Tag Archives: work

Monochromatic Makati

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The towering skyscrapers came into view as I rode the cab to DBP tower. The hotel where I staying was a mere 2.2 kilometers away, exactly one academic oval in UP diliman, yet it took me 20 minutes and 100 pesos in hopes of making it to the 7:30 am call time.

I arrived 7:35.

Traffic from Quezon city to Makati during the Monday morning rush is inevitable. Thus, I chose to stay the night in a hotel near DBP tower, the venue of our meeting. My view from the 14th floor gave no obstruction to stars that twinkle in the night sky, and no, I am not referring to the literal stars in the sky. The lights of the cityscape twinkled in contrast to the pitch black landscape. Headlights of cars zoomed past my sight.

I slept with the stars peeking through my curtains.

The magic of Makati at night slowly turned grey as day began to break. Approaching the tower, women in high heeled stillettoes, and ill-fitting skirts rushed along the sidewalk. Men with half-done ties followed, much like ants in a colony, only without a path to follow.

I wore my bright pink blouse coupled with black slacks, and 1-inch heeled shoes. I looked at my reflection against the building window, and thought, it looked good, mature and “business”-like.

Imagine a cartoon where color is literally drained from the scene, and a single character on the screen remains to have color. That was me.
I was that speck of color against the monochromatic shades of grey.

Suddenly, a dash of color enters my peripheral vision. My kids (students) huddled in one corner, and I approached them with pride. They came on time, dressed the part, and adorned with excitement on their faces.

We greeted each person who asked us questions with smiles that matched our enthusiasm, only to be replied with a stern nod.

By the time we reached the 12th floor, the color from my kids faces vanished, confidence gone. They were assigned cubicles and computers to work on, and I left to explore the city.

I came by to pick them up at 5 in the afternoon. By then, they were dead tired. Their faces pale, just another face in the sea of colorless faces.

With my bright pink blouse and smile on my face, I say goodbye to the stars that hold much promise because of the the monochromatic life the city offers.

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Life Cycle

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My last post was about my last semester of course work in College. A semester of doing practicum had passed, and the most awaited graduation day arrived. 

A momentous day remembering the 5 years of my daily college routine. Finally graduating from 18 years of compulsary education. Celebrating 21 years of living and dreaming.

Amidst the joy and pride, life goes on. It didn’t stop after I marched up the stage to receive a college diploma. I thought it did. Instead, another chapter forced its way into my life, whether I was ready or not.

I began working right after graduation. Everyday, I learn new things about my work and myself. I wake up before the sun even shows himself, and go home when he has set. Everyday. But, I’m happy with this new yet familiar cycle.

Well, I think I’m happy.

There are days when I would wonder if there would be an end to this cycle- to wake up with nothing to think about. I would either be rich or dead for that to happen, and the latter seams more probable with my choice in profession.

This cycle needs to end, and I hope I would be able to experience such peace and comfort in this lifetime, even for just a short while. As life goes on, so must a new cycle begin. 

This time, I would be the one to dictate when the new cycle begins. 

Left Unwritten

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I had dinner with my high school friends today. And while it was fun reminiscing about the good ‘ol days, it was refreshing to hear stories about their work, rather than stories about school, exams and deadlines. While I was laughing on the outside, my mind was already stricken with fear- fear of what the future holds for me.

Evie works as a writer for two websites. She writes five for one website and three for the other, and she finishes all of these in just three hours. She begins writing at 5:30 am and finishes by 8:30 am. Did I mention she works at home? But that is not the best part, she earns approximately 430 USD. She doesn’t even write articles, she simply paraphrases them.

Lya shared her work life as well. She works at a company from 10 am to 6 pm. She addresses the problems of different customers, writes emails, and answers phone calls. She calls it customer support, while I call it a call center agent. I don’t mean to belittle the job of call center agents, but I never saw her working there, especially a university graduate (from a premier university, nonetheless) who graduated with Latin honors. But then who cares when she gets to bring home approximately 650 USD a month.

Ren, the animator in the group, currently interns in a local animation studio. She doesn’t get paid as much, but her work is soon going to appear in movie screens across the country.

Lastly, Jen works an 8-hour desk job in a travelling agency. When asked how she is, she only says one word: stressed. Most of the time, she has overtime work. She also trains new staff members. She does all these and more for 340 USD a month. She earned more from the tips she got while working in a restaurant,  than what she earns in a day now. But, by then end of this year, she’ll be resigning and applying for a position in an airline company. This is just her stepping stone. At least, she knows where she’s headed.

I, on the other hand, will be working 9 hours a day, five days a week, not to mention the lesson preparations and checking of papers at home. How much do I get? 390 USD a month. Over-worked and underpaid. Don’t get me wrong. That was my dream. Ever since I was young I have always wanted to be a teacher. I just didn’t think it would actually happen, and that it would come so soon.

Before, I couldn’t care less about how many zeroes my paycheck has. I could only care about the passion and the learning, but I only realize now, that passion won’t feed me and my family. It won’t provide a roof over our heads. So, what nowt? Will I be stuck in that job? I seriously need to find a better dream to aim for, and let this be my stepping stone alone. Then, I can just go back to my first love, when I’m all rich.

Confusing Ending

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This is the finale of my  3-day election series.

The results are out. I won, yet why do I feel like I have lost?

Of course I know the answer… Simply because my opponent lost. Actually, he ran for two positions. I already knew way before that I had a much higher chance of winning  because I was trained properly for the job. Nonetheless, I know he was so much better than his opponent for the other position. Yet people just didn’t see it…

He has a problem of saying what he wants without being mindful of other’s feelings. He does things that makes people get mad at him. he once destroyed a lantern the entire organization worked hard for. I guess that is why people are mad at him (and are still mad at him) Other than that, he is the best worker and leader ever. I mean, he NEVER crams. Something you should never do especially when doing production work.

I believed in him so much, and I wanted others to believe that as well, yet they are not able to get passed their personal biases to make the wise decision. They do not see the value in his work ethics, and instead, they see the friendliness of the person.

I am indeed confused. In these cases which is the wiser decision to take, someone who possess the better skill, but has issues with his members, or someone who has no issues with his members but has work  issues? Indeed, I am confused.