Is the Salary Cut Worth It?

When you’ve been wanting for a job for the longest time, there’s a tendency to just get any job that comes your way. To date, I’ve got a thousand applications and 95% of it didn’t work out. After a year and a half of being unemployed, it all feels natural to me.

After my contracts ended, I was able to get jobs where some of the clients pulled out. It was a short time though, so I can’t consider it a J-O-B, which left me in a position to be a nomad who can take on any vacation. Yes, for the nth time of my life but that’s not the case. I have to be wise due to my limited funds.

And another fateful day came. I got a job in line with my field. I love the job to bits even if it’s tedious working as a quality assurance specialist. The job description for this kind of job differs from company to company, but the bottom line is it is a job that makes me feel needed. I’ve had several jobs that made me feel sooo taken for granted, even if those were the jobs that I really like.

Here comes the salary part. Since I am now working in my home country, the salary dip is way beyond drastic. It pales in comparison to my salary abroad. While many would think I am sourgraping, I still consider this job as a blessing in disguise. I told myself that I have to see the good in bad things. Simply because there’s always a silver lining to every dark cloud.

The great thing is I am working in a nice startup company. I’ve been hearing topics and jokes about salaries. But it is normal to be handed a low paycheck, especially if the company is just starting to have a solid foundation and finding its niche in the market.

The employer asked me several times if I am amenable to work extended hours given the very low wage. I took the offer without any hesitation out of despair. Who am I to reject something that would sustain me and my family for the days to come? If this happens to you and you’re frustrated, that’s natural. Just learn to swallow your pride. I assure you that it’s better to have some small funds than to have nothing at all. Swallowing one’s pride becomes easy once you get the hang of it. Always remember this: It’s easier to swallow our pride than to be penniless. 😀

I am now working for a week and though some people may find the job toxic, I feel relief. I am learning a lot and I love that I am using tools that I haven’t used before. Finally, my hands have landed on the soft keys of the keyboard. It feels like the first time and I felt gratitude in my veins. Oh, just like magic and a dream come true.

This is not the first time that I had a lowered wage that is way below average. Though this is the lowest offer that I have got in my entire life for a hard to do job, my performance would definitely not falter. I would just show them that I am worth more than what they have offered. Of course, it is normal for companies to give low wages. Business is business. For now, I have to enjoy myself as an employee and as a happy camper!

How would I know if the salary cut is worth it? Because both parties are happy. Though they earn more, I learn more. I am more than just any job offer in this world and the difference is I fucking know it. 🙂

When Too Much Work Kills

I feel for this talented lady because her death is not even justified. I feel for her because I understand the pressure she have undergone. For some who do not know, it is a tough job being a writer not to mention the unrealistic deadlines we encounter. I have experienced working for nine to twelve hours straight, break time not included. I felt like a haggard and just like Mita, I felt I have no life. My friends also experienced the same thing for they have worked 24 hours straight. All the more to her, for working 30 hours and for keeping up with the unfeasible timelines.  When do we draw the line and say that enough is enough?!

Her untimely demise is a loss to her company – more so, to her family. We cannot bring back her life. And, even if the employer gives her family a big sum of money, Mita will never be back on earth. My only hope for the future is that all the work martyrs will be lessened and more people would value their health more than their jobs. A job lost can be recovered by having a new job but a life  lost can never ever be recovered. If your boss fires you just because you cannot keep your pace with him and tells you that you are an ineffective worker, consider it a blessing in disguise. Your life is valuable compared to that sick asshole. If you ain’t got a life, now is the chance. Live well. Cheers!

See Mita Diran collapsed and died.

When Sorry Is Just A Word

Daily Prompt: Sorry, I’m Busy

There will always be this one time where we could have helped someone but did not. I know the feeling and the frustration but I was too nonchalant about it. Imagine a scenario when by all means you could have helped this someone but you chose not to and stood by that decision. If you were that person who turned your back to the one who desperately needed your help, how would you feel?

To start with, people in our company are nice and happy people until some of turned out to be bad, sour and sort of dumb. These people commit a lot of mistakes and I am not an excuse to this. We have wrongdoings and have been wronged by bosses who do not know how to manage people. This is also the first time in my life that I have seen friends and colleagues working 24/7, devoting their lives to a project that we do not know where the hell we are headed. Silly and real, sad and painful because our partners and loved ones are complaining that we have less time for them. When a colleague has asked me to help him write his design document, I declined. I felt sorry because I wanted to help but I couldn’t just because my plate is already full. He understood right away because we are in the same boat.

We do not need awards or recognition just for us to know that we are doing good. We do not need a raise just to bribe us that we extend our hours to do more work and do other stuff not specific to our assigned projects. Further, the medical card given to us is nothing compared to the sickness and lost of time that we have lost. Lost time and health can never be recovered. What happened, happened. What is lost may not be found. Now what?!

What I have learned from this is loving myself. I have forgotten myself when thinking of other people especially the ones who mean the world to me. How ironic it is that they are the reason why we work when they could also be the ones we could lose? Work would not be there to take care of me unconditionally when I am sick. It won’t buy me the time I should be spending with my loved ones. If you have kids, you lose the ‘time’ to bond with them and you missed seeing them grow up all because you poured it out to your work and to the blokes in your company who would never appreciate what you did — and so on, and so forth. How do I know? A good friend of mine who’s been working for them for a year, got terminated. Call it office politics but their reason of saying that it was due to his poor performance is lame. I am one of the witnesses when our client commended him for doing his work so well. Logically, whether or not we do our best, we still could lose our jobs. There are just some things that are not within our control. I can bear to lose a job in more than ten thousand or million ways but the thought of losing the core reason of my existence here on earth is unforgivable.

This only means that I am devoting more time to myself and to the ones who matter to me. Sorry to my family and friends. Most of all, sorry to myself. I perfectly remember this adage, “What we allow is what will continue.” I guess I forgive myself now. Sorry is just a word, a word that is often taken for granted for its meaning and essence. I hope I have learned that by heart many times ago.

~ School is not…

~ School is not real life. Real life is learning more about life when you are outside the school. – Bliss Steps, on comparing her life in school and in other places where people are required to have skills, esp. in the workplace

When the Dog Blinks

~ Just like a dog, I obey my master. But I have to bark or bite if my master asks me to do shit. – Bliss Steps

For cute photos of dogs, cats and other cool animals, visit http://www.cuteoverload.com.

When Times Get Rough, We Gotta Play Ball

I am an adult or so I thought. I hope these photos would make you smile and would make you want to capture funny, priceless, endearing moments. A cheesy cliché but it makes sense when you feel your world is too heavy or harsh. Funny photos bring out the kid in you, would make you remember that life is indeed good. So, cheer up!

I may be overreacting but I am euphoric that I have found a way to cope with stress. In this image, I am playing with my team mate, Celeste. I cannot find the right word more apt to describe this act, but PLAY. In the midst of our UAT, deployment chaos and unreasonable deadlines, stress is not evident in our faces. To appease ourselves, we played the magic ball of fire in my mac.

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The ball was so fast and we want to catch it so we can have a good shot. The plan was to catch the ball the moment it landed on the middle of the screen.

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And then, it went down. Oh my ball, oh my ball! We both screamed, as if scream is the right word to use. What I am sure of is we were both squealing and giggling. There is  a  happy thump in my heart and this time,  I really felt it.

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It seems like the ball does not want to be caught at all. Are we going to give up? A big NO. Even if this just a play, giving up is not in our vocabulary. Look at how my friend gamely posed for these photos. All candid shots, no revisions or Photoshop.

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To touch the ball was like heaven to me. Hahaha, what a hyperbole of a moment! Let us talk about capturing awesome moments like these!

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Finally, the ball landed to her! She is the winner but there is no contest. This is the first time we did this “thing” and we somehow felt like fools. After all, we are big kids with big responsibilities. I cannot thank her enough for giving in to my childish ways but I am grateful she opted to play with me. What is life without friends? I would rather not know.

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If this is not TEAM WORK, I do not know what is!

Note: Thanks to my cool and loving team mate for bearing with me. It is hard to find a team mate who is a nice person on a personal and professional level. My heartfelt thanks, Cel. 🙂

Daily Prompt: Too Soon and Playtime

Kudos to Me

Daily Prompt: Pat on the Back

Oh my, another Vitamin I post.  This may seem too advance but I might make it — my junk food abstinence.

It was this fateful day, 14th of July, when I made a pact with myself that I would only eat foods that serve me well and think more of happy thoughts and memories.  I am a big fan of all junk until it came to me that I should stop if I want a healthy body and sharp mind. Easier said than done and my 21st day hasn’t arrive yet — that is, if I will be following the 21-day habit.  I always fail whenever I set my mind to eliminate a bad habit because of my lack of awareness and focus. I would create another post if I happen to successfully finish my one month of junk food abstinence.

Another positive change is my punctuality. Big boss noticed that I come on time and I only get fifteen (15) minutes late compared to my normal thirty to sixty minutes last year. I don’t believe in resolutions but I like setting mini goals that are realistic and within my own reach. Being early in the office is kind of drastic for me as people especially friends, put their hands on my neck and forehead to check if I have fever.

I thought I cannot change this bad habit of being always late. It is hard to believe but I am now the one saying, “Why are you guys sooo late? Or, am I just too early?” 😀

Note: I have also done some things in my bucket list. It may be few but for me, it was really hard esp. when I did this. I’ll never do it again.

What I Did to Get Out of that Stupid Meeting

Daily Prompt: Drawing a Blank

I asked. They answered. I wrote. – Sebastian Junger

It just happened recently, barely a week ago. The incident is still fresh although the news or let’s say the gossip circulating around the office has subsided a bit after my episode with my project manager (PM). Okay, let the truth be told and let this be a lesson to every worker in this planet. Please allow me to give an introduction so that you could fully understand why I reacted that way. So, the flashback starts now…

Today is the day I told myself that I will change for the good, for a ‘bit’ good to become better if not the best self that I could possibly imagine. I have gotten loads of e-mails and tasks in my inbox and that is normal. Then, I got an urgent task that said it should be submitted within three days. And, for this hell of a PM, he said it is normal. Just to give you a brief idea of what ‘normal’ is, normal means instant, fast, accurate, correct and I know you are guessing it right, toxic. Normal is toxic in his own context and this kind of normal is the state he is implementing to the rest of us here. As I do not want to sound too technical (I am not a technical person in the first place), the document that I am writing is not just a manual with workflows and some architecture in it, but also a marketing document to be submitted to the clients that will be used in their different branches.

I was like, what the hell am I in now? I know nothing about this since I only know basic information and my knowledge will not suffice or sustain the correct words and content that should go into the document. I told him right away that I need more time to do it. I do not mind wearing another hat and do a job outside my scope but I am hoping that I would be given an ample time and a reasonable deadline. At the back of my mind, I know I will do it since I will also be learning things along the way which would hone me and my craft. You might ask, did I complain and told him my concerns? Millions times over but in my case as an IT consultant and in my one-sided contract with many loopholes, the only option is to get things done as long as it has a correlation (as if there is!) with the tasks given on hand. Also, my main task was given to other colleagues which he did intentionally so that my plate is empty and that I could take on writing this whatever-type-of-shit document. And, what would happen if the clients did not like it? Who gets to be humiliated and crashed? And the name that they will curse every now and then if the document contained wrong information? You know the answer. So, I did what I could and told him that I am not done with the document. He still insisted that I have to submit a final document or else, the client would have the wrong impression if we do not deliver on time. Wow, I just heard the “we” word, as if we are a good team working together, which is exactly the complete opposite.

To summarize what have happened, the next day was a shouting spree, not a match because I did not join the asshole. My ear drums burst when PM shouted directly to my ear and my colleagues seated in front (near the elevator entrance, I am seated at the back) heard his loud voice which resonated back and forth within the office arena. I was also amused by my reaction since I did not utter any single word. I just gave him the what-the-hell-are-you-doing kind of look then I went back to writing the shit he asked me to write. I do not know what kind of air I have inhaled because I felt peace within me. Friends were also disgusted that I did not shout back at him or why I did not blurt a thing or two when that incident happened. I could have complained to the Ministry of Manpower but I am not in the mood so I let it pass.

Third day. This is the day he set to be the deadline of the useless document (since it is a draft) and he set a meeting with me. I told right away that I did not finish the document, he knows it anyway. How on earth and how the heck would I finish a document in three days if I am doing all these by myself: requirements gathering, talking to client and subject matter experts, learning and testing the system itself, some support on the side and a lot more ad hoc stuff that I was assigned to do. It is like I am wearing more hats and this is not even a fashion show. I only have one head and one body. I get the point where we should go the extra mile but this case was like, “Hey you, get to your rocket ship and go to Mars” and I am not even equipped. Since the program manager was also in the meeting, I was asked why I did not submit on time. My winning line is this: I am not a magician. I am just a writer doing more than what is expected. I really hate useless meetings because my time is being wasted. So, if you guys would excuse me for awhile? I would really appreciate that. I’d rather go back to work, please.

So much for my goal of being quiet and forgiving. I am abused. Call me naive, childish and unprofessional, I would accept it. Really. After all, we are entitled to our own democracies that we set ourselves into and we are deemed correct for what we fully believe in. If they think I am nuts, bullshit or dumb, they are right. In their own world and in their own eyes, they are right. And, if you are wondering why the hell I am still in this company, it is because of the bond stated in the contract. People here have been wanting to get out but they can’t. We are all swimming in the sea of uncertainty and hoping that we get a new ocean. People here knew what happened and asked me if I am afraid if I get terminated. Termination would be a blessing because if that happens, the contract will be void. 🙂

Further, I stood my ground and walked away politely (Hahaha, I said thanks). I am nice but I have learned to be firm. Regarding the document, I passed it on my selected date! I had a full week writing it with no disturbance from those nonsense people. I have learned that in the end, everything is up to us. You get affected if you allow others to affect you. If we let their negativity and bad aura into our system, we are doomed. We always have a choice whether or not the ball is inside our court. Are we going to let the crap in? I don’t and I won’t. Ever. Again.

One Year of Writing, What Now?

How do you approach your writing process? – Daily Post

Answer: I just write. If I experience writer’s block, I stop for awhile and take some moments to breathe. Most of the time, I walk and drink my tea. We could also wander then when we get back to writing, we would notice that there is some renewed energy. 🙂

Let me share what happened within my one year of writing. 🙂

I wrote and I ran out of topics. I have contemplated the thought of me maintaining a blog because I did not know if I would continue this endeavor or not. I am at the verge of deciding what I should do for the rest of my life. I think things got complicated and I made it more complicated because of my over the top mind setting. But then, here I am and there you are, reading this piece of uncanny shit. I am not saying that you don’t have a good taste because you have chosen to read my pieces. I am flattered that somewhere out there, some blokes spent some time reading my documented eccentricities. It means a lot especially for someone like me who took a risk to get out of my comfort zone. Writing is not my expertise but it is something that I want to do until I get old. Further, if a person does a ‘work’ that he likes to do until the day he dies, that could be the work he ought to do. And, if we like to do a work so much that we don’t mind whether or not we get paid, that’s better.

And now, this blog has turned one (1) year old. I told myself that I would continue to write whether or not there would be a constant following. I owe you a lot, for the seconds you put into reading my pieces. So, for one year — this discerning year, I decided that I would continue to write. I would write not just for my readers but for the love of ‘our craft.’

One year. One decision. One life. Join me and let us write. If our creative juices run out, let us squeeze some more. I am pretty sure that after so much squeezing, we would get to see some love. And then, we write again and share the love that would enlighten others.

My heartfelt thanks. <3, Bliss

Note: Thanks for reading and of course, for bearing with me.  🙂

What is a Good Leader?

In response to the Daily Prompt: The Clock.

That question is the one question I always ask whenever I transfer from one organization/company to another. Also, while writing this post, I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock. Oh, I have a deadline today! What really slammed (not the car door, obviously) was his voice asking me to submit the document he asked me to edit, fifteen minutes ago! Wow, am I that fast and he’s asking for it in an instant? What about him, this so-called leader who intently looks at us one by one? Is he doing his work or just plainly acting that he’s so damn busy?

Note: This article is created not for scrutiny but mainly for observation and reflection.

I don’t know how am I going to start this article without sounding emotional or bitter. I admit, I am not good at concealing my feelings and my thoughts. When I am mad, sad or pissed,it just shows even if sometimes I dare hide it. Am I setting a good example to my readers by revealing who am I really with these mere words? Pardon me if I may sound harsh with the succeeding lines that you will be reading. But, this is just me, being real and nothing more.

It just pisses me off how one person, who is a boss or a leader for that matter is not setting a good example. Come on, what’s the point of being a superior if you cannot be a good example yourself? Being someone who is an authority means that you are taking responsibility. Not every person gets the chance to be a leader, a superior or a higher-up, and when someone gets the chance to be one, the essence just fades. It fades because the term “leader” is not even given any justice at all. It remains as a plain, dull word that is not given any substance or meaning per se, which would just insult the definitions on any existing dictionary.

I am not an authority to say and elaborate these things but being a follower, I have carefully observed the people I am interacting with, especially friends and colleagues. We all learn from the people we meet in life, no matter how trivial the time we spent with them. Some made us smile, mad, inspired and motivated us but what remains remarkable, in my opinion — are the people who can lead and make a good impact in other people’s lives.

Listed are my top three (3) opinions on what makes a good leader:

  • A true leader knows how to communicate with his people. He listens and knows how to empathize with his people.
  • A good leader knows how to respect his people, accept them as they are and reveal them their potentials.
  • Most importantly, a leader sets a good example for others to follow. He walks his talk. What he preaches, he religiously do and leaves a legacy long after he is gone.

Let me know what sets a good leader apart from the rest. Please comment and suggest. Thanks!