It will never happen

Before the past week ended, I saw a strange pile of documents on my table.  When I examined the documents, I discovered that it was meant for another colleague. Although the responsibility was not mine, I was familiar with the work attached to it. It was a pending liquidation report. I knew the nature and history of the pending liquidation report because months ago, the Finance Department sought my assistance in resolving the problem involved.

Here’s the story behind the pending liquidation report

Last year, our office conducted a Christmas party for our core group of employee volunteers. Part of the little incentive, we provided gift certificates for everyone. All the gift certificates were disbursed. I thought… Apparently, there was a set of gift certificates that remains unliquidated. It was declared as disbursed.Records however relate otherwise. There was no record that the gift certificate was received by the intended recipient.

I tried to perform the role of the mediator. I asked the Finance Department possible alternatives to address the issues attached to the liquidation report. The most feasible thing to undertake, I was asked to produce a document that will be certified and approved by our Department Manager. The document will declare that our Department Manager can attest to the issuance of the gift certificate to the target recipient. The recipient back then was a colleague-volunteer, who unfortunately, already left the company.

Solution was finally found. I relayed the most awaited solution to my colleague. I remember, our Department Manager was present when I discussed everything to my colleague.

Months passed. All the while, I thought that my colleague was able to resolve the situation.

I was surprised to discover that my colleague did not take action. Nothing has been done with the pending liquidation report. I was beginning to feel pissed off. I made some means to help him close the pending report. Sadly, nothing has been done.

I kept wondering why did my colleague choose not to do it. At that point, all I could think was because he tries to distance himself from the dirty work. He apparently involved another colleague in the disbursement of the gift certificates. He is probably fighting for the belief that the colleague he assigned should be responsible in cleaning the mess. Problem is, the colleague he assigned already left the company.

And so I thought that everything that was happening around me was a mere product of laziness and refusal of someone to do the job.

The Finance Department started complaining to me. I found out that my colleague has been habitually lousy in submitting liquidation reports. They don’t anymore want to transact with my colleague. I knew at that time, it was my time to get myself in the picture.

I finally produced the certification needed. I produced the much awaited document certifying that my Department Head can attest that the missing gift certificate was indeed disbursed.

When I handed the document to my Department Head, I sensed his reluctance to sign the certificate.

I’m sooo dead. Why did I choose to play the role of the mediator?

My Department Head wants to establish that the the recipient indeed received the gift certificate.

I took my last resort. I searched for the colleague who was the intended recipient of the gift certificate.

And so I verified. To the last minute, I was 100% sure that the intended colleague recipient was able to take home the gift certificate.

Nothing was received.

The intended recipient did not receive the gift certificate.

She wasn’t even aware that she was entitled with the gift certificate.

I was shocked. This can’t be.

I was trying to convince myself that everything was just a mistake. As I was gathering more facts and starting to connect all the details, everything pointed to one conclusion.

The gift certificates were stolen.

My colleague and the colleague he assigned to distribute it connived to keep the unclaimed gift certificates to themselves.

Months ago, I was able to witness a murder committed right before my eyes. I became a witness to the act of a heartless criminal. I thought that was my worst.

When I discovered another crime unfolded right before my eyes, a form or stealing within my immediate environment, I thought I will already be immune. It should mean nothing.

My emotions jumbled. At first, I felt sad. I felt disappointed. I later felt frustrated. The frustration turned to self-pity and as much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m starting to feel that familiar sting of depression again.

My emotions maybe selfish and unreasonable. One thing I can never deny though, my emotions has always been real and honest.

The depression brought about by my tardiness suspension dawned on me again.

As much as I don’t want to deny it, the crime committed by my colleague and another colleague, gave me reasons why my tardiness suspension was just too harsh and cruel.

My two colleagues who kept the gift certificates for themselves were able to get away from it.

When I presented my evidences to my Department Head, he finally reached a resolution. He agreed to pay for the lost and undocumented gift certificates. He handed me the money and silently, I was able to finally close the liquidation report. Case closed. Criminals are freed.

I have all the evidences yet at the end of the day, nothing happened with the criminals and offenders?

While me? The only mistake I made was the fact that I failed to report to work on time. I paid so much for all those tardiness.

My salary suffered from all the deductions.

I got a bad record in my 201 file.

I got a two-day suspension.

I lost the performance bonus incentive.

I lost the promotional opportunity.

The tears and emotional burden

the dwindling self esteem

Between stealing and coming to late for work, who deserves the greater punishment?

It never happened that way.

It will never happen under the right way.

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

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.

Rant or Career Plans?

When my lone best friend at the workplace informed me of her abrupt resignation, I was shaken and awakened. More than the tears and sadness, I suddenly became more concerned with my own career life. What now for me? Everyone is gone? What about me?

Amidst the sadness, I felt more pathetic. I turned freaking 30, the age I’ve been dreading. Months before my birthday, I’ve been avoiding the thought of planning this critical decade of my life. My carefree 20s is over. It’s time to get serious. What I do in this age will shape my life.

My career is always one of my primary considerations. I’ve been working in the same company for 10 years. Adding up to my own world record, I was in the same company after college. Before, I was proud. Today, I feel ashamed. What’s with the loyalty?

Months from now, I’m a 10-year service awardee on the annual employees’ awards night. No offense meant, but I never felt proud of loyalty awards. For me, they are the cheapest form of achievement. Forgive me dear friends, readers and colleagues; this is only a personal and biased opinion.

Whenever I’m reminded of my 10 years in the same company, I dread the thought of being weak and complacent. I was never too brave to move out of my comfort zone. I was avoiding challenges. I deprived myself to experience greater things. But then again, whenever I would hear the rants and complaints of friends about their work life, I’m attacked by the guilt of becoming rather thankful.

But seriously, even though I feel that I don’t have a sense of direction, I do have my own dreams for my work, family and life. Perhaps, here are some of them.

I need to have a clear career path – Someone unintentionally offended me recently. She said that at my age, I should have noted achievements. Reading her mind, she meant high position in the company, own car, real estate and that overflowing money. I almost wanted to say, you could have just slapped me.

I’m burdened with all the stupid debts I made. I don’t have that savings account that can assure approval of all visa applications. I remain as the technical staff behind my boss. I’m nothing to her predefined indicators of successes. To redeem my dwindling self-esteem, I can proudly claim that I worked hard for everything I have. I never cheated. I’m cleaning up my own financial mess without the salvation of my parents.

I wanted to write – My job permits me to write. It’s just that I write about things that bore most people. I write technical reports. I translate numbers to words. Other than the confidential technical reports hidden, buried and later forgotten by everyone, I wanted to venture in creative writing. Better yet, I want to get published.

I want financial independence – Dear God, please help me. While most people would dream of winning the lottery (I’m a virgin to this), I wanted additional work. I dream of more freelance writing jobs. More than the money, I need the assurance that I worked hard for everything I have.

To have a stable freelance work – I encountered a blogger, who boasted that her earnings are more than enough to survive her basic needs. Her earnings from her full time job remain untouched. Another famous blogger admitted that her monthly online earnings equated to the monthly salary of a pilot in this luxurious airline.

I’m not dreaming of a six-figure income every month. It’s way too much for me and my family. I also believe that having more than enough is either way, unhealthy. I want my career in freelance writing to cover up my monthly expenses. My earnings from my full time job will then be set aside for savings and investment.

If possible, I’m also looking at the direction of becoming a full time freelancer. My previous works enabled me to realize that I can work from home. I become more productive when everyone is asleep. I’m able to write from midnight till dawn. I sleep during the day so the chance of going out and attacked by my shopaholic hormones is avoided.

Lastly, I want to have my own family – Cliché of all the clichés! I once had an online conversation with a friend. My dear friend is having a financially abundant life in another country. It was her dream. When she asked me what I want to achieve, I replied without hesitation… I wanted to meet Mr. Right and have my own family. Even though our conversation happened through an online chat, I sensed her disappointment. She simply replied, ah okay. She later confided what happened to my brain?!? What happened to the class valedictorian?! Well apparently, my heart is getting bigger than my brain. Hence, the emotional outbursts and posts in this blog.

I think I’m talking too much. It’s 11:26 pm, in a few minutes this rare holiday break is over. I’ve broken my hiatus in this blog. This is enough for me and for everyone who have been patiently reading my rants.

And I just gave up

During my first few months at work, a previous neighbor approached me as I was waiting for an FX taxi bound to the train station. She wanted to verify if I was already working. When I said yes, she made the expected series of questions. Where I work? I told her the name of the school that serves as my employer. What I do? She never allowed me to answer. She assumed and mentioned, so you work as the school’s cashier?

In a way, I felt insulted. But allow me to clarify things first. I felt insulted not because I’m belittling my fellow hard working employees, who are performing the job of a cashier. Heaven knows the risk and meticulousness required to a cashier in any institution. What rather offended me is the manner she addressed her assumption. The tone of her words sounded a great belittlement for someone who spent four years of sleepless sacrifice in college. She made me feel affronted.

However, deeper analysis of the situation made me realize that my agitation is partly my fault. Why? I used to wear an all white blouse and blue pants as my office uniform. With my poor posture and Plain Jane, I realized that I should still be thankful because I wasn’t mistaken for another person. Blame it on my used-to-be frail built, pale face and poor posture. I don’t look sophisticated and dignified for my real job position.

My neighbor’s misconception of my real work left me wondering how my relatives and my immediate family view the career I chose to take. Do they really know in the first place what I do for a living?

It later dawned me that even my mother cannot exactly figure out my line of work. I used to work as a Researcher and currently, the Planning Officer of the school. My mother tells everyone that I’m an analyst. According to her, I analyze numbers and write. Truth is, she is on the right track. In real life however, my life as a Researcher extends beyond those tasks. I will no longer write about my life as a Researcher. Let my old post about my life in Research explain everything.

After working for Research, I was transferred to the Planning Office. This time, I’m sure that my mother is totally clueless as to what I do. All she knows is that I work in one of the school’s offices.

Pointing out these situations enabled me to discover the technicality and the rarely understood nature of my work. My work at the Planning Office is not as easy to present like the careers of the accountants, doctors and teachers. My line of career is something that only the members of the management committee and a few colleagues could understand. Allow me to explain my current job, the simplest way I could.

I work for the Planning office. For those who could still recall their Management 101 in college, we were oriented that any organization possesses the following functions; Planning, Organizing, Leading, Implementing, Controlling and Evaluation. Obviously, our office performs in the first phase of the management process. We plan! We help offices and the management draft their objectives. However, we don’t just facilitate the planning activity itself. Our real objective is to help every department draft and organize programs and activities that will be supportive and consistent with the institution’s mission and vision. Basing from my experience, a common mistake of offices is the drafting of activities that later end up as useless and unproductive efforts for the entire institution. Some offices create programs for the benefit of beautifying their accomplishment reports. Little do they know, the programs are leading the organization to nowhere.

Our office also directly reports to the institution’s President. Hence, much of our assignments are directly commanded by the President. If he wants a project proposal for a new business venture, cost benefit analysis documentation to his executive report, everything is handled by our office.

I’ve been reporting for the Planning Office for two years. My few years still makes me feel that I’m new to the department. Why? It’s because of the unpredictable tasks and assignments given to us. You see, we do what the Presidents wants.  In effect, we don’t experience routine tasks. Life as a Planning Officer meant waiting and bracing myself of the unexpected and later make or break the President’s respect.

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins was surprised to know that I still report for work during the summer vacation. Since we don’t have enrollees, she was asking what we do without the students. Turns out, she thought that I work for the Registrar’s Office. Worst is that I discovered that she thought that schools only have two offices, Registrar and Finance. Phew! And no, I didn’t explain and lecture the details of my real job. I simply told her that I directly report to the Office of the President. I don’t directly serve students so I still have work even without them. To which she said, ah secretary ka? (So you work as a secretary?) And I just gave up…