Friday, June 10, 2011

Junkies? Think Twice

Call center agents has always been tagged as party animals, simpletons or much worst, junkies. At first, I ignored this unfair practice because I am pretty confident with myself and my reason why I joined the BPO industry.  I sure minded my own business for some time.
A disastrous truth dawned to me when I heard one of my colleagues shared her sentiment on how call center agents are being castigated by false labels and how she is affected by them. I started pondering. I have always made my point that I am not to be stereotyped, that no one has the right to. But what about those who cannot really express their opinions in the most objective manner? Should they just sulk and embrace the unnecessary criticisms and allow others to belittle them? Not in a million years.
That’s why I am writing about it and air the long kept sentiments of most of us, call center agents to be heard once and for all.
Here are some of the inevitable facts:
·         Not all are half-witted losers. Some are BS graduates but unfortunately the right job for their courses, just don’t pay as much. Others are just too young for retirement that they decide to make use of their time and earn too. We do have a lot of nursing graduates who passed their Board Exams already but can’t pay the fee in order to gain the experience required before they can work abroad. To those who just love to feel that they are above others and believe they have strong opinions to shake those with positions should address this concern because not all who dream to seek greener pastures have the ability to work in a call center. I think that is one issue worth talking about.
·         We may be considered moronic sometimes but hey, we pay taxes and we are much better because we don’t steal ‘em.  Bright people is more prone to corruption that less-complicated ones. That makes us better, don’t you think?
·         We can’t afford to spend time checking what’s on the news and be kept abreast. Why? We need to sleep in order to be alert on our jobs that feed us. Need I say more?
·         We mind our own business. Why so? Because we’d rather spent our spare time sleeping than questioning other people’s capacity or even just read their characters and categorize them. Gossip in call centers are common. But at least I for one say it upfront to those concerned. Seldom do we hear libel cases filed against perpetrators because we just don’t meddle too much on others.
·         Not knowing who’s running for office does not imply ignorance. I choose not to care because most of my schedule does not permit me to vote. Besides, issues like vote-buying and ballot box swapping should be discussed by those in the media in order to strengthen the campaign on vigilance to protect every Filipino’s right to suffrage.
·         We are not really into highfaluting words because we just want to keep things simple and be understood by all, not just by intelligent ones with an IQ of over 200.
Again, I would like to reiterate that we can’t be judged because we chose the simpler equation of life instead of being socially concerned. Why? It is because we don’t have the luxury of being constant critiques and leave our family with a great deal of insufficiencies. One thing’s for sure though, we demand an equal amount of respect simply because we deserve every bit of it.
To the smart ones, it’s really none of our business if you think you’re above most of us but let me just remind you that before you clear out our issues, deal with yours first. I totally guarantee that it will do you wonders.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Smarty Pants Alert! (What To Do and What Not)

Have you ever experienced being bugged by people who think they know better than you? The constant blabbering without making much sense seem to fill the entire room and you feel that there is no escape, is this somehow familiar? What would be a workplace without the annoying, sometimes intrusive smart-alecks?
Unfortunately for me, I seem to be sharing an 8 hour training with smart-alecks that sometimes I just can’t help it but lose my cool. On my very first week, it was like an endless torture that the only way to keep me sane is my mantra “Happy Thoughts”. It didn’t really seem to help because I would end up going home stressed. 
On the second week, I had to figure out how to survive. This time, I decided to know the enemy deeper. I tried to discover why they are like that and based on my observation, I guess what they lack is acceptance. One is a single mom, just trying to squeeze in by armoring herself of knowledge overload without realizing that too much of it just kept her away from understanding the lesson resulting her to ask irrelevant questions that put her on PDI mode. (PDI: Public Display of Ignorance). The other is simply disillusioned into believing that he is a hunk and that girls should be swarming because of his unique skin color.
Since I would still be exposed to them for the next 3 weeks, I came up with a plan on how to stay composed despite their inevitable presence.
·         As soon as they start opening their mouths, I would have to look away and busy myself on the different notes my seatmates have. (Actually, that would also save me from copying unnecessary information from the powerpoint presentation.)
·         When, one starts to read with his or her mouth while digging in on assessments, I would politely request that he or she read the test with EYES ONLY.
·         If one would start asking senseless questions, I will be excusing myself to go to the john which will be very good for my bladder.
·         If one would start singing, I would courteously suggest to get an early break.
·         If they just won’t stop and I’ve ran out of tactics, I guess I’ll just have to pray hard for a miracle, particularly the trainer, to call their attention and ask them to refrain from over-expounding on senseless points.
I’m not really sure if I am that equipped to survive this ordeal but I’m just keeping my hopes up. For the meantime though, I just hope I don’t find myself saying, “Talk to the hand…PLEASE!”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


From a convenient account that I belonged to for 1 year and a half, a bomb exploded last Wednesday confirming that I am to be transferred to the “hardest of the hardest”, an account that I dare not mention but brings chills especially to those who depend on their jobs for bread and butter. The moment we heard of the inevitable, I think it was only me and my friend maintained composure.  The rest? Red-faced, some blue, teary-eyed, tongue-tied,  terrified, lost. The bottomline? RESISTANCE!
As for me, it took me like 12 hours before all sunk in like crazy! Good thing I survived with the support of my husband and friends.
My auto mantra was “change is good…” I had to repeat it like a gazillion times to stay pacified.
Nevertheless, I had to move on and embrace the lonely truth. I am leaving an account that guaranteed easy access to a perfect scorecard, surrounded by friends (most of them I emotionally adopted) and of course the “tax savior”, my 7-hour night differential.
Monday came and training started. I figured it wasn’t that bad at all. Knowledge overload? Yes. Incentive? Promising. Fun co-trainees? Absolutely! I guess there is a silver lining after all.
To my previous account, it has been one of my greatest career pleasures ever. To my babies from both  PHD and MemServ, you will be forever in my heart. . Some of you may have ran to me for guidance but I want you all to know that I myself learned from every sensible conversation that I had with all of you. To my mentors, thank you for the guidance, encouragement and support, you are all amazing. HAPPY THOUGHTS!
Moving forward to my new account is easy with all the support I am getting from family and friends and also to the benefit that my new home could offer that I refused heavily on the past week.
Change is good. It always offers pros and cons since nothing can be perfect anyway so expectations should always be balanced. I am going to keep a balanced outlook for the month’s training and I’ll just give it my best shot.

“The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.”
— Isaac Asimov

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The 8 Year Old and The Dreaded Chair

Last night, my eight year old daughter was singing an old song that I never thought she could. Of course I dashed beside her and asked her to do it again for me. Alas, as soon as she opened her mouth, amidst the decaying baby teeth, grew her permanent central incisor! I felt excited because finally her permanents are beginning to pop out (the dentist said it was a bit abnormal as to why she still hasn’t grown a single permanent when she’s already 7 ½ yrs old.)

The thought of a dentist’s chair really scares the hell out of my kid so I when she learned that I was bringing her to the dentist the next day, for sure she was devastated and I bet she was thinking, “Why did I have to open my mouth wide 
enough for her to see my tooth?”

After her tutorial the following morning, she was brought by my mom to the dentist. Before I got there, it was a frustrating sight for mom and the dentist. She was sitting on the chair, asking a lot of questions as to how many injections will be given, how many baby teeth will be extracted, etc. etc. that 30 minutes went by without any action done.
When I got there, her dentist seemed to have seen an angelic sight. Maybe she was thinking , “Finally, the miracle has arrived!”

The extraction of four teeth took place for a good 30 minutes. The whole time, I was in monologue, giving her all the guarantees that everything will be fine and that all of the extractions were necessary, that she cannot do anything to stop them.

After her agony on the chair, the first thing she asked was the mirror. I thoroughly explained to her that she’s going to grow beautiful teeth in due time and she seemed contented with my statements.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Hand That Rocked My World

When I try to look back on the very first memory that I can recall, all I could remember was my sweet smile and endless giggles. Occasional spanking would come and go but I remember a certain grin every time I push and attempt to get away with something.

Growing up was easy for I was well provided with the necessities and would occasionally get simple indulgences even when the budget was tied at some point.

Accomplishments were always possible because of that certain presence of support. I bet I had a number one fan to motivate me to do more. All in all, I can say that I was nurtured with a stern yet graceful being who didn’t mind becoming part of the sidelines.  

I patronized the notion that freedom is equal to rebellion for I can do anything I could possibly want yet I was understood and loved unconditionally. I have lambasted a heart that just wanted me to be secure, dignity intact.

I chose another ally who may have taught me a lot too yet not realizing that the unnecessary alienation brought tears of sadness in a heart that only wanted love, recognition, respect and loyalty.

Wrong choices slapped me like crazy that I have become numb with the endless counts of bad consequences and even if I may feel alone, crying on my own, I know it’s not true because someone was crying with me. Chances were indirectly thrown at me and made me realize that I just have to move on and straighten up my crooked life.

I am far from being a perfect child but the compassion of a forgiving being made me believe I can still reform and straighten up a crooked life.

A million thanks will never suffice. So, every single day, I try to give back, in an attempt to show that I have changed. Time may never be enough but it’s worth giving it my best shot.

To the hand that rocked my world, I salute you for everything that you have done. I know I could never be like you but I will strive to become even an ounce of you for my children’s sake. 

I love you mommy.
Happy Mothers’ Day…


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Away From the Claws of the Savages

I missed my high school reunion this year.  I’m having mixed emotions about it because I wanted to go but I’d rather not. Ironic huh?
I graduated from a public school wherein I had a front row seat to the “dog-eat-dog” scenario.  It may not have been physically violent but the pressure in itself just to stay on top was exhausting for some and I guess torture to others.  I was one of the very few who didn’t have to lift a finger in order to sustain my spot. As a matter of fact my so called handlers were my teachers. Who would be more fitting to back up ones success but them?
Maybe because I had a blast in high school that’s why I have always had the urge of going back to my alma mater whenever possible.  I wanted to feel the atmosphere and reminisce the many beautiful and exciting memories I had during my teenage years.
Now, why did I not attend today’s festivities? Well, because I decided not to stress myself with classmates who never seemed to have gotten over their insecurities for two decades now.  I can’t stand those who need to make a scene in order to be noticed and belittle those who are less fortunate than them.  I despise those who take pleasure out of other people’s miseries.  I abhor being the target of inconceivable   fabrication.
I just can’t fathom such a reality.  I understand that a major factor of who I am is an output of my teenage years but as I age I expect myself to learn about life and expect that I become a better person brought about by my timely maturity.  I never patronized the fib that one would stay despicable throughout the years because each one of us have a choice. High school life may not have been a bed of roses 24/7, but such negativities in my past should never be allowed to control my being.
If asked whether I’m attending next year’s reunion or not, I am still uncertain. It may be wishful thinking to ask for bullies to reform but well nothing to lose.    If I am able to witness even an ounce of change that would be beneficial to most of us if not all, maybe then I will have the enthusiasm to participate in the celebration.  As of now, I prefer to be on the sidelines, quietly observing while enjoying a serene life, away from the claws of these savages.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pan De Dog

One very fun activity during a day off is to go to a local mall with my hubby.  It’s not as regal as any SM or Robinson’s but I feel so at home in this one.  And one favorite thing to do with the man of my life is to delight our taste buds with the food being sold there. Our main course would be “Pan de Dog”.  One hotdog @ P12 could fill two pandesals (P3 each) and just add cheez whiz (P5)(bought from the supermarket), mayonnaise and ketchup (courtesy of the hotdog stand), Mt. Dew (P15) on the side and voila! Tummy heaven! Whoever said we can’t have happy thoughts below P50 is simply wrong!