Thursday, May 25, 2006

Confessions of a Frustrated Product Manager

Okay. I am thisclose to screaming when my boss said his parting words to me before he went home. But before that let me first describe him whom we'll call Night Santa (now don't give me that weird look. Hikaru was the one who gave that pseudonym, not moi. Go ask her.)

Look, Night Santa is good. He's very good in what he does. He's smart, maabilidad, and he gets things done faster than most of the people in the bank. He's not afraid in throwing his weight around (pun intended) in order to get a project finished in a given time frame. He's very particular, obsessed, down to the minutest detail. He's very demanding as well. Many an instance came that he and I had our share of showdowns: raised voices, with me stubbornly refusing and questioning everything he wants me to do, and him continuously firing me with questions that makes my head go into overdrive mode. He's STRESS waiting to happen!

But he's a self-proclaimed uber fashionista as well. He didn't say it that way but he gives off this vibe that he's one of the authorities when it comes to "high-end" fashion (yeah and that means???) He's always picking on my outfit almost every Friday ("Oh ba't nakahubo ka na naman?" he smart-assedly quipped when he saw me without my blazer after office hours. I was weirded out.) and he gives out great Christmas gifts (read: ONLY Zara and Mango for us girls!)

The thing that majorly ticked me off today was that he followed up with this big project we're doing with cards and it isn't ready yet. So I told him. Understandably, he was disappointed and frustrated because we're moving too slow. He told me to give him the revised version of the product program, and then off he went, muttering, "hay nako. Ganyan na naman kayo ha, pag madali ang bilis-bilis niyo gawin, pag mahirap..."

Uhm, hello? Weren't we taught to answer exam questions that way, tackle the easy ones first before doing the hard part? If I only focus on the big project I won't get anything done in the first place. And it's not as if I completely dropped the big project altogether. But, of course, everything is MY fault.

He and I also don't communicate well. I'm sorry but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HIM. I thought I was the only one having trouble comprehending him. I was even considering attending verbal comprehension and business writing classes just so I can understand him better, but it turns out that the three other product managers are having trouble communicating with him, too. I'm always wrong, I don't write the way he wants me to write: concise, clear and with logical progression. Well, I'm really sorry for being inept and stupid, sir, but you seem to have forgotten that you and I exist on different levels. Besides, I didn't have someone to look up to as a role model of a product manager for bank deposits (for heaven's sake do you know how hard it is to market money nowadays? Of all the things bakit pera???). You're TOO OLD (he'd probably kill me if he sees this). I'm NEVER gonna be able to please you with anything so why the heck would I even bother to try??? Go take the credit for yourself, I don't care. And please, your career path is not something I want for myself - shame on you for deducing that my non-committal responses and bouts of silence constitutes agreement whenever you bring up my career paths and other units (if you did).

It's a good thing that I can be brutally honest and gutsy to tell it to his face that I don't understand him in some instances (and I'm sometimes tempted to add that I'm sorry for being stupid and not being able to understad what he says). He discusses plan A with me, and I totally understand plan B (tapos sa huli plan C pala masusunod.) But he got offended one time I told him that we're not communicating well. You should see us talk. It brings the term "lost in transalation" on a whole new level. So go on. Take all the credit, I won't care. I'm NEVER gonna be able to impress you, NEVER gonna be able to think like you do because I don't want to be like you (or your work at least). Not in this organization, or until you prove me wrong.

See how frustrations can cause incoherent thinking and blogging? Different POVs, lintek. My alma mater would've been ashamed of moi if they see how I butchered the English language in this entry. Pffft.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Back To School

I’m going off to grad school this July. Yay. Go me. Time to make sense why I’m doing what I’m doing. And time to use my brain cells again. (Not just looking for some other way to market and sell money.) 'Tis funny, though. The four years after college saw me as someone who never entertained the notion of going to grad school in the first place, yet here I am, abso-bloody-lutely ecstatic of going back to school.

I'm excited to buy school supplies again. I'd love to smell new, fresh notebooks, the aroma of instant coffee for cramming and making "a bouquet of sharpened pencils." The joy of writing on the first, clean page of a notebook always gives me a giddy feeling. Sweet.

The test was a bit confusing, though. Felt like those entrance exams I took back in college, particularly the one from my alma mater. I just snapped my test book shut and randomly shaded those A, B, C or D towards the end of the exam since I knew I'd never finish all of them in time (how typical). But, praise God, I passed!!! AND, (please allow me this pagbubuhat ng bangko) I was the eighth highest scorer among 47 examinees. Babaw, yes, but ok lang. Feel good pa rin.

Jo, if you happen to read this entry, I guess I'll be seeing you around the campus. Let's paint the town red after you've finished your SCRA readings! And go food tripping.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mundane Things

When we sent off our mother hen a few weeks ago, Dan couldn't help but remark about how old we're becoming during the three years we knew each other. "It makes me feel sad," he said, taking a sip out of his San Mig Light. I know exactly what he means. We've grown old so fast in this surreal world called the corporate life. Jaded. His melancholic mood was further aggravated by Torpeh who had this insane way of getting her cash out when we asked for the bill. She actually had a white envelope containing her cash, and was sorting through it as we're paying our bill. "P*cha J--- ano ba yan? Nasa envelope pera mo? Eh mga nanay lang yung gumagawa niyan eh..." Dan said, and the exact same thing was running through my head. I don't blame him for being a little frustrated. I guess it's the fact that slowly, we are manifesting the mannerisms of something that we're not...yet.

On a lighter note, last week I went to CCF's Bible Study on The Da Vinci Code and got to meet Quack's other friends from her DGroup. The funny thing about that night was when Chuck asked me where I worked. I replied, "Security Bank..." but I guess he didn't hear the "bank" part. He thought that I really worked for Security (as in Security Guard). He made gun motions with his hands, and I said, "Oh my actually thought I had a gun holster with me???" and everyone on the table erupted into giggles. Quacks quipped, "Actually batuta yung akala niya..." Hay. Can we please expedite (yuk that's such a corporate term) the corporate image enhancement? It's bad enough that the bank's not very well known, but to have me mistaken for a security guard in my uniform??? You gotta be kidding.


Got an email from the newly appointed Treasury Group Head with a letterhead. A letterhead, for crying out loud. At least some people's dreams are coming true.

Speaking of emails, I got an email inquiry from our Service Quality which came from the bank's website. The email was asking about two of my products, and the sender was (drumroll please) someone I knew from college. Since it was an official email I just drafted the content and attached the prospectus sheets, because I knew that Service Quality will edit and send it using the official email of the bank. Imagine my surprise when I got CC'd on the email they threw back to the inquirer with my name, contact number and email address at the bottom. I had a feeling it's gonna be one of those days...and it was.

He emailed me back using the REPLY TO ALL option, with these actual text:

Hi E-----,

Kamusta na? How's the bigtime banker?........

Bigtime? Banker? These two words DO NOT usually go hand in hand, and I said so in my reply to him. Boy, did I get teased for that bigtime banker remark. But at least it added spice to my otherwise boring day.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Alternative Route

It's the season for promotions again. I've been with the company for about three years now, and am still holding the position I got when I graduated from the training program two years ago. My PAR's been doing well for the past two years (even I say so myself) but I don't know of this year I'll be putting the word "senior" before my current position.

Just in case we don't get promoted this year, man, I'd be willing to try this thing out. When I told my mum and my colleagues and the trainees my plan, they immediately burst out giggling, but I know they see my logic in thinking about doing it. I mean, an allowance of Php 5,000 per week for just lazing around and doing antics in front of the nation. What more could anyone want? I'm talking about

I'm kidding of course. But man, 5 grand a week is so not bad. Not bad at all. No deadlines, no cases, no trying to get along with people you'd rather see fall off the face of the earth. Sigh. What a great vaca!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Narrow Path

Make me a blessing, make me a blessing
Out of my life may Jesus shine
Make me a blessing, O Saviour I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.


It's hard to walk the narrow path.

But He's been persistent in making me walk that way

Because He is the only way

That I can be happy and fulfilled.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Things I Learned Over The Long Weekend

That many people don’t know how it is to be forgiven – it constitutes repentance, meaning, you won’t do the things you used to do anymore. Funny how not many people realize this, considering the fact that we allot time EVERY YEAR to remember the price God freely paid to save us: His only Son, Jesus Christ.

That forgiving someone is so hard to do, but it’s the only way to get rid of one’s emotional baggages, and thus travel light.

That letting go and giving up your life to God’s will is the hardest thing to do, but the most fulfilling as well.

That being alone (especially for me) in the stillness of life in long pockets of time during the day, spent in quiet prayer, praise, thanksgiving to the Lord and reflection on His words, is the ultimate nourishment of one’s soul.

That in being alone, I realize that I am much, much loved by the people who matter most to me.

That being busy doing worthwhile things is a lot better than moping around, thinking about something that you couldn’t change.

That children’s laughter can always, always make me smile.

That you have only one option: WAIT. Until God delivers you His promises to you or, for God to deliver you out of the mess you’ve gotten yourself into. (from Michelle McKinney Hammond)

I’ve kept my silence for far too long. Now’s MY TIME.

I have a resolution which I jokingly told Quacks I’d apply to my life: whenever I come across a girl whom I’ve met but I can’t remember her name, I WILL CALL HER BECKY. Why Becky? It’s such a cute, affectionate name, and I already have an explanation for using that name or method. It reminds me of Princess Sarah’s maid and bestfriend.

Funny Anecdote: The group was asking for prayer requests from us. The usual answers were given: work and family. When someone asked, "Love life?..." all of us reacted the same way:

(Making a face): "Wag na muna..."
Kinda reminds me of the part at weddings wherein the bride throws her bouquet. All the girl make a mad dash to AVOID catching it at all costs. Oh yeah. ÜÜÜ

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I Have A Question

Anong apelyido ni “Beast”?

E di “Kwit”…

“Beast Kwit”…hehehe! Mamatay ka sa ka-cornyhan! Wahahahaha ÜÜÜ

I sent this text to almost all my friends. The memorable reactions:
Lianne: P*ta! Bwahahahaha.
Jon: Hayop sa kabaduyan a!
Larry: Wala kang magawa no?
Josh: Anong nakain mo?
Rosei: Pot* ang corny!
Jody: Nakakainis yung sinend mo sa text (I can just imagine her pout…hahaha)
Erick: Ang corny nga!
Sir Jun: (immediately scrunched up his face and turned away from me as I dissolved into giggles) … epal…dapat nilagyan mo sa dulo ng “kailangan pa bang i-memorize ‘yan?”
Celeste: (after snickering) Hay nako E---- gutom lang yan…kumain ka na… (eh at least bumenta sa iyo hahaha)
Sir Jan: (Siyempre hindi niya na-gets agad kahit na dineliver ko na yung punchline!) …

Hay. Ang babaw ng kaligayahan ko, no?

QUATTRO - got tagged by quacks
four jobs i have had in my life:
1. student
2. bum
3. feeling body combat instructor
4. guinea pig for food

four movies i would watch over and over:
1. LOTR 1/2/3
2. Meet Joe Black
3. Sabrina
4. 13 going on 30

four places i have lived:
1. Novaliches, QC
2. Kalookan City
3. Taiwan
4. Singapore

four tv shows i love to watch:
1. CSI (all the editions)
2. My Name Is Kim Sam Soon
3. Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition (jologs ako!)
4. Unwrapped

four places i have been on vacation:
1. Boracay
2. Cabiao
3. Malaysia
4. Indonesia

four websites i visit daily:
1. blogger
2. yahoo mail
3. gmail
4. google

four of my favorite foods:
1. sushi
2. isaw
3. ice cream
4. chocolate

four places i would rather be right now:
1. home
2. paris
3. singapore
4. a beach in maldives

now that that's done, i am going to tag...
1. ken
2. jody
3. jen
4. none