Unemployed 40-something

•September 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

After so much hoopla about me finally releasing myself from the clutches of my office of 10 years, here I am among the unemployed. Before we get to where I am and how I got here, let me just defend myself for taking too much time — 10 freakin years — before finally resigning from my old job.

I loved my work, but I began to hate my job because of one incompetent boss. I’m not saying this because I couldn’t please that boss. I’m saying this because she is just plain incompetent. And I don’t even report to her! She’s the reason why 90% of the staff resigned. So there. (I’ll tell you more about here in a separate blog)

So, I finally resigned because I got accepted in a higher paying job that’s completely new to me. Though I came in wet-eared, I’m proud to say I impressed my boss right away. He put me straight into the fire on my first day at work, and I finished all the assignments for the day with flying colors.

What’s surprising is that I didn’t even feel stressed at all. In fact, I loved what I did! My output was 10 times more than what I used to produce from my previous job, yet I felt I could still go at it by the end of the day!

After only a week at my new job, I realized that stress is not caused by the work load. Anybody can do the job, no matter the quantity. It’s the co-worker(s) who causes stress and anxiety in the office. It can be anybody in the office — the guy in the next cubicle, your boss’ assistant, the receptionist, your boss, somebody else’s boss. It’s people who can really give you stress at work.

I say this now because in my new job, no one has the star complex. Nobody thinks he’s better than the rest. We’re just a bunch of elves whistling while working.

Alas, this new job turned out to be too good to be true. For after only two months, the company’s original owner quit and opened a new company. Office politics was the culprit. Needless to say, the rest of the staff was resigned forcefully by the new guy who caused the departure of the original owner.

As I expected, I was not absorbed into the new company. I wasn’t expecting it anyway since I was the last one in at the old office. The good owner promised to get me back after two to three months when his new company is able to afford me. It’s been a little over a month now. I can wait, though I’m not counting it to protect myself from disappointment and complacency.

In the meantime, I’m about to embark on a long out-of-town trip which my friends and I have planned months before. I’m almost out of funds, but what the heck. I’ll go on this trip even if it kills me. Bills are piling up, but who cares? I’m confident I’ll get a job soon (gasp). I just know it.

In the meantime, my freelance work is keeping me above water.

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I left the building…finally!

•July 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

After a decade of “slavery”, I finally resigned.
It all happened so fast for me. I received a call from a prospective employer on a Thursday, went there for an exam and interview on a Saturday, then got hired the following Wednesday. Had I been asking for a sign, I wouldn’t have had enough time to think of one.
But I never needed a sign. The message on the wall was too big for me to miss: leave now, or forever hold your peace.
I waited this long, thinking that the company would recognize my loyalty and give me a reward. Was I wrong! You can’t blame me for thinking that way since our company president once stopped me from leaving. I thought I was indispensable. So I asked him that if he wanted me to stay, he should make me stay. Obviously, he didn’t.
Now, my work is 90% less stressful. I have never loved what I do for a living until now. I have to admit that I love my former officemates better, and I can say this early that I would prefer them over this new batch any day. I realize now that they are the sole reason why I stayed there for that long.
No regrets, though. I have learned a lot of things during those 10 rueful years. I met some of the most wonderful people who I intend to keep for the rest of my life. I also met my worst enemies there, unfortunately. I intend to deal with them later — when I have fully achieved nirvana (wink, wink).

Love or career?

•March 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A friend of mine lost another job where she lasted for only 3 months. Before that, she was in an airline company for 5 months. She had 3 other jobs before these, the longest was for 2 years in the office where I am right now.

I feel for this girl. I don’t have the heart to tell her that she needs to improve her communication skills and focus on the job more. I would give her words of encouragement whenever she gets tirades from her boss, or whenever she commits grave mistakes on the job. But words are cheap.

Now, she’s working as an associate in a company that her boyfriend set up. I told her, as gently as I can, that it might not be a good idea for the new relationship (they have been together for only a little over 5 months then). In the end, I chose to be a friend and just lend her my all-out support.

I believe that her priorities have changed, since she is in a new situation. At 26, she has just entered into a romantic relationship. Her first. Understandably, she would want to be with her boyfriend more. Thus, the choice to “work” in her boyfriend’s newly established business.

As a friend, I’m just concerned by the fact that she is not getting any younger and she has yet to find her core competence. To slack off now might not be beneficial to her in the long run. Working with her boyfriend is a comfort zone, and therefore might not serve her best interests (career-wise).

The last time I talked to her, she said she thinks she’s not cut out to be a career woman. I thought to myself, well, that’s one of the things that love can do to a person. It changes lives…fate.

I am not saying that their relationship won’t last, but what if….? And since they’ll be together most of the time at work, won’t that cause some strain in the romance?

What do I know? I never had a love life. I have always been married to my career. Loser much? Well, what I don’t know never hurt me thus far.

Season of resigning

•August 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

What’s with the month of August? How come people in my circle seem to get into the resigning mood around this time? Is it the rains?

My immediate boss is resigning (again). He has resigned years back, and then came back for five more years, and now he’s leaving again. I’m not happy or sad about it. I like him, but I think he’s too nice to be a boss. He’s lucky I’m no slacker. We’re better off as friends.

When he told me he’s resigning, I asked him to take me with him and he said yes without batting an eyelash. I believe him, but at the back of my mind, I was asking, “When?”

So, right now, I’m in a semi-state of panic. I have been wanting to leave for heaven knows how many years now. And now the urge is stronger. I have to go! Why? I don’t know, I just have to.

A close friend of mine has been asking me to join her in the company that she has just moved in. I want to, but I didn’t like a stipulation in their contract that says a resigned employee must not transfer to another company with the same business until after two years from date of resignation. Okay, I’m not supposed to know that part of the contract. But like I said, the person who told me about it is a close friend of mine.

Anyway, I’ve decided to email my resume to that company later when nobody else is around. Wish me luck.

Beyond the call of duty

•March 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

How far would you sacrifice yourself for your job? Sometimes you can’t believe how far you could go beyond the call of job duty.

I woke up at 3 in the morning just to get to the office to meet up with other officemates. From the office, we took a cab to get to the venue of our partner’s event. It was a march to launch an advocacy that has something to do with having a clear conscience. Mind you, this event is pro bono. We must have walked some 3 kilometers for the parade. We haven’t taken a decent breakfast.

At the convergence point in an open field, there was a program which lasted for about two hours. The sun was scorching, so we had to move to the nearest shade we could find. The other participants did the same (you can’t really blame anyone). As a result, more than half of the chairs in the venue were empty. A no-no for photo coverage!

What makes things worse was we had to walk several meters to get to the nearest toilet. The worst part was, Senior Rita and her Knight in Shining Armor were there, smug under the shade.

Don’t even ask what they were doing in an advocacy on having clear conscience.

I said, don’t ask 😉

I forgot to mention that it was Sunday…Palm Sunday. I wasn’t able to hear mass because the event took longer than planned. For a Catholic, that’s big. Sorry, Lord.

Coming up!

•March 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

On the eve of a major pitch presentation to a client, a small dilemma came to one of our poor hardworking junior associates. The new business director could not make it for some reason, so she called up our Senior Rita. Here’s what transpired over the phone conversation:

DIRECTOR: Hello, Senior Rita, do you have anything for tomorrow?

SENIOR RITA: Uhm, no…why?

D: Can you go with Junior Rita for a pitch presentation tomorrow morning?

SR: Eh, wala naman ako alam sa ipe-present nya e. (but I don’t anything about the material to be presented)

D: You don’t have to do anything. She’ll be the one to present the material. Just be there as her senior in case the client asks something critical.

SR: Uhm, I can’t. Something might come up…

Silence. Fatal silence.

You be the judge.

The terminated

•March 13, 2010 • 2 Comments

I will call her Senior Rita. Because that about sums up how she is: a senior staff who ordered people around as if they worked for her. There are a lot of stories about Senior Rita that I want to share. Too many, in fact, that would make one’s hardworking blood boil.

She never got anything done by herself because she really had no idea what she’s supposed to do in the office. Yes, she was hired as a Senior Account Executive. She who had no prior background whatsoever of that kind of position. How she got hired in the first place is beyond me.

Finally, after more than four years, she got terminated. Okay, the kinder word here is she got laid…off.

Here’s the clincher. She had been complaining nonstop about how everything sucks in the office from the first year she started working. While I agree with her, at least I was still doing my job. She, on the other hand, would dodge work by complaining. Her first complaint was that nobody was training her. She would wait for her supervisor to tell her what to do and how to do things. Since that supervisor was busy doing his own thing, she would do nothing all day but wait. Oh, no, wait. She would chat online or call somebody on the phone and talk for hours while waiting for her “training”.

That went on for a couple of more years. Unbelievable? You bet.

For the last one and a half years before she got sacked, she was really strutting around like a queen around the office! She got for herself a really big fish to back her up and bully everyone who would dare defy her queenly ways: a director from upper management. The two would deny everything to the skin of their teeth, of course.

So, now management finally came to and laid her off along with two other staff. A necessary move since the office was “downsizing”. What do you know, the director resigned at the same time! Imagine that…

What’s really hilarious about the whole thing is that Senior Rita is telling everyone and anyone within earshot that she had been waiting for a year for the office to terminate her employment! WTF! Who does that? Her reason? She wants a separation pay. She who can afford to go abroad at least twice a year for a “break”. She who can afford to buy Furlas…. and LVs… and Balenciagas… She threw whatever is left of her dignity and self-respect out the window for a measly separation pay.

Tsk tsk. The messenger and the media relations assistant who got the pink slip along with her never even waited for their last pay and instead used up all their leaves. They are the ones who needed the separation pay. And yet…

Her FB status went something like this after she was termninated: “at last I’m free. Good riddance!”

I wanted to cry in disbelief! I was so tempted to retort in my own FB status. Girl, you were the one who got kicked out. Good riddance indeed!