served fresh from the forest floor

Workblah

Work Mode

I still have thirty minutes before I get to go home. It’s the first day of the workweek after a long vacation and my mind is still on laid-back mode, too lazy to be wrestling with the usual workaday grind… Still, I can’t believe that I exceeded my daily quota(!) I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing — quality wise. I’m crossing my fingers for the rest of the month.


dee wai faiv fo’ no mo’

In a little over five hours from now I’d be cut loose from my ties with the company i’ve worked for the last twenty-one months of my life.

DY54. This number has opened doors within this office. My tag. My concentration camp serial number tattooed on my forearm. My identity.

But I am not just an alphanumeric entity. In a few more hours, I’d be reclaiming the ‘me’ that I’ve checked in at the door to enter into the corporate gates more than a year ago.

I’m excited at my liberation. Yet in this excitement, I have tendrils of regret.

I regret leaving a place where I have found so many friends. I have always thought that I would go through life with just a handful of people who could be called friends. But it is in this place where my notion was shattered. There are people who are sweet. They make me smile in their own ways. And I will miss them dearly.

I regret leaving a place where my resolve to grow up has been tested and found strong and solid. I regret leaving behind an environment where each day is a challenge and at the end of it, I find myself able to make it through another day.

But as I shed the number dy54, the scar will remain and will become a reminder of the bittersweet mem’ries of those days in a certain workplace nestled amongst bamboo groves in the company of people who have become part of my life, as people who matter.


Thoughts sparked by a note

When I got in for work this morning, I found a note pinned to my workstation and it said:

“There is no paycheck that can equal the feeling of contentment that comes from being the person you are meant to be. ~Oprah Winfrey”

Jasmine said she found the note under her workstation and felt that it’s fitting to be pinned along with my other inspirationals so she did the honors.

The handwriting on the note matches my friend Sara’s and I think she had found this while trawling through the net yesterday when I’ve already gone home.

I could not think of a more appropriate slogan for my present predicament than what the note, or Oprah, says.

It would be very unfair if I stay in a working environment where I feel that what I know and I believe in are incongruous with what I do each day…

I feel guilty because of my unproductivity these past weeks and I’ve finally hit upon the answer to the “Why?”. My present job is not what I wish to be still doing three, five, or ten years hence. It’s the main reason why I have tendered my resignation almost a month ago.

When I did hand over the white envelope with my exit note with the eccentric reason of being offered a job which makes it possible for me to work with less-fortunates and which is in line with my principles and beliefs, my sup asked if I had leverages, thinking that I am just another dissatisfied rank and file. I said I had none. With a shake of his shaggy head, he said that my goal, if categorized in Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, already resides in the tip of the pyramid — the self-actualization bit. That he cannot stop me from going.

And going I am. In three more days I’m outta here.

Okay, Oprah, let’s see what it is to be what I’m meant to be.


Sunday [un]bliss

 

‘Tis Sunday and though I dream of lingering for a few more hours under the warmth of the covers, I had do go down under a drizzle for some work in the office.

So here I am, not really counting the hours but still wishing I’m lazing about half the morning instead of nitpicking subject-verb agreements and scrutinizing captions to see if they match artworks they are describing.

Ah, choices.


Listless

Sorry. Can’t help it. Been tossing and trawling through almost all of wordpress’ blog themes, trying finding something that fits my mood today. I think I’ll settle on this one for now, the girl in green with a bit of abs [i wish] showing.

can’t think straight these days. my thoughts are clipped on a clothesline in torn bits and pieces, incoherent phrases and single-word adjectives, broiling under the sun. turning into indedible crisps. a big part of me is high strung and listless. waiting for the moment to do the right thing, say the right words.

i’m useless and almost everything at work today. for the first time, i’ve logged a wrong file in my tracking system [eyes wide in disbelief, out of breath] and even if i’m half-way done with my shift, i still have no output!

i wish i were home and in bed.


Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick…

I’m counting down. 

In less than two weeks I’m out. Out of this office building. Out of this job I had for more than a year.

It would be unfair to say that all I ever got from this “career” is a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach from the emotional roller coaster ride that is usual of my time-in through time-out itinerary and the constant feeling that I’m being cheated out of something [yeah, that's the sound of a gripe].

Yep, it would be very unfair to just hit the spotlight on all those pains and agony.

I’d rather that all those things that are worth smiling for take center stage and be etched in my memory of this chapter of my life.

I’m going back to the city where I was born. To start new things. Test my wings to see if I could already fly. Whether I make it or be broken in the process, I still have to find out how I’ll fare. 

I am not someone who’s good at saying things in person, especially if it is to say how I feel. I find that my thoughts are more coherent if written down. But still, I grapple, things don’t seem to come out right in writing this time, for words to offer for those who have become my friends. Friends who make each day here in the workplace less of a struggle. Friends who are the very reason I haven’t shipped out sooner.

For all those I’ve shared with them, I could only say thank you. Little words. But I mean these.


Sham Loaf

A perfect loaf.

It stood there, in the display case, brown, crisp, crinkled. It radiated an air of scrumptiousness about it and so hapless woman with a craving for a wholesome slice of loaf bread that I was, I excitedly ordered a slice from the indifferent servedora.

She plonked a slice of the bread on a saucer and handed it to me and rang up the rest of my order. I nearly dropped my lunch tray when the green numbers popped in the display. The cash register blinked twenty more pesos than what I expected would be my bill.

“How much for the bread?” I asked the servedora/cashier and she quoted the price; way, way up higher than the amount I had fixed in my hungry mind.

“And that’s not bread. That’s choco marble cake.”

Oh.

Okay. Oh.

I really presumed it was a loaf of bread in the display.

Oh.

So okay, it’s my fault because I didn’t ask beforehand what was in the display case. But see, in my vocabulary, and the accompanying word pictures, cakes could either come in layers, logs, tiers, or boxes but never loaves. Loaves are reserved for breads.

I was duped. And highway robbed.

So I resigned myself to having a loaf of cake for dessert. 

When I finally got to taste the cake though, the tendrils of respect I had for the office canteen’s baker melted like butter in a double boiler.

Cakes, again in my vocabulary, should be moist, scrumptious, heavenly, and light. Angels ought to come out from the blue skies and sing hymns once I get to taste the cake. But this loaf does none of the above to my senses.

The piece I struggled to swallow abused my esophagus like a serial rapist on a rampage. It was oilier than the shores of Guimaras after that tanker accident. And worse, it tasted like the made for business cake that it was, bland and lifeless.

So much for a sweet ending to lunch.

Moral of the story: Always have a glass of water at hand when eating pastry products, especially if dining in the office canteen.


CEDs got the bug

EXTRA!EXTRA!

Extremely lethal bug epidemic strikes!

It’s contagious… As of writing, the bug has claimed 3 new victims in this joint and they have been displaying the usual initial symptoms:

  • itching fingers
  • selective hearing
  • obsession with a computer keyboard
  • severe uncontrolled trembling when they are placed 50 meters away from their keyboards
  • staring into space
  • produces a manifestation of the disease in the form of a blog

The bug, Bloggeritus copieditii, is a seasonal neuronal microorganism which lives off human hosts who have an affinity for words and literature. This bug is usually present even in utero but usually remains dormant within the host’s central nervous system.

Environmental triggers such as extreme boredom, sudden inspiration, the uncontrollable urge to put feelings and thoughts into writing usually creates the ideal environment for the bug to become active, feeding off the literary juices which flow from the victim’s grey matter.

So far, when the symptoms progress,  a blow to the head to induce temporary amnesia is the only known antidote. But previous victims have found it more convenient to let the microorganism feed off their hosts in certain occasions.

This joint was given a list of the latest victims of B. copieditii (in alphabetical order):

  1. Dean
  2. Lorilyn
  3. Orven

We here in this joint offer our deepest sympathy for these victims.


A long sigh and a shake of the head… losing end all over again

Whatever the events that transpired during this day, no matter how broke I will be in the days to come before the next payday, I will not allow these situations to affect my resolve to be happy.

I’ll just jot down this poem to vent…

Fingers flurry
Rushed deadlines
Mandatory overtime
Injustice incorporated
Sweat’s not allowed
It ruins the keyboard
It fades the paint
Never mind the demands
Work, work, work
Delighting the clients
Product’s sickening brand
No rest
Twenty four and seven
These were just numbers
Now they are values
Endure or fold
Survivor-mode episode
Unpaid OT rates
Where greed dominates

***You see, we didn’t get any tax refund from our last year’s contribution. There are at least three former accountants in our deparment and they are still shocked when the news leaked out.

I’m sorry, I DO love my job but I HATE the company culture.


Testimonials from the losing end

I guess those who have power for the meantime find it easy to win in battles.

Tonight, the War for the Airconditioning Remote was finally declared over. Our front lost to the Guardians of the Ballet Shoes and Spaghetti Straps. Their reinforcements were so vast and so powerful with the secret weapon known as the no-brainer battle technique The Memo.

This dirty tactic was invented by the Coldhearted minions of the Ice Castle [in the middle of the musty desert]. It is classified as a biological weapon masquerading as a sheet of paper. Once hit by The Memo, the victim experiences nausea, weakening of the limbs, inability to think clearly, drying of the mouth, cold sweats, and deliriousness. Extreme cases could lead to insanity, loss of livelihood, and even death. The incubation period is for seven months. Contracting The Memo and surviving the first onset of the illness does not guarantee immunity. In fact, the victim has to be very careful from then on in, lest The Memo develops into its more lethal strain, The Termination Paper. Doctors and medical researchers are still at loss for a cure. Swift and sudden death results from this complication.

So now, with the Guardians of the Ballet Shoes and Spaghetti Straps ruling the roost, we tread lightly, albeit with violent shivers racking our bodies and frostbitten limbs. As the Guardians of the Ballet Shoes and Spaghetti Straps are thick skinned, they are impervious to the sub-zero temperature of this battlefield.

I wanted to cry but I just found out that my tears are frozen. Drat!


Third shift schelp

My feet are cold. I feel lightheaded and my eyelids threaten to close the moment I am not on guard.

The decision to report for work in the graveyard shift is slowly losing its amour. I don’t think I would be doing this again.

But then again, who knows?


This is why I hate people who don’t think

Overheard in the office canteen:
(A mother-to-be lunching with her coworkers)

Guy with buckteeth: Mummy, kabalo na ka unsa imo baby pagguwas? [Mommy, do you already know the sex of your baby when it comes out?]

Preggy woman: Wala pa baya. [Not yet.]

Girl in pink blouse with newly-rebonded hair: Unsa kaha ug bayot? [What if it's gay?]

(They laughed.)

Girl in black blouse with smudged eyeliner: Ok ra dagway bayot oi. Luod kayo ug tomboy. [It may be ok if it's gay. It would be gross if it's a lesbian.]

Preggy woman: (between chews) Bitaw, ug bayot, daghan talent. Makakwarta ta. Hahahahaha. [Yeah, if gay, it'll have lots of talent. I'll have money with it. Hahahahaha.]

(They all laughed. Guy with buckteeth choked on his fish escabeche.)

I pity the unborn bayot.

[Use of 'it' to refer to the baby is intentional to match the tone of conversation.]


A day in the life of a data specialist, AKA Copyeditor

It used to be
That a dash is a dash
No matter in between what words it is squashed
And verbs act as descriptions
Of how things are done
Whether picking roses
Or picking noses
It didn’t matter who’s doing what
Or how many are there doing that
But that was how it was in the past
For now
It’s minding p’s and q’s
And seeing that i’s have dots
If that is how it must be so
As the author wants it
As the publisher wants it
So service with a smile
Leave creative writing a while
It’s not gonna work
Grammatically correct
Essential, essential
Dots after sentences
Syntax, parallels
And technical jargons
Strung in a wire


Of the template 2

So it’s blue for today. The green didn’t last a week.

Movie that won’t come unglued from my mind: Blue Crush.

It must be the scorching heat outside but I keep wondering when I could spend an entire day submerged neck-deep in cool waters. Blue Crush in my mind today seems to be the most appropriate symbol for the approaching summer.

I’m just letting my mind wander a bit before I put my nose in the grinder again. Tara noticed and started teasing.

Note to self: immediately grab opportunity for a swim if it comes in the next few days… always keep spare undies ready.


Breakdown

Tara shared a bit of wisdom last night.
Your heart isn’t in it anymore.

She noticed I had a bad run of articles last night. Somehow, she struck a cord of truth in my tangled web of sanity.

It took almost all my groundwater reservoir of patience to prevent myself from lashing out at the computer monitor. And I wouldn’t have stopped there but would have proceeded to tear the manuscript I had to microscopic bits.

Upon further reflection, the misery might be an aftereffect of being a part of the clean-up crew for the furshlinger QA reports every month. ~Haah~

It isn’t one of the person who did the file’s fault. It was the @#!!!$%### tool’s usual bumbling efficiency that nearly caused me to lose whatever professionalism I was able to shore myself up with in the sweatshop for over a year.

Yeah, Tara was right. My heart isn’t in it anymore. I long for carefree days out of white-walled enclosures, breathing in fresh mountain or sea air instead of the reconditioned artificial atmosphere in the office.

Yeah, I’m tired. Really, really tired.

Tate and I had a bet. He lost because he predicted that I’d get tired of this job after a week. But if he didn’t stipulate any time-frame, I guess he would’ve won.

I agree with Tara.


Black

Spring cleaning is up and I still think Black is the way to go. I’ve tried the different templates available from Blogger [as I am feeling lazy to cook up my own template] but I still reverted to my well-loved jet hue.

My supervisor often chides me because of my all-black wardrobe most days of the week. He’d catch my eye and shake his head, saying, “You’re in Satanic black again”. Hey, thanks for the flattery.

Really, since when did “Satanic” equate with “black”? Oh, I get it. The eternal stereotype of

black = evil
left = sinister, wayward [I'm left-handed, by the way]

Some shop window has displayed these words of wisdom:

women who wear black lead interesting lives

And by the way, there are companies out there who immediately give higher salaries to left-handed employees in expectation of their potentials (I’m retrieving some reference citation for this as proof)

Now, isn’t that something?


The Gripe of the Hour

Effing conversion!!!

I am nearly at the end of my rope trying to be a saint despite my sinfulness. But perhaps, somebody “up there” thinks I am still worthy of saving. Internal network is DOWN! Yes!

So here I am, stealing furtive looks over and behind my workstation as I write down my day’s frustrations here.

Mayhap the HR department will have pity on us toilers who are nearly at the end of our sanity and provide us a “Screaming Room”, complete with cushioned walls and punching bags.

~Ahhhhhh, writing these out does me good.


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