Glad to be troubled

 

The WordPress.org installation that is supposed to take me five minutes has unfortunately reached its fifth day. The other day I was so excited when the browser loading status bar past half-full without displaying the 404 error but soon enough all the excitement dissipated when I saw that instead of the expected WordPress log-in window, what appeared was one line of Chinese characters. Well, thank you for that GoDaddy but I neither speak nor even understand Chinese.

Looks easy, huh? Well, its not...trust me.

Looks easy, huh? Well, it's not...trust me.

Anyway, so as not put to waste every effort (and the USD 83 subscription) I’ve spent already with this ambitious migration, I’m now considering this as a challenge with the end goal of making my own domain work as soon as I can. Looking at the bright side, however, the only consolation that I can find here is that at least I now have something to make myself busy in the next few days by importing and exporting files, looking for new themes, and most likely tweaking some settings that best fit my new site, plus some other related things that may come along. Well then again, that all depends if the good people of GoDaddy.com will soon find a way to fix the server error which started 24 hours ago.

***

On top of this blog migration, I will be also occupied with doing a video for some people whom I’ve previously worked with and who will still be working at Intel Philippines. I actually thought at first that they have ditched the idea of having this video or (worse) of having me to do this for them. Surprisingly, while I was already preparing myself for the imminent last day in office, they called a meeting on Monday to discuss all about it.

Needless to say, but once again I became so excited since it has been quite sometime since I made one. In fact, I was so eager to do it that despite having the option to skip work yesterday, I went to work mainly because of it. I now can’t wait to get all the materials (photos, videos, etc) that I’ll need.

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

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!

Thank God it’s Final?

 

It’s Friday and I’ve got several things final.

It’s final. I have decided to shift from Blogger.com to WordPress.org. I’m just waiting for activation notice from my webhost GoDaddy.com before I start the task of migrating which until now I don’t know how tedious it will be. For my Blogger readers, this means that I will disable my account in Blogspot. And for my WordPress readers, this means that I will continue to blog from here. I will however use the marcuscanblog.com domain instead of the crisn.wordpress.com. So please do check it out.

It’s final. Today will be my last Friday at work which I actually just realized after I woke up this morning. The slope going down is now beginning to be steep. It’s really all downhill from here. I’m now counting down my days to bumhood.

Have a nice Friday everyone.

***

It’s not final though for my call center training. We’ll have customer service session today and I’m really hoping that I’ll do well. I now wonder where I kept my anger management handbook. Hehehe.

 

 

Mood: 5/10 Honks!

It’s all downhill from here

 

Photo by: Marielle

Photo by: Marielle

March 30. Thirty days from now, I’ll be among those leaving Intel for good. There will be no turning back. If a decade seems to zoom by, this one for sure will be very very quick. The only thing that will make this period drag is the absence of work but I’m quite sure that the daily interactions I will have with my peers, friends and even bosses in the next days to come will be cherished more than before.

Like someone on a bike, the sight of a sloping down road sends mixed feelings. There’s the feeling of celebration, excitement, anxiety, happiness and relief. Yet despite all that emotion confusion, it’s what and where you finally set your focus during the descent that will determine how everything around you will matter. It’s either you curse the rough road and quiver at the seemingly frightening speed; or you appreciate the rush of the wind and enjoy every beautiful scenery as you pass by. It’s all your choice. But whatever that is, it’s really all downhill from here.

See you all at the bottom. Hopefully, we’ll all be drinking lemonade by then.

 

 

Mood: 4/10 Honks!

 

 

Photo credit: Marielle

On familiar grounds


There are no menial jobs, just menial attitude.” – Francis Kong (March 15, 2009)

Globalization and its effect are caused in part by Intel’s product.” – J.

 

Yesterday, I ended my 3-day Career Continuation Workshop (CCW) session which is just one of the transition training provided by the company for those leaving, involuntarily. Unknown to most, especially to my new group, it was actually my second time to have such training. Last year I stopped attending after I applied for an internal position and eventually got accepted. This time it’s different. This time there’s no way but out. And with that realization, I became more serious and participative during the training despite the familiarity.

Another thing that’s unknown to some of my colleagues and co-employees, being retrenched for me is a familiar thing already. I left my previous company going through the same process but of course a whole lot different especially on the aspect of preparation. Back then, even if I have a hint that in a matter of days I’ll be retrenched, I was clueless of the exact date. The good thing about it though is that I was already hired at Intel but negotiated to report to a later date and was granted a 2-week allowance. Waiting for the D-day was like freefalling in the dark not knowing when impact will happen. I can’t exactly recall how the news was given, but everything happened so quickly. It started one sunny morning just when everyone was coming in to work. We were instructed to gather at the outdoor basketball court, listened to the brief announcement and were told how to go about the whole process. Just approximately two hours after, I was technically jobless. I can’t imagine how awful it would have been if it happens to me today (or last year). And this is where Intel made a difference…very significant difference. It hired DBM.

DBM which stands for Drake Beam and Morin, is an outplacement consulting and career transition services company with a very interesting history. It was founded on 1967 by two psychologists, Drake and Beam after they saw the need to help soldiers after the world war. They realized that since most of these soldiers have been taught about nothing but to fight (and probably to shoot and kill in the process), the moment the war ended they basically doesn’t have anything capable doing with the current skills they have. So in order for them to fit in to the post-war environment and make a successful transition, these two shrinks decided it was time to intervene. And the rest was history (Morin, came to partner with them later).

Last year, when I was identified as one of the affected employees, I actually had some reservations about this whole DBM training because I was thinking what training could I have had possibly missed at Intel? I’ve attended technical training, soft skills sessions, people management, time management and any other management-ending training…except maybe for the one starting with anger. Hahaha. That being said, I felt prepared enough to leave in three months time. I was wrong.

The DBM sessions opened my eyes and mind to a wider unexplored concept. It introduced me to things which I will surely regret had I stuck to my pride and stubborn self. I learned about things that could help me cope up with the outside world – a fitting term, having been “isolated” inside Intel for a decade or so (and to think that others spent more time).

DBM’s well-prepared, structured and interactive training presented me with so many questions. “What is an informed decision making process? What are my skills? Or do I have other potential skills still waiting to be discovered? How do I put these in my resume? What’s the employment trend now? What are my options? What is my net worth? How will I prepare for this change I’m facing and deal with the transition that follows it?” But thanks to our persevering, patient and professional trainers (and their staff) I already have my answers for each one. I’m quite sure that the remaining 176 days of DBM engagement, I’ll learn more.

Just before the CCW ended, our facilitator led the familiar retrenchment prayer. I silently prayed it last year but with the high hope that I’ll be able to still continue my Intel employment. It happened. Yesterday though was a different matter. With my head bowed down, I still sensed that among the other participants is someone with a lump in his/her throat, heavy with emotion as each word in the prayer sinks in. I was one of them.

 

 

Mood: 4/10 Honks!

What’s online…what else is not?

The long list of Facebook invitations in my personal email’s inbox finally made me to open my Facebook account which has remained static for a year and three months already. Friendster didn’t succeed but really this time Facebook had me join the millions of those who got hooked to social networking. Thanks to the big void at work, I have no choice but to face it – online.

Since then I’ve been more active online and has been in culture shock once more. It’s funny but the last time I used that term to describe an experience was when I transitioned job coming from a subcontractor semiconductor company to a multinational company – and to mention it’s one of the top back then. But hey, that’s another story. Let’s talk more about it after a month or so.

I’m so amused with this recent experience as I now have at least another medium to keep in touch with schoolmates, long lost friends, colleagues and the majority of our company’s badminton players. I’ve become a fan of Facebook’s wall which is like Friendster’s shoutout but is way better in aesthetics, speed and interaction – you now have a hint how I hate Friendster. And what I find fascinating about it is the number of online applications available to keep one occupied during the 8-hour shift. Go figure. Since I (re)started a couple of weeks ago, I have received weird request to answer weird quizzes, I’ve received virtual snacks and would you believe, I’ve even mugged someone online. Thankfully, it’s all just for fun (though I’m quite sure elders will find it anything but funny). And that isn’t the whole gamut of what is possibly online, yet.

This Sunday, I was once again tempted to buy a newspaper not because I was already awake very early in the morning and was lured to reading online Ting-ting Cojuangco’s Beauty and the Breast article. Good thing it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be or I’ll be truly guilty reading it on a Sunday morning. It’s just because I’ve become so addicted to holding one while just passing time at home. Besides, what’s twenty pesos if I can read side by side with my wife at the sofa and with our little boy trying to split the newspaper into half because he’d like to play at the same time? Newspaper, Php20. Reading with wife and kid, priceless.

Oddly, I also have this obsession of reading just the ads that could even make my day even if I know for a fact that I can’t even buy any of it…especially right now. I love looking at the new car models and the marketing offers that comes along with it. I also enjoy looking at hardware ads which usually contains power tools sale. Athletic shoes attract me as well. And almost anything, other than the news, there is on the page, I give it time to stare at. But today, my curiosity led me to something strange, chilling and hilarious at the same time – I was staring at the obituary page. Don’t freak out yet, I’m not cheering because of someone else’s death. I just saw one ad that says “Online Burol”.

Care to sign up?

Care to sign up?

Although the funeral service’s ad has their URL posted in their banner, I don’t have any plan to google that yet. As much as I’d like to get answers on how this is done, I’m still letting some funny thoughts on my mind linger like how can some kin from abroad benefit from an online burial service? Does he click a dropdown menu and select an option such as bury my grandmother. And does a confirmation window pops out saying, “Do you really want to bury your grandmother? Please click Yes or No”. Or does it have an option to bury a videoke-singing neighbor? Hahaha. Sorry can’t help it? Just kidding.

The internet has indeed evolved. It has done so much that everyone has jumped onboard to exploit its potentials whether we like it or not. And with my recent discovery of this funeral service being offered, whether my assumptions of how it is done is true or not, I now won’t be surprise if there will be more eerie services that we will soon learn does indeed exist. Therefore, the question that we should ask now is, “what else isn’t online?”

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

What the foos is all about

 

What do you do when you have really nothing more to do? This is one dreaded question that I had to ask myself today. I finally got tired of staring at the interactive online training and as much as I’d like to attend an instructor-led session, most of it has reached its walk-in participants limit. Now, I was among those left inside our cold gray cubicles facing chances of catching colds, boredom, carpal tunnel syndrome or drowsiness at the very least.

There must be something else out there that will keep me occupied until the end of our working hours. Well, I’ve checked and re-checked emails; refilled my coffee mug for the nth time; got myself exhausted with cubicle hopping with the hope of getting someone to talk to; and have listened to every Journey mp3 songs that is in my laptop’s hard drive. If I have to repeat the whole process again I’d be so damned and lonely – the long line of cubicles in my area is so empty that someone opening a trash can several columns away can be easily heard.

As desperation sinks in while I sit on my ergo chair watching my wristwatch’s second hand tick by, It was when I heard the most redeeming invitation of the day, “Cris, laro tayo foosball (let’s play foosball).” Hmmm, the last word sounds familiar yet so foreign. But who cares, when there’s no more work to do what else is next? Yes, play is next.

Moments later I found myself in front of the table with a recessed center and small plastic red and blue men appearing at first to be skewered to stainless rods and with its handles protruding on each sides of the table. I was elbow to elbow with another colleague while we try to push, pull and twist the rods to flick some miniature white soccer ball against those from the other side. I was the slowest but I think I was the happiest player that time. It was my first time to play with the most popular table in our company nowadays – the foosball table.

Photo by: Pedro Moura Pinheiro

Photo by: Pedro Moura Pinheiro

This foosball table was introduced last year and was first placed in one of the activity rooms along with the billiards table. Since then several employees have filled their curiosity and have even sneaked out during work hours just to play with it. It didn’t took long for them to get hook and when management noticed about the missing headcount inside the production floor, it was later transferred in front of the canteen area to deter employees from just hanging around. Even then, it didn’t fail to attract its addicted fans. Consequently, it got an infamous reputation from most managers – I was one back then.

After watching the expert players intently as before and having played two games (despite being terrible and awkward) already, I now know why it has such following. I discovered that it isn’t like just any child’s play that one aimlessly hits the ball until it passes the stiff goalie. This game requires strategy between partners. It likewise requires skillful ball handling, which to my surprise my partner and our opponent have shown effortlessly. Today I became a fan of this game.

My realization about enjoying this game may be too late already. But with the current business condition wherein work has significantly slowed down and we’ve got nothing more than time on our side, I guess I’ll be seeing a lot of those skewered plastic men in the next days ahead. I still have less than two more months to go and I might as well enjoy it and spend some time learning the back and wrist-breaking game of foosball – if only I can patiently wait behind the long queue of eager players.

 

Picture credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!