Monday, May 31, 2010

Keeping Grounded

A colleague of mine recently told me that "I have no reason to complain since I almost have everything and my luck is just too much." Instead of feeling thankful and bashful, I got scared.

When I recently got this most sought after job in an illustrious company, my colleagues kept on saying how lucky and how blessed I am. Instead of rejoicing too much, I was bothered.

My parents are beaming with content and delight. My mentors and friends are proud and happily envious. Yet I still feel uneasy.

With all the positive things going on in my life right now, do I have any reason to be scared? Do I have to prepare for a huge negative blow?

I don't really have it all pretty in pink. I do have great big moments, but it doesn't come in series. Background-wise, I grew up in a family that provided me my immediate needs that I didn't have to beg, subject to public commute and humiliation and I never felt unfortunate in life. But truth is, my parents allowed me room to still work my ass off and fend for myself. I have to commute and be soaked in sun if I have to. I have to sacrifice my time, sweat and efforts when the need arises. I had to climb my way up the corporate ladder from the lowest of the low. Though privileged, in life I had to work hard to achieve where I am now. I had to be in the right mentality, place and time. And thank god I experienced all the traumatic and horrible experiences so that it constantly reminded me to be humble and be thankful for all the achievements.

But I seldom get achievements that are life changing and at a series at that. I'm not rich and I don't have the best strategic mind either. I am just your regular jane who works hard and hopes for the best. That's why I get scared and overwhelmed whenever positive blessings get bestowed on me. I'm not used to "having-it-all." But this past quarter has been crazy that it makes me pause and think of the possible consequences I might be facing soon just to balance the positive with the negative.

CAREER LIFE

I now have one of the most sought after jobs in a prestigious company. Just when I was wallowing in financial distress, here came an opportunity to improve my financial health. I grabbed it with both hands in fear that it might slip away. While some of my colleagues are still in the process of joining me, I am now on my second week and surprisingly happy. In my new job I have assumed a higher position and opportunities for training and travel are endless. My colleagues and friends said that this opportunity was too good to be true. It's so good that they also want it for themselves despite that there might be a "catch" looming. Some colleagues are happy for me. But I can feel some who aren't much joyful. But that is the least of my concerns. There is no reason for me to complain and doubt.

LOVE LIFE

It's always a given that if you have a blossoming career life, chances are, your love life would suffer. I do admit this is true sometimes. Career takes up much of our time and we need the extra hours to spend with our significant other. Others don't even have time to meet Mr. and Miss Right.

I am very lucky to meet Mitch who is very understanding when it comes to my needs as a professional. He lets me be most of the times and he allows me (sometimes) to navigate our relationship until I screw up occasionally. He is always there for me and he is my life outside my career life. I admit that if he wasn't around, I'd be consumed with work and I don't think it's a really good thing either. I'm thankful he is and still sticking around.

FAMILY and FRIENDS

Nothing beats going home to Harvey and my family who are all improving as we get older. My family treats me as an independent and a mature individual. They are letting me go as they see how improved I am in my life. They are proud of what I have become in actions and nothing beats that affirmation. My family and friends are still in tact. We're all present to share each others' joys and heartaches. We're still here and unsinkable.

POSSESSIONS

I don't own much, but I have everything that I need. Recently, I made an important purchase that will serve as a milestone in my life map. I just bought a car. Well, I ordered for one and I am now just waiting for its arrival. I put it on a 2 year old loan program. I knew I wouldn't have done this had I stayed in my previous job. The opportunity just opened and followed through.

If you look at me, you think I almost have everything. I'm a lucky son of a gun and I won't contest that. I have a blossoming and smashing career. I still have a manageable and exciting romantic relationship. I have family and friends who support me and I have possessions and achievements I could be really proud of. I may not have the face of a beauty queen, nor I have the body, but I can't help but be overwhelmed by all of the positive blessings that really matter to me that all the bad stuff gets forgotten. And I did not achieve that just by hard work. Luck and all other prayers played a great part.

With all the insanely happy disposition, it's normal for me to pull myself from flying. I had to keep grounded and be open to what life has in store for me. I have this pessimistic mentality working. With all the happy times and the grand breaks I've been having this insane month, I couldn't help but feel that everything has a price. Something has got to give in this situation. I cannot always be too blessed and happy.

God would be quite disappointed at me for thinking like this right now, but that is how I trained myself to avoid hitting so low. It happens most of the times. Just when you think you have everything and you're flying in glory, something negatively happens when you least expect it. I may be under a boss that is a pain in the ass. My colleagues might be my future nemesis. I may lose my connection with someone. A loved one might suffer in some way. Horrible things keep on flashing in my mind just because everything just happens to be going on in the right direction. And in life, that seldom always happens. The rule of Yin and Yang. I'm just scared that maybe the negative blow would be too much for me to bear considering all the wonderful things I'm receiving right now. I just feel the balance would strike soon. I just hope I could bear it.

Shame Shame Shame

It's been a month and a half now and I haven't finished Susan Howatch's The Heartbreaker. I have pending books on my list and I won't touch it until I finish this one.

This book is interesting. I get warped whenever I read it, but the never ending transitions, requirements and other activities seem to flood my time.

I might be proud with a lot of things that's happening in my life right now, but most certainly not in this one glaring aspect that's supposed to be important in my life. Is this the price that I have to pay for all the glory and the blessings?

Drumroll for a car

If I was rash on getting a car last year, I wouldn't be in this moment.

Ideally 2009 was the year I was supposed to buy my very own car. It wasn't exactly planned and it was just an idea that grew from my father. After all the research and psychological conditioning, I was ready to get one but some drastic thing came up. Someone within my circle bought the exact model and color I had in mind. If you're a reader of this blog, probably you're tired shit reading the same sentiments over and over again. In a nutshell, someone screwed my plans, but it's about time I let it go and move on. In fact I have moved on. It was never an issue if I could move on to better things, I just see that the 2009 experience as a lesson about life that I would never ever forget.

Fast forward to 2010, the idea of having a car was distant. Given my financial capabilities in my previous job and my diminished interest, I felt it was okay to just manage borrowing our family car. I figured I wasn't in a hurry anyways until a great opportunity unfolded. In second quarter of this year, I got a better job and transferred to a sophisticated location, a location with limited access to public transportation. Just like a rising tide, owning a car at this time seemed like a perfect idea in the most perfect timing.

Picking up the need, my father pushed for the idea. He told me: "It's about time." So he helped me research for the perfect car, a car he knows would suit me. Little did I know he already has a few units in mind for me to check.


My father's picks a.k.a. suggestions (not chronologically arranged)

1. FORD ESCAPE


http://www.topgear.com.ph/images/articleImages/news/Ford_Focus_and_Escape_in_Bangkok/FORD2__2_.jpg


This is my dad's first choice. The moment I said that I'm again interested in getting a car, two words immediately came out of his mouth. SUV and Ford. I knew that since he sold our Mazda Tribute, he wanted a similar replacement as he began sniffing behind our backs. When the opportune time came when I wanted a car, he thought that Ford Escape is immediately a perfect choice for me. Like Mazda Tribute, it's powerful, spacious, comfortable, but not that big. Plus, he's a certified Ford fan. He knows how much I handled Mazda Tribute well and Ford is almost similar as Mazda. I guess this is a no-brainer for him.

2. HONDA CRV

http://www.9carpictures.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2009-Honda-CR-V-3.jpg


Second SUV on his list is Honda's CRV. He said the form is ladylike and he liked the availability of the colors. Though I have a neutral stance on CRV. I may like the interiors and exteriors, but I'm getting saturated with this unit already. In truth, I like Honda cars, but I just don't find the connection with this one.

3. MITSUBISHI LANCER GTA




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Probably if I can't afford any SUVs, my father wished I get this. He had built this up a hundred times. He even went as far as tested this himself. Like Ford, he knows Mitsubishi's strengths and weaknesses. This Lancer EX reminds him of his 2000 model Galant, which is technically my first hand-me-down-car ever. Though I trust my father's judgment on this one, I believe it's just too sporty for my taste. I have tested it and the engine roars unlike any other mainstream sedan. It's a case of owner mismatch for me.

4. HONDA CIVIC

Honda Civic is a safe choice. My father also went as far as researched this. We both like the form and the selection of colors. It's sleek and more masculine unlike Toyota Altis and I specifically like the interior. It's modern and unpretentious. But my colleague who owns one said that the gas consumption is very painful. For a sedan, that information is not particularly attractive.


A couple of things about my father's choices. He is a Ford kind of guy. He already knows the in and outs of the brand and still sticks by it despite the gas guzzling reputation. He has preference for SUVs. He and I are physically big for our categories, so I understand how sedan units feel limiting for us. Lastly, despite his car knowledge, he plays around. He might be loyal to Ford, but he entertains other car brands unless he hears something bad about it.

Like my dad, I too have my choices.

Some of my choices (not arranged chronologically):

1. FORD ESCAPE



Like father like daughter. I like Ford. Ever since Expedition came out, our whole family appreciated the comfort and the power it brings. Ford Escape, the SUV entry level of Ford's flagship, also has a good presence in this country, despite the gas-guzzling nature. A lot of people were impressed by the power, but they equally thrashed the painful gas consumption fact especially during the oil crises two years ago. The point is, why buy a powerful SUV if you can't handle the gas? If the overall gas consumption is not really the top of your priority list, Ford SUVs will easily tickle your fancy. It provides comfort and power without ever going over the top. The exterior is classic. Most people find this version of Escape weird because it looks like a cross between a sedan and a rugged SUV. But I like it. It's sleek. It's simple and professional looking behind the obvious power. To note that I am not sporty and I am not the dainty sedan driver either, this look is perfect for me.

2. HONDA JAZZ
I wasn't keen in owning a Jazz at first because I found it pixie-like, exterior wise. But a lot of my car-enthusiast friends vouched for this model because it's more than meets the eye. According to them, it's spacious and modern. It's a more fashionable version than Honda's City, which is another unit that I'm very impressed of. The exterior may project a small space, but the truth is, it's cute with better leg room. The unit price is very affordable and most importantly, it's perfect for city driving and even out of town trips because it's very economical. I know what kind of a driver I am. I am not for speed and adrenalin. I'm for cool city driving and easy parking. This should be a perfect choice for me only that I am a big big girl. I don't know if my exterior and Jazz's exterior match well. Psychologically, I'm slightly uneasy.

3. HYUNDAI TUCSON


The first time this came out on the road, I was speechless. First of all, the look is out of this world in a good, breathtaking way. It's so futuristic. Exterior wise, it's something new and it's definitely a chic magnet. Inside that bulky armor, the drive is smooth. I should know. I went as far as test drove it. The interior is just the same as the exterior, it's sleek, modern and very appealing. It's like driving the car of the future. I'm not really an automotive freak, but I would have to be impressed with the series of car reviews published as early as 2009. They all seem to say the same thing that behind the world class ergonomic unit is a powerful engine and with technologically advanced features. The price is very reasonable for what it offers, though not exactly cheap. It's almost priced the same as Honda's CRV, Mitsubishi's Montero sport and Toyota's Fortuner, but easily beats all of them in the reviews. This car is a good deal both inside and out. Only that my father is not comfortable with the brand as I am in a small percentage. Call it being naive, but Hyundai is still a new brand we have to explore. Since this will be my first car ever, my father wanted me to get something we all immediately vouch to be reliable. Hyundai may be all that, but I can't afford to take risks. I may like this car, but there's still a pinch of doubt in my mind just because.

4. 2011 Mazda 3
Originally, this was what I wanted to acquire. It wouldn't cost more than a million bucks and I like the exterior and interior very much. I've been waiting for this since last year and if ever I would go for the sedan type, I wouldn't look at anything else. Mazda is a power car for me. It's reliable and aimed to attract a certain group of market. It strikes a great balance between power, comfort and savings. But this will be released in 2011. I don't think I could wait that long. And this is only an option if SUVs are totally out of the list.


As you can see Toyota Altis is totally scraped off despite my dad's encouragement. He knows better than to touch that subject.

It took us a while to test brands and units. We independently visited showrooms of different car makers and at the end of the day went through the compare and contrast session. My father knows the feeling of owning my very own car. He will make sure I won't make any mistake. Since he knows more about cars than I do, he will push his opinions to the fullest. Others take this thing unnecessary since it's me who's buying a car. My friends can say what they want to say, but I trust my dad. He knows me and he knows more about cars. Probably my preference on a model is just superficial. In the end, I just want a classic car, preferably an SUV, which is durable, within budget and reliable. I don't have to force myself to get the best, kick-ass car of the pack that I would eventually slave for eternity. Forget about the technicality and the specific ergonomic feature. It just has to be something that instantly works for me and I instantly find a connection with that I'm willing to pay for the coming years. All cars are recommendable for certain tastes, I will choose only one. And given time, support and study I know I'll make a right choice.

Pix source:
Autoindustriya

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Graveyard Shift 101: Relationship

I spent my Saturday with my family half asleep. I got home at 5 am and had a quick 2 hour nap before packing my things and headed for the Antipolo resort. I spent most of the time awake until I had my second nap at 3 pm. I woke up at 7 pm for dinner. It has been a silent rule that if I'm on graveyard shift I should be the one to initiate phone calls because of Mitch's fear that he might call me while I'm trying to catch up on sleep. So last night I called and talked to Mitch on the phone before sleep took over. I woke up Sunday morning at 8 am with a buffet breakfast waiting. I called up Mitch again for our morning talk; and I guess I have right here a premonition of my weekends.

I did graveyard shifts before, in fact I did all the unimaginable shifts. I did the 4 pm - 1 am, 9 pm to 6 am and 2 am to 11 am. I practically experienced all different time zones and adjusted to different activities whenever the sun's up. My body proved to be resilient and I'm not the one to cry over a lack of social life, which isn't my priority. I remember how some people kiss their social lives goodbye when they were assigned the graveyard shift. Single ladies even pray harder. Weird as it may seem, I met my boyfriend during my 2 am - 11 am shift conveniently in front of my house. We had a consistent courtship, him adjusting to my time of course, and we have been together ever since. I guess I am the one to say not to worry because social life happens where and when you make it. I met my boyfriend while I was working in an ungodly hour though certain sacrifices would have to be made to see it through. And a dash of luck really helps a lot.

I have friends who work in the call center industry covering various shifts. I know a couple, who works for different call center companies, who has to make insane sacrifices to make things work. Their off-days or "weekends" are different. When the girl has work, the guy is off. Most of the times the guy follows the same schedule of her girlfriend even on his off days so that he could pick her up from work and spend time together. In some days one of them files for a vacation leave to spend the whole day together. In drastic cases, one manages to only acquire 2 hours of sleep just to have quality time. Graveyard shift entails a lot of work in relationships, but if there's trust and a will to spend time, then I think this is workable. Only weak couple deteriorities in this set-up.

I know a married couple who prefers to have conflicting shifts to manage their household and kids 24/7. They could always spend quality time even for just a few minutes and it's healthy in their relationship to miss each other. I know someone who just had to stay strong with the changes in his partner's career and he learned to adjust.

I should know. I've subjected my boyfriend to my career changes and various shifts. I always give priority to my career and most of the times I don't think of how it would affect him. But that's why we're still together, he lets me go for my dream. He prefers for me to follow the normal shift so we could spend time together, in the ideal world, I wouldn't have it any other way. But we both know that opportunities come in different forms and in different times. We're young and we could still make that choice to sacrifice. I'm happy he understands and we're mature enough to miss each other, but not be dramatic about it. We make sacrifices and there are days that we have just have to let each other recuperate on our own. I'm thankful that he knows how important these changes are to me and he doesn't bitch around. I am indeed a lucky girl.

So for those singles in graveyard shift, there is still hope. There's always a possibility to meet someone and have an enjoyable social life. In fact, it's really a blessing if you would meet someone who also experiences the same shift changes you have. They are bound to understand and not contribute to the stress. Anyways, you should always know the circumstances of finally quitting and when to finally give up. For those in relationships, most definitely you could make it work. It's not always physical love that makes everything go round. One has to make sacrifices and there is a reason why you love each other come what may. Just like in the first set-up, the choice is really up to you.

Nurturing relationships, managing relationships and finding relationships are all possible in graveyard shifts. Don't let them say otherwise.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Information Overload

Information overload is the state of having too much information to make a decision or remained informed about a topic. (wiki)

In a nutshell, this just means that you've reached your information-absorption capacity that you can't understand or digest anything anymore. Or to put it bluntly, your brain overheats, malfunctions and shuts down for acquiring too much data.

I think my mind is specially stressed for this week. I had live and online trainings, which required me to understand basic to complex business models. I had to memorize and recall. My mind was given a jolted exercise for consecutive days and I know that technical business terms and complex concepts really made my brain overheat.

One particular sign that I'm suffering from information overload is that when I would keep reading a particular sentence over and over again yet I wouldn't understand a thing. My mind would stop processing the message. Another sign is when I force it, I have instant migraine at a localized part near the amigdala.

Why am I even talking about this? Straight from work, I went with my family to Thunderbirds Resort in Antipolo for some quick R&R. God knows I need one right now. I'm currently in a cold comfortable bed, with fluffy 300 thread sheets in a hotel room, enjoying free wifi and looking forward to a massage and cake. Work's been fun and challenging for the past week, but for now, my mind can't process anything else. Consider this a well-deserved rest day.


Friday, May 28, 2010

My 5th Job update

So if you've read my blog you will know that I have recently transferred jobs. It's almost in the same cutthroat industry, but I've transferred to a top multinational company, migrating a new process for a new project, working at a new kick ass office and location, assuming a new and improved role in my whole professional life. Whew. I just reported last Monday and that's the reason why I haven't been online for the past few days. I am so focused with work right now that it surprises me. In my whole entire professional life, I've never been this excited.

I don't know if you will believe me, but consider this my happiest transition to a new company ever. For the first four days of my initial introduction I am very excited to go to work. Call it the product of brainwashing, but I think I've joined the best. The hunger for knowledge and challenges made me want to get up and drive towards the building, and the building my-oh-my, the pride and the wonderful facilities make me so proud and motivated. This might not make sense to anyone working. Who gets motivated this much? Which company do I work for? Wait, who even gets motivated for work? You might think that I am a fresh graduate only that I've been working for 7 years and I've had four previous jobs , where I moved up and experienced the best and the worst.

So far, my past four days' of experience in my new company was a blast and I hope it would still get better from here. Below are the basic things I immediately felt that I've made the right choice.

I. INDUCTION
My 5th Company

I had four days of intensive induction for new hires. It doesn't matter if you're experienced or not, all of us had to go through it. They invested time, activities and aligned key persons to fully enlighten us on specific topics that will help our stay in the company. From theoretical to application they had tackled it.

Naturally they discussed Code of Conducts, Mission Vision, Different deliverable of departments and for the benefit of new graduates, they discussed the banking industry, how lines of businesses under a bank work and what the company is all about. Mix it up with roughly four days of fun activities, learning and intense assessment tests, we are bound to be walking knowledgeable individuals.

For others who might not know what the company is all about, they are thoroughly enlightened and proud that they've joined.

For others who might have a vague understanding of the banking industry and the specific line of business, they are now enlightened and hyped up to work.

For others who do not know why they're there, they now know that they belong to one of the best organizations that would allow them to succeed.

For the fresh graduates, they are the lucky ones to start their careers strong. For the experienced few, we knew we finally made the right choice.




Old Companies

I've never had a thorough New Employees Orientation before. It usually happens one day to two days maximum. The programs were often compressed and there were no gauge if we understood it or not. There were no exams to begin with. They only delve more on activities and engagement, but the knowledge wasn't quite embedded. The business philosophies were not emphasized. It made me think how much they value people.


II. FACILITIES

My 5th Company

Where do I start? The building is new and state of the art. They invested on supreme marbles, logo and a career hub that invites people as supposed to scaring them away. The office space is phenomenal. The colors are enticing and customized. The interior is modern and very sophisticated.

Let's focus on little things:

Ground floor, there is a supreme security system. State of the art Turnslides are adapted to go in and out of the building. There are sophisticated lighting and waiting areas.

Vendo machines with so many different drinks are located per floor. Water dispensers are given. The pantry area per floor has more than three tables, complete with appliances and flat screen TVs. The lightning system and interiors are modern. Each floor has a quick lobby and a TV for those who are waiting for the elevator.

The canteen occupies the whole floor so it's really spacious. You will never run out of seats. There is a terrace for smokers and flat screen TVs for those catching up with their soaps. There are couches, cool sitting areas for an intimate discussion, huge ice dispensers, glasses, microwaves and sinks not to mention there are vendos left and right. Tons of freebies.

On the production floor, the conference rooms are endless. The computers and phones are top of the line and most updated. The colors are warm and the comfort rooms are spacious and modern.


Old Companies

I did have manageable facilities with two of my past companies, suffered an intense setback in two others since they're local. If you want to experience the best facilities, multinational companies are the way to go. They don't cost cut on the basic and important stuff and the computers are updated. In some cases, some companies cannot even provide a coffee dispenser or a toaster. In most multinational companies, you will be proud to be seen working in a building that's not run down.

Although, in some multinational companies that I've worked for there were not as much freebies as what I'm receiving now. The office were not that well-kept anymore and there had been hints of drastic cost cutting here and there.



III. ONBOARDING

My 5th Company

The teams there are phenomenal. They have a team for everything to assist you from recruitment, to onboarding and even to project managers that will handle your team before you take the reigns. They provide you with computers, single sign on IDs without any hassles. They make sure that things are turned over at the right time and place for you to absorb.



Old Companies

It's every man for himself. In the first few days after the so-called orientation, usually you will be sitting in a desk with no computers and no tasks assigned. You will have to ask someone to assist you with the things you need, which is a huge favor since people there have work. You don't know where things go, the offices and the people you need to go to.


So far these are the major signs that made me realize that I made a right choice. I'm not yet working for any given function. I'm still transitioning. Aside from the fact that the building's location is sophisticated and phenomenal, inside it's even better. I just hope they won't kill me with work and make me repay these wonderful stuff with my life. If they cared enough to acquire these things for their employees, I guess that's sending already positive note.

They are doing a good job motivating people. It's a good thing because I've never been this excited to go to work.







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Monday, May 24, 2010

1st Day Jitters

Today is the first day I start working at my new job at a new company in a new office building at the new and improved commercial location. That is a lot of adjustments to take in especially that I've always been a certified Makati-professional. But I have orchestrated this change and I will face it head-on. I know this is for the better and I would just have to suck in whatever uncomfortable feeling I will face that comes with the so-called first-day-highs.

I would always have this sick and excited feeling whenever I start the school year when I was a kid or start a new employment. The excitement comes because I will start fresh. I will have new materials and environment and basically I would be faced with new things much to my cerebral enjoyment. When I was still studying, I would always look forward to a trip to National Bookstore at the end of the summer to buy me my new school supplies. The night before the big day, I usually couldn't sleep and I would get excited and sick over something. It also happens when I change jobs. Though I don't go to National Bookstores anymore and buying new shoes and clothes will happen on the first payday, the feelings of excitement and dread would always settle the night before.

If you had a choice to bring your old group of colleagues and environment with you on your new job, then it would've been much better. You wouldn't exert too much effort to adjust to new personalities and prove that you could meet new expectations. But it wouldn't be much of a change now, would it? This is the prime example of being an individual is all about. There are things that we have to face alone. Our careers, our studies, our aspirations varies from person to person. As individuals there are changes in life that we have to go through alone. The uncomfortable feeling may happen, but that goes with change. It's up to the person to adjust and shift that uncomfortable zone to a comfortable one and that is something not taught in text books or training syllables. One has to go through it and conquer the fear.

Well, so much for pep talk. My work starts in less than 4 hours and I can still feel the jitters, but I'm okay. I know I've gotten this opportunity for a reason and this is not the time to feel weak and down. I have accepted the location and pretty much got the office structure in my head. I just pray that I could deliver and the people I work with aren't pain in the ass. If everything goes well today, consider me a very happy and blessed girl.

Can't wait.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Let Willie resign

I was a fan of Willie because he was an underdog who pulled himself to primetime stardom. He got himself into trouble, usually marital, in public as far as I could remember. He was never the leading man type. He's not a box office actor and he's not exactly what you would call credible. Yet he makes people happy and that's something hard to achieve.

But he has charisma and a great one. Probably he exudes connection with different kinds of people so well because he has candid honesty. He shares what he wants and he doesn't pretend what he's not. But he just overdid it.

He may be a powerful money source for a network. He built Wowowee from scratch and it's now a household noontime show. It was fun until he got tired and frustrated with things. Though he is a public figure, not all frustrations and threats should be made on air. He may be the hot thing right now, but he's not god. I believe there is a proper venue for everything. Threatening your work, your co-workers and your management on air recently was just one of his strings of misstep that sprang from sheer arrogance and power that have gone way too far. Worse, this is not the first time it happened.

What Wowowee did to him is build his self confidence. The once underdog can now demand for work because he has proven himself profitable. Maybe he's just tired and hurt. But if he threatens that he would resign, maybe it's for the good. He really needs to watch replays and reflect.

Let him resign if he wants. Frankly, the last thing I need to see on TV is a power-tripping airhead. He needs to get a one way ticket back to earth badly.

Car Project 2010

I can still remember the day when I wrote this post with so much passion.

I was having a steady day until I found out that my planned car, the car that I was ready to get on April 15, was already gotten by a friend who exists in a very close circle. Being transparent and honest with myself, I was upset. The feeling of excitement was automatically replaced by upset and disappointment. The taste of my sweet mango dessert suddenly tasted bland. My family quickly observed that I have resulted to staring in open spaces. My dad tried to cheer me up by broadcasting to the family that they can't wait to see my new car on April 15. In my mind, I wanted to throw up.
Yeah I admit I was crazy-emotional at that time. Looking back, I think I was just too excited. Come to think of it, I never saw myself as buying a car because I don't even like driving. But the prospect of acquiring some grand possession in any adult's life was something I looked forward to. In my age, if you don't have a family, you could either get (pay for) your own place or a car. It's a true mark of independence and being successful. Since I could only afford a car now, so car it is!

If I might remind, my father encouraged me to buy my car last year. He agreed to help me in the down payment. I especially thought it was perfect timing then because I had a favorable loan facility as part of my employment package. The whole idea just grew so big and so fast that I went into my obsessive compulsive research. I went through online, interviews and even went as far as going to the dealership a couple of times. When I finally decided on getting this particular car from the model to the color, I fixed my loan papers. I was so excited until someone else got the exact model and color I wanted. Someone I know, who knew my plans and whom I randomly see around, got my car. I was stunned and crazy angry. I pulled off my loan approval and since then I cursed that particular car (with the owner) and I totally wiped off the idea of acquiring one. I even fell into a panic attack and was this close to buying the next car I see just to spite fate. But it was useless and stupid. I let the idea die a natural death.

But feelings do change even for a bit. I have changed my career location and going to work now really requires a car. Since my sister's already working, I couldn't borrow hers. I still didn't worry because I could always use the extra family car. But my father didn't approve. He wanted me to get my own and I have to do it quickly. He said that this is the timing that I'm looking for. This is not a want anymore, it has been elevated to a need.

I got scared. I didn't want to revisit the frustration that I had last year. I was so quiet and secretive on my choices. I tried to get my excitement under control. In fact, I just feel like buying a very unimportant thing. Probably the hype died down completely and I became more objective on my choices. I am now working on my budget and hopefully get the car that I really want. I will get a loan of 2 years maximum. Beyond that is just too much baggage. I already have a couple of choices in mind and the acquisition is in progress.

I'm happy that there's still an opportunity like this. Just like getting my current job, if it's really for you, then there's no reason why you shouldn't get it. I hope this car project would succeed. If it's for me, then it's for me. So far, so good. Finally I realize the reason behind my frustration in 2009. I was working it in the wrong year. Fate and Faith works hand in hand.

Forget about NBA HA!

I really really really should get back into tennis.

Once upon a time I was a tennis fanatic. I was a great fan of Sebastien Grosjean and Gustavo Kuerten. I was such a die hard fan that I made a necklace that spelled Guga and ate bananas all day. I would watch French Open on cable for hours. Other matches, I automatically record in VHS. I don't just watch them just because male tennis players are naturally well-built, handsome, a balance of lean and muscular, hardworking runners and has powerful arm power. *I swoon* I watch them because I appreciate tennis as a sport. Ha-ha.

I've played tennis when I was a little girl. My dad enrolled me one summer and I learned the basics. After that I began playing with friends. Now I desperately want to go back. Next to swimming, tennis is my next favorite sport. I've tried badminton and it bored me. Tennis is more challenging. In tennis, you have to really work out on your endurance and body strength. You have to cover a lot of space in tennis so you have to be prepared to run. Also, the reaction time needed when the ball returns to your court is as fast as hell. You can't just hit the ball and stand. You hit the ball across the court and you observe, you strategize while already moving to your next position. There's more strategy, consistency and power needed in Tennis. It's a very difficult sport.

In the season of Gustavo Kuerten I have been exposed to Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal when they were still starting to get famous. And look at them now. Top seed. Tennis elites. The prime rivalry. Two of the most powerful and strategic players. Both handsome and in good form. A Swiss and a Spaniard. Athletic supremo. Devils in the court.

Forget about NBA, this is the real deal!


I have a colleague who is more knowledgeable in the world of tennis right now. He has observed and watched these two players religiously. He is for Roger Federer play-wise and because he gets annoyed at how Nadal always wears sleeveless shirts while constantly flexing his amazing biceps everytime he scores or loses a point. Most of his shots are captured with the infamous fist closed pose. Well in defense, I am for Rafa Nadal. He runs fast, hits hard and values every point even if it's nearly impossible. Plus, I always win when I use him at Virtual Tennis. It must tell something. And for the record, I love his biceps. It's a simple case that if you got it, then flaunt it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My MAC experience

As Conrad De Quiros wrote on his Philippine Daily Inquirer article about the Automated Elections, I am now quoting. "I'm eating my words and it never tasted this good."

I'm not talking about automated elections though. I'm talking about this particular MACBOOK that I'm using while I am typing this post right now.

I'm not really concerned with brands and most definitely I'm not a techie girl. My phone is more than 6 years old and my mini-note HP laptop was a gift because my boyfriend felt sorry for me for dragging a heavy Compaq Presario. He urged me to get a Macbook. Ever since he had his hands on it, he never looked at other high-end computer laptop brands ever again. He is a Macbook-Apple expert and advocate. Seriously, I think Apple should hire him. He had assisted some of his friends into a graceful shift. He was so successful in convincing others except me. He kept on building up Macbook to me until I got hold of the price of course. I figured, HP note is something that I feel I would use for a long time. I like the keyboards, the light weight feature and I just surf anyways, it's not as if I would require various multimedia features that Mac greatly possesses.

I started to become close-minded with MAC because some of my friends even my boyfriend and sister kept on dissing other computer brands. For them MAC is the coolest, the best and the most sophisticated. Whenever I share a room with MAC users, with all of us surfing, I would never hear the end of it. I know some friends who will pull heaven and earth to get a MACBOOK because it's MAC. There's bragging rights that comes with the brand when in fact all they ever do with their MACBOOKS are chat and update their Facebook accounts. That's fine, it's their choice as long as they don't try to diss other brands. In fairness to my sister and boyfriend, who are into multimedia, they use MAC for their work. Nevertheless, all MAC users feel they are better than anyone else. And for that I became close minded with MACBOOKS and find its users to be foolishly elitist.

I sincerely thought that Macbooks are just a fad and another way to boost people's egos. I never dreamed of using it because I was very happy with what I have. I told my Mitch that I would never touch Mac as long as their egos still thrive. But today it's a different story.

My sister went to Cebu for vacation. She left her notebook at home. Yesterday I wanted to organize my music library in my Ipod, which is also a gift from my Mac-afficionado boyfriend. I usually let him organize it for me, but he wasn't around. So I did the next best thing. I took my sister's laptop and began the activity, which would change my perception forever.

I've been using her MACBOOK since yesterday. I have to admit that I'm enjoying. Read this Mitch, dear, I admit and confess!!

I specifically like how the keyboard is lined up. The design is zen, which is I like and I've been discovering features that I could use that aren't doable in my own laptop model. I'm beginning to realize that I'm actually starting to like Mac. I'm not a multimedia artist, but due to a one-day dare, I was able to learn Adobe Photoshop on my own. Now, I'm enjoying Photoshop better here in my sister's macbook.

As I type, I can just imagine Mitch's face when he hears about this. I'm not saying that I would go as far as buy a Macbook tomorrow, but I am now acknowledging the possibility in the future. I have become open-minded when it comes to this. At least I know why I want it. I just hope I won't drown in his tsunami of an ego. Nevertheless, I was honest and I stand by whatever gloating that will come.

What I think about Brands

In 4th year high school I had an Economics class with one of my favorite professors ever. I remember this professor very well, and I believe so does the rest of the high school community. She has a petite physique and if you don't know her she might immediately project a meek personality. But for Scholasticans, she is known to be very assertive, knowledgeable, strict, but immensely fun.

Maybe I remember her well because I really like Economics. Next to History, Economics is probably my next favorite subject ever. I like the fact that the subject is practical. It's a subject that could be really used outside school unlike Algebra or Geometry or Chemistry. Ugh. I hate those. In Economics, I find it very cerebral and very useful. I remember making an essay about TIME articles about open trade and purchasing power as part of my periodical exams. It's so relevant and I find it amazing that theoretical and classic economic teachings never change no matter how we get transformed or modernized.

We had a particular discussion one afternoon. She asked me why a Parker pen costs so much than a Panda pen. And I answered obviously: "Because of the brand." She asked me if I expected that a Parker Pen costs thousands of pesos compared to a Panda Pen that only costs less than 10 pesos. I said: "Yes." At that time I was thinking of the trick behind the question. She asked me again. "Why do you think it costs that much?" And I specifically answered: "Because it's Parker." She asked if Parker deserved to jack up the prices like that. For someone not particular with brands, I said: "No. It does the same thing as Panda. Why pay for Parker when I could write using other cheaper brands?" At that time more than half in that class owns a Parker pen. I could have felt the daggers behind me. She smiled and we then began our lesson about brands.



I stand corrected. If you're wondering if Parker pen really deserves to jack up the prices so high, the answer is YES. I know the question didn't suit me at all. People who know me that well know that I'm really not particular with brands. When I buy or like something, there's a great reason behind it and the name is hardly important. It probably comes with my interests and less emphasis on my social standing. But nevertheless, brands are important in this world, in economics and come to think of it, whether I like it or not, to me.

The brand, according to my economics professor, is not just a name. The brand is a stamp and a seal of approval for consumers about the lineage and the process of how the product was produced. An LV bag is not expensive just because it's LV. It is expensive because an LV bag has always used authentic and specially acquired leather skin, well-thought of designs, has a golden band on durability and has great after sales support. We both know we could never get that when buying just another branded bag which sells for less than 200 pesos. In buying a car, which is a current dilemma, I have great hopes and enthusiasm of getting a Hyundai Tucson model because of the form, the great reviews and the smashing interior. But my father, who has a great say in this project of mine, is uncomfortable of getting a Hyundai because he doesn't trust the brand enough because he believes that it produces lemon-cars and the after sales support aren't that strong. The brand greatly influences what we buy more than because of the name, but because the brand carries the known integrity, history and the quality of the product.

That goes for computers, the food you eat, the shampoo you buy, the clothes you wear. You pay for the particular price because you trust the brand to deliver the things you paid for. You don't buy the brand because of the name. Some people I know get stuck with the name part without knowing the real reason why they buy things. To elevate status, they buy branded stuff and diss other lower priced brands. I find that quite annoying and foolish. Individuals are different and have varying preferences. A particular brand might not work for another individual irregardless of the price. The most expensive brand may not be the best for you. I buy Panda ballpens because it works for me. I love the weight, the width and the quality of the ink as time goes by. I've never bought a Parker Pen all my life despite the fad in High school because I saw no point to it. I lose small things easily and I've never been fixated with pens anyways. As long as it writes well and it moves well through my fingers, it's good enough for me.

Brands are more than just a name and a specific brand does not work best for everyone. A brand may be an important rule in the field of trade and economics, but it doesn't mean the brand should blind and rule you. There's nothing wrong getting a MAC or an LV, we both know the features and the quality of their products. Go ahead. Even a brand-simpleton like me urge everyone to acquire and make that branded choice as long as you know why.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hello Global City. Goodbye Makati

I've worked in Makati all my professional life. Technically I have but one year of work experience in Cubao due to a brief project relocation yet the only facts I know about Cubao are Shopwise aisles and Gateway mall stores. But with Makati, I am quite familiar with the streets in the heart of the business district. That goes to say I'm familiar with the malls and I am well equipped with the demands of the environment. I also have to hand it to Makati for being accessible to commuters.

There is only one thing I hate about Makati, which I'm sure Mitch, my sister and everyone else would agree, and that is THE Makati TRAFFIC.

I'm putting THE before Traffic because it deserves a special distinction for its undying efforts to have drivers kill each other or passengers curse while their drivers go nuts. It is the main cause of late dinner and lunch meetings, fights with boyfriends with their girlfriends, tardiness in your employee record and occasional jaded outlook in life. I know blaming the traffic is not valid, but come on, all Makati residents and professionals know the kind of TRAFFIC that I'm talking about.

That's why I hate driving in Makati on weekdays. I usually just take the shuttle in SM straight to my village via Skyway. But most of the times, I delegate Mitch or Karla the grueling task of picking me up. I always give them an hour allowance. But it never fails that when I finally meet them up, they would curse, occasionally throw nasty looks at me and wouldn't talk to me for a couple of minutes.

That's why I had targeted to work in Fort where streets are relatively wider, buildings are still scarce and green patches are still evident. Working there, I will make a great favor to myself and my would-be drivers.

Benefits of working at FORT against Makati.

1. No heavy traffic means less gas consumption which equals to less gastos for me
2. No more waiting in vain for roughly 30 minutes just to make that turn to the next street.
3. No more late dinners in restaurants just to let the traffic fade away, which means no gastos and early to bed
4. No more fights with Mitch :)
5. No more bitching by Karla
6. Accurate time check and pick up.
7. Less frustration and road rage mean less wrinkles and jadedness
8. Me = happy driver = happy disposition
9. Now has a reason to drive to the gym harhar (so much for gym)
10. Much much nearer to my home. Yehey

Of course, I would have to be objective. Here are the things that give Fort a minus point.

1. Slightly inconvenient for commuters.
2. More opportunities to WALK.

...and nothing follows ladies and gentlemen.

Fort may be a good distance from Makati, but I can always make time especially if I'm meeting some friends. I just have to take that Buendia flyover anyways and it's not that I would do it everyday.

Food? Nah, maybe it's about time I'll stick to dieting and packed lunch for a change. My weight is getting out of control.

Truth is, Global City Taguig has a chance to correct whatever faulty infrastructures or unappealing landscape Makati has. I hope the city engineers and the city architects uphold the breezy, posh and stress-free image it brings. Whenever I'm in Fort, I feel I'm in a different country, except when you encounter nasty drivers that are so Filipino.

The scales have tipped to Fort glaringly. I might even consider living here, but that's another goal I would have to accomplish in three years time. Now, it's time to get that car for Fort.

I'm so excited to work in this very new environment. I'll master this place very soon. Give it a month and I can finally call myself home.

I did it

I went to Eastwood City Libis this morning to finally fix my clearance papers from my now-ex-employer. Since I do not normally go to this place (I've been here twice or thrice in my entire life and usually my last trips here I was the inattentive passenger), I asked a lot of directions from all Libis experts I know. All of them were pretty much consistent and thanks to their understanding and patience, I was able to reach Libis unscathed. I had breakfast there, searched for my signatories and I finally submitted the final copy to the end-all secretary.


"Do you have a Citibank Corporate card?" I answered "No."
"Do you have loans" I answered " None"
"Do you have any memberships that Citibank sponsored?" I answered "None."

"All right, you're clear."

By 11 am, I was already out of the building, formally ending my relationship with Citibank, my now ex-employer. Less attachments, less hassles. I figured, maybe it was God telling me not to get a car when I was in Citibank. I was about to, but someone else got my exact model. I pulled out my loan. I got mad. I was frustrated and I was eager to get some other car just to spite fate. But thank god I didn't or else I wouldn't have been finished with my clearance. Thank God!

It's funny when I went through the technicalities of deleting my virtual profile or accomplishing my clearance, I didn't feel anything. For me it was just another thankful career in an organization that ended at the right time. I know that it's definitely not the end of the world and for all I know some people may be rejoicing on my surprise departure. Nevertheless, I don't really intend to know what they feel. For me, it's time to look forward to my new professional home.

This is it. I finally did it. I searched for an opportunity, worked hard for it, got it and said goodbye to Citibank that took care of me and promoted me for all my efforts. As I've stressed in the exit interview, the reasons behind my resignation are only because of three things: much better Pay and compensation, Another promotion and better location. These are my non-negotiables otherwise I would've stayed. The choice was so clear that it didn't take me another minute to decide.

As I left my building yesterday I knew it would be my last as an employee. I did not look back. I am always a human of the future, always moving forward. It was painful to leave esteemed colleagues behind. I might not miss the work, but I will certainly miss some people. Contrary to popular belief, I will miss them a lot.

As I passed my final clearance to the executive secretary, I exhaled hard and went to meet up a friend for lunch and dessert. That was when it dawned on me that I finally did it. I will finally leave Citi behind, but with a happier heart and a positive outlook in life.

Again, I will welcome a huge change in my life and I'm happy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our role is what we want to be

I hate to hear people, whose traditional beliefs, vocally destine women to give up their careers, accept much lower paying jobs and professional responsibilities and eventually limit their ambitions to the household just because we are...women. You say this is old news and the new millennium went as much as tolerate and encourage women to be independent, resourceful and basically kick-ass. But at the back of society's head, women could only think of their careers and profession at a given time before they start giving it up for family. But those who have found a good balance between family and work either have their guilt for breakfast or suffer intermittent setbacks brought to them by their double-edged situations. If the family falls apart due to domestic concerns, it's all the woman's fault since she wasn't always present to immediately attend to it and the responsibility is programmed to be hers alone. Children's concerns in school and basic necessities fall unto the women's shoulders and the women are known to effectively juggle. Apparently, we are not complaining. For as long as the women could manage the precarious balance, then she still could still make that decision and counter the traditional whispers and private disdains of society that women should soon realize that there's really no point conquering the man's world when at the end she'll have to go back by being a housewife, a wife or a philanthropist. For women, the top choice presented by society becomes imminent that we should have a family and then put the family first above everything else and and all others fall into the extra-curriculars at the bottom of the priority list.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely have nothing against powerful women giving up their careers to get married or take care of the family for as long as it's their choice and and they genuinely find happiness and fulfillment in it. I have friends who are educated, accomplished and very much ambitious individuals until they have met the love of their lives and decide to marry. Upon marrying, their priorities have changed and naturally career took the back seat. From corporate books they went to interior decorating books; and from a hectic and stressful schedule in the office, their stress now involves shopping, cooking, gardening and philanthropic works. Some of my friends were surprised with the new fulfillment that they are feeling and I'm happy as long as they are happy. God knows shopping and cooking stress me out and it's not my area of competence.

I also have friends in college that ultimately wanted to be housewives as soon as they graduate. I just smirked and told them to think twice. At that time, I thought they might not know what they're missing. I encouraged them to at least work for a couple of months just to see how it felt like. Some of them, true enough, married their college boyfriends and are now happy mothers, while some tasted and loved work too much that they ditched the idea of marriage or their boyfriends entirely. Here we are again faced with women exercising their choice.

While some women who have families to run also have corporations or departments to manage. These women achieve a precarious balance that could easily topple them to insanity. They choose to be ambitious with work and liberal minded when it comes to raising a family. The drive to earn for the household may be majority's primary goal, but what about those who work for fulfillment? I know women who have rich husbands to ultimately support the family's needs. Yet these rich wives still work and thrive to compete in the man's world while others start businesses. They know they have capabilities and they have personal goals to achieve. Money is not a question.

But I have a couple of colleagues who are very accomplished women in dire need to find their Kings. They have started to feel that all of their achievements are worthless if they're not a wife or a mother. Maybe society makes them feel incomplete that even constant questions from relatives would make them reconsider the life of an accomplished CEO versus an accomplished mother. Since women's roles are generally more reverred to being the wife and mother, career ultimately fades into the limelight. They would go as far as drop their hot career for a worthy husband. That is fine. That is a choice and it's wonderful that women could exercise it.

But we could not erase the fact that women still suffer the double-edged sword. Powerful career women would always expect society to look down upon them for dividing their time with work and family. Careerwomen might feel and surrender to the pressures of traditional families and husbands. Some would eventually break down by society's invisible deadline for being career oriented by turning it into society's expectations on becoming family oriented. It's either that or privately suffer the setbacks and sorrowful glances to come your way. Others who tried the balance could not take the guilt and ultimately give up the career since women are predominantly destined to be a wife and a devoted mother.

I see in this world, women would always have a set of choices presented, but let's face it, I know some who make choices based on society's demands and not their own. I don't care whatever choice the woman makes as long as it's her own and as long as she is genuinely happy. The double edged sword would always be there, but it won't kill us. Women would have to learn to make the right choices and correct people to respect women's choices in life whether it may be something expected or not. Our role is what we want to be.

Resignation as a Fact

One reason why most of us resign is because we feel we don’t really get what we deserve. We work long hours, we absorb the stress and we surmount expectations yet we feel we are underpaid, undervalued and the coffee maker’s broken that management cannot even bother to replace last Christmas. Working for a private company almost equally demands financial satisfaction for employees in their respective fields and positions. But what if this nagging feeling starts to lurk? What if the knowledge of a better paying job is out there, with better benefits, better work description and somehow better offices? What if we have had enough of stagnation and stress? Here are the top (personal) reasons on filing that resignation letter.

  1. PAY

    Salary, incentives, pay, moolah, rewards, raise, whatever you want to call it, this is the growth professionals have all been working for. But it’s not that simple. In a specific industry expect that they follow a certain industry salary bracket. If you’re working for financial services, don’t expect your salary to be at par with those who work for the IT industry. But if you belong to the same industry and the company that you work for is not competitive enough to give you at least the average salary that you deserve, based on the industry analysis, which any responsible and competent Human Resources Department should have, then consider that as the pushing factor to sniff around. If the Human Resources Department sucks, then that’s your cue.

    Monetary fruits come in various forms and gravity. Guaranteed raise should be considered a primary consideration since products of goods and services tend to increase through time and your pay should go with the flow. Salary increase in promotions is a more important factor to determine when to make that shift. Allowances, performances bonuses and even per diem possibilities vary from one salary package to another. Sometimes these are the deciding factors. Other companies are generous in giving allowances and bonuses, others are not. Some companies have high basic pays but minimal allowances. Weighing monetary compensation is often tricky. Be sure you have someone experienced, preferably an accountant, to study the digits further.

  1. BENEFITS and COMPENSATION


    If the pay is not really on top of your list, I believe benefits and compensations are things to consider. Others work for a particular company because the benefits are friendlier and more generous, let’s say for mothers who have the option to work remotely. Others prefer to work on odd shifts because of the added allowances while others choose to work for a corporation that has stronger healthcare packages.


  1. PROMOTION

    This greatly applies if you have waited too long for a promotion in your current job, granted that you deserve it of course. To wait for a promotion in 3-5 years is too much. It’s either something’s wrong with you that your superiors aren’t sharing or management’s simply messed up. One of the fastest ways to move up the corporate ladder is to get pirated by a new organization. This move happens when seniority is favoured over meritocracy, which is not very appealing in this day and age. No matter how liberal a corporation has become, this still happens depending the organizational structure. And when people resign because of instant promotion expect that it comes with better pay and your market value goes up.

  1. ENVIRONMENT

    If every single day you unleash unpleasant words because you hate your boss or you have a hard time keeping up with colleagues in terms of clashing personalities and work ethics then you’ve signed up for a slow and agonizing professional death. The particular unhealthy environment may prompt you to search for something else because your work and outlook in life gets affected. A person could only take so much heat, slave driving and poor working conditions. Bad environment inevitably results to bad output.

  1. CHANGE OF CAREER

    Some of us wake up one day and realize that this is not something what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It happens. I have been a witness to people jump from one industry or work function to another even though they have to start at the very beginning of the ladder. Doctors becoming businessmen, businessmen studying to become doctors and high profile accountants devoting their time to the academic world. For these people, age and money aren’t main considerations.

Fact is, no matter how we sugar coat it, we attend interviews and entertain other job opportunities because of these factors. Subjecting everything to career growth has become lame. It’s always welcome to be specific and honest. A colleague of mine was interviewed by a top official recently and she was asked of the reasons behind her job hunting, she used the generic answer, which is career growth. The official smiled and asked her to be a little bit truthful. According to his belief, there are only three reasons why a person resigns from his/her job. It’s either because of the boss, the pay or the demands of the function. Once the move is complete the growth will come at its own pace. These are the resignation facts and there’s no reason why people should be scared about it. It happens and it’s normal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Resignation Countdown

Resigning is not alien to me anymore. I don’t really know if people find this immediately negative or positive given the fact that I’ve had four full-time jobs in reputable organizations and I am now entering my fifth job after 7 years of working. The longest I’ve stayed with the organization is two years, and the shortest I’ve stayed was for 8 months.

Personally I believe resigning for the right reasons isn’t a bad thing no matter how many times you do it. People work for various reasons and those who work for charity belong to the distinct minority. We work primarily to supply our material needs that are more likely to change through time. We also work for self fulfillment, constantly challenging ourselves to achieve more while testing or enhancing our capabilities. I don’t see anything wrong with that. That’s completely acceptable human nature. We don’t work just to kill time and waste money (unless you want to of course) otherwise that’s stupid and resigning from your doggone, thankless and unfit career/job would be the best favor you’ll ever do to yourself. As humans, we have the power to choose what’s best for us. We have the capability to make ourselves better and counter whatever we feel we are somehow programmed to do. I know of practicing doctors completely changing careers into becoming businessmen. I think it’s fairly stupid and undermining for us to totally subject ourselves to any forms of professional torture when there are better opportunities and better choices to make.

Contrary to popular belief among friends and family, I don’t resign just because I feel like it. Of all the organizations I’ve left behind, I resigned because primarily there were better opportunities offered to me and that because as a professional, the thirst for change was imminent. When asked in exit interviews on the reason of my surprise departures, I always emphasize on career growth, which specifically includes better package and compensation offered. There is no reason to be hypocrite about this. Unless I have completely woken up without any single materialistic desire on positions, benefits and salaries in a private and corporate world, then I could probably say that I have shifted to a non-profit, non-partisan work merely because of the self fulfillment reasons. But until that time comes, jumping from one corporate house to the other depends on the glossy package that is offered. If I resign just to receive less pay in the same industry that would be really foolish of me. When I join a new organization, there must be a better offer than what I am currently receiving whether it may be in terms of salary, benefits or position. Others take in consideration the new location and time. The point is, I transfer for a better professional life.

Also, I may also resign due to a so-called life and death situation. Once I resigned in this global organization not because I have a job offer, it’s because of health reasons. Emotionally and physically I was down in the dumps. I couldn’t properly drive, sleep or eat that led me to be hospitalized. Emotionally, I wasn’t in tip top shape either. I got easily frustrated, very obsessive and careless in my relationships. Work was eating me up in a bad way and the only way to better myself was to get out while I am still in one piece. I resigned without applying for another job and took 6 months of well-deserved rest. On the month that I’ve regained myself back, thank god it only took me a month to get hired in a start up company until it closed down that led me to my fourth job.

Now, I’m entering my fifth job and this would be a big leap for me in terms of the pay, responsibilities, location and time. The overall compensation and package are really tempting. It’s better than what I am receiving right now. I was also offered a pioneer project with a much higher post compared to my soon to be ex-job. Location wise, this will be also a major plus for me since it’s nearer from my home minus the clogged streets and traffic. Time is something of a let down since I would be covering odd hours at the first few months due to instability of operations, but I’ve done that before and I survived. It wasn’t really a problem for me and though I prefer a day job, it’s the least of my concerns. Other better benefits outweigh this single letdown and it’s quite stupid of me to let this opportunity pass.

So after all the talks and submissions, I am now in my last week in my soon to be fourth ex-job. Starting Monday I will find myself in a new building, doing new stuff and being surrounded by new people. And since I’ve been familiar with transitioning and change, it’s something that I am excited about. I have colleagues who have stayed in their jobs forever, wallowing in their comfort zones. The aspect of resigning and moving on to a new world or process seems daunting to them. It sometimes hinders their supposed growth. Good thing I have no problems with that. Albeit it would be sad as it takes a little effort to adjust and make it work again, nothing could rain on my parade and I am willing in making that change for the better. One week gives me five work days of worthy countdown. I hope everything goes well.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bangkok Bound...I hope

I've never been to Thailand, but I've heard and seen so much about it in many forms of media that the only thing left for me to do is to actually go there. I heard a lot about it from my friends and colleagues as they dubbed it as the cheapest retail capital of Asia. It's shopaholics heaven for sure and as for me, I've always seen Thai culture very rich. Temples and their food already make them world renowned and distinct, not to mention the mushroom of spa and wellness tourism they so rightly publicize.

My mom, aunts and I are scheduled to go there this June. We already have the tickets and we're currently in the process of searching for accommodations. I think we would go in a scheduled tour. My travel mates this time aren't that adventurous.

Yesterday I found out that a colleague is scheduled to go there this weekend despite the unrest. There is a civil war brewing in Thailand as I type. Anti government protesters have chosen Thailand's commercial district as camps and numerous deaths and violence have ensued in the streets. Red Shirts, a group of Thais fighting against dictatorship, wants to negotiate differences with the government being led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. The other party believes the current prime minister is not good for Thailand and they are fighting for equality and a better economic and political chance while the government fights for peace and stability that they see fit. The unrest has been ongoing since April and I do hope it ends soon.

I really hope the unrest ends soon because I really want to see Thailand. I want to have good memories there and not arrive with visions of violence and civil war. I want to go to the floating market, get a taste of their authentic cuisine, see my aunts and mom shop like crazy, visit the temples and watch their cultural plays.

As expected, my mom grew scared and wanted me to confirm with Cebu Pacific if they are willing to reschedule the flight. She has been seeing bad news recently and global encouragment to stay away from Thailand is being publicized. Realizing my mom's anxiety, I called the carrier and they told us to wait for further information, but as far as they are concerned, all flights are still opearational despite the state of emergency raised by the government. I had to be honest with my mom and told her that, but I added the casual fact that my colleague is going there this weekend to appease my mom's apprehensions. My colleague was pretty cool about the whole thing. She received information from her sister who lives there that the malls are still open and the places are generally manageable, not to mention dirt cheap tour prices. I asked my colleague to stay safe and share with me her experiences there once she gets back. If everything goes as planned, I'll see her on Tuesday.

For my mind to focus on the more exciting part, my colleagues and I ate at Banana Leaf last Saturday, which showcases great Thai, spiced and curry rich dishes. I can't wait to have one of their satays and rice paper rolls, and not to mention their recommendable milk teas.



Oh please please please, let us go there in peace.


http://thaibeachparty.com/thai/images/THAI_FOOD-2_large.jpeg

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Transitioning

Transitioning is required when we are faced with big changes that would affect people, systems, organizations and processes. Lack of proper transitioning could result to stress and chaos that could have easily been avoided. As required and normal in every aspect of people's lives, transition is expected to take energy, and if not done right, could take lots of time and resources. I always recognize whenever this phase comes up in my life. And when it does, I know better thanto fill my platter. Unlike some people, I take it one step at a time. I study the would-be changes and then gradually submit to it. Transitioning is a serious step for me and unless I am a master of changes, a crash course approach is not an option.

This year will mark another major transition in my life. A week from now, I will be transferring to my new corporate home. I was surprised with the speed of things, yet I should be thankful because I've worked for this during the first quarter and it is listed in my 2010 goal. I could proudly tick that off on my list and send a prayer of thanks. I know I want this and I know I'm lucky, capable and determined enough to have achieved it. But transferring from one corporation to another is a hard task. Aside from being excited, I am also nervous and anxious about it.

Unlike some of my colleagues I am more familiar on this particular transition. During this phase, I would have to feel at home at my new office including gauging my travel time, route and desk comfort. In this phase a lot of time is spent on observation and studying. I would observe culture, people and their strengths. It's harder if you immediately assume a supervisory role. It's expected that you would have to study and observe more in possible constrained time, which I will be doing in less than two weeks.

I could think of 101 reasons to be nervous and afraid, but I could think of better reasons to go through with this change. The only thing that separates me from staying where I am and ignore the possibility of change is my desire for it. So cheers to upcoming hard work and stress.



***
On a positive and lighter note, I think Noynoy Aquino and I have something in common (so I thought). Noynoy is leading in the Presidential race and just so you know, I didn't vote for him, but I'm gracefully accepting that he could be the next best president of this country. He is given time with the current president to achieve a "smooth transition." But it's all but smooth since as early as now, he has to think of a lot of things. He has his own cabinet to form, policies and constitutions to master and programs to prioritize. As might guess, he must be anxious and a bit nervous, though I'm also sure he is excited to perform his best since he desired and worked hard for this position. Transition may be a lot of work and it's certainly very painful. But what's pain if you're transitioning to something or somewhere you want? I'm now in the process and it has never felt this good.

http://www.makinglemonade.com/Career%20Transition.jpg

Monday, May 10, 2010

Finally, I've voted.

After baking under the sun and tasting my own sweat, I've finally voted after 2 hours of hell.

Just like everyone else, I had to endure people bitching because of the heat and long lines. That came with the human-heat smell and the overall standing discomfort. As a bonus, I was also exposed to misinformed and ungracious individuals who were criticizing and biting people's heads off. In any normal day, I would've been on a rampage, but this is not any other normal day. This is the glorious election day. It's important, it's a privilege and a choice I took for my nation. One day of discomfort over the nation's future is a small price to pay.

Hence there are no benefits in being consumed with negativity. Vigilance is not the same as being Pessimistic. Before we unleash our criticisms, we must get useful information. True it was a terrible snake-like line for some, as most of the voters know, there were many individual precincts to accommodate a selected group of voters before. In this elections, voters of 4-5 precincts are "clustered" into one. This results to one pcos machine per cluster, which explains the long queues. But we must appreciate this chance to change our voting system. We have to try at least. I don't know about other people's experiences but the name verification and the actual voting (shading) were the main contributors to the line and not the pcos machine. Inserting the ballots in the machines, where scanning is included, did not last more than 10 seconds.

Let's all wait for more information. Watch the news and hear both sides. We're all tired and god knows the analysts, teachers and canvass volunteers are still out there managing and transmitting our votes, and in some areas, revisiting the manual process. Let's just pray and be patient. Again, bitching around would not help.

I think I'll sleep early. I've been tired and up the whole day. I'll share my votes and sentiments on tomorrow's post.

May the results be transmitted well and may Philippines welcome the rightful candidates soon.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

The BIG Day

Today is the most anticipated election day in the Philippines. It's a big deal since we would be voting for the highest officials in this country who could have the best chance of ending corruption, paving the way for prosperity and representing the country globally. Also, today's not just an ordinary election day because this would be the very first time this country would adopt an automated system of counting. No longer do we have to write the names of our candidates. We just have to shade and directly let the machine scan and record our votes. It should be liberating.

Negativism should be out the window. Politicians should just shut their mouths, reflect and stay calm enough not trace everything to cheating. Activists should be vigilant, but not exaggerated. That goes for media too. People today should be more positive and hopeful that change is being done. This is our tiny effort to make things right so let's take it seriously.

And with that I would be expecting...


1. Long queue in lines. I hate waiting especially in this heat, but this is for my mother country. That is the sacrifice I might have to take. I pray for God to give me strength so that I won't hyperventilate and get cranky. This is the best day to exercise self-restraint.

2. Trashed votes. That's a bummer, but let's be realistic because this could be mine. I am expecting a couple of ballots being rejected. It might either be a machine or a voter error. I hope people have educated themselves on how to vote. The information is everywhere. It's in the newspapers, internet and even word of mouth. People should've read up and depended on themselves to know the instructions. I hope my machine doesn't jack up. This would be very frustrating indeed, but I'll do my best for my country.

3. Missed chances. This is our chance to elect someone we believe could best change our country. We know our is suffering from too much political, economic and social issues. We need someone who has a strong vision, has good work ethics and could be influential enough to get things done in his watch. We have seen their advocacy and we have heard their platforms, I hope as citizens we discern their capabilities and be honest with ourselves. Let's not vote due to popularity. Let's not vote just because we feel like it. We should be responsible enough to assess things. Let's not miss this chance to make things right.

4. Exaggeration. Media is very efficient in providing feedbacks in any national event. Media here has a very powerful reach and influence. I do hope the news don't get too exaggerated. Politicians and other activists should not feed the fire. We are capable human beings and we can make things work. If there are problems, need not glamorize it. We need media for truth, not for drama.

A lot of my friends now are updating their statuses in Facebook. It's good to know that despite minor blips like heat and long lines, they had successful experiences in voting. I hope mine would be too. I'm positive. I'm hopeful and I'm excited! I can't help but feel nationalistic.

Last night I was completing my list of senators, vice president and president. I've completed them all and I woke up this morning with strong affirmation on my chosen candidates. I'll post my choices as soon as I have voted.

This is it, Philippines! God bless us all!