Tag Archives: work

Vacation’s over. Now back to the grind!

go back to work

Well, there’s really no way to go about it. It’s back to reality after more than two weeks galivating and doing nothing. It’s time again to face the dreaded project plans, events, pending departmental budgets and all the other stressful things in between.

While it is indeed tempting to bitch about work, we must consider the fact that there are people who will be going back to nothing after the holidays. There are people who do not have jobs and do not have means to support themselves and their families. Imagine days and days stretched before you, spent looking for a job, hopping from one interview schedule to another. It must be excruciating.

We won’t lie — there are days when we rather spend lying in bed, surfing the net than haul ourselves to work, listening to office wise-asses preen and puff themselves like first-class assholes. But in reality, having work is both a curse and a blessing. Having work saved us from further moping at the heels of our bout with depression last November. It allowed us to enjoy fruits of our labor: like traveling, new shoes, a nice set of clothes. Having work gave us confidence and empowered us. So yes, we do not work for a perfect company and we are often surrounded by idiots masquerading as intelligent human beings; but along the way, we are also blessed to meet people who inspire us to learn more, to be more, to push ourselves further than we thought possible. We are blessed to meet and work with like-minded souls, and be part of a team whose brilliance and dedication continued to inspire us. While it is true that we do not see ourselves staying a lot longer than others (10 years! 15 years!), we are also committed to giving back and contributing to the growth of the company that has nurtured us during the last four and a half years of our stay.

Tomorrow is Monday and yes, we will again face traffic, the long lines at the jeepney stop — but we are also facing it with enthusiasm (at least the most we could muster on a dreary January morning) and with a prayer. May the virtual body count we keep in our head be less than those of the previous year.

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…being a good boss

Hey, are you the big cheese in your company? Or, are you the manager — with people reporting to you on a daily basis, usually at your beck and call. Do you juggle project after project, potently laced with various individuals’ Performance Appraisals and futures thrown in between?

When I was still way, way down low in the office hierarchy, I used to dread authority and the kind of people that wield them. In my mind, authority is a good thing–when wielded by a person who is not in danger of abusing it. But give it to a pyscho or a person with low EQ, then we are doomed to fail.

I have been working for almost 14 years now, and within those years–either had the pleasure or the misfortune of working for a long line of bosses. Some had terrorized me no end, some I have managed to curse to high heavens while there are also others whose lessons and reminders I have treasured greatly. Writing this piece, I am inspired to list them one-by-one and try to remember if I have been unfair to them during my tenure.

Due to my long and historical (as in, there’s just too much story in between) employment record, I will only list those who I worked with for more than a year:

The society doyenne – My first boss was recognized as the “Dean of Philippine Lifestyle Editors” — she is a small woman but very imposing and authoritative, her presence was enough to reduce me to a blubbering idiot. One word from her and we, her Lifestyle staff would cower in fear. I was a young writer then, fresh out of Journ school and prone to lapses in grammar and writing. After I have submitted my article, she would then call me to sit beside her — checking my grammar and writing style as she edit, alternately scolding me and joking in the process. I have always feared her presence and hated her for always singling me out. In her mind, I needed growing up. Now more than 10 years after, I realized that everything I have learned about writing a good story, I learned it from observing her and being part of her team. There are days when I still wonder what would have happened to me if I just stopped being childish then and did not quit the publication?

The Japanese Editor who is a stickler for details – I have always been fascinated with Japanese culture but working for my Japanese editor made me appreciate their discipline and dedication for work. This is the guy who asked me to cover the police detachment and ask gory details about a reported murder. My second editor was a big guy who resembled a polar bear more than a hard-hitting journalist.

The office heart throb had much of the female population in thrall for his almond-shaped eyes and bedimpled cheek, except for dear, old me who was both his right-wing (wo)man and constant frenemy. Worked for this guy for two and a half years and in those two years, was a witness to his revolving door of women. Now happily married, this boss of mind taught me confidence and how to charm your way to some of my most direst situations. It is under his wing that I realized how much I love marketing and public relations and that being a Corporate Communications professional can be a life-long career for me.

The Psycho Slave Driver from Hell – The less I say about this person, the better. Let’s just say working for her led me to my first nervous breakdown, total loss of confidence in my self and I had to leave a really good company with outstanding benefits plus amazing relationships I managed to cultivate during my tenure. In the end, I chose to pick my sanity and health over any potential regional career.

The A-Type Management-pleaser, in spite her obsessive, anal way of dealing into things, have always been a good person and a joy to work with. This boss taught me all the things that one needs to know if one wants to succeed in the corporate world, no thanks to her “take-all-prisoners” approach in all things. She diligently (and sometimes annoyingly) badger me into addressing emails according to recipient’s position, reminded me to always and diligently respond to messages and phone calls and basically given me the insight to think more like an office drone rather than a rock star wannabe. While she and I had our bad days, she will always have my respect and gratitude for shaping me to be the person that I am today.

I had other bosses aside from those mentioned above but my stay with them has either been too short (less than 6 months or a year) or uneventful that I can’t think of anything to say about them. I currently work for someone who shall be referred to as “The Legend” and I wish to think that I have already found my mentor. The Legend knows our industry inside and out, and her international training and experience had rid her of the usual emotional baggage present among local bosses. She encourages her team to be bold, to take intelligent risks and aim for the best. This person inspires me to do better and to build a career out of what I currently do.

The reason for this lengthy post is this: as I go forward my new role as a manager of a whole department, I have developed an obsession to be a good boss and mentor to my team. After all, just a few short years ago, I was one of them.

Last Friday, I had the misfortune of having to present my team member, who is doing an amazing job, her first ever memo for tardiness incurred. Half of me wanted to be authoritative and explain the process, but the other half just wanted to be there for her during, what probably is, the worst day of her life. For one, I didn’t agree with the memo — I find it stupid that she gets docked for showing up 5 minutes late to work when she is usually working for more than three hours after work lets out. But this was one simple instance where I have to wear the hat of a management representative and the manager corp and do what is expected of me.

I hope that when time passes by and my team grow bigger and bigger, I will be blessed with the fortitude and wisdom to do things according to what is right and not what is popular. I don’t want t be the kind of manager that ends up getting burned behind their back.

The long hiatus

 

 

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I am back after a very long absence. 

Blame it on my crazy schedule and the five-day Singapore getaway with the family. 

I used to say that I feel useless at work — because I wasn’t doing anything and was nothing more than a glorified personal assistant/executive assistant in spite the fact that I have the word “manager” written somewhere in my business card. And then, there was a change in management — which of course came with a new division head for me. This came with a reshuffling of work priorities, changing of the guards and all the boring corporate stuff. End story was: I am now reporting directly to the head of the division and have about tons of pending deliverables lying somewhere. Yes, I am now a full-blown slave and lackey of the man. 

But instead of glossing over how I have too much to do and nary a staff in sight, I chose to focus more on the blessings being given to me — the opportunity to prove my capabilities, as well as the trust of the new div manager. When she came on board, she told me that she believes in what I can do. I think that is motivation enough. 

In spite the heavy work load, I am now looking for ways to manage my stress. First and foremost, I don’t want to get stressed because this will lead to me blowing away my chance of ever having a baby. The OB says that if I want to procreate, I shouldn’t get stressed. Easy to say when you are not in the corporate world where things run on endless deadlines. I have decided to become more positive and to always dwell on the good. 

On my next post, will share tips on how I manage stress — aside from my constant (and expensive) strategy of retreating to another country when I need to take a breather. 

After all, at the end of the day — changes being thrown in our path can also be interpreted as the Universe’s way to challenge and motivate us.

Wake me up…when September ends

I can’t believe it’s already September. Last time we checked, we were saying good bye to the old year — and now, we’re three months shy of ringing the new year.

Here in my country, the arrival of September meant the Christmas season. For anti-social freaks like me, Filipino Christmas is equivalent to being one of the guest of honors during the Red Wedding. It’s excruciating, can drive you mad with agony, full of double meaning and often times (during Christmas shopping) can even result to blood shed.  

This early–and I don’t exaggerate–you can already hear Christmas carols played on the radio while malls start advertising for three-day sales, often resulting to heavy traffic.  People start sending “save the date” cards in the mail, announcing countless December weddings. Others start planning for stuff like vacays and things to buy… No doubt thinking of the impending Christmas bonus. 

On the personal side of things, September for me marks a “new beginning” of sorts. Our department was given a new boss, highlighting on the need for a more cohesive marketing strategy for the company. If you ask me, it’s a relief. Let me tell you why. 

I work for a company reeking in potential. Unfortunately, this same potential is being saddled by ancient outdated beliefs and values that no longer worked in the modern fast-paced world.For the ancients who have been with the company for two or three decades, any notion of “changes” and “adaptability” is equal to letting go of their old beliefs and culture and almost akin to putting their heads on the chopping block in front of the whole Westeros.  They hate change. They know nothing about corporate communications (communications is something they always equate to writing a memo) nor branding. So it’s like pulling teeth trying to show them how things work. 

The coming of the new boss will at least put order into things. Meaning, my life will be much easier and I won’t be stressed as much. Plus, I hope her arrival will finally earn our department the respect we deserved. 

This early, I am already expect to be doubly busy. Hopefully, I’ll still find time to blog. In fact, I was looking at my earlier posts and couldn’t believe how much time I have in my hands.  But, I vow not to let go of blogging — which is therapy for me really. It’s nice to have time to write your thoughts and just sift through the cobwebs in your head. 

I also can’t wait for the freelance writing work to start. You know where the money will go. The more I think about it, the more I am determined to see my Japan dreams come true next year. 

So, welcome September… I hope you’ll pass swiftly. I just can’t wait for this month to be over. 

A nice surprise or…a sign from the Universe?

Obviously, I have been away this whole week, no thanks to the ongoing Inquisition currently happening at the office.

So imagine my surprise when I checked back on this site and saw the many comments and congratulations from the many gorgeous people of WordPress. And then, I knew why (the congratulations from Meandering Matriarch gave me an idea).

a nice surprise

Wow, thank you WordPress. This is a nice surprise considering that I feel like a victim of the Inquisition for most of the time in my happy, little office. Oh, work — the joy you bring into my life never fail to amaze me. (Yes, a lesson in sarcasm) It’s a happy little piece of purgatory where I feel like I am being judged for the most part for the things I fail to do and the spelling and grammatical mistakes I manage to accomplish, and being blamed for the lack of good PR for the company.

A little (albeit insistent) voice inside my head kept saying that maybe this is a sign from the universe? I have always moaned about wanting to go back to writing but never having the guts to actually do it. I can’t imagine not having a good health care insurance or the semi-annual bonuses that feed the obsession with shoes, satchels and traveling.

Hopefully, things at work will be better. If not, there’s always this space to come home to.

My Super Brekkie (Day 58 of Project 365)

super brekkie!

I have a sneaking suspicion that the nearer the great Seoul trip becomes, the harsher my week will be. I have christened this week, my HELL WEEK due to the sheer inplausibility of the things happening to me, especially matters concerning work.

As we all know, filing for a 3.5 days leave will automatically give you a longer to do list. This happened to me, and I think it’s only fair that I do my job first before I enjoy Busan and Seoul. What I didn’t expect is for my ageing computer to break down every hour, my Office Outlook to quit on me and my Photoshop to get lost in the fray.

So, Tuesday morning I came prepared. I bust out the pack of ube-macapuno hopia from Eng Bee Tin, added my 3-in-1 coffee wonder on my Super Mug (yes, I have to write it like that) and well, let’s just say that I am ready for whatever shit life threw me that day.

All Work, No Play (Day 29 and 30/ Project 365)

Day 29

a life governed by a to do list

Day 30

these girls stare at me all day

I posted before how it feels like — running yourself on empty, working and trying to keep up with the expectations at hand.

However, deep inside I know that I prayed for the day that I will have my current position, that I will have the compensation package that I have now, the responsibility that I currently have. Now I know that there is some truth to the adage, “Be careful what you wish for…”

Maybe I just miss my carefree, irresponsible self. Maybe, I just miss the times when I don’t have to worry every single freaking day of my life, trying to think think THINK if I am giving them what they want.

I said this before, and I’ll say it again: it’s lonely at the top.