Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New World and New Words

The thing about being in a new company, is that it gives you a very fresh start. Literally. Sobrang lahat bago. Pati mga tao. Every week, I get to see new faces along the four well ventilated corridors of the bank and sometimes I wonder how we all fit in, in the same floor. Huuwwwaaatttt!!!! Babaw.. Sheeessshhh..

Now the tables have turned. Ako na ang tinatawag na “new hire”. Along with sooooooooo many others who’ve just started building a career and a life, in general. Asteeeeg. Haha. Sabay sabay, we, the new hires, are trying to fit in the existing organization structure – trying to blend in with people and their existing culture. I’ll call it beginner’s luck (allowed pa ba ako nito?), but hey, I feel quite lucky to be in such a dynamic and diverse group of young professionals who blends well together as a whole. As in magkakasundo lahat – hmmmmmm, tama. Almost everyone. I can’t imagine working with people like these two na i-chi-chismis ko ngayon sa blog na ito. Beware loyal readers, this one’s really juicy. Hahaha.

One of the things that I love about working at Citi is the ever popular bank car. Lahat ng tao, pagpasok pa lang, yan ang unang unang ginagawa ata. Ang magpa-reserve ng bank car. But since, the ever on-the-dot-ako-uuwi-today me, ay hindi naman nag-e-extend, I don’t get to use this privelege ( 9pm pa kasi simula nito, way too late for me – at tlagang hindi ako aabot ng 9pm sa office – ayoookkooooo…). However, suki ako ng shuttle that brings people to Glorietta, Landmark, MRT or LRT. And in the many trips I’ve had, one was just sooooooooo freakin’ memorable.

I was in the parking lot early so when the car arrived, I was the first one in. I was relaxed, trying to cool down after a long days work (yaaak, long days work tlaga – nagpapanggap ako). When all of a sudden, two girls opened the car and willingly sat at the back. Me = deadma. Then off we go. During the entire travel, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversations at the back.

(I’ll try to spell it the way it sounded – the way I heard it)

Girl 1: San ka work prior Ziti?

Girl 2: Bleep Bleep Bank (read: local bank)

Girl 1: Oh yeah? I heard they like, uhm, u know, don’t pay well.

Girl 2: I knnnnnnnoooooooowwwww (exaggerated talaga), that’s why I left na there. (Ang image – iniingatan ni ate).

Girl 1: My gosh, I can’t imagine how I will live with that salary ah. I just can’t. Yaddah yaddah yaddah…Blah Blah blah… Pweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…..

Napalingon ako!!!! HEADACHE. Dahil matinis ang boses niya and I just hate it when people talk like that. Its like, its like, you know? Haha. Nahawa ako. Nakakabwisit tlaga ang arte arte. Allow me to judge them in this portion – please?????? When I glanced at them, goodness, hindi nman kagandahan ng mga batang ito. Kung maka-arte akala mo naman kung sino. Basta baduy. And by that I’m being polite pa. Grrrr..

On to the next story….

Sa Lobby. I had another encounter with a different kind. A different breed. A different theme, mejo Groupies. The first time na nakasabay ko sila sa elevator, there was a story being told (yaakk, baka isipin niyo chismoso ako, nakikinig sa usapan ng iba – hell no – maingay tlaga sila – and I’m being defensive right now). It was about another new hire in their team who, according to them don’t dress well enough – based on their standards. I wanted to look at all of them from head to feet para ma-judge ko rin sila but then pinigil ko ang sarili ko. Because at that time, I don’t feel super fab (fab lang. haha). With my eye glasses on plus the braces I have, I could very well pass as Ugly Betty in a better outfit. Therefore feeling ko, I am in no position to judge. Pero nakilala ko yung katabi ko – familiar face. Hhhmmmm…

But by next lunch, I get to view the entire cast. Yipeeeeee…

I met a friend for lunch and when I came back, nakasabay ko ang groupies – eiiiiiiiiiiiiii zzzzuuuuuupppp. I think they’re still talking about the same new hire as before but this time, mas intense na ang conversation. So simply checked them out and kept my wayfarers on. Naks! Artista!

-Elevator-

Guy: Gawd. Ayoko talagang makatabi yung new hire na yon, nagpalipat talaga ako ng seat. (this was being said in a manner with full conviction and intonation – love it!).

Girl: (laughs), baka daw kasi maging super friends kayo kaya itatabi sa yo.

Guy: Yuck! I don’t want to be associated with her – in any way.

Ooopppsss my floor. Damn! (may ganon talaga – umaarte na rin ako). I told this story to another colleague of mine, to my surprise, magkakilala pala sila. Hahaha. And he was just three freakin’ months old lang din pala sa bank. Grrrrr… YABANG di ba? Sabi ng mole ko, the guy was “mabait” daw back in college. That she herself was surprised at how the guy’s been acting now. Conclusion ko: the guy is simply pa-belong. Hahaha. Sumasabay sa agos ng nasamahan peers.

Being in a new environment, with a new set of friends can be very liberating. Everything is a learning experience for you and the people around you. Parang lahat ng similarities na malaman mo, nakakatuwa. Even if its just about your likess of the same color. Hahaha. But then again, there are some who’d pass themselves as somebody their not – all for the sake of image. Para sabihing “thothyal” sila. And man, they will try their best to keep up with that. Believe me. Kahit sa mali-maling grammar nila, sa palpak na subject-verb agreement ng mga sentences na sinasabi. And everything else. Tseeeeee!!!!!! With all these, napatunayan ko lang na alhough money can buy you fancy things, the latest gadgets, madaming madaming yosi, nice outfits, Venti Mocha Frappucino (na ayaw mong ubusin until makita ng mga tao), it still cannot buy you class. Nakakaawa naman sila. Sana marealize nila na at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if the people they hang out with likes them for real – what matters is pagtingin mo sa salamin, you like the person you see. Hay life. That’s all folks. Nag-iinit na naman ang ulo ko. Hahahaha.

Ano ang natutunan ko pa? Ang Citi pala ay pronounced as Ziti. And Ang “new hire” stage ay natatapos sa third month. Hahahahaha…


Zige, ba-bye!!!!


p.s.

Thanks for allowing me to judge them. Now, I’ll go back to my normal not-so-very-judgemental self. Hmmm, ok, sige na nga a bit judgemental na lang. Hahahaha.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Identity Crisis

According to Webster, Identity is defined as the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions. And I have plans of arguing about its correctness whatsoever. It is more of like having a sense of self. Mapagkikilanlan – tama ba? Basta ganon.

I used to work for a company whose name sounds like a million other things. Yung tipong pag binaggit mo, either people will give you a different line of business or they will simply start to give you that look of “what the hell is that?”.

The name of the company is Navitaire (Now an Accenture Project). And over the years, I’ve come to battle people against the correct identity of the company that I used to work for. And mind you, hindi lang ako ang naka-experience nito. Some of the names came from my other colleague’s personal experiences. When asked where do you work and we tell them at Navitaire, here’s some of the responses we got – at least the ones I can still remember….

NaviCare – parang Maxicare or Medicare? Na nasa health insurance and card business kayo?

NaviAir slash NaviAire – either gumagawa kami ng balloons for party needs or gumagawa kami ng aircon for a bigger party event siguro.

And one of the most hilarious and out of this world comment from a friend – sabi ko Navitaire. Sabi niya, wow. Is that a mall? Ang dinig niya, “Nab It There”. Parang Walmart ba daw yon dito sa Pilipinas! Haha.

For more than five years, I had to endure this thing. Endure kasi, alam niyo naman ako, minsan ayokong mag-explain. Hahaha. Nakakatamad. Nakakapagod I even told somebody that it s a call center kahit hindi, para lang matapos at matahimik na. Ganun ako ka bored mag explain then. Hahahaha. So imagine my happiness, when a few months ago, I decided to move to more popular company. Yung walang masyadong identity crisis. Yung may absolute image, pag binanggit mo ang pangalan, alam na ng lahat – Citibank.

Now everytime people will ask me, I have this smile on my face while saying the word Citibank – kasi alam ko, wala na akong dapat i-explain. Everybody knows it. Lahat ata tayo may utang sa Citibank. Hahahaha. Well, that’s what I thought, until I realized that perhaps working for a more popular company like this one has its downside din. Here’s some of the responses I got recently….

Citibank? naku, teka.. (thinking for 15 seconds) uhmmm., may utang pa ba ako dun? Naka-installment kasi yung card ko. – said a friend of a friend (It’s not like maniningil ako dito ngayon??? Para siyang adik!!!)

Citibank, naku sir tamang tama. Kasi ho, may inapplay akong card jan, tapos I made a follow up two days ago, sabi nila na-approve na daw a few weeks back. Pero hanggang ngayon kasi wala pa yung card. Hindi pa na-deliver sa akin blah blah blah… - said Accenture’s HR when I tried to call them to inquire about my last pay and the documents I requested. Weird no? Ginawa pa akong customer service and I even had to remind him why I was calling. Mas adik siya.

Oh Citibank. What department? I said, “business services, corporate marketing”.. Ay nice, anong mga bago niyong promos ngayon? Ang HSBC may free wallet. – I died. I though this one had potential. Haha. Ok na sana. Sumabit pa.

Now I know na there are really two sides in everything. Popular or not quite, meron pa rin talagang mga inevitable circumstances where you have to explain yourself further. O cge, hindi na ako masyadong tatamarin, I hope. Really hope. Otherwise, I’ll be too tempted to say na call center na lang ulit. Hahaha.

FYI

Navitaire, is an Accenture company that provides software solutions/products to small and medium sized airline companies to help them with their operations.

While Citibank – is a bank. Of course we all know that.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Top Model Ehhh?@!$%^&


Jay showed me this uuubbbbeeerrrrrr funny vid and I just couldn’t contain myself that I’d have to share this to all my readers, yes, all six of you. Hahahaha.

Tell me, Do you wanna be on top??????







And then there’s the infamous host-breakdown ala Tyra!!!!






And what’s a Top Model contest without a groundbreaking finale???







Love iiiittttttt!!!!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Surprisingly Surprised


Ok so who doesn’t like surprises eehhh????


In between my desire to master the art and postures of yoga ooooohhhhmmmmmmmmm oooohhhhhhhmmmmmm….. and my hobby of processing bank transactions, I was able to recently visit a place that I normally don’t go to. The Grocery.


We were supposed to just get Amina her supplies and in a jiffy, I was able to look around some stalls and was surprised to find this in one of the shelves - - - > errrr.. look down instead.


May Cool Aid pa pala no???? Don’t you just love em? I used to use them to color my hair back in my elementary days. Haha. Uso pa ang literal na highlights nun and I was being very creative. This brings back a lot of my childhood memories, just what I needed in these ever chaotic, erratic, sometimes tragic and exciting life.




Feeling ko, ito ang magbabangon sa economiya ng banda!!! Mabuhay ang Cool Aid!!!!! Woooooo!!!!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Lourdes


Tuwing nakikita mo ang salitang ito, malamang naiisip mo ang milagrosong lugar sa France. Isang lugar na talagang dinarayo ng marami dahil ito ay nakapagbibigay umano ng bagong pag-asa, bagong buhay sa ilan mga naniniwala. Pero ako, tuwing nakikita o naririnig ko ang salitang ito, isa lang ang pumapasok sa isip ko. Yung babae sa kabilang kanto. Kaibigan ng nanay ko.

Mas kilala siya sa tawag na “Aling Lourdes”. Mas relaxed kasi ang feel pag ganun ang tawag sa kanya, at sa tinagal tagal na panahon, nasanay na rin kami pareho na ganun ang tawag ko sa kanya.

Matagal na siyang kaibigan ng nanay ko. Naaalala ko, bata pa lang ako, dinadala na ako ng nanay ko sa bahay nila tuwing mag-k-kwentuhan sila. Ako nman, walang angal, kasi aliw na aliw ako sa alaga niyang pagong. Tuwing nasa bahay nila ako, wala akong ginawa kundi sundan ang paglakad ng alaga niyang pagong. Na minsan sa sobrang inip, nakuha ko pang itulak sa pag aakalang bibilis siya maglakad.

Sa lahat ng mga kaibigan ng nanay ko, gusto ko si Aling Lourdes. Pala-simba. Walang bisyo. Matulungin. At higit sa lahat, kasi masayahin siya. Tuwing nag-uusap sila ng nanay ko, hindi pwedeng hindi sila tatawa. Para kasing standup comedianne si Aling Lourdes. Napaka-animated ng mga reaction. Parang kahit kailan, hindi ko siya nakitang malungkot. O baka nman kasi busy nga ako sa pagtingin sa pagong kaya hindi ko napapansin.

Habang lumalaki ako, bihira na akong mapunta sa bahay nila. Namatay na rin kasi yung pagong na alaga niya. Pero patuloy ko pa ring nasubaybayan ang kwento ni Aling Lourdes. Kinukwento rin kasi sa akin ng nanay ko. Nabalitaan ko nung mabuntis ang panganay niyang anak. Katatapos lang nun ng college. Sabi niya, akala ata ng anak niya, pagnakatapos ka ng pag aaral, kasunod na agad ang pag-aasawa. Nabalitaan ko rin nung makipagtanan ang bunso niyang anak na may kapansanan. At kung paano niya sinabi na ang anak niyang “iika-ika” ay nakuha pa siyang takbuhan at makipagtanan. Kwela tlaga si Aling Lourdes, nakuha pa niyang magpatawa sa mga ganitong pagkakataon pero alam kong bilang ina, nasaktan din siya.

Madalas ko siyang makita sa umaga. Papaalis ako ng bahay para pumasok sa trabaho, siya naman, nagtatapon ng basura. Gustong gusto ko siyang nakakasalubong sa umaga. Kasi lagi siyang nakangiti at punung puno ng energy. Kahit wala akong tulog, pag nakita ko siya, nagigising ako. Nakakadala kasi yung mga bati niya sa umaga. Parang ang saya saya lagi ng buhay. Walang problema. Walang stress.

Pero ngayon, may ilang buwan ko na rin siyang hindi nakikita. Tuwing dadaan ako sa kalye nila, puro basura na lang ang naaabutan ko. Inisip ko, tinanghali na naman kasi ako ng gising. Palibhasa, walang definite na oras ang pasok ko sa trabaho ngayon. Tuloy lang ang buhay. Hanggang sa nabalitaan na lang namin na nasa ospital pala si Aling Lourdes.

May ilang araw na rin ang nakalipas bago namin nalaman. Malubha ang sakit. Hindi matukoy kung ano. Basta malubha. Hindi na ako nakasama sa pagdalaw kaya ikinuwento na lang ng nanay ko sa akin ang mga pangyayari. At habang kinukwento sa akin ng nanay ko, hindi ko maiwasan ang malungkot. Pero ayokong ipahalata sa kanya. Kasi habang nag-ku-kwento siya, nararamdaman ko ang takot. Takot na sa puntong baka mawalan na naman siya ng kaibigan (Kamamatay lang kasi ng isa pa niyan kaibigan). Hindi daw makapagsalita si Aling Lourdes, ipinagbawal daw ng Doctor. Kasi pati ag pagsasalita, nakakasama sa kalagayan niya. Pero makulit si Aling Lourdes, pagdating na nanay ko, hindi siya nakapagpigil at pinilit niya pa rin magsalita. “Bakit ba ako pinarurusahan ng ganito?”

Sa puntong ito, pareho kaming natigilan. Ang nanay ko sa pagku-kwento. Ako sa pakikinig. Hindi kasi ako makapaniwala. Na kayang sabihin ni Aling Lourdes ito. Na siya nga mismo ang nagsabi nito. May ilang araw ko na rin tong naiisip. Hindi ko maiwasang malungkot. Napapaisip din ako, kung bakit kung sino pa ang mababait, madalas, sila pa yung pinahihirapan. Those who play by the rules are the ones who end up getting fucked up – nasabi ko na to dati, pero bilang joke. Ngayon, napapaisip ako, kasi parang may katotohanan yung sinabi ko.

Why do bad things happen to good people. Yan ang lagi kong sagot sa tuwing may magtatanong sa akin kung ano ang gusto kong itanong sa Diyos. Isang tanong na kahit paulit ulit kong isipin, hanggang ngayon wala pa rin akong makuhang matinong sagot. O, ayoko lang talagang mag-participate sa mga mind games. Siguro, iibahin ko na lang. Ayoko nang itanong. Baka hindi ko rin naman maintindihan ang sagot. Everything happens for a reason. Pero nakakapagod na rin namang mag-isip kung ano yon minsan. Mas magandang sabihin na lang Niya sa akin, kung ano man ang gusto Niyang sabihin. Hindi nman siguro masama yon.

Angel - Sarah McLachlan