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!

Kids say the darndest things

 

When is mommy coming home?

When is mommy coming home?

I remember several years ago, one of the TV programs I enjoy the most is the one hosted by Bill Cosby, Kids Say the Darndest Things. In this program several American kids appear as guest and are all seated side by side in front of the camera with the comedian host. Here kids are candidly asked almost anything about their opinions on mostly adult matters. The answers are often funny and sometimes so interesting that I’d wonder how at that early age they would have had learned such things. Well, I’m hearing the kids speak once again, this time they’re thinking out loud about the recession.

This morning during our staff meeting our boss started with the usual ice breaker when he flashed through the electronic projector what at first seem to appear as someone else’s doodling. Soon after the bulb warmed up, the intensity of the projection revealed a comics strip personally drawn by his daughter who was just a 3rd grader.

The strip showed six frames wherein colorful drawings tell a short story of their family and their plans during this recession period. Surprisingly, the innocence of his small kid did not fail to capture what has been blasted on TV over and over again in the news reports ever since our company’s closure was delivered to all of its Philippine manufacturing plant’s employees. His kid even drew a close resemblance of the company’s logo.

Although this is my first time to see a kid’s personal expression of what is currently going on, this isn’t my first time to hear stories coming from colleagues and friends about what has been said by their young children when they learned that their mom or dad will be out of work in the next few months.

One peer said that when she called her parents to inform them about the retrenchment her young son grabbed the phone and blurted, “lola, mawawalan na ng trabaho si mommy at daddy, tulungan mo po kami ha (grandma, mommy and daddy will be losing their jobs, please help us)!”

Another peer heard a different tone from his children, “yehey, lagi na kaming makakapaglaro kay daddy (we will be able to play a lot with daddy now)!” Actually, this joyful welcome of the bad news must have been the most common I’ve heard from other co-employees’ stories. And I can’t blame their kids, really.

Intel’s working environment is so competitive that raising the bar to be at par if not exceed the level of performance (and indicators) of the rest of Intel plants worldwide requires each of its employees to be at their best almost all the time. And to be able to meet that expectation, every employee is at least expected to be at work and leave work on schedule. During the busy years, rendering overtime was often times a must. Unfortunately, this is when someone at every employee’s home is de-prioritized or worse, ignored – kids. Some will say wives, but that’s a different story.

Therefore it’s really not that impossible if during this recession and global financial crisis, while every parent is worrying about almost everything, there will be innocent kids smiling and rejoicing that sooner or later this year they’ll be one happy family again with their jobless mom or dad just around them ready for 24X7 playtimes.

 

 

 Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Abundance inside

Intel has been (or still is) a very good company, no doubt. And despite the stressful situation that everyone is currently into, most employees will still agree that Intel Philippines has tried as much as possible to show how each one of us has been so valuable that our personal or career development is one of the priorities.

This was once again proven when today the good people from our employees services (ES) group arranged another Beyond the Cube session. This is a series of sessions wherein external corporate speakers are invited to talk to the employees on different topics that Intel thinks is of interest to the majority – one good way to break some routines and let the employees hear great thoughts from the world outside of our cube (or manufacturing floor). Although I’ve heard about this program before, this is my first time to attend such.

Today the speaker is Pido Aguilar Jr. who at first got most of my colleagues worried about what might happen during the talks when we saw him pass by in a weird-looking garb which I told them reminds me of a Video Zonkers episode. We almost cancelled attending the session, but then again the thought of spending another 5 more hours doing absolutely nothing in front of our laptops convinced us to check the session out. We eventually signed up and settled in the session room with full of anticipation and anxiety. To my surprise, I find the room almost packed…well, go figure.

Mr. Pido started the session trying to be candid probably to loosen up the attendees as he may have sensed that most are expecting that this session better be good. By around 10 AM, he opened up by saying something like, “I don’t need you to believe me…but all I’m asking is for you to open your mind during this 2-hour session.” The session went on.

Interestingly, Mr. Pido soon got everyone’s attention as the session went interactive with the activities that got almost all of the attendees’ participation. Every now and then, the room bursts into a belly-busting laughter as he amused everyone with his funny expressions, humorous examples and other anecdotes that filled the room with smiling yet attentive audiences.

In this session, Mr. Pido shared 7 ways to attract and radiate abundance which he said comes from within everyone’s self.

  1. I Smile. I couldn’t agree more when he said that by having a truthful smile at the start of the day does attract and sets what one’s day will be like. He said, “try smiling…then at the same time say that you hate someone”, it just cannot be done. Unless, you’re that character from the movie Psycho.
  2. I LIVE in the PRESENT! If you keep on thinking about the past, you miss to live the present. If you keep on thinking about the future is just as harmful. The first is a “has been” while the second may not even come at all. So living in the present may indeed by the sanest thing we can do right now.
  3. I ALWAYS express THANKS! This one got almost 40 minutes of the session when Mr. Pido made everyone think of and say 1 reason what he/she’s thankful of today. It may be because of a person, thing, event, etc. as long as he/she thinks is worth thanking for. The mic went from one attendee to the other and it’s interesting to hear everyone’s piece. This he said is proof that there’s just so much for us to be thankful for if you really think about it. There was even who said that he’s thankful that Intel (Philippines) is closing. Remember the saying, “when one door closes, the other one opens”?
  4. I REMEMBER: Nothing lasts! I was expecting that this one only refers to the bad things just so to give hope to everyone that at the end of every trial is a resolution. I was wrong, however and I’m glad I learned why. This is because according to Mr. Pido, this actually applies to both the good and bad things in our life. He said that by also remembering that good things don’t last we get to appreciate and cherish it more. Now, the ad line: “offer is good while supply lasts”, just made more sense to me.
  5. I CHOOSE to be POSITIVE! Mr. Pido said that even if you forgot or was forced to be negative at one point even after committing to be positive, the key here is to get back on track ASAP and choose to be positive again. I immediately related this one to my driving. Since this year I said that I can do better with regards to my driving temperament. So far, I still got to honk at someone else but I’m quite sure that it has gotten less and less lately…Maybe if I lose the car after being unemployed it will be zero. No question about it, huh?! Ti abi.
  6. I LET GO, I LET GOD. Everyone in the room was asked by Mr. Pido, “Why do you think God can’t be God?” There was a couple of silent moment, then he answered it himself, “…that’s because you don’t let him be!” Most of the time we have been so full of energy, motivation, enthusiasm or eagerness to solve our problems that we do forget that these are after all part of God’s plan for us. So next time, let’s pause for awhile and instead consult with God if what we’re planning to do is aligned with his so that we don’t get frustrated in the end.
  7. YES, I MOVE ON! This is one phrase with two key points. First is the word YES which affirms our willingness to face the challenge. Second are the words I MOVE ON which complements our affirmation. And if you take a look at it, both will work as our one big commitment to transition to the next part of our lives and/or career.

During the start of the session, Mr. Pido Aguilar Jr. actually asked every attendee in the room one favor – for us to bring home and share whatever we have learned and believed may be significant to others as well. There was a chorus of “Yes, I will…” So I’m now sticking to that promise which I silently whispered in the midst of a jam-packed room and in front of the man in the weird-looking garb.

 

 ***

Pido Aguilar Jr. may be contacted thru telefax number (02)725-749. His email adds are: abundancecorp@gmail.com & abundancecorp@yahoo.com .

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Getting over with it

 

I’m quite sure that at one point of every person’s life there came a time when he’s into a situation so desperate and frustrating that he would have nearly called it quits. I for one had several of those situations when my life almost seems to have had crumbled and that the feeling of not being able to get out of it is so overwhelming. Believe me these ranges from the trivial such as just a quarrel with a sibling to the gravest such as getting into a car accident. And believe me, during these times I just wish I was never born at all.

I’m also quite sure that whether you’re a firm believer of God, Allah or any other divine being (well, except maybe for the atheist) or not, during these times calling them for help may seem to be the only rational thing to do. For some Catholics, they may even have uttered and summoned all of the names of the Saints just with the hope that doing so will somehow ease the emotional or physical pain they feel on that very moment.

For me, one thing that I always put in mind is that every after trial I had or will still have, there is always the hope that I will get over with it soon. It’s called transition. And like what I learned from one training last year, there’s a clear distinction between change and transition. Consider being in a break up. That situation is change. Getting over with it is called transition. It does not matter if you’ve recovered right after or several months later, I’m very sure that sooner or later you’ll be able to smile all about it.

And now that I’m just waiting to be soon among the most “IN” person this year of recession – that is, the jobless – I’m actually more excited than scared or worried. I can’t wait to see what is waiting for me (and my family) until the end of 2009. But what I know that someday, I’ll be out there with my kid (or kids) and wife (no plural here) facing the golden sunset with beer in hand while enjoying the splashing waves and the smell of the salty air.

***

Resilient pinoys

If there’s one word that I hated the most when it comes to describing the pinoys, it’s the word resilient. I believe that this is the most abused or overused by journalists or even inspirational speakers especially when used during times of crisis. I hated reading or hearing, what might be already considered as cliché, “the Filipinos will get over with it…the Filipinos are resilient people…like bamboos that sway wherever the wind blows…” Now, that doubt is about to be changed.

What I find remarkable with how most of the Intel Philippines folks (or Intelllites) accepted each bad news that have come in rapid succession in less than a year, is that the transition period seems to be as quick as a snap of a finger. There may have been hundreds of tears shed every after forums (where grim updates about the site were said) but believe me that these are the same people who can be seen smiling or at least trying to do so, the very next day.

And the recent download on Wednesday, Jan 21, wasn’t an exception. A couple of hours later and 2 more days after the closure of the manufacturing operation of Intel Philippines was announced, most of the people at the canteen are occupied with the videoke . Others are watching the DVD movies played on 2 separate TV’s for everyone in the cafeteria to see. Others are lining up to play the foosball. The rest just seem to get back to their own routine as if nothing happened. It may be temporary, it may even be even be pretentious, but whatever that is just shows that Filipinos can indeed be resilient enough to deal with any situations no matter how dire.

***

Domino effect

It’s no wonder that the closure of the Intel site in Gen. Trias Cavite became one of the headlines of the week and that several thousands of people got worried about it. That is because when Intel stops its operation here in the Philippines the export industry will feel its loss. Frankly speaking, I don’t know the exact figures but if the news is to be believed, Intel contributes to billions of pesos in export which makes it one of the top exporters in the electronics sector. This of course translates to jobs other than the permanent employees.

Many other people work for Intel Philippines. There are the vendors and suppliers who handle everything that Intel needs. They are the people from the cafeteria, the janitorial personnel, facilities maintenance, field service engineers (FSEs), health services providers, and insurance agencies just to name a few. And like Intel employees, they too will be out of work soon.

There’s not much to do right now to dampen the effect of the recession but to just keep all hopes up and remember that this will all come to past. So to all Filipinos, especially to my fellow Intellites, let’s pray and hope that we’ll get over with all of this soon and be able to laugh or smile all about it.

 

 

 

 Mood: 4/10 Honks!

We are in the news

 

On Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009, the heart-breaking news spread like wild fire – the corporation has finally decided to cease its manufacturing operation in the Philippines. First it was just among the Intel employees gathered at the recreational center, then a leakage of info spread thru the online news sites as well on that same day, although, some bits of info seems to be hazy, it was one news that sent even non-Intel people wondering if it was one big bad dream – so it seems.

Then of course just after less than 24 hours – or even lesser – of withholding the news about the Cavite site closure, the employees finally saw their corporate affairs representative confirm the news on TV. It was a signal that the confidentiality policy finally ended for this grim event. The online community soon got even busier and exchanges went back and forth. The major media networks sent their news teams lurking and stalking the company’s campus to get first hand scoop among the employees. Intel Philippines that day became the center of discussions on top of other recession related news.

Our corporate affairs personnel for the official statement.

Our corporate affairs personnel for the official statement.

Intel Phil among the headlines of the prime time news.

Intel Phil among the headlines of the prime time news.

The rumors that Intel Philippines might be closing down became apparent just less than a year when the big bosses dropped the first news on April 2, 2008 when they announced that the building in Cavite is structurally unstable and that this was just the main reason why they were actually considering transferring the operation somewhere in Laguna. And to prove that there is indeed a plan, Intel Philippines had setup a small group of transfer team to assess the new site and has mentioned updates about it every now and then. Sadly, despite the high hopes it has brought upon most employees and the thought that there will be a couple more years of extending its operation in the Philippines, the employees in the end weren’t meant to be there. It became their white elephant – technically, it does not exist.

Until Thursday this week, I never knew how it would exactly feel like to be related directly to the news that’s being shown on TV. For years, it has been one of my guilty pleasures just to be home and get settled in front of the TV after a long day’s work while I watch the day’s event unfold – be it good or bad news. I’d always remind myself how lucky I am just to be a viewer and not being involved in any of the headlines. Now,  all of that changed when the days are counting down when I’d just be home – for the whole week, for the whole month. Hopefully, not for the whole year. Ti abi.

 

 

Mood: 5/10 Honks!

Meeting The Most Hated Person

A difficult conversation you have been dreading will go a lot better than expected today — it turns out that other people have been whispering in this person’s ear and have been warning her or him about the thing you have been wanting to talk about. So this person is ready to talk to you, and ready to work with you. There is going to be a great deal of positive collaboration in this day overall. Every idea will lead to another, more exciting idea. Keep going!” – Sagittarius Horoscope, June 19, 2007.

Working in a company that is (or was?) known for being a great place to work, it is surprising to know that there is one person that stands out as the most hated. He’s known as SH. And I’ve been thinking, the acronym happens to mean : So Hated(?). Well that was what it really seems to be, until the day I met him.

On June 19, I was one of those privileged (or doomed they say) employees to meet SH for a forum. The moment I learned he’ll be on the “hot seat” for this meeting, I had mixed feelings of eagerness and anxiety to be in it. Since he joined our company a couple of years ago, this person had created so much confusion and fear in most of the meetings he’s been into. Ask any person and more often than not, you’ll hear bad comments about him. This meeting will be my chance to meet him up front.

The time came. Upon his arrival in the room, everyone seems to tense up a bit as he started calling the names of those present – getting to know the enemy, I presume.

I was the first one to shoot the question as others are starting to gauge the atmosphere of the meeting. Some are probably composing their statements, as it would have to be in English (easiest of the tasks at hand) –  SH is an expat.

For a first time meeting and to say the first question and phrase, “…I’ve heard terrible things about you…What do you think is the morale of the people working with you…” seems to have been shocking if not improper. But it had to be done. It had to be asked.

Almost without blinking an eye, he seems to have anticipated that a question such as this will come up. I guess he just knew he’s one hated man indeed. I won’t elaborate on his answers but I know he did well. It was direct, convincing and rational. He explained his side well on his strong policies and management style. He mentioned that the very least thing on his list of working as a manager is to be a pleasant and popular person. He’s one of the strong leaders, I can see. I look up to these kind of individuals.

After the meeting all 11 attendees – including myself –  seems to be a convert. All seems to have been enlightened. He’ll need to talk to 3000 more. Hopefully he can turn the tides for the company. But that’s another story.