Thanks to Thanksgiving Day Time Off

Image from the web.

 

“I’ll give you 5 minutes to yourself, but only 10 seconds at a time.”-kids (via Twitter)

 

Do I have time? Such is the question that would linger every now and then. Among other things, time management is the toughest. Time they say is the great equalizer because everyone, regardless of status, has only 24 hours each day to spend. Yes, rich or poor, black or white, young or old, fat or thin, healthy or not, just 24 hours each—what differs is what is at stake for each minute lost. Extra time in reality does not exist and it won’t be a surprise if someone would wish if only they could buy time that the others won’t use. But then again, we can’t. Even Donald Trump can’t.

Do I have time? Take note of ‘I.’ I for individual, I for me. Sadly, we are not alone and time is not ours all the time.  Our jobs, bosses—bad bosses included, relatives, neighbors, friends, parents, wife, and kids, in no particular order, want either a small piece or a big chunk of our 24 hours. It takes a bit of skill, a bit of negotiation, a bit of luck, and a lot of sacrifice to manage time.

Even the holidays do not present total freedom. Unless you get to escape, if your personality and lifestyle permit you to do so, and isolate yourself to enjoy the whole day on your own—half of it I would spend in bed—you have at least one or two other people whom you need to spend time with.

This week I have that opportunity to enjoy the much-awaited time off. Thanks to the Americans who would ignore repeated and annoying rings and trade all business calls for a time together with their family and friends in front of their favorite roasted turkey and beer. Thanks to Thanksgiving Day, I have time to be just at home. No late night drives for two days. How to spend the next days is another matter but we’ll see. There’s iflix, there’s Minecraft and Call of Duty, there’s errand to the grocery store, there are things to pack, there’s a birthday to celebrate.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Waiting for Marcus’ plan of the day.)

Logo Loco

I am among those who get excited when companies announce that they have a new logo and I even would like to believe that given the time and tools I could create a good one, if not better, myself. Pardon the statement, it sounds more like I am frustrated graphic artist, but having a logo is not as simple as knowing how to make one. Every element in a logo should deliver the right message as the outcome becomes the symbol that sums up the company’s vision and mission. It is meant to get everyone like its employees and its target market recognize it and, more importantly, know at first glance the core message that it tries to deliver.

Many corporations were spot on with their logos but there were several who, despite their best intentions, failed to find that one minor detail thus a logo that is ridiculous or one that sends the opposite of its key message.  While I haven’t been part of a logo team of any company, my rusty marketing subject plus my imagination tell me that to come up with a logo involves a tedious and a creative process. Again, the vision and mission statement should be the foundation and some critical questions should be answered. What idea or products do you sell? What impression do you want to tell your target audience—i.e., your employees, your market, your community? How do you want your company to be perceived? If it appears good on shirt could be one but that should be among the least of the concerns.

It is therefore imperative that the right team is in place to come up with the right—not necessarily the best—logo. Ideally, every stakeholder must be there and everyone must at least possess a keen attention to detail as a logo is a tattoo that once completed would be hard, time-consuming, or worse, painful to change.

Lastly, like any product, a new logo should also have its own promotion to reach its target market. It should be handled by a good marketing team who knows how to sell it and knows the right media that could effectively get the message across. Anything less would make all efforts go to waste and the logo ends up as good material for a weekend article or an entertainment for people who likes to kill time online during their rest day.

My own rest day logo so there is no need to like it.

 

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Mood: 4/10 Honks! (Good news: Marcus’ school is closed due to Typhoon Lando. Bad news: our gym is also closed.)

At The Other End Of The Line

Newbie outbound agent’s life.

 

Who says D) All of the above?

 

 

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I am among those who like posters and typography. I love looking at menu artworks especially that of Starbucks which is one way of being seen in front of the store without having to spend a cent. I am also interested in corporate photography that are used in slide presentations–usually compensates for boring lectures. All these, however, require tools to accomplish which is the reason my ideas remain inside my head. I can’t buy the software, I can’t buy the camera.

Fortunately, I finally found time to check out Canva.com which offers an online tool for anyone who has a poster idea. The website has a range of layouts and a number of typefaces to go along with each design. The poster above is my first creation using its free service. I need a back office job.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Next stop, find a tarpaulin to place the house on sale.)

I Got Bills…

This blog needs some happy tune so here’s one called Bills by LunchMoney Lewis and I declare this as part of the soundtrack of my life.

Happy weekend!

 

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Survived the week, thanks boss for the sore throat relief spray!)

Thanksgiving Staycation

The calendar on my phone tells me it is Friday, past 3 a.m. I have just awakened from a cold sleep. I gazed around but no double-deck beds, no La-Z-Boy recliners either. I stepped out and no hallway too. On my left is a living area and on my right, the dining–floor fully carpeted. On the kitchen counter are tea and coffee packs neatly arranged on a white porcelain tray. Obviously I am not at work. Aw snap, I remember, I am in a Bellevue Alabang suite.

Thanksgivings haven’t been like this. It is not so often that I spend my time off with some other people at work and I am not bothered. I am with a party of selected employees and bosses but there is absence of stress. The only pressure was if I can keep up with everyone else during meal.

Brunch was at Shakey’s Paseo Sta. Rosa. Dinner was at Yakimix ATC. Ironically, in between these gut-busting itinerary our group watched a movie: Hunger Games. It was my first time to watch it and despite lack of sleep I was able to finish Mockingjay – Part 1–maybe it was because of Katniss Everdeen, or maybe President Alma Coin, or maybe just because I had one Starbucks venti Americano with an additional shot.

I am now stuffed as a turkey and buffet breakfast is fast approaching. Time to consider the gym.

Bellevue Alabang, What really goes on inside a staycation guest head

Staycation thoughts.

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Tidbits:

I typed staycation and spell check suggests ‘stay caution.’ Well, the bathroom scale agrees.

Hunger Games is like work: there’s Capitol and there are people who want to obliterate it. (Don’t ask me but I’m Katniss’ cat.)

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (I want to do this again.)

The Big Boss Viewed My Blog

Some of us have probably read by now a number of articles about bosses, recruiters, or interviewers who are now using social media footprints to learn more about an employee or an applicant. But how many of us know someone who has experienced this, or, more awkwardly, see their own blog being opened right in front of them, in a cubicle, by their own boss. Guess what, it happened to me.

In my attempt to participate in other company activities I applied to be a part of a group involved in employee engagement. One of the qualifications is for one to be creative and during the interview I mentioned that I can write and in fact I have a blog. And as if under hypnosis, I soon found myself staring at our manager’s desktop as he types marcuscanblog.com on his internet browser’s URL address field.  For the very first time, I was browsing my blog site alongside someone whose impression of it could make or break my quest to be part of a new challenge. Well, I’ll know soon.

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After the interview, I tried to recall if my current blog still contains posts that are relevant to the call center industry as I accidentally wiped out years worth of blog posts just last year. Thanks to Feedfabrik I was able to save more than a thousand pages of post since I started in 2006. And as I approach my second year in the industry, I will try to re-post those under the call center tag so please do drop by every now and then to read my archives. Yes, including you boss.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Laundry’s drying, done running–again, and now channel surfing. Will see wifey and Marcus later.)

Outsourcing in the Business Process Outsourcing industry

It cannot be denied that outsourcing has become the key to the survival and competitiveness of most businesses. In my quest to be part of the call center industry, I discovered yesterday that even the business process outsourcing providers have resorted to such practice–outsourcing.

One of the tweets I marked as favorite, a couple of weeks ago, was from a job posting company. The tweet states, ”Call center agents with high salary. Accepting fresh grads!–People Solutions.” Upon clicking its link, a more detailed and attractive proposal comes up: “We are offering a salary package of PhP 20000 to PhP 30000 to applicants who will successfully pass our one-day hiring process.” Despite having some doubts on the veracity of the salary package, I sent my resume nevertheless–any bum would be compelled to try anyway. Less than a week later I received an SMS. They want to interview me.

The appointment date came but my excitement ebbed as soon as I reached the venue. Having applied in two different call centers in the past, I was expecting to find another setting with carpeted floor, cozy and professional-looking reception area, and well-dressed customer service agents frequenting the free coffee machine. Sadly, on the contrary, I arrived at a building that looks anything but corporate – unless cost-cutting measures have made monobloc chairs an acceptable fixture in BPO offices.

It’s a good thing, however, that the disposition of the account manager who faced us somehow made up for the bland appearance of their headquarters. Interestingly, we (applicants) soon learned from her that after the brief orientation and group discussion, hiring personnel from different call center companies will soon come over to interview us further.

It became clear that People Solutions is after all outsourced by other BPOs to recruit potential agents like us. The young and bubbly personnel explained that she holds four accounts but stressed that they are not a recruitment agency which charges a fee to any of its applicants. At least.

In the evening, I was on my way to being hired by a second company. Unlike Convergys, I passed the initial interview, quiz, typing test, and the Versant. After about eight hours inside the cybermall, I finally reached the final interviewer who seems to make me so aware that the position, customer service representative, I am applying for is an entry level job which could make my past work experience and education meaningless.

Sensing her disbelief that someone with 15 years of diverse experience in the semiconductor industry, not to mention having recently completed an MBA study, will apply for such job, I explained to her my reasons and long term plans in the call center industry–that the requirements of most BPOs for team leads have changed, that the fundamentals of the business start with CSR/TSR, that I am envisioning myself stepping up in the near future, etcetera. But quite frankly, in the back of my mind, my courage to be firm with my answers is due to the fact that I’m still thinking about the Php 20000 to Php 30000 salary offer as seen from the JobsDB.com ad. Minutes later, the thought bubble bursts big time.

The Teleperformance personnel was shocked when I told her about my expected salary. She said that I’ll be disappointed to know that I can only receive half of it and that the signing bonus indicated on the job posting doesn’t apply to them. I was floored.

Sensing my frustration, she advised me to reconsider the offer and be back within a month or else I have to re-do the whole process again which means staying there for another eight hours along with other CSR hopefuls. Let’s see. So close yet so far.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I’m expecting another call tonight.)