Random Thoughts of an almost forgotten blog

It’s more than a month since I last visited my small space here. I almost forgot that I have a silent home in the blogosphere. As proof to this, it took me several attempts to successfully log in. I can’t even remember my username and password combination. This also makes me remember, I haven’t renewed my domain name. I can’t even recall when will my domain name expire.

Truth to be told, nothing much has been happening in my life. Nothing much means no significant changes or additions. Everything is relatively stable with work and my family. My family is still complete, happy and healthy. So much to be thankful for already. As for work, you can sense it right. This is where I harvest all my worries and issues.

Before I make a long and probably usual litany, let me recount the few things that happened since 2015 started.

Broke Back January – It’s the same situation after the holiday break. The two week Christmas break doesn’t seem to be enough for me. I have to face my reality feeling broke and still missing my slow and easy weekdays. It’s been more than a month and can I consider this as an accomplishment? I’m still alive and surviving!

Rare times with my cousins – I grew up with my cousins from my paternal family. I had those unplanned and random mall dates with them. They don’t know how these random times make me the happiest. Window shopping, unhealthy meals from fastfood chains and cheapest food carts, and those road trips are more than enough to make me happy.

Two freelance works – This is one thing I’ve been praying for since January. Unfortunately, looks like my source of additional income will not be reliable. Although I had an unexpected work when February entered. One was from a client whom I thought will never proceed with the work. The other was referred by some past clients. The second client almost blew me away because of the very short timetable I have to deal with. The hungry freelancer in me took the bait and finished the entire work in two days. I deserve a pat on the back! Unfortunately, I have to give that to myself. Haha Client doesn’t seem to appreciate the fact that I made some sacrifices for her. She even bragged that she will pay me more than the agreed professional fee. I avoided discussing the additional money because I was more concerned with the quality of my output and  I have been a believer of becoming a blessing than a pain in the ass. Weeks passed, my bank account is still screaming empty. F*^k! I guess I have to prepare and accept the fact that I have another unprofessional client again. I have another painful pro-bono story.

Weight gain – and is still a struggle… The stress and worries are not helping. Why do I always have to find comfort with food? Or probably, the more appropriate question is why am I not blessed with faster metabolism?

Ten year awardee – God, I have been working for 10 years…. in the same company. Why do I feel ashamed? The awards night is scheduled tomorrow and God knows how I hated to dress up and hear my colleagues stressing themselves about their hair, makeup and all those prettifying stuff that never captured my interest. Some of them spent a considerable amount of money for their outfit, but me? I spent my money online shopping for bags and shoes I can use everyday.

Unexpected business trip with the President & CEO – I was tagged by the team of the President & CEO for a business meeting somewhere in beautiful island down south. I was told to prepare myself only 2 to 3 days before the flight. How about that? Despite the short notice, I was thankful for the opportunity.

Work, work and work – The saying that we work to live and not the other way around does not apply to me. I’m starting to feel that the work is taking away my life and happiness. I never imagine I would be saying this. Or maybe, I’m just overwhelmed with my current emotions. Let me enumerate my recent encounters

Embracing the same role 10 years ago – When I entered the workplace 10 years ago, I was tasked to oversee this particular task. Years after, the task was transferred to another department. Unfortunately, the receiving department has too much workload to accommodate. The task I used to oversee was forgotten and was buried away.  Years after, I moved to another department and my superior took the initiative to revive the old task. As expected, I was entrusted with the project. Initially, I felt excited. I don’t know what happened but in the middle of the week, I felt sad and frustrated. I ended up crying and had those self-pity moments again. I thought I was just PMS-ing but I realized how I missed my old team. When I handled this task from my previous department, I had two older male colleagues and my BFF to support me. I miss our old and united team. I miss those times when I had colleagues are rather more supportive and cooperative. I miss colleagues who are far more considerate, SMART, HUMBLE and insert all the best adjectives here and award all the worst adjectives to my current colleague.

Only a few people appreciate the kind of work I render for the workplace. Not that I’m demanding attention and appreciation. I just remembered a colleague who once mentioned that she appreciates the teamwork I had with my boss. May I highlight, me and my boss alone. While I never expect attention and appreciation, I will not deny that hearing those words swept away all the weariness and worries I felt months ago.

Apart from my Boss, I’ve been receiving some workload from higher bosses lately. While others would take it as an opportunity to flaunt and elevate themselves, I’m rather feeling worried and pressured. I’m afraid of messing up. I don’t want to be remembered as a stupid and useless employee. I also hate it when colleagues give me those fake praises. Plasticity at its finest! I can smell people who silently demands reciprocation of all the praises.

The need to make that decision – I can’t remember how many times I’ve been bothered by the urge to move to another job. Something I never imagined will happen to me. I have to do it or it will never happen. I have to give myself the chance to explore other working opportunities. Given that our company and our competitors will be experiencing that 4-year struggle as a result of this approved government legislation, I’m now given all the reasons to leave. I made some attempts. I started to send my resume to a few companies.

Somewhere along the way however, I will not deny the fact that I’ve been confused and disheartened. I’m afraid to land to the wrong company and experience another set of colleagues. I don’t know if I still have the heart and patience to deal with stressful jobs and colleagues. I’m afraid to mess up and commit mistakes. I’m afraid of making wrong decisions. More importantly, I don’t want to end up saying why did I leave my previous employer. Just the thought of leaving my second home for the last 10 years already gives me tears and fears. Maybe I’m just too emotional with everything. This makes things harder for me…  At some point, I admire other people who are used to hopping from one company to another. My friends who have more than 4 companies in their resume. How I wish I could inherit some of their bravery and lose part of my emotional hormones. I keep telling myself, I have to decide. This bothers me but I later realized that I have nothing to decide for yet. I have no job offers, only silent rejections on my hand.

Before this short holiday, I remember having a conversation with another colleague. This colleague told me if only he has Php 500,000 on his hands now. He would pay off all his debts, leave the workplace and start his life again. Damn it! Exactly my sentiments too…. If I have that amount of money, I will pay off my remaining credit card debts (hello new journey series) and open another savings account. If I had that much money, maybe my fears of committing mistakes of choosing a wrong workplace will be eliminated. I have money to save me and I can easily switch to another company without worrying about not receiving my salary. Maybe I can start a business, rest for a while, fulfill my dream to write and started to live the life that work has taken away from me. Maybe. Maybe. But life always works the way we least expect it.

I think I have written a lot already. Sufficient to pardon my long absence in my little space here. Thanks to the Chinese New Year holiday, I had a little time to update.  2015 is proving to be very challenging for me. I have my own set of fears and worries. There will be more to come for sure. As always my silent wish is that I would be able to overcome everything. Please send me all the luck and prayers. 🙂 .. I need it

Holiday Thoughts

The saying that Xmas is for the kids became true to me when I started working. Apart from the fact that I started to earn, it was during this age when I crossed the other side of the fence. Gone are the days when I receive gifts, both monetary and non-monetary, from the elders in the family. When I had my first 13th month pay, it signalled the time when I was forced to embrace the role of the “giver.” I have to give, give, give, give and that endless list of giving.

In my family, the cash gifts are more appreciated. I don’t disagree because at the end of the day, you have the freedom to buy the things that can make you happy. I have my own share of receiving those crappy and useless gifts. Either they end up in the trash bin or given away to cousins, friends to charity boxes. This is actually the main reason why I never really subscribed to the idea of exchange gifts. If I join exchange gifts, I don’t expect to receive anything decent. In my years of existence, I always receive gifts that aren’t meant for me. So when I join one, I think of it as giving away something with nothing good to expect. I cannot understand how others would not make an effort when joining exchange gifts. And yet they will end up the happiest because they will receive the best gift. Life is good… for them. Haha

I may sound as another Christmas Grinch here. But really, no matter how much I deny it, Christmas has to be my favourite time of the year. If we will remove all the expenses, (I hope it would happen in reality) I’m just glad with the fact that I get reunited with my good old friends. I look forward to those short yet meaningful dinners.  The atmosphere at work is lighter. Everyone seems to have that rare smile on their faces. I have a two-week vacation. I have that rare 8-hours of sleep. Traffic maybe the worst but at some point, I do appreciate the sight and feel of the Xmas rush. I will have that special dinner with my family from Xmas and New Year’s eve. The next day, I will be reunited with my cousins. I have been doing this routine for 30 years yet for some reason, I never get tired of it.

I maybe broke now but I still believe that I will find other reasons to be happy.

Should I stay

Some weeks ago, the most awaited day of my documentation project finally happened. On that day, a pool of assessors conducted a full site visit at the workplace. On top of the visit, our managers and VPs were subjected for interview or what our President said, everyone was cross-examined. We somehow underestimated this day because the bulk of workload was just so endless. The assessors were repeatedly asking for supporting documents and evidences. It was our team who handles the production of the documents. Hence, every claim that our VPs and managers make bounces back on us. At some point though, I have to admit that some VPs and managers are making up stories during their interviews. We were pissed off but in the end, we don’t have a choice but to produce something from their artificial stories.

After the site visit, the assessors will review their findings and present it to the board of judges. We were told to wait around two months for the results. We are hoping for the entry-level certification. As much as I want to be hopeful, I already feel half-hearted about the results. I hope my colleagues will not be able to read this. I’m sorry but from my end, it’s not yet time for us.

Despite of everything, I’m still wishing that my predictions were incorrect. Part of me is wishing for that chance. Truth to be told, I told myself months ago that the outcome of my documentation project will give me the answers of whether I should stay or leave my current company.

If we receive the certification, I should stay.

If we don’t receive the certification, it’s time to leave.

Unfortunately, my overanalysis of my situation is giving me more problems. At the end of the day, I realized that the outcome of my documentation project does not lead me to the clearer picture of my decision.

If we don’t receive the certification….

I should leave. This already serves as my wake up call. I should consider working and growing in a company that offers better practices. It’s time to move to a better working environment.

This sounds as the most logical decision but deep inside, part of me tells me to stay. Maybe at this point, my company is at its low. Years from now, I want to become a part of its recovery. Hence, I should stay.

If we receive the certification

I should stay. My efforts are finally happening it marks another start for me.

Part of me however says that I should already leave. My mission is already done. I’m ending my employment on a high note. I also believe that it’s better to part ways with an accomplishment than a disappointment.

I’m feeling more lost and confused. However, I knew that having this feeling of leaving already confirms that part of me already longs for it.

I confess, I knew the reasons that confuse and prevent me to leave or make that decision.

  1. That evil emotional attachment – I started my career here. Everything that happened to me 10 years ago were made in my current employer
  2. Afraid to regret – If I will move to another company, I don’t want to experience those days when I have to ask myself, why did I leave? Everything was fine for the last 10 years. Why did I easily give up those 10 years of my life?
  3. Fear of the unknown – My few friends who left the academe for the industry have their own culture shocking stories. Most of them were surprised with the faster pace of work life in the industry. At my current age, am I still capable of coping?
  4. The interviews and entrance examinations – I remember my friend Grace who once told me that she has memorized all the employment examinations of companies. True enough. There are some examinations I encountered from another company that I found in another company. I have my own share of embarrassing stories about employment examinations. One is always getting eliminated with a pool of applicants. I don’t know if I still have the tolerance and knowledge to quickly answer those employment examinations.
  5. The almost most important consideration – Salary… If I will accept another job, my major considerations are the amount of salary and benefits I will be receiving. Obviously, I will never transfer to a company with lesser pay and benefits… even though the company has been showing signs of growth and success? No or maybe yes?
  6. My future colleagues – Will I still have the patience to deal with another set of colleagues?

I made this blog post while my dearest students are taking one of their major examinations. This reminds me, one of the things I would surely miss when I leave the workplace. If I will leave, it will take some time for me to return to teaching. It will make me sad… But then, part of me is already feeling the exhaustion. Maybe my overweight problems or lousiness can explain. I will feel sad without teaching, but I will not deny that my aging and overweight self needs additional time to rest.

So there, if you were kind and patient enough to read my long post, THANK YOU. I would appreciate unsolicited advices but please, no harsh words.

Of Train Rides, Fantasies and Reality

I have this secret fascination about trains. Whenever I watch those sappy romantic films, I’ve admired scenes when the lead character is spending quiet moments or about to meet the right one, in her most unexpected train rides. Since then, I dreamed of creating my own perfect train moment. I may not necessarily meet The One, but I often imagined myself wearing that perfect outfit. Long black hair, my 120 lbs old self, dream bag from Kate Spade and sporting my most coveted Tory Burch flats. Reality unfortunately never fails to give me the perfect ruin for everything. I’m most of the time haggard, lousy and sleepy on my daily train rides.

In my country, the government provides three train lines. The most controversial is the MRT. It has been the subject of complaints and inefficiency over the last months. I rarely take the MRT because its service routes are away from my usual destination. The last time I took the MRT was December of last year. Yesterday, I came from an out of town work in the South. The easiest way to reach home is to take the MRT. I took the last station and was fortunate to gain access to the limited seats.

While I was settled to my seat, a security guard approached the passenger beside me. Because my mind was too occupied, I failed to notice the old man needing assistance. He was wearing a protective mask, gauze bandage taped around his neck, frail arms, and trembling legs, which is evident despite wearing thick yet worn out jeans.

When the train started to depart, I noticed his struggle to pull out something from his bag. It was a folded white sheet of paper. He handed me a paper that contained a printer generated letter. I silently read it and was rather impressed with the perfect usage of the academic English. The letter looks like one of those we see as examples in English textbooks.

I later discovered that the man was seeking financial assistance. He has been suffering from the late stages of lung cancer. I spared myself from the other details presented in the letter. I immediately understood his intention so I discretely handed him a minimal amount of money.

While confined on his seat, he continued to extend the letter among the other passengers. An old woman beside him expressed disgust and rendered rude words. A lady covered and protected herself with a handkerchief and pretended seeing nothing. The other passengers rendered the same attitude. Everyone decided to pretend blind.

I don’t want to persecute both the old man and the majority of the passengers. I admit that I cannot vouch for the real condition of the old man. I will not deny the possibility that he is likewise pretending his sickness. Despite the uncertainty, I gave him some money because part of me believes that he needs it. Whether he is suffering from Lung Cancer or not, he is begging because he has nothing.

As for the other passengers who pretended not to see, I will try my best not to judge them. However, the attitude of rendering rude words, covering yourself with handkerchief even though the man was meters away from your seat and denying the man’s existence cannot escape as a violation in my standards of respect. If you refuse to help, it’s not difficult to utter, NoI’m sorry. I respect that they are threatened with the infection and transmission of whatever disease the man is carrying. In my case however, I don’t see threats of transmission by exposing your hands to a piece of paper.  We don’t know, your own hands may actually carry  more threats of infections because of the excessive money you possess.

On the next station, a group of three ladies, based from their t shirts, I concluded as sales associates from this mobile phone service provider. While the other passengers rendered what seemed to be the normal attitude of ignoring; the ladies read the letter and handed out a few bills. What I thought as a showcase of rare compassion changed when one of them blurted, “babalik din sa atin ‘to, triple, doble pa sa quota” (That money will return to us in triple fold, more than our designated sales quota), followed by a chorus of what seems to be the sound of victorious laughter.

Oh dearest writers and producers of these sappy romantic films, I’m not blaming you for making me believe in feel good stories. But sometimes, it wouldn’t hurt to feed me with some taste of reality.

 

Respect for who they are

A few weeks ago, a conversation with a few group of friends led to their sentiments about gays and lesbians. I can’t exactly recall how the topic emerged. The most I can remember, a friend uttered her reluctance of dealing with lesbians. She admits preferring gays than tomboys. She has this natural disinclination against lesbians. She swore never getting involved with them. I wanted to challenge her selfish conviction. I wanted to tell her how inconsiderate and discriminating she was. My intensifying desire to argue was taken aback because I remember the real intention of that night. We were gathered to unwind after an exhausting work week.

At some point, I regret my decision to keep quiet. Part of me feels guilty for my other friends. Yes, I have a handful of great friends, who are lesbians and tomboys. I don’t have gay friends of my age. The most I have are gay students who provide me that much needed comic relief in class. Some of them turned out to become a few of my good friends. (NOTE) I don’t mean discriminate but I had more negative experiences with gays than lesbians. Despite of everything, I don’t really consider gender as a requisite for friendship or even work.

The experience made me recall a great lesson life taught me. RESPECT and NEVER DISCRIMINATE. This particularly goes to the members of the gay and lesbian community. I’m a devoted Catholic and even though Bible interpreters keep on claiming that God despises them, my respect remains untainted. Even in my family, I’m proud to say that gender is not really a major issue. I grew up with parents, aunties, uncles and grandparents who whole-heartedly embraced and accepted every kid, regardless of who they are and what they chose to become. I guess this started my firm belief of respecting everyone.

So whether you are girl, boy, bakla or tomboy, you are welcome to my life. As long as you can bear my hopeless romantic hormones, cheesiness, foodie indulgences, and occasional mood swings then welcome to my life 🙂