Let’s embrace change

 

Isn’t it funny that change is such a short word but solicits hundreds, if not thousands, of reaction no matter what the subject matter is all about and no matter how trivial or significant the change will be? Think of one thing that went through change that wasn’t met with resistance or protest. A number of us protested when the mere P1 coin was reduced to a smaller size together with the introduction of the new P10 coin denomination because we said we might not distinguish the two among each other. In the offices, people complained when the payroll became automated because the thought of receiving an inaccurate salary made almost everyone uneasy as receiving a printed payslip is much preferred over its online version for proper accounting of each rendered overtimes and premiums. We doubted online transactions just because we fear that someone might hack the system or our account. Taxi drivers and operators hated the thought of using LPG-powered cars baka daw sumabog. Furthermore, they reasoned out when the DOTC/LTO required them to install in their taxis a printer so that each customer gets a copy of their trip’s expense. And so on and so forth. But guess what, all these eventually happened and unconsciously we got over with each of the transition – and the complaints. 

 

Now here comes several things being presented to us anew. For one there’s the pressing poll automation issue. Then just this week, I saw the emergence of LTO’s campaign for the RFID (radio frequency ID tag). Once again, most people are clamoring for explanations, and worse others just want to rant irrationally maybe out of ignorance or maybe just due to plain stubborness to come out of their comfort zones or false beliefs – baka malabag ang karapatang pantao (the most overused & most irritating), baka madaya, baka di alam kung paano gamitin, etc.

 

I see all these resistance to change as counterproductive and alarming. While other countries are moving forward by utilizing whatever modern technology is available, we on the other hand are still trying to cling on to our traditional ways. Most of us have become so fixated with our conservative practices that we always try to find reasons to doubt upfront the benefits that come with the technological advancements that will make our life easier. Actually, much easier.

 

Although, it is a fact that we cannot deny histories of unethical practices committed by several people, we should not dwell on these alone and instead open our minds that it is not the process (i.e., traditional or new technology) where irregularities happen and that it is rather caused by the people behind it. BUT this is not the reason for us not to move forward. I can see that the information campaign for the RFID implementation and poll automation is on-going. They will implement it soon whether we like it or not. Our role here is to listen intently and attentively instead of immediately shutting our ears and minds to such new ideas. Let’s be informed and support all of it because continuing to be too pragmatic and pessimistic about change will lead us nowhere but at the very tail end (the last time I checked we are almost there) of the rest of our Asian neighbors where we will surely become the laughing stock at the very least.

 

It is really high time we prove that we appreciate the effort of the people in the government are doing to improve the way we do things: RFID to improve the traffic system and poll automation to speed up the election process.It is high time we accept change. Let’s choose to show optimistism even if it’s more easy to go the other way. After all, didn’t we demand change? Didn’t we demand action from our public officials (whether we elected them or not)? If yes, these things are now presented right in front of us. All we need is to do is embrace it and trust that something positive will come out of it. Dahil kung lagi tayong tamang duda, wala tayong mapapala.

 

 

 

 

 

Mood: 4/10 Honks! (mukhang mapipilitan ako mag-drive mamaya)

Personality traits and another farewell party

“At least you’re a happy bum” – from my Managerial Accounting professor

 

Exactly 1 week ago during our TSLEADER class, we had an interesting topic about Enneagrams. For those who don’t know about it yet, it is just among the many tools that identifies and classifies an individual’s behaviour. And while our professor was discussing about it and each of the nine personality traits it comprises, I began to remember my previous co-supervisors and scribbled names according to his/her dominant trait.

Each trait in the Enneagram is indicated by a corresponding number and each are grouped according to how and where the behaviour most likely originates from. (It also tells which personality one isn’t aware of and might be able to develop through self-awareness.) For example trait numbers 2,3 and 4 belongs to the heart; numbers 5, 6 and 7 belongs to the head; while 8, 9 and 1 personality traits coming from the “gut”. Here are the names that immediately came to mind for each trait numbers.

 

Heart people

Personality Type

Type Description

Fears

Name

2. Helpers

Likes to help others

Of own needs

Cris (that’s me)

3. Performers

Craves for success

Of failing

Dave

4. Artists

Considered unique and creative

Of being ordinary

Edna

Head people

5. Thinkers

Always see the need to understand the world

Of being overwhelmed

Amor

6. Skeptics

(or Questioners)

Range from reserved to outspoken.

Of being abandoned

Jojo

7. Enthusiasts

Happy and open to new things

Of being deprived

Rix

Gut people

8. The Boss

Strong character. They usually don’t care as long as things gets done

Of being weak

Lie

9. Mediators

Avoids confrontation that’s why they’re also know as the peacemakers.

Of separation and conflict

Cocoy

1. Reformers

They like everthing done the right away. Also called perfectionists.

Of being imperfect

Lei

 

***

By some strange coincidence (well, I consider it that way) last Thursday, I was called by “The boss” informing me about a hotel dinner with the rest of my ex-colleagues. Other than the immediate appeal of the word hotel plus dinner, I soon felt excited at the thought of seeing once again the faces behind the personality traits. I said yes without further ado just before I hung up the phone.

***

 

Team 2 in Renaissance Hotel

Team 2 in Renaissance Hotel. Front (L-R) Edna, Rix, Rhia, Lie, me. Rear (L-R) Tammy, Alfred, James, Cocoy, Nedie, Amor, Lei.

 

And so as planned, yesterday night I find myself together with most of the Team 2 supervisors and our manager (with her hubby Mark). We started the reunion with a buffet dinner at the Renaissance Hotel’s M2M area wherein the group’s exuberant demeanor and excited exchange of stories and laughter dominating the warm and elegant place.

 

Merk with Monday nights performer Silk & Steel

Merk with Monday night's performer Silk & Steel

 

Stuffed after almost tasting every variety of food from the buffet tables, the group decided to have some beers at the nearby Greenbelt 3 mall. We settled at the Merk’s Bar Bistro where we caught the acoustic band Silk & Steel playing. We also must have been lucky last night because we saw the actor-comedian-owner Richard Merk. According to him, it’s been almost five months since the last time he dropped by the place.

After a couple of hours getting entertained by the guitar trio, where Merk joined and rendered some great songs as well (I never knew that he’s a good singer until last night), we capped the night (or early morning) by having coffee at the Starbuck’s coffee shop along Macapagal Avenue where sobering up with a hot Americano before the trip back to Cavite became a regular routine for several night outs I have attended since then.

 

Now you know why his personality trait is 7.

Now you know why his personality trait is 7.

***

Last night’s gathering was actually a farewell party for those leaving this time as part of my ex-company’s (funny, but I still haven’t got used to writing the prefix ex) third retrenchment phase. Despite always feeling and talking as-a-matter-of-factly about the whole retrenchment thing, frankly, I find it really sad to see more people going out thus leaving fewer employees behind until the next phase and until the (ex)company finally ends its Philippine operation this year. Well, that’s life, huh?!

 


 

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (TSLeader class cancelled today)

 

 

 

 

Unexpectedly busy

 

More than a month ago after I finally became a full time bum, I imagined myself pretty much occupied by just a couple of hours studying, several hours being with my family and blogging and blogging and blogging in between gaps. It didn’t happen. On the contrary I all of a sudden felt loaded by things coming from all sides.

I now feel overwhelmed by all sort of things that I haven’t anticipated or just failed to do so. Things such as my self-hosted blog not materializing; an accounting subject that doesn’t seem to sink in (well, not totally as I expect myself to be); finances to be planned, budgeted and managed; bad neighbors to deal with; and a growing up kid who gets to be a handful as each day pass by just among other things that should have been routine in the first place.

Last week, I made up my mind to get at least organized. In fact, I was tempted to post a schedule in our bedroom just so I can check and follow it on the dot but good thing I was able to push the idea away as it would be like not moving on – it’s just so work related, not to mention Intelish. But I made a compromise to myself anyway by looking for and downloading a personal organizer which I soon realized looked a lot like our email client – Outlook. Ti abi. Ex-work still haunts me, huh?

Now that I have this application, VORG Express, I really hope to get back on track AND at least make myself savor the fact that I’m still trying to have a stress-free bum’s life while it lasts. That said, I wish (take note) to insert badminton, gym (although this time it obviously won’t be free) or at least a leisure jog somewhere. Of course, I’d love to watch another movie with my wife whom I know must have been unexpectedly busy as well.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

 

Its an Outlook without the emails.
It’s an Outlook without the emails.

 

Marcuscanblog.com is now live

 

You may have noticed it already that either clicking on or typing the URL crisn.wordpress.com will now direct you to marcuscanblog.com. That’s because exactly seven days after I signed up for GoDaddy.com’s web hosting service, my domain marcuscanblog.com is now finally live.

I must admit that it wasn’t as easy as what WordPress and GoDaddy is trying to make it appear. But despite all the trouble, I don’t regret the encounter as I learned a lot from 1-week of waiting and tweaking game. For someone like me who’s a newbie when it comes to this stuff, it was everything but fun – well, at first. Most of the time it was quite frustrating to see server errors, alien database parameter settings and a useless website appearing in front of you. It was likewise a test of patience as I had to deal with the dragging response phase from the web host’s support agents.

Anyway, for the benefit of those wanting to have their own domain soon for identity’s sake, here’s some advice (more applicable if you’re planning to have GoDaddy as the web host):

  1. Make sure you’ve decided what blogging platform you’ll adapt. This may after all was where all my problems started. That’s because while I purely enjoyed WordPress, I tried having Blogger just so I can have nuffnang ads on my site. Then to personalize my nuffang profile I bought a domain via Blogger.

    Later on though, I find it hard to maintain both sites that I decided that it has just to be WordPress. Period. But the intention to still have my own domain through this blog provider eventually got me into signing up with GoDaddy.com as being one of WordPress’ compatible hosts.

  2. If you have the same case mentioned in # 1, then one of the things you have to do is to direct that domain’s IP to your new account. This IP will be sent to your email right after you have set up your GoDaddy account.
  3. Ignore any other instructions on WordPress.org’s Codex page as you’ll just be intimidated by a long list of steps which I discovered, after several trial and errors, will all be handled by GoDaddy anyway.
  4. Likewise, never mind downloading the WordPress application separately (to your PC) as this will just confuse you more. By accessing GoDaddys’ hosting control panel and clicking WordPress through the Your Application will direct you to a WordPress link and it will be installed from there.
  5. Install WordPress ONLY after things such as IIS version is set (I learned that WordPress is not compatible with version 6), domain ownership has been verified and correct IP address and nameservers have been set.
  6. Lastly, make sure that you record every original parameter setting just in case you need to go back to it. It is also worth making a list of domain, database usernames and passwords for obvious reasons.

There’s a cliché that says, “all’s well that ends well” and that maybe true indeed in this case. The problems I had encountered switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org are nothing compared to the benefits of using this blogging platform. As experienced from my previous test of several other blog providers, WordPress is by far the only one that suits my blogging needs. Happy blogging days are here again. I guess…

 

***

 

Isn’t it amusing? The day my work ends is the day when my own domain went live. Isn’t this what they call opportunity? We’ll know.

 

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (believe it or not)

Ending on a Monday

 “Tell me why I don’t like Mondays” – Bob Gelfof and Johnny Fingers

“I hate Mondays” – Garfield

 

Yesterday was the weirdest Monday that I can recall…so far. Here’s why:

  1. On my way to work the discussion over the radio was about an episode of the Oprah show where she approved of her guest’s suggestion of having to introduce teenage girls to the vibrator – and to mention that several Filipina girls called agreeing to such. I now wonder what else I’d hear this morning.
  2. The parking lot was already full when I arrived. If my memory serves me right, it’s been months since it has become one of the deserted place in our company. For a moment I actually thought that our company isn’t closing after all. Hahaha. Wishful thinking, huh.
  3. I’m starting my first day of the week listening to one of my most hated things to do – selling (outbound call center account) – and which for some, weird, reason I ended up enjoying the simulation activity. Isn’t that great? So does this mean that I do have the potential to sell?
  4. Lastly, after reading one farewell email coming after the other, it has finally dawned on me that this is my last week at work, together with other identified employees. It now feels I’m starting to be sucked into the deep void of the bumhood black hole.

Well after conceding to the fact that this is really it, I had to excuse myself from our call center training just to compose my own farewell message. Here’s what I wrote in haste:

Friends and co-workers,

This is my last week at and I’d like to say the following: Thank you, Sorry and Goodbye.

Thanks. For the wonderful years I had with every people I work with. Thanks to my past and present mentors, colleagues and subordinates. Rest assured that every encounter I had with each and every one of you gave me experience and knowledge, and it has made me a better person than I was years ago.  Of course, I would like to thank my very recent group who welcomed me like I was already one of the experienced engineers – I really appreciate that. Thanks for the opportunity.

Sorry. I apologize to those whom I might have offended in one way or the other; it’s just some times the word constructive doesn’t come together with confrontation. And while I’m at it I’d like to say to those who have offended me (or at least they think so) as well that I won’t be leaving with any hard feelings.

Goodbye. I’d like to say goodbye those who are yet to leave – whether they like it or not. And lastly, I’d like to say good luck to everyone whether you’re continuing to Vietnam or be pursuing a different life after Intel.

Keep in touch. See you around folks.

Although I hate the fact that it isn’t a resignation letter (I’m still yet to write my first), I sent it out of course to almost everyone I’ve worked with; but like one lit up fuse flickering slowly towards a barrel of explosives, I became sentimental, somehow, about the whole thing while I was already on my way home. All of a sudden I find it ironic that at the start of this week is the beginning of the end of the long years working for what I’ve known as a great place to work. Hasta la vista Intel folks.

***

I figured later in the day that the reason why the parking lot was full is because some of my co-workers are already processing their clearances and some brought their car along with them.

There also was a job opportunity expo which was participated by a number of companies and probably the representatives parked their vehicles ahead of some of the employees like me; and this is one thing that will be missed by most because if there’s one company that doesn’t have reserved parking slots, it would be Intel. “Sorry boss, you’re late…go park somewhere.”

***

The sight and feel of yesterday’s job opportunity expo was unexpectedly great – may be because there isn’t much crowd unlike in the malls. The participating companies range from several business franchisors to cater to those who have finally decided be entrepreneurs; the ever familiar semiconductors were also present for those who haven’t got enough of the manufacturing environment; and of course there were call center companies which lately have become one of my interests. Well, Isn’t that great?

Ready for the call centers?

Ready for the call centers?

 

 

 

 

Mood: 4/10 Honks!

Part II: Thank God it’s Final

Since I have finally decided to migrate from Blogger to WordPress, I’m now transferring some posts which I made exclusive in my blogspot account. Good thing there are just four posts for now and luckily these are just short ones.

These posts will belong to a new category which I will call Out of the Blue posts. This category will basically contain brief posts which may be short reviews, photos with short captions, product comments, TV ads review, light bulb moments, etcetera.

As of this moment I’m still trying to figure out how to work around GoDaddy.com as I’m having some difficulty installing WordPress 2.7.1 which is supposed to be done in jiffy as documented in WordPress.Org’s 5-minute installation handy guide.

I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, although the possibility is high, but I’m now dealing with something alien. Right now my mind is crammed with things like MySQL, PhP.net and other database and web hosting-related stuffs. I’m up to the challenge for several compelling reasons like making sure that I don’t waste the USD83.82 I paid to get this web host.

I also have sent an email to GoDaddy’s customer support team. And the weird thing about it is that something in me is trying to make me dial their 1-800 number out of curiosity if their customer service agent follows the inbound call flow. Hmmm, it seems like today’s customer service training is still haunting me, huh. Well, I’d like to get even now. “Hello, thank you for calling GoDaddy.com. This is Mr. Smith, how may I help you?” Better be ready Mr. Smith, I’m gonna be an irate caller. Hahaha. Just kidding.

***

Just yesterday, I also added another category called Learning and this one will be about training, seminars, studies and other similar things related to my continuous quest to learn.

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

 

Creative Commons photos

 

Recently, I’ve been using photos by other people for my blogs. These are photos filed under Flickr’s Creative Commons (or CC) and have been allowed by its owners to be used by other people for free depending on some conditions.

Creative Commons uses the following symbols:

  1. Attribution means:
    You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work – and derivative works based upon it – but only if they give you credit.
  2. Noncommercial means:
    You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work – and derivative works based upon it – but for noncommercial purposes only.
  3. No Derivative Works means:
    You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
  4. Share Alike means:
    You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

The creation of Creative Commons is very useful. At least this time, someone like me won’t feel guilty about grabbing someone else’s photo and use it for whatever purpose just as long as it is within the aforementioned conditions. I can’t remember exactly how many photos I’ve used but it occurred to me anyway (while reading a blog comment from Dencio, a very good photographer as well), why not use photos coming from my multiply.com friends/contacts instead. This way the exchange will be (or could be) win-win: I use their photo. I give them credit (and exposure) in my post. I just don’t know though if multiply has a way of tagging photos under CC.

By the way, just in case you wonder, I still make it a habit to contact the owners of the pictures first before I use it in my post to avoid any surprises. Besides, it’s just the right thing to do out of respect to the photographer and his intellectual rights. So far, I haven’t got any rejection. Nice, huh.

***

Hopefully, I’ll have more Filipino contacts who’d file their photos under Creative Commons. If I remember it right, I’ve only used one CC photo coming from a Filipino – Michael Gomez. It was a shot of Ateneo Rockwell’s chapel.

I now wonder if I can find something in Flickr that will show an ecstatic person, walking with a cellphone to his hear while trying hard to hold an outburst to shout in celebration. If yes, I can use that. It will perfectly match my mood yesterday afternoon after I learned that I pass the Ateneo entrance exam. Hahaha. MBA world, I come.

 

 

Mood: 1/10 Honks!