silversoul reunion update
Monday, June 27, 2005 @ 2:25 PM 0 comments

I met with the guys around 8 at the bookstore in Robplace Manila last Saturday. The scheduled meeting was actually 6 but since the heavens was pouring lions and wolves, nobody came on time. I was all soaked up and terribly LATE, and I only hoped Julius- who is the most crucial about tardiness- wouldn't make a big fuss about it. Only the ex-lovers, Muriel and Santy were at the meeting place when I arrived. Julius and Ian were strolling around somewhere while Anne and Annette (who was from her and Marvin's monthsary date) were still on the way. Donna, up to the last minute, can't be reached.

Because of the lack of time, the first two levels of my agenda which were, (1) a pictorial (since we never really had a photo op together and we needed it for the reconstruction of our website), (2) another music album (since our first and last CD recording was two years ago) were canceled. We have reserved a recording slot instead before we proceeded with the third which was the dinner over at Roasters.

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The primary victim, Annette (enjoying a muffin from her ex's blood and sweat)
flanked by the accomplices Julius and Muriel
The pigs ate to their heart's delight without even knowing whom the money we used to buy the food, is really from. They thought it was from me all along. They didn't care less anyway as long as it's free. It almost felt uneasy that I suddenly became the center of attention but well, I always really did, but higher respect made all the difference. It was totally uncomfortable, it was like something I was never used to. They treated me of significant importance and add to that the fact that the credit should not be really given to me, I really felt like the biggest bogus on earth.

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The fake (me) with the other victims, Ian (in uniform), Anne and Santy

After dinner, I really wanted to speak the truth but I can't because the 2 of the 3 schema we're not yet accomplished and we might not be able to if I did. Anyway Jules assured me that the sudden change of attitude I get is not by the mere fact that I already have a job (which they probably think is high-paying). He thinks that we might just already be at the growing up stage in our lives, which I have also considered logical.

On the course of the dinner, though we also talked about the good times and our childish fantasies again, the main topic of our conversation is about jobs. We probably have really graduated from the topics were one of us is the main center of amusement. There was little foolishness but just right humor all through the conversation. Sadly, no mention of Carl's name has been made...

... until we were on the cab (all 7 of us) on the way to the Ayala Billiards. Utterly interesting, that the mention even came from the unlikeliest person, Annette, who was sitting beside me on the passenger seat. We were talking about the good ol' days and she recalled a funny memory of her ex-boyfriend, Cha.

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The men of honor

We tried to look for a place where we can hit the videoke before going home but all the KTV rooms at the Ayala were already occupied. So we have contented ourselves over beer and billiards instead. The night ended satisfyingly. No petty quarrels nor any kind of bull happened and not even the storm stopped us from coming. We even walked to the nearby Intramuros and ran together at the middle of the street in the dead of the night before we parted ways and finally went home.

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The women of... I dunno', hehe..

My only worry now is, when do we tell them the truth?

chaos all day long
Friday, June 24, 2005 @ 3:07 AM 0 comments

My day had gone from worse to terrible. I got double zeros in a span of just 12 hours. One was for the take quiz I failed to submit and just now for my QA score after I had a violation while doing my calls.

QA is a monitoring scheme ICT uses for quality assurance blah blah. You get to have your calls monitored by a 'QA' randomly, and of all my calls, I got monitored to that one call where I commited a very silly mistake. It was actually one of the few decent calls I'v ever had and I don't really know what came over me to end the call just like that while my client is talking on the line.

Now I'm facing 9-day consecutive monitoring (source: Jeff, who will be permanently sitting with me while we're on DnB. He's 3-months older than me on the job but I doubt if what he said is true.) which might cost me my quarterly bonus if I don't do good. Talk about professional pressure.

ang taong hindi ako
Thursday, June 23, 2005 @ 12:20 PM 2 comments

Ngayon ko lang naalala kung bakit ko ginustong magtrabaho. Ngayon ko lang naramdaman na hindi totoo ng sabihin kong 'trip ko lang' tuwing ako'y tatanungin. At bukod sa trabaho, ngayon ko lang nakita kung gaano kalaki ang aking pangangailangan.

Tuluyan nang hindi kinaya ng tindahan na buhayin kaming magkapatid at mga pinsan ko sa pag-alis nila Mama at Papa. Hindi ako nakapasok sa school para magpasa ng take home quiz sa ACDC dahil wala akong pamasahe. Kinailangan kong puntahan si Muriel para manghiram ng kaunting barya pandagdag sa natitira naming pera. Sa huli, nabuo ang singkwenta pesos na tama lang upang makapunta ko sa PGH para muli ay mangutang sa katrabaho ni Mama.

Wala daw si Kuya Bong nang ako'y dumating sa Ward 2. Umarte akong tatawag muna sandali at babalik pagkatapos pero ang totoo hindi ko masikmura ang kahihiyan ng sitwasyon ko. Lalo lang akong naaawa sa sarili ko.

Sa pag-upo ko sa hagdan sa ibaba ng Burn Unit, naramdaman kong ito na pala ang pinakamatagal na panahon na napirmi ako sa isang lugar ng mag-isa simula ng ako'y magtrabaho. Nagkaroon ako ng pagkakataong makapag-isip tungkol sa mga patuloy na pagbabago sa buhay ko.

Hindi ko lubos maintindihan kung papaano at kung ano na ang nangyayari sa pamilya ko at kami'y nagkakaganito. Lumaki ako sa isang marangyang pamumuhay at paniwala ko nung bata ako, mayaman kami. Hanggang magising ako isang araw ng wala ng makain at naisip kong hindi na pala o marahil hindi naman talaga at imahinasyon ko lamang iyon mula pa sa umpisa.

Simula pa noon, malaki na ang paghanga ng ibang tao sa aking pamilya. Maganda raw ang ginawang pagpapalaki sa amin ng aking mga magulang at maganda ang imaheng naalagaan nila para sa amin. Kahit saan kami mapadpad, iginagalang kaming parang pamilya ng isang politiko, inuutangan na parang kasing yaman ni Eddie Gil at hinihingan ng payo na parang si Joe D'Mango.

Sa mga okasyong tulad niyon ay di mawawala ang walang sawang pagbibida nila sa aming magkapatid, lalo na sa akin. Ang matatanda'y puring-puri sa akin dahil sa mga kwento ni Mama tungkol sa batang sigurado kong hindi naman ako.

Dito ko naisip ang pagpasok ko sa call center, dito ko napatunayan na hindi ako pumasok doon dahil lamang sa malaking sweldo 'daw' na ayon sa mga kakilala ko. Dito ko naisip na may mas malaki pa akong dahilan bukod dun.

Buong buhay ko, ipinagmamalaki ako ng mga taong nakapaligid sa akin dahil sa mga bagay at mga katangiang wala naman ako. Ngayon ko lang masasabi na maari na nila kong maipagmalaki, kahit di sa aking pag-aaral o kaya'y sa aking pagkatao kundi dahil sa trabaho ko dahil ang totoo, ito lang naman talaga ang alam ko. At kahit sampung ulit kong ulitin ang pag-aaral ko sa Mapua, dito lang talaga ko magaling--ang magsalita. Kahit masakit isipin, ang totoo, bobo ako. Nakikisakay lang ako sa imaheng ibinalot sa 'kin ng mga magulang ko kahit sa loob nito'y inuuod at masangsang na putik ang naroon.

Mula ng ako'y magkaisip, dalawang bagay lang ang nakapagpaiyak sa akin. Isang babae at ang pamilya ko. Pero di tulad ng huling pagkakataon, ngayo'y wala si Santy para sabihin na wag akong sumimangot para di halata, wala si Ian para sabihing "Okay, lang yan pare." at wala si Julius para panoorin at pakinggan ang mga sentimiento ko. Ngayon, ang pader na malamig sa gilid ng hagdanan sa gitna ng PGH ang tanging saksi ko at tanging sandalan ko. Ito rin ang paghuhugutan ko ng lakas ng loob para muling bumalik sa Ward 2 para kunin ang perang uutangin ko.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 @ 3:46 PM 0 comments

The Meralco people are hunting us. My parents are in Bicol and won't be back before the 28th and they didn't leave us any money for the electric bill. Now it's unspoken rule in the house to keep the front door closed and keep the gates double-locked, especially between 9am-12nn--about the time those people come to disconnect the electricity lines for unpaid customers, to give an effect that no one's home..

Today is the first close encounter. Just as I woke up this morning, I heard a loud banging on the gates--unmistakably the Meralco people. I know for a fact that Lael and Hansel had already gone to school and that my sister is already up because she was the one who woke me up. I layed still for about 30 minutes while my sister was probably in the living room playing dead on the sofa or snake crawling on the floor to avoid being seen.

I finally got up when my sister entered the room and gladly announced "Wala na sila!!". Her deliberate preparations for the Meralco people's arrival worked perfectly and even Mama's dogs who seemed to have rehearsed came in good use as they were barking extraordinarily wild when those people were there. They might have scared them off for they could have crossed over the gates if they wanted to.

Im not sure until when I could stand this. I just hope we wouldn't be in jail when my parents come home.

talk is cheap, mail is expensive
@ 3:31 PM 0 comments

Ashley, one of my trainers, was right. Labor in the Philippines is inexpensive. So one must not be surprised that call centers have been flocking all over the entire archipelago. Filipinos are the only cheap good English-speakers these institutions can get.

I got my first pay for my first job in my entire life and hell no, it did not convince me that my job is worth keeping. But now that my school has been destroyed so badly by my new set-up, I need all the reasons I could get to tell my parents why I would fail some (if not all) of my subjects again. Which means I could not resign (just like what almost half of my teammates are doing) as of this moment, in as much as I would have wanted to.

It disappointed me all the more when Much told me that our pay slips ought to be confidential, that is why they were given in the same manner the PUK codes for SIM cards are, which means I cannot post it here though I have long ago planned to. Not in this lifetime would I risk getting myself sued.

Mench is fuming mad again, I haven’t been in contact with her since the last time we have seen each other. She came just a minute after I made my last post and after I took her home that night, she never heard of me again. Jules told me she’s been pestering him over the phone about me.

After half and a month, we finally had the time to get Carl’s letter from his sister’s new house in Paranaque. As usual, Marian was the one who met us, at their new federal-looking abode. I came with Jules and Muriel last Saturday and of course, Marian already knew what to do. She has already prepared the videoke before we arrived so Muriel had not any trouble singing the whole day.

Carl enclosed 60 Canadian dollars and some pictures of him and Lovely along with the letter. I felt a little accountable that it took us that long before we have fetched the letter, for all I know, it would have only taken us hours had Carl told us there was money in it.

Now, we have planned to use the money for some sort of a reunion. We haven’t seen together for ages and Carl asked for our pictures, too so the three of us have set a dinner date for all the Silversoul on Saturday and maybe we can take pictures there. Right now, Jules and Muriel are working to tell our far-flung friends that it would be my first pay treat (the rarity of me taking them out for a treat might work to stop anyone who might decline, especially those with emotional baggages, if they learned whom the money is really from). We have agreed to reveal the truth after everyone’s done eating. I, on the other hand, was assigned to look after the money (like I’m not thief-prone), which up to know, we still don’t know what the exact conversion to peso is. I just hope it would be enough to feed us all. Let’s see who gets to wash the dishes. Ha-ha.

on the way of my work
Wednesday, June 08, 2005 @ 10:04 PM 0 comments

I think I have Tuberculosis. My cough hasn't stopped until now and it really gets in the way of my work. I have to mute my headset everytime I need to 'cough' 'cough' when I'm in the middle of a conversation with my clients. I'm not really sure, but though Nix had declared on the first day of training that his TB is not contagious since he is complying with his strict medications, I still feel that I do have TB and I got it from him.

By the way, I don't really consider my work fulfilling. I'm actually wondering how we have so many Filipinos working for call centers when all we get everyday are nasty and rude clients. I'm starting to believe that many of us are really used to being shouted and yelled at everytime. As for me, it really feels degrading. Though I know for a fact that they have no idea that I am a Filipino, I still feel it like a big slap on my Pinoy face to be cursed over the phone by my American customers just the same. (In all fairness to them, some were also really nice, but I am here to rant, ok)

My first ever call have been an answering machine and the second was an irate customer who called me different names before she hang up on me. What a good way to start huh. That's when I knew that this job is not something I would really like to do for the rest of my life. I don't even think I could last a month, 'but then again' (Nix's favorite line) I still hope that the pay day would change my thoughts.

I didn't go to work tonight. I texted Maggie to tell our immediate boss, J.Lo (that's how he wants to be called, I don't know why). I tried to take the quiz on my Design class on the earlier section which would end at 7:30 but I left my book at home so I still had to wait for the first class to finish and find someone to lend me one.

Now, I'm waiting for Mench here at 630, at the back of the SM Manila but she's still nowhere. I have a feeling she's avoiding me, I called her yesterday but the girl I spoke with said she wasn't at work and I'm pretty sure that girl was already her.

P.S. Joanne (pronounced as Jone, God knows why) is in speaking terms with me again. She must've forgotten about the boo-boo.

on grammmatical boo-boos and theft
Thursday, June 02, 2005 @ 7:03 PM 0 comments

Working for ICT has been the biggest commitment I have ever made in my entire life and doing it while I'm still in school is my biggest challenge. While in the training, there were many times that I almost decided to quit. It just didn't affect my school, it also affected my health so badly. For four days now, I have a terrible flu and occasional fever attacks. It must also be the weather, every morning during my training, I go to school to stalk my professors, giving away excuse letters (which they, thank heavens!, approved) or to drop my Eco class formally, enduring the scorching heat outside then head to RCBC building afterwards where the temperature is in constant low.

It is a good thing that my officemates, er, colleagues, as Air (our accent trainor who has a personal tagline that goes 'The air that we breathe.") had corrected, were too kind and concerned to give me medicines especially Ate Jo, who is for me, the nicest in the group.

Unfortunately, I am technically the only guy, Nix being the other one is a homo, so there were times that I feel like I don't fit in. But they were all nice to me just the same. There's also Maggie who is now my official love team partner (the others call us Margaret and Andrew from the teleserye, Hiram) is too kind to always remind me to log in/out, that's how we get paid, you see.

There's also this one girl in the group who was actually my first 'pick'. For me, she's really sexy, and for a very brief time I got to know her a little better. She told me some of her life's stories during one of our breaks and after that she asked me to promise not to tell. I mumbled, "Sure, Your safe are secrets with me." where I meant the other way around. I'm so dumb! After that, she never spoke to me again. Ang Boo-boo ko..

I got nabbed Monday evening, because I have chosen to walk again (as if there was no public transpo in my midst) on my way to Rj's apartment from Manila City Hall. I was actually walking with a classmate but I have decided to take a different route after we reached the end of the underpass. I trailed down the under-construction alley beside the City Hall building when someone from behind grabbed me and pointed a knife at my belly. In the end, I went home phone and wallet-less. Now that's the great walker's nightmare.

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