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!

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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!

Role models do get tired

The current situation at work as caused by the declining and imminent depletion of products to be delivered is undoubtedly testing each and everyone from the lowest rank and file up to the upper levels of management.

What I find more frustrating than the thought of eventually losing our jobs in a few more months is the fact that no matter how I set my mind to make the most of my time, it’s only father time that is so available. After a couple of hours from the start of the working day, there’s just no more work to be done no matter how I look for it. Or maybe, I haven’t looked enough for it yet. Well, that’s a nice thought.

It doesn’t even take a lot of time to figure out what others might be doing as well after staring at the empty Outlook inbox as if email doesn’t exist anymore. Whether people agree or not, this isn’t the workplace aura that I’ve used to know in my 10 years in this company. I can now really say that gone are the days when the cubes are buzzing with activity: when keyboards are tapped because of white papers to finish and not of multiple internet chat mates; when phone lines are loaded because of virtual meetings and not because someone is selling anything but company products; when people are forgetting to have lunch because of deadlines and not because they have doze off due to inactivity; and when managers are going to the cubes to check if everyone is on track and not because he’s got nothing to do as well.

Years ago, this setting is unimaginable and it may even be impossible. Back then the thought of someone getting idle (unless intentional) is just unthinkable and as taboo as committing a mortal sin. But now, even the best have their own share of work void. It’s unavoidable but fully understandable that on the next days ahead those people I look up to will have lots of slack. I have come to accept it now that role models do get tired.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Laid off by WordPress

 

Last night I was checking wordpress after wondering if there are others like me who wrote about layoffs during this recession period. After clicking my layoff tag, the answer became clear – there’s just a lot of us. Here are the URLs that I’ve visited and some excerpts of their blog. (The last two aren’t from authors who directly experienced it but still the reason why captured them is because the emotions and the message are so well written despite being brief. Please check them out.)

 
 

http://opentosuggestions.wordpress.comLes, Oklahoma

“When I pulled up to the house tonight, my wife met me at the curbside with a smile and helped me carry my 3 boxes in eco-friendly Walmart bags into the house. We’re a team in everything we do. It’s great to have her by my side.

 

I go to bed tonight ready to meet tomorrow. “

 

http://gotlaidoff.wordpress.com  – Anonymous, San Francisco

“was just laid off from Accenture, and I have to admit I felt betrayed. The emotions you go through are similar to the grieving process, except depression comes first. I was determined not to dwell on it for too long, so I booked it to Vegas. Yup, good old fashioned denial was what I needed to keep my wits about the situation. When I got back, I was angry, but that got me to stage four in the grieving process- bargaining. “

 
 

http://passingperiod.wordpress.com  – Jacksonhmills

“I’m mad that I was laid off, and I think it’s a shitty situation, but I’m not going to cry a river. In fact, I didn’t give anyone the benefit of seeing any tears. You know, except for a few people on the street, when it finally hit me.

I worked at the company for 19 months. I assumed my job was safe because I was busy. In hindsight, the work I was doing was not up to par of someone with four years’ experience copywriting “

 

http://chipdesignart.wordpress.comFrom a chip design engineer

“how do i get busy, and what i do today, how do i spend my time?

Do i partition  a day to cry, get depressed , eat and sleep or i schedule in a different way…

Huge transition when my outlook calendar gets overlapped to no entry in my calendar… what next?? “

 

http://sensoryreplays.wordpress.comRob, Middle East

“four of my co-workers just got removed from our rig crew, they were sent to our base camp in dammam this morning without any advance notice and i really am not sure what the personnel department will decide for them, either they get transferred to another rig or sent straight to the house.  it’s just saddening. “

 

http://careeradventure.wordpress.comKristi Daeda

“Everywhere you go nowadays, it seems someone has lost their job.  Your brother, your cousin, your dry cleaner’s daughter…  The bright side for the unemployed?  The stigma of job loss is dissolving.  Chances are if someone hasn’t experienced it personally, they’ve either known someone, or watched competent peers go through it in their own companies. “

 

This morning after waking up from a long night sleep due to a sudden headache – probably due to reading about layoffs or the hot choco I had before dinner – I read a reply coming from Les (the first blogger):

 

Crisn ~
It’s like were all sailing along on the same ship, but it’s hairy because we’re sailing in low water. I’m finding it helpful to think of all humankind as a big family, all in this together. As far as I’ve seen in my 52 years, everything eventually works out. Most of us manage to still keep a roof over our heads and have food to put in our mouths. We at least cover the basics. We may not always get what we want, but that’s a lesson so many of us, including myself, still need to learn anyway. I hope you stay employed through these thin waters. However, If you run aground, come back here and we’ll help each other get through these hard times. ~ Les

 

That’s just well said and my point exactly why I think that keeping our network open during these hard times is a good idea so we can express what we think, help other people in some ways and show that indeed, “no man is an island.”

 

 

 

Mood: 3/10 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!