Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stress Drilon and Hagardo Versoza

My stress levels today breached another stage today. So many things happening on top of the other that until now, I still haven't destressed.

Which reminds me, I need to buy a stress ball because my keyboard at work is taking the brunt of my frustrations. Just this afternoon before I went home, I was pounding on it like crazy. I wanted to throw stuff but I'm scared I might hit the window.

I know I asked for this when I took the job and I'm not really sorry. In fact, I welcome the challenges. It's how I thrive and if I manage to get through this, I know I'll be quite happy. I just need to find an outlet for my stress. I'm already staying away from food as I can feel myself getting fat. Maybe it's time I go back to the gym. Maybe it's something that a good run on the treadmill can cure.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ten Years From Now

I asked my staff at work to write down a 150-word essay answering the abovementioned question. It's such a cliche topic but I really just wanted to gauge their grammatical skills as their emails to me are mostly "acknowledged" or "noted". I just wanted to see their grasp on the english language as I am looking for ripe people who I can promote to officers.

I had to go through more than 30+ essays earlier and I only managed to find less than 5 people with average grammar skills that I can depend on to not embarrass me if they would send email to the bosses. However, I was deeply touched with what all of them wrote. I managed to read through the grammatical errors for me to see the message that they were trying to get across.

It inspired me to write my own essay reflecting on the above topic. Here it is:

I was asked this question more than a decade ago and I never thought I would end up where I am right now. All I wanted then was to have a job and live each day as it comes. I refused to make big goals or have dreams because back then, I was afraid to fail.

I later learned that it is not the goal that really counts but the road towards my goal. I would never trade all the hardships and disappointments that I experienced throughout my journey. I also realized that I can fail along the way and the world will not end. I learned from my mistakes and became stronger because of them. To some, my achievements may be relatively insignificant but to me, they are products of my hard work and determination and I am extremely proud of them. Nobody can tell me otherwise.

If it would be possible, I would want to retire ten years from now and live a simple life with my husband. I would want to travel the world and see different cultures and people. I would want to see my son grow up and be successful in his chosen field and maybe even play with my future grandchildren.

Ten years from now, I want to truly say with all my heart, that when the time comes that I would be called by my Maker, I could say that I have lived a life that has been greatly and fully lived.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Asthma, Go Away!

For the first time in ages, I'm plagued by asthma attacks the past few days.

I could not figure out what was causing it. I figured it must be the weather change. About a decade ago, I recall being incapacitated during the months of February and March as the weather would drastically change from cold to hot. Weather change are usually the triggers for most asthmatics.

I never really outgrew my asthma. It's such a point of contention during my application with the different companies I worked with as I'm forced to declare that I have asthma. As such, I had to get clearance from my doctor that I'm currently in medication and that it is being managed.

My inhaler is getting quite a work-out since Friday. My pulmo said I need two clicks whenever I have an attack. The adverse effect of the inhaler is that I have to gargle afterwards as the powder is irritating my throat.

I just wish that the weather would normalize as I can't afford to get sick. Too many things are happening at work and I have to be there to ensure that my projects are implemented properly.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kung Bakit Ako Kinilig

Please allow me to give way to this somewhat dormant side of me. A lot of people don't know that I do watch Filipino movies. I usually watch the romantic comedy ones and just of specific actors and actresses.

During my birthday last year, I discovered the loveteam of Sarah Geronimo and Gerald Anderson when my sister-in-law invited me to watch their movie which I posted about here. Ever since I saw their chemistry, I knew there was something there. I was able to find an honest-to-goodness Gerald Anderson fans club and was updated with everything that was happening to the young actor's life (just the general stuff. I'm not THAT obsessed to be on stalker-mode).

Recently, his partner in the movie, Sarah Geronimo, launched a weekly evening show. Gerald was surprise guested in a couple of episodes and their chemistry came out again in full force. I was smiling and laughing throughout the whole time they were on the small screen together. It is obvious that there is something between that I don't know if they want to acknowledge or what.

The hopeless romantic in me wants them to end of together. Both of them are good kids and I wish them both the best. I'm hoping that their friendship will blossom to be a real honest-to-goodness romantic relationship. However, I will be the first to say that relationships in the showbiz world have low staying power. It is seldom that you will find a showbiz couple who will withstand the test of time. I truly hope that they will be the deviation to the norm.

Goodbye, Zach

It's been more than 12 hours since I heard the news but I still can't shake off the feeling of sadness.

Zach is Basti's classmate and seatmate in toddler school and he passed away Thursday night. I couldn't get over the news as I know the child. I don't see him everyday but I see him whenever I accompany Basti to school or if I'm there for a school activity.

I cannot imagine what the parents, especially the mother, is feeling right now. My heart goes to them.

Eternal rest grant unto the soul of Zach, Oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

RIP Jadden Zachariah Gan (May 2009 - March 2012)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Power to Change Someone Else's Life

Being a department head, one of my tasks is to fill in vacancies either due to transfers or added volume.

I run an operations-intensive department so manpower is an important factor that I really need to monitor to ensure that I am properly capacitized for incoming production volume. As the tasks involved are quite boring, my turnover can be quite high.

To fill in my current vacancies, I had our existing project hires take the exam given by our HR for the first filter. I was surprised at the low passing rate. I don't know if our education system has sorely deteriorated or if the exam given is difficult but whatever the case, I was left with enough people to fill in my vacancies.

I personally interviewed them one by one to see if they have the potential to become leaders in the future. I saw something in them that I like--a certain spark that I haven't seen for a long time. Moreover, I learned that all of them came from not well-off families and are even supporting their siblings. There is one who is the only college graduate among his cousins and siblings and he is quite proud of that achievement. Somehow, I think someone with that kind of pride can be capable of accomplishing something great.

I am proud to say that the people I've personally hired in my old company have not disappointed me so far. There are fall-offs but there are those who have excelled in their current positions. My greatest dream is to actually have someone say that I have inspired and influenced them to be performers and achievers. Knowing that I made a difference to just one person, is enough fulfillment for me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Our Yaya Misadventures

The thing with being working parents, we need to find a yaya (babysitter)to watch over our son while we're out toiling to make money. It's such a difficult task because we are basically trusting her with our most loved person on earth.

Finding the right yaya is not a task for the fainthearted. Maybe among the tasks involved in home management, it's my most hated thing to do. I could handle people issues at work but somehow, applying what I know in handling people does not hold true for yayas. They're part family and part employee. How do you draw the line?

My son is now 3 years old and he's now on his fourth yaya. The first one that we hired before he was born was really perfect. I cried when she left but her family needed her. Her replacement needed minimal training and was actually ok. But little things started cropping up here at home that really stressed me out--she doesn't get along with the other maids; I was losing stuff in my room etc--but we bore it because she's actually efficient and I could not really pinpoint where my stuff was going.

When the second yaya went on her annual leave last year, we got a temporary replacement but she was really...awful. We just bore it as it was only for a month but there were so many issues: my son's room was barely clean most of the time and his clothes were all in a disarray; she was complaining of the aircon and would turn it down/off in the middle of the night while my son starts sweating; when we go out to eat, she would eat before she would feed my son (minsan sabay pa sila at uunahin pa niya sarili niya). When Basti's yaya returned, we were all so relieved and life went back to normal.

My husband and I left for the US middle last year and when we got back, lo and behold, yaya was pregnant. She tried to mask the symptoms at first with colds and cough but when we had to bring her to the hospital, the truth finally came out. What really got to me was when I confronted her about it (before it was confirmed), she had the gall to deny it. It was only when I told her that the hospital tests confirmed it that she confessed. But she said she only knew it then (yeah sure).

Come January, we were already looking for a supposedly temporary replacement while yaya goes on maternity leave. Not wanting to trust agencies again, we went to our existing maids and the yayas of our relatives to ask if they know someone. The yaya of my husband's nephew referred her daughter who was not only efficient, she really spends time with my son. We were very happy with her and I was already thinking of making her the permanent yaya.

Basti's yaya went on maternity leave start of February and gave birth end of February. We offered the services of my husband's aunt who is an OB and the yaya gave birth at her clinic.

This afternoon, I got a text from yaya which was unclear. Basically, she said that she's asking for another advance because she wants to stay with her baby until the end of the month. My husband refused so I called him up only to learn later on that she already asked for an advance from my hubby before she left for her maternity (who actually pays for her salary). I was shocked when I learned that he gave her 4 months advance. She said that her boyfriend who got her pregnant is not supporting her blah blah blah. Moreover, hubby also paid for the midwife's fee. His response when yaya previously texted him was that she should return first here at home so we can properly talk as her debt is already too much for comfort.

We're already entertaining the thought of terminating her employment and would be "promoting" temporary yaya to permanent yaya. Honestly, she's doing a better job with my son and Basti's teachers are all praises for her (don't get me started when Basti's teacher called me up to tell me that they caught the preggy yaya hitting my son on the head (batukan) at school. She explained that it was only meant as a "lambing" but it took a long time for me to get over it).

I really hope that we'll figure this out soon.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Clash of the Titans

One of the reasons why I left my previous job was that I was looking for more challenge. My previous employer is considered as #1 in its chosen industry. I felt that I had nothing more to contribute to its growth and I felt so lost in the organization due to its size.

Maybe what urged me to quit was when I found the personal strategic vision that our STRAMA professor made us write before. I mentioned this: "My core purpose is to make most of the talents that I have been given to be able to fully give justice in all the roles I play in my life."

Thus, when this new job was offered to me, I accepted after I got excited over the challenge that came with it. I was also hoping that it will let me use my talents to give justice to my role as an employee.

Of course, fitting into a new company is not that easy even if half of the heads are my friends or acquaintances. I clashed with one of my team leaders last week but fortunately, I was able to fix it before it got out of hand. I guess I ruffled some feathers that are not meant to be ruffled. We made peace the next day and made some promises to each other which we both intend to keep.

In order for me to get to know my team better (I have 50+ people in my department with 4 team leaders), I had my TLs take the strengths finder test to help me tap their strengths into furthering the goals of the department and our company. Moreover, knowing their strengths will help me manage them better.

I was fortunate to find out that they are all fit into their respective roles. I just have to develop those further and hopefully, give them the right motivation to help them succeed. I'm sad to say that the image of my team has been tarnished in the past due to non-performance and a lot of errors and I am trying my best to change that. Luckily, we made our first good impression when we hit our target (which according to them) has not been hit in months. Hopefully, this will continue.

Yesterday, I managed to show my bitchy side (again) to a person in another department. According to my friend in the company, I don't have to apologize as he also has a notorious reputation and he probably deserved my bitchy attitude. However, I still have to respect the person and his position (although I do outrank him). I don't know though if he does deserve it after he poached into my ranks when I'm not even a month into the job. (On a side note, I hope the person that he's trying to recruit from my team would change his mind after giving him my counter-offer. He's one of my team performers and I know I can give him more opportunities than this other person). Oh well, being the new guy, I guess I have to bend.