That familiar feeling

I’ve been feeling this for a year. I’m a huge disappointment. Everything boils down to the status of my career life. I’m done with my carefree 20s. I never envisioned myself to feel this way in my 30s.

I still have a job and a great family. It should have been thankful. I know. Much of the problem arises from my more than 10-year old job. Been on the same company for more than a decade. I started out great.What I didn’t foresee, I will reach the point when everything else feels so worthless.

It is easy to say that everything is attributed to the fact that there are no more opportunities available for me. I’m stuck to where I am. I have exhausted all promotional opportunities. I’m facing a dead end. Years ago, I was fine with this outcome. I knew it would come. But then again, it always feels different once you reached that road. Modesty aside, I can claim that I deliver what is expected from me. I do my best to create the best reports. Every now and then, I try to discover and self study other methods and techniques to make my reports better. I have lived with the principle that there should be something new from the routinely outputs, so as to remove the negative connotation with routine. While I may appear as another monotonous employee, I ensure that my work output spells the difference. I may not be the friendliest and the most law abiding citizen at the workplace. Hell to tardiness. But I don’t and never did mess up for the main reason I get paid for.

But then again, there will come a time when I started to feel useless and worthless. To avoid feeling that familiar self-pity again, I convinced myself that I have been paid to take my job seriously. It defines my purpose of existence. Hence, I shouldn’t expect more than anything in return. I should  feel enough with the salary I’m receiving. By principle, it works this way. But the human being in me and possibly to all of us, reality works in a different scheme. My imperfectly perfect human self is not a machine that just needs oil and occasional maintenance to work. I don’t feel valuable. I’m losing the remaining self-esteem I have everyday.

Allow me to confide something. Much of the sadness I have now is attributed to my work status. My stagnant position and the questionably deteriorating relationship with a key person at the workplace. I have been tired. I have done my share to give that person my best output. I do whatever the key person asks me to do. I get the job done. I get everything accomplished, even with all the troubles and hindrances along the way. I never made excuses not to deliver.

Somewhere along the way, part of that harmonious relationship was rifted with that suspension record and that story about honesty. I felt bad. I wanted to be fair so I confided my sentiments. I don’t count myself as one of those employees who stabs colleagues and superiors in the most discrete way. Smiling at them and pretending everything is fine. But check out their Facebook accounts for the real story.

I respected that key person and part of that respect is to render honesty. I have been honest in every way I can. But over the past months, I can’t anymore understand whether my honesty is needed. There were instances when I tried to explain some trouble that happened. I received the sharpest words in return. The price to pay for my honesty. I was explaining my point, but I was cut ahead. I was made to feel that I’m one immature, sore loser and childish employee. It surely hurt. I started to distance myself. It was my way of healing another set of wounds planted. The wounds have been healed, but the scars remained. Unfortunately, I got dependent with the distance. It’s now a struggle to eliminate that distance.

What surprised me lately, the distance paved the way for discoveries. I was able to open some cans of worms I never knew existed. One of which is the artificial definition of loyalty. The distance enabled me to see and redefine the meaning of loyalty for some people.  I started to open cards revealing  dark sides. I began to understand that at the end of the day, downfall determines real character of the people that surrounds you. On those times when you needed someone to pull you up, much of the people you thought as friends or allies  were pushing you down instead.

I began to discover and realise that some people change and the unfortunate truth, they broke their own set of dignified principles. Years or months ago, we questioned people whose real character was hidden beneath selfish motives. It took me some time to notice that in the end, you are now one of them. I maybe wrong. I may have misinterpreted things. But this was the character revealed by your actions. Or maybe, despite all these years, I remain as the naive, ignorant and stupid employee. It was your way of personal survival.

Lastly, it didn’t help that I discovered someone who betrayed me. I confided my sentiments. I trusted you enough. I cried my heart out because I thought I was in the company of a great friend. But I have no regrets at all. I will be forever grateful on those time that you came when I badly needed a friend.

So much tears have been shed writing this post. I have a pending freelance work. I might as well redirect my remaining time to finish a work … more than the additional money, a little proof that I’m more than alive.

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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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 🙂

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

unexpected

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 attainmentMore 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.