Saturday, September 25, 2004

Screwing Up

For the past week, my morale for my job has been at an all-time low. I've been so immersed with my faults that I have a tendency to compare my call center job with the call center jobs of my other friends (in a different field of course), and flatly conclude that mine is more difficult. I wasn't being fair.

While there are several unpleasant things I could focus on, here are some things I like about my job:

1) Service. I'm actually doing my alma matter and church proud by being "a man for others". I help solve other people's problems. I'm going out of my comfort zone. And there are concrete results.

2) Compensation. I mean my job is not the only one that involves service. Many Filipinos are serving both the public and private sectors. However, some of them either don't get the recognition they deserve, or aren't financially rewarded as much as they should be. At least in my case, that's not really a problem. And that's something I can be grateful for.

3) Honesty. Depending on our occupation, some of us have to sacrifice our ethics for the sake of our job (well, either sacrifice that or say goodbye to your job). I'm glad that my occupation does not require me to sacrifice my integrity but actually builds it up.

4) Growth. This is arguably the most difficult event I've faced in the past twenty two years. But with adversity comes growth. I know and feel I'm a better person because of all the things I learned from my job. And I'm continuing to grow. I'm also learning more about myself. I've discovered I want to teach. And hopefully, in a few months time, I'll be able to do just that.

5) People. In my workplace, I get to meet new people, both from the constant influx of new and old coworkers, and from the calls I get. Sure, not everyone is pleasant, but I am exposed to a variety of personalities and cultures.


At heart, I'm really a dynamic person. I don't want to stick to any one thing, at least not constantly. For example, I don't have any one favorite movie, anime, comic, video game, food, etc. When asked such a question, I state that I like a lot of things and I'm not focused on any one subject matter. I'll give you a spectrum of answers, and they're all true.

Even my taste-buds are just as sensitive. I can't have a snack of crackers every single day, for example. I usually have a rotation of cake (if it's available), ice cream, potato chips, crackers, Campbell soup, instant noodles, and anything else that's available at home. I don't drink softdrinks but instead I have Snapple. And what I like about Snapple is that they have different flavors, so while I can claim that I have Snapple every day, I can also say that I don't drink the same flavor consecutively.


Of course my dynamic personality inadvertedly applies to my friendships as well. I've never really formed a long-lasting, personal tie with anyone. Just as I'm about to do so, something out of my control happens: usually they either leave the country, or that person drifts away (and it's not due to a lack of effort on my part). That's not to say I don't keep some friends at arms-length. I plainly don't have as much time as I used to have, and it's really impossible to make all my friends close friends, given the time constraint. And since I have a variety of tastes, I don't want to impose one particular hobby of mine (i.e. SF&F) to friends who aren't into that kind of thing (i.e. comic afficionados).

Right now, the biggest realization is that once the weekend hits me, I'm all alone. Sure, I can always visit The Comic Quest gang, but I feel I'm always there and sometimes imposing on them too much. And honestly, I don't really want to spend every single moment of my free time with them (no offense intended). Moderation is always good.

Of course that leaves me with a dilemma who to spend time with. Some of my other friends are as busy as me, except they have different schedules (i.e. I'm free when they're not and vice versa), while others I'm too shy to ask. I'm usually the type of person you invite and then I appear rather than me inviting the gang to go somewhere or to do something.

I'm always eager to meet new people though, especially friends I haven't met in real life. One thing I'm also eager for are the cosplay events since that's the only time I get to meet (and be useful) to my cosplayer friends.

I also apprecite email and comments from my friends, although both are a scarcity nowadays, aside from the usual "happy birthday" line. Honestly, we really can't have much of a conversation with "happy birthday". It's like saying hello and then moving on. In fact, happy birthday is more like saying goodbye; it's a farewell statement rather than an excuse to probe into another person's life. And while it's nice to be remembered, I hope I'm more than just a memory.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Eat and Sleep

Right now, one of my biggest fears is that because of my job, my retinue would only be to go to work, and then just go home to eat and sleep. I mean it's already the weekend and I find myself stuck at home, with no one to go out with. I want a change in pace; my life suddenly feels so unexciting. And lonely.

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Trust Issues

The high school prom was something many of my classmates were eager to attend. But since I did come from a semi-conservative Jesuit school, many steps were taken to “educate” us in the proper way of behaving in such an event. One of them was attending an orientation, and one of the speakers was a father. He told us that he wanted us to go home on time and bring home our dates on the agreed upon time. “It’s not that we don’t trust you. It’s the sons-of-bitches out there that we don’t trust.” At the time, it made perfect sense: our parents were worried about us and there are many random factors out there in the world that could present a danger to us. However, after hearing that line several times over the years, used in different contexts, that statement is flawed at best, and at worst, an outright lie.

Click here to

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Panic Modes

Sometimes, when we meet adversity, we panic. This can take several forms, whether it's a "mind blank", being tense, or even hyperventilating. There are three phases in which panicking can occur, and most of us usually panic in one of these phases, while others in more than one.

Pre-crisis: When we know we're going to meet adversity, we usually get nervous or tense. We haven't yet faced the problem yet we're already worrying about it. Panicking at this phase usually excites our nerves and this might lead some people to back out or quit even before facing the dilemma. Paranoid people could also be classified under this category, as they suspect something before it has happened and are always suspecting danger from every corner.

During the crisis: This is when we panic during the dilemma. A common example of this is forgetting everything you've learned during an exam, or stuttering when you're speaking in front of your crush. In extreme situations, some people faint. If the person in question is also suffering from pre-crisis panic, they tend to increase the panic they feel during the crisis, blowing it out of proportion.

Post-crisis: Once we "survive" a certain experience, it's only afterwards that our emotions are "activated" once again and that's when we panic. If it was an exam we took, we suddenly realize all the wrong answers we made, of if we were talking to our crush, we think of the words we should have said and how we must have looked like a fool. Some people usually take this time to break out and cry, when no one nearby is looking. Post-crisis panic can lead to pre-crisis panic, which is the case with some paranoid people, as they've already experienced a certain trauma and expect it to happen again.

Personally, I probably suffer from post-crisis panic. I mean I try to calm myself before I meet adversity and think that until I actually experience it, I won't really know how horrible it is. When facing the problem, I'm too focused on solving it to let my emotions get the better of me. It's only when I actually have time to reflect and digest everything that I panic and feel nervousness and regret. It's why I whine a lot.

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sleep States

For some strange reason, the moment the sun rises, that's the time I feel sleepy. I'll feel lively again by the time it hits 7 am, but for the most part, I'm tempted to sleep at 6 am.

Of course one of my stranger "slumbers" is existing in two dimensions at once. It's possible for me to be conscious of my sleeping body AND of my dream. Of course what's interesting is that I distinguish sound coming from reality because I actually hear it, while "sound" from my dream are just projected into my thoughts rather than me actually hearing it. Not that I act normally in my dream, it just makes me aware of what's happening in the real world yet still manage to get some sleep.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Pizza Pizza

For the past few days, I've been to a lot of pizza joints, from Yellow Cab to Pizza Hut to Shakeys (alas, no Dominoes or Little Ceasar's). Of course this wasn't by choice but rather the decision made by the people I was treating out.

The Bookstores are Changing

Ink & Stone at the Podium is undergoing renovation until the weekend, while Powerbooks Mega Mall is shrinking because of the new cafe it's adding. On a side note, Toy Kingdom will be having a branch at the Podium.

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More U Got Game Pics

Courtesy of OAV

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Monday, September 20, 2004

I Was Introduced to Fear on my 22nd Birthday

Even in college, I was never one to belittle call center agents. I mean for one thing, it's a labor-intensive occupation, and that's just what the country needs to boost its economy. When other people asked "where's the growth in such a job?", I always thought that it was a demanding job that required a lot. And you know what? I was right.

Call center agents should be able to master a lot of skills, from leadership, multitasking, empathy, and of course, delivering what they're supposed to. Jesuit schooling taught me to be a person of service or a person for others. That's what a call center job entails. It also means striving to be a better person than you are now. And of course, sacrifice is required as well.

I just had my first "real work" day, which entails me taking in actual calls. And you know what, it frightens me. There's the inadequacy I feel at being unable to perform what I'm supposed to do. I made mistakes, lots of them. I'm not only accountable to myself but to other people as well. I know I'll eventually get better at it, but will it be enough? In the end, it's not me who's going to pay the price for my shortcomings.

I can't help but feel thoughts about finding a new job, one that entails less responsibility and tension. That doesn't mean I'm going to give up. But call center jobs can get really scary. It's definitely not for everyone, and it asks a lot from people. Where's the growth in a call center job? A lot. The experience alone is well worth it.

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Sunday, September 19, 2004


Today's the start of my "real work" as well as graveyard shift. So it's either I sleep in the daytime, or I forego sleep at all. Well, actually the latter is possible...

Cosplay Pics

Anyway, if anyone hosts cosplay pics of the recent U Got Game con, feel free to comment or email me the url.

Anyway, here are some of Cmdr. Gabe's cosplay pics.

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