Friday, January 18, 2008

chopsuey for New Year

I didn’t exactly have chopsuey on New Year’s Eve.

I had pansit, sweet and sour fish fillet, beef, and lechon so small we suspected it was a Chihuahua in disguise. But my experiences during the months before the year ended were bursting with a variety of fun moments and bittersweet realizations that it seemed I just swallowed a whole bowl of chopsuey!

Let me start with the more serious part of this entry. Several months have passed since my last post. The last post I wrote was about my current occupation of answering calls from people at the other side of the globe. Well, I still do now. The only difference before and now is that I’m getting the hang of it – to the point that if my customer gets irate, I get irate too. Hahaha! Not that I advise it. I mean, we’re supposed to “care” for our customers. But when people get mad, their overwhelming emotions cloud their judgment and they say a lot of things irrelevant to the issue. I just want to give them a taste of their own medicine, so either I answer back or channel my anger in more subtle ways like putting them on hold longer. Newbies, you shouldn’t be reading this. Anyway, the good thing is I have fulfilled my end of the contract. But to be honest about it, I’m not only relieved. I’m anxious as well. Why? Because that means I have to face another crossroad: What next and where to? If there is one good thing about this current job, it is that it made me realize that you have to find a job that you’re really passionate about because you spend almost all your day working. If you’re unhappy about your job, you’re going to be unhappy for most of the day…and logically, for most of your life! Been there. Still am there. So if it all boils down to passion, what am I passionate about?

“I have decided to avoid employment in mainstream media because I do not want to be caught in a situation where I have to compromise my ethical values. The media is one of those places where you can most likely trade your ideals for money. I’d rather be employed in a corporation, whose nature is admittedly profit-oriented than be employed in a media institution, whose nature is also profit-oriented, hiding under the guise of public service. I was once fooled into thinking that if I become a part of mainstream media, I could affect people’s lives and fight for what is true. Well, that is partly correct. But it happens if and only if it will not collide with the personal interests of the media owners. Otherwise, it is best to shut up if you don’t want to be fired. At least in a private company, I know clearly what I am working for. No icing on the cake. No false guises. Just… reality. And just what I want at this point in my life…”

Shortly after I graduated, I boldly made a statement about being employed in mainstream media. Looking back, I realized that the way I wrote it, I gave the impression that it is media per se that I’m trying to avoid. But what I was only trying to avoid is the kind of inner conflict I’ve dealt with as a Mass Communication student. I thought that by getting away from the field I’ve been in for four years would mean getting away from all the conflict. But now, 6 months later and with more gray hairs on my head, I realized it’s not where you are – whether you’re in media or you’re in a corporation – that matters. Wherever you are, you will always and continually encounter struggles within and beyond yourself. Struggles that test you how far your principles and your personal values can go. But these are actually little details of life that make you scream and fight. And in the end, they make a stronger person out of you. It’s quite interesting, looking back at all these and wondering why I wasn’t able to see the grain of truth hidden behind all these. But then again, now that I’m already out in the real world, the hallowed halls of my school can no longer shelter me from causing myself further trouble. Whereas before, my teachers could just warn me of impending dangers ahead, now I have to steer the wheel and explore it all on my own while picking up my lessons along the way. It’s tough but it’s inevitable. Well, this is life, as what they all say…

I don’t want to turn this post into a melodrama of sorts so let’s get to the fun part. Whoopee! I’ve always been a fun-loving person. With all the unnecessary stress we get from our job, three of my batch mates and currently my colleagues in the call center industry, and I decided to go out after the last shift of the week before the year ended – probably to ward the stress and bad luck for the coming year. Mark, Jeiko, Raine, and I went knocking pins and pulling each other’s leg at SM Bowling Center. Then our childhood kept haunting us back that we couldn’t resist a ride in bumper cars. I guess what was a little embarrassing was that our competitors were little kids but we didn’t care and just stepped hard on the pedal, trying to avoid bumping into each other and the kids. We watched a movie next, ate pizza, and to top the big event… tadaaaa… karaoke galore with the drinks on the side! We sang and drank and danced to our hearts’ delight. We even wanted to go bar-hopping after that but the beer had already taken its toll so we decided to end the night with an after-drink dinner instead.

The Power Four at Yellow Cab

Strike! (Please don't embarrass me...)

I'm innocent! I was just singing and you accuse me of...drinking?!?

That’s just about it. Not exactly ending the year with a bang but lessons were learned and friends were made. So I’m just contented about it. The new year has come and I’m wondering what’s in store for me. I can’t wait to find out.

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