Tag Archives: work

My own fortress of solitude (Day 28/ Project 365)

Solitude in silence

Feeling a bit frustrated with the cards I am dealt with at the Grindhouse.
I have always taken my responsibilities seriously–even to a fault. I am committed to my job, and very conscious of my output.

So when someone accused me of being “slow” with my work, I took the remarks to heart. I took offense. Not because I can’t handle the criticism but because I know I work hard and I take my responsibilities seriously. So to say I am slow when I am juggling three things at the same time is not only insulting but also disheartening.

This feeling of sadness overtook me last Friday that I had no choice but to leave early and spend time guzzling multiple cups of bitter coffee at UCC, gloating to no one but myself. Imagine men knocking back six packs and beers on a deserted bar, shooting the breeze and maybe cursing whoever might be causing them trouble at work. Well, translate that to a coffee shop and yes, you will have me. I haven’t felt that frustrated in a very long time and for the first time, I decided to re-assess my current standing at the Grindhouse.

Do not get me wrong, I love the Grindhouse and its many crazy inhabitants, but like good ol’ Supes I also have a weakness. I may be always take charge of things and my thick skin might make me come off as a “take-no-prisoners” go-getter, but hey I get emotional too.

During moments like this, I’ve found out that I do well just seething in silence. Somehow, there’s peace in staying quiet, peace that is so elusive when you have a couple of friends giving you advice. For times like this, I automatically shut down and lose interest to any form of human communication. I do well handling rejection and criticism when I am on my own, guzzling coffee and staring in space. Silence — my version of Superman’s Fortress Solitude. Unlike the guy in blue who has to fly to North Pole, all I need is a corner space, newly brewed coffee and the company of myself to escape from it all.


Happy thoughts (Day 13/ January 13, 2012/ Project 365)


I’ve just finished the final step of my regularization process. Finally, after seven months of stress and a very long-list of to do’s, I will be officially part of the company. You know in spite the fact that I christened the company “grindhouse”, I love it to pieces.

The company represents second chances for me. When I left my former company two jobs back, I thought it’s the end of my career. It didn’t help that all the jobs I got after THAT job were all freaking crap: megalomania bosses and the lack of direction and career progression. The grindhouse represents my second chance in life, and finally having the evaluation and scoring brilliantly on it was the highlight of my day today.

I have no reason to be bitter or to rant (which is my favorite activity) anymore because God surely blessed me with things that He knows I really need.

Little Dreams (Day 12/ Jan 12, 2012/ Project 365)


These pictures reflect the simple wishes and dreams of these children. Some who can barely afford paying for the basic necessities at school. Have you tried cramming yourself inside a classroom with 59 other kids.You share pencils and share pads because there wasn’t enough for everyone? These kids do every single day. Their teachers teach 1,500 kids, ranging from section 1 to 28 for just one grade level alone.

I love how kids looked so innocent and carefree. You know, even if these kids were a whirlwind of activity and were like little Tazmanian Devils personified, the look on their faces were priceless when they opened their boxes.

It’s a pretty tiring day. The grindhouse had a gift giving project and I was the co-organizer from our side. We gave out shoe boxes containing school supplies and other educational materials to more than 300 grade 2 students, with about 700 boxes more left for the school administrator to dispatch.

For just a few bucks, you can fill up an old ALDO box with school supplies and donate it to kids from indigent families. In our case, we partnered with the organization of business processing companies in the country and participated in their annual “My Dreams in a Shoebox” program.

I wish the kids will realize that no one needs expensive pencils, bags or pad papers in order to succeed in life. It’s determination, faith in God and good intentions that make a man (or woman).

It’s lonely at the top (Day 05/ 05 January 2012/ Project 365)


Since I was a kid, I wanted to be successful–have a fancy title appended to my name, a good salary package, the corner office plus the feeling of importance and achievement usually associated with being “one of the top brass”.

I’ve been through a lot, career-wise. I worked as a reporter (my first love) only to be disillusioned with the reality that being a reporter (for real) is far from the realities of Lois Lane and The Daily Planet.

From my stint working as a print journalist, I joined the PR world only to be appalled by the general phoniness of the profession. Yes, it sounded glamorous but unless you are the top brass, then your dreams of jet-setting and living the good life will only happen in your dreams. Burned, I joined the 8 to 5 grind to become a Corp Comm Officer/ Supervisor — the position that pretty much defined me as a professional.

After earning my stripes and paying my dues, I am head-hunted to be a junior manager for my current company. Manager. Wow, the innocent me would have died if she would have known that she was finally able to get the position she wants.

But present me? Let’s just say the position isn’t as cracked up as I think it should be. For one, the responsibility is bigger, heavier. Compared before when I can be my usual, carefree self — there is certain maturity, gravitas that is expected of me. I had to prove myself every single day. I have to show others that I deserve the respect they’ve given me. It can get quite lonely, actually.

Everyday, I keep wishing that I’ll hit the jackpot and strike it rich. When I do, I’ll pursue my dream of being a travel writer, contributing to publications not for the money or the prestige, but to share with readers the amazing things I’ve seen.

Of OCD and coffee-induced planners (Day 04/ 04 January 2012/ Project 365)

a quiet time amidst the chaos and to'dos

Here’s me trying to catch my breath amidst the numerous to do and the chaos of the Grindhouse.
I’ll never know how I can manage to 5 things all at the same time.
I know they are expecting a lot from me. I am afraid to fail them, and much ashamed to fail myself.
There are people hooked on drugs or ciggies or negative people — me, I am addicted with my To Do list, with the stress associated with responsibility after responsibility.

I try to get my drive from caffeine, drinking 3 to 4 cups a day. I really don’t care whether it’s the cheap 3-in-1 store-bought variety, or the designer coffee that is (weirdly enough) considered a status symbol among the walking wounded of the corporate world.

I need my caffeine fix in order to survive.

Back to the Grindhouse! (Day 02/02 January 2011/Project 365)

here's the scene of the crime

And so, like any other thing of beauty, the Holiday ends officially today. One part of me is tempted to throw a party just to celebrate the fact that there will be no hellish traffic in the streets (well, worse than the usual gridlock present in Manila streets), the phonies are back in their respective holes, no more insane sales and long lines on department store cashier and lastly, no more insipid Christmas carols.

But, a big part of me is also mourning the fact that Holiday passed by and I have no freaking idea what happened. Holiday this year is just a tinseled-version of the weekend. I don’t even get to have a nice vacation in spite the fact that I was reeling from tummy ache and other unspeakable things concerning my digestive system. I was self-medicating and was miserable even if I had to haul my carcass away for work before the New Year weekend.

And I come back to this.

Notice the general disarray of my table. Weird as it may sound, I function well in this environment. A lot of papers inside envelopes and folders bring a semblance of order on the various projects I am spearheading. I also notice my Superman mug ever on its perch, just an arm-stretch away for my much needed caffeine fix. I’ve also started reading “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho, his brilliant tale about the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (The Way of St. James of the Stars). Following my short PR stint handling the Spain Tourism Board, I have become so enamored with this pilgrimage and have bowed to do once in my life, as soon as I get my money.

Also making an appearance is my wooden Kokeshi doll, present in every desk table I maintained in three separate companies.

Oh my God, it’s just the second day of the first month of the New Year and my every being is already screaming for vacation.

Meet your new Office Lady

I had my human resources orientation with my newest gig today. It was fun — HR was accommodating and easy to talk to.

Anyway, we were discussing about the office rules and regulations, when–of course our conversation went on the topic of OFFICE ATTIRES: no cleavage inducing tops, no sleeveless shirts, no jeans, no leggings and no sandals. I am assuming that my favorite rock star boots is also prohibited. The HR manager then highlighted that my position as Junior Manager (one that will be directly reporting to the SAVP) merits that I wear the proper attire to work. I assured her that I will be in my best behavior and will make sure that I will not report to work like as if I have been to a JPop photo shoot.

HR Manager gave my outfit of the day the once-over: frilly, elbow length blouse, soft, chiffon skirt and heeled brogues. Her verdict: “okay enough but you look like you’re the guest of honor in a garden party” WOW. I have my quotable quote for the day. LOL.

But what do you really wear to work? Truth is, I never had the opportunity of being compelled to be in office attire./ I began working as a lifestyle writer, where I was always in a tank top and jeans and boots. Then, my work at the pier allowed me some liberty with what I wear PLUS by the time I became a regular employee, we were already wearing CORNY looking uniforms. The same goes for my stint with my longest employer, the airport-based freight forwarding company. The uniform was so horrible we looked so unfortunate wearing them. While the Japanese skin care company demanded business attire wear for its employee, I learned to play along the rules by adapting the Japanese way of dressing up (Shibuya + Harajuku everyday). So you can probably say that I kinda had it easy. Well, not until this gig.

Lemme make one thing clear: I want to take this job and position seriously. Finally, after a decade of toiling and not being given the break I think I deserved, I think I owe it to this company to be at my best behavior. I was blessed to be given a managerial position and I don’t have any plans of taking this blessing for granted. I think you all know what I went through with my stint at The Firm. I was just thankful and lucky to be finally moving forward. If this gig meant that I have to be on my best behavior and wear the office attire that I dread so much–so be it.

All I know is that I don’t want to be wearing anything that closely resemble this:

picture not mine

I am not saying that they are ugly, I am just saying that they look plain and boring.

If I am to wear professional looking clothes, these are my pegs:

picture not mine -- but the clothes are freaking amazing!
pic not mine -- but I wish the clothes were!

Why can’t I look like the office ladies featured in CanCam and AneCan? (For the uninitiated, CanCam and AneCan are Japanese fashion magazines catering to college girls (CanCam or Can Campus) and young professionals (AneCan).

the uber pretty Yuri Ebihara on the pages of AneCan

I only wish I can find clothes of this caliber (of course they shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg) cos the last time I looked for office attire (which was yesterday) I developed a really bad migraine.

Wait for the unveiling of me, version 3.0 🙂

PS: There is a post script to this story. We are about to end our orientation when the HR Manager landed her gaze on my head. More accurately, on my beloved blond hair. She said, I didn’t see any policy against colored hair, but obviously — you’re the only one here who have light colored hair…I’ll let you go this time. Let’s talk once I finalize the policy. WHOA!!!!!!! I don’t wanna be raven-haired anymore!!!