration prior to receiving my suspension order. I just came home from a “failed” trip abroad. I should be blogging about this, but destiny made other plans. The suspension is obviously more compelling. I was laughing the entire time while having dinner with my friends. My friends probably felt that I’m fine. I’m not sure if anyone of them were able to sense it. Deep inside however, I wanted to cry. This is how it feels to become a stupid disappointment. It didn’t help that my friends counted all the privileges that will be taken away from me after the suspension. All the more I felt bitter and inferior. Before parting ways, one of them offered a stupid suggestion of going to Tagaytay.  I just smiled but deep inside, I wanted to scream. WTF! All the more I would look so pathetic. I love traveling but seriously, I wouldn’t use it as a scapegoat for my low moments. I even wanted to return the question, would you even see yourself going to Tagaytay on your own? Given that I will be losing my two-day salary, spending more will definitely not work.

Before I left the office my boss offered another working schedule. He told me to adjust my reporting time from 8:30 am to 9:00 am. I said yes or I’ll think about it. I’m not really sure, I can’t remember the reply I uttered. Truth to be told, I wanted to render a different response. I wanted to tell the real reason why I’ve been accumulating all those tardiness records.

I’m losing my drive to work for the company.

It would be painful to utter those words. But no matter how much I deny it, it’s the truth. I wish I was wrong. But this is where myself leads me.

I feel that it’s already mission accomplished for me for the company.

I’m no longer needed.

I don’t see future in my current company.

I don’t see myself growing in the company.

I’m on the dead end.

There’s no more for me in the company.

The company will surely survive without me.

No more promotion.

No more opportunities.

How I wish I was able to tell my Boss the real reasons behind my tardiness.  The motivation and drive to work is losing me. I feel like a candle that gradually loses its flame.

I don’t need an adjustment in my working schedule. How I wish my Boss is sensitive enough to figure out at least half of my sentiments. I doubt. All the reports I’ve submitted. All the presentations I successfully made. These can never point any clue about my real sentiments.

I don’t need another set of pathetic words of consolation. I’m not ready for unsolicited advises.

I wish my family, friends and Boss and people around me can sense and understand how I feel.