Top 10: How to Make Your Job Less Boring aka More Exciting

top20tenIt’s the last day of January – incidentally, this is also marks the third (full) month that we had no files to work on. Does this mean that I am going to be jobless soon? Maybe the next entry would be: “I hate being jobless” instead of “I hate my job” 😀

Anyway, 3 hours before our shift ended today (7 PM) I had nothing to do. And because we were not allowed to do non-work related internet searches, I was squeezing my brain of all possible creative whatevers to do. Also, with most of my friends gone due to the resignation epidemic, I didn’t have a lot of people to chat with {sigh}. Jeffy was chatting with me last night but because he had files today, I didn’t have a “chat” mate. So, with very few options, I decided to make my Top 10 things to do to make the job less boring – or maybe, more exciting. By “job” here, I meant the shift and not the actual job.

10. Read an interesting book. Yes, if they can’t let you read blogs online, at least you can read a book. Try Anne Rice or Stephen King {shivers}.

9. Research on subjects that seem to be work-related. For example, since I am a copyeditor of scientific/medical journals, health-related articles are safe for me. I also tried searching for planetary bodies and stars – maybe the powers-that-be at The Company can overlook that 😀

8. Coffee break. That sounds like a good advice but with a heart problem, I can’t possibly do that. So, I just let people go on a coffee break and I breathe the aroma of coffee 😀

7. Stretch/Exercise break. Hmmm it’s a good way to keep you from sleeping but might also catch your team leader’s attention. Make this discrete then.

6. Pretty break. This is something that I had observed of girls from Production. Well, it can’t hurt to be prettier/handsomer so you can go to the Comfort Room – comb your hair, brush your teeth, put on some light makeup, whatever.

5. Chat break. This is good if you have some friends who are not busy with their job, too. However, it is a very bad idea to interrupt what they are doing so that you can bug them or chat with them while they work.

4. Take a nap. Hmm seems to me that this is a sure way to get yourself a suspension but if you can do this as discretely as possible then maybe you can actually sleep until the shift eds. I actually get this done by wearing a jacket with a hood. And because I often use the hood, the others don’t notice that I am already asleep – although some do notice 😀

3. Try to find ways to improve your job. I am being a hypocrite here but this actually works. I had been doing some changes on my macros and copyediting tools so that I can copyedit files faster 😀 You can also do that to your job.

2. Eat. Now, this is perhaps the best and/or worst solution to your problem. Food is delicious and can keep you busy but you will also gain weight and lose some money. Still, eating is good when you are bored 😀

1. Blog. Well, if you can’t do the computer/online blog, take the good old paper and pen and write your blog or an outline of a blog – like what I just did. You can even plan on what you are going to blog about in the next couple of days.

There you have it – my top 10 things to make your job less boring. I know that you also have your own versions. Feel free to share them 😀

Bad Philippine Housing Loan System

People from advanced countries take for granted the fact that they can easily buy a house. People from my country, the Philippines, have to rely on the somewhat incompetent housing loan system – even wh

en this is a government institute under Mr. Vice President himself! Those who can really afford to buy a parcel of lot then build a house on cash are of course not going to agree with me but for us who can’t afford, then this is our plight.

I just found this sort-of dream lot near my parent’s (and parents-in-law) house. It is about 691 square meters – and located right beside the road. It’s worth only about Php 795 per sq m or about Php 550,000 in all. Now, that is a good deal considering that most undeveloped lots located near the road sell at about Php 2,000 per sq m.

Bobby and I have some cash from savings and donations (Uncle Dogbert?) but it is still not enough to cover that amount {sigh, can someone grant me a loan, please?}. I am crossing my fingers that by the time that we do have that cash, the lot is still for sale 😀

Anyway, I was glad that the government has this housing loan system they call PAG-IBIG which grants housing loans to people like us in the working class. With big hopes, we attended the seminar last November 27 (of 2008). We had to fill out a Member Status Verification Slip (or something like that) so that they can verify if we are eligible to obtain a loan. That is just the very first step which will determine if we can proceed to transacting with the lot seller. This also means that the loan process has not commenced yet – we have to wait for that MSVS. We were told that it would take them 1 or 2 weeks to process that and inform us if we are eligible for the loan.

After two weeks, I called up the office and was informed that they were on an “offline” mode and were not able to process the MSVS. Every Thursday after that, I would call the office in the afternoon just for sure – the answer is always the same: “Sorry, Ma’am, but we are still waiting for the papers to arrive. We are still on offline mode.” And to think that the country’s vice president (Noli de Castro) has been showing ads on TV about that governent office being the answer to housing problems in the country or something similar to that!

So, somewhat impatiently (but I have no choice, right?), I call the office at 4 o’clock on Thursdays – without fail. It’s more than two months since we last attended the seminar. Maybe they had been wrong about the verification process being done after 2 weeks – maybe they meant two years!

Can someone give me a loan now? 😀 If only it’s as easy as that, huh? Let’s just say that I would still need about Php 300,000 right now. Hmm, maybe I should try a “Piso Para sa Bahay” kind of fund raising? 😀 If only the government can improve the housing loan system – I’d have that lot soon {sigh}.

Epidemic: Resignation at Work

Perfect logic, don't you think?


Perfect logic, don’t you think?

I do not know who carried the virus inside The Company but an epidemic is threatening to take away my colleagues and friends. Sadly, the epidemic has taken away a lot of my friends {sigh}. I am talking about the resignation epidemic at The Company these days. Yes, there were other colleagues who went ahead of us – moved on to greener or stress-free pastures. My friends and I had always ranted about The Company being too indifferent to the fact that a lot of really good workers are moving out but, again, aren’t we all dispensable? They can always find new people to work on the job.

So, back to the epidemic affecting my friends.

  1. Alvin. The first question is if he is my friend? LMAO But of course he is a friend – even when we constantly bicker almost about anything even to this date when he’s oceans away, he is still a friend. Well, he was definitely the first one out – he just might be the first resignation epidemic virus casualty. He quit when we were just starting the new “regular” status. It was weird when he was gone because I had no one to argue with {sigh} – but as he often tells me, he wants to contradict ANYTHING that I say/think because everyone else around me agrees with me. Well, I thought that with him gone and all, we could at last have some peace. I guess I am wrong because (1) he is still bickering with me – online, (2) peace is boring – he said that, and (3) the others also quit.
  2. JaeJae. She’s my closest friend in the group and we’ve known each for almost 80% of our lives. Why, we were classmates even on kindergarten! But she’s off to playing with airplanes and computers {sigh}. She quit at the start of 2009 – what a symbolic way of catching the epidemic. The workplace is definitely boring without JJ! I was so used to her slapping notes on my desk, playing with her miniature toys, and pestering us to the brink of impatience. Yes, Alvin is right, peace is boring.
  3. JinJun. You’ll know exactly where she is sitting in the cafeteria even without seeing her yet – the loudest and happiest table usually has her as occupant. She’s funny, entertaining, and really friendly. She transfers from table to table to talk with most of us – she is definitely adored by everyone. Too bad that The Company can’t make her happy, too. She is happy in her new job now. The canteen is boring without her {sigh}. Oh, and she quit along with JJ {double sigh}.
  4. Lurchie. First impressions can’t be trusted – definitely true with my friendship with her. We didn’t become friends fast – we even had some negative impressions about each other which we later cleared only to realize that the impressions were totally stupid and dind’t have real bearing at all. LOL. She taught me a lot of things that The Company could never teach you. She’s good, really good. Ma’am Agnes often tells us (San Diego folks) that Lurchie’s one of those people you can always depend to do the job – equations, anything. She is definitely one of those people that The Company should never have lost in the first place. And she caught the epidemic less than a month after JaeJae and JinJun! {major sigh here}
  5. Michs. She’s a fine lady who is serious about her job (well, that is my impression) but for unknown reasons to me, she’s quitting next month, too.  We don’t talk much but have become friends over the months of stay in The Company. Plus, she is sitting across my desk! Life’s definitely going to be quiet and boring for the days or weeks or months!

Are 5 ‘casualties’ enough for this event to be called an epidemic? Yes! because I only mentioned those who resigned (or resigning) that have a significant part of my work-friendship life. There are more than 10 people who caught the epidemic much earlier than the people I mentioned.

Any solution to the epidemic? In my point of view, the only solution now is to wait and catch it, too. Who’s going to be the next resignation epidemic casualty? I wonder.

Another Boring Work Day

Same feeling here... (Google image)
Same feeling here… (Googled image)

It’s Monday. Obviously, I am not on my brightest and cheerfullest (!) moods. When the job becomes too routine and too boring, do you still expect yourself to look forward to getting back to the office after the weekend? Nah! Don’t be a hypocrite, you! 😀

A friend (or enemy? haha!) told me with a trace of sarcasm that his advice for people who hate their job is to quit (no question, this is Alvin :D)!  Yes, Id be glad to do that when my contract is up but until then (and without an alternative), I will not quit for the sake of quitting. If you are confused with my reasoning then check out my post about this here. I will start making resumes and application letters before the last quarter of this years arrives – till then, I’ll stay put.

Anyway, as expected, we still didn’t have files to work on. And without internet access (well, to “non-work-related” sites), we had nothing to do {sigh}. My hubby told me that I should be happy – the company’s paying me for sitting down and doing absolutely nothing! However, doing that or about 7 hours can be more boring than actually working. So, I had to search for words that are, again, work related.

With my real profession in mind, I searched for water test procedures, new titration methods, old Chemistry fundamentals, and stuff like that. How I wish I could do a job search on related careers, instead. 😀 but how selfish can that be {big smile here}? Using  the company’s resources for your own gain! Hmm…

But with the Chemistry keywords, I was actually having fun – and didn’t feel drowsy for even one minute! I realized that I am still the Chemistry crazy girl – but mind you, I had never been nerdy about that (I was often absent or absent-minded), just ask my former classmates, mentors, and my hubby. However, you have to admit that Chemistry is still exciting, I guess that it will always be exciting for me. I had fun reviewing how to calculate concentrations, gravimetry, and test results. Now, I resent my current job more and more :D.

By now, you might be thinking that I am ranting on something that was entirely my fault in the first place – for taking this job. However, when you are young and in-love and newly married, you just don’t think straight – I chose a career away from my profession (as Chemist) in Dumaguete over a stable profession-related job in a cement plant. Yes, it was my fault but again, like Snoopy said, I was just fooled by the job description – plus the promise of a high pay in this small city {sigh}. I guess, Alvin, that you are right – painfully so, I have to admit. Guess that means that I have to start writing that resume, huh?

 Maybe I will…one of these days. For now, I just have to stick with ranting about this current job {sigh}.  

Rainbows – I Don’t Hate Them

My hubby and I were on our way home from church when we saw this really thick and beautiful rainbow up in the skies. Now, I might hate my job but I can never, ever hate the rainbow. It’s beautiful, magical, and thrilling.

Anyway, we hastened to the city’s boulevard to maximize the view. When we arrived, we realized that there was another rainbow forming really fast so that within a minute there were double rainbows (take a closer look at the upper left part of the rainbow)! It was a breathtaking moment.

Isn’t it really amazing that nature still holds that power to capture our hearts so that, even for just a moment, we forget our problems and fears? Those twin rainbows had that effect on me. Somehow, the day was more beautiful. The rainbows almost magically held some powers to lighten up my load and made me feel that something is about to turn out well. Hmm…does that mean that within some days I’ll have some good news to blog out? Well, I really don’t have any idea but for the first time this year, the day just seemed most promising 😀 But wait! There’s going to be an annular eclipse tomorrow…now, that is something to really blog about. Hopefully, I can capture that in film but if it could not be seen in full tomorrow then I wouldn’t risk damaging my camera. 😀

Yes, nature has been fascinating to me these days. I had found myself searching for “Pluto”, “Saturn”, “Kuiper Belt”, “Eris”, “dolphin”, “shark”, “big cats”, and just about anything related to nature and creation. Hmmm…I’ll do “rainbow” now. 😀

Why I Hate My Job

This cartoon of Snoopy was Googled.

This cartoon of Snoopy was Googled.

In terms of online jobs and the like, I am a professional writer/copy editor. Contrary to my blog’s title, I do love the ONLINE job but I hate the real mortar-and-brick-office one. The latter still involves copy editing but I find this too boring and too maddening. To make it more “compact”, let us call the latter as the “real” job and the former as the “virtual” job.

This is me: the frustrated copy editor and the happy writer. Does that seem like some kind of ranting that is just too contradicting? I don’t think so. I can list so many that I hate about the real job but I can also list some benefits.

 Things I like about my real job – take note that I used “like” not “love”

  • A “sort of” job security – I signed for a two-year binding contract in which I have to pay a huge sum of money if I don’t fulfill the end of the bargain (that is the part I hate but we shall come to that)
  • Specific salary – I know how much I’d earn in a month
  • The job pays fairly – there is not question about that
  • {end, for now}

Things I hate about my real job

  • The regularity is so maddening
  • We work for 6 days a week
  • We are sometimes forced to do overtime work during the week
  • We are sometimes forced to do overtime work during Sundays – this is the part where my whole being protests with might. My stand here is that we are already stuck in the maddening routine of 6 days of work a week, in schedules that make me want to cry (more on that later) , with us spending less time with our family (and ourselves!), and they are taking away our precious day of rest!
  • The schedule is maddening. [As much as possible, for the sake of this hated company, I wouldn’t mention its name anywhere in this blog but some details might be implied (people from the company will know immediately which company I am talking about!) but I will leave you guessing – I might just reward you if you guess the company correctly :D.] As if the 6-day schedule wasn’t bad enough, we had to undergo the two-week shift cycle. Yes, millions of people are going through with this type of schedule all over the world (health workers, call center agents) but I keep asking myself each day why I had ever agreed to work in this company when I had the almost perfect previous job!
  • We are only entitle to 5 days of leave – we can divide that into any type of leave possible: birthday leave, sick leave, vacation leave, undertime, and emergency leave. With this scant “blessing” most of us are absent at least once a month – I am doing a once-a-week stint.
  • The work environment is so cold that you’d think we were located in a snowy country as opposed to the tropical one that we are really in. Funny how we get to work in soft, cotton clothes to keep us from overheating then work in fleece- or wool-lined jackets with gloves and bonnets to keep us from “freezing”! The work condition is literally back-breaking!
  • Too many restrictions are imposed on us. Like most companies, we are prohibited from accessing non-work related websites. With that, they meant virtually anything that is not related to the work is restricted: checking the weather bureau for the possibility of rain is a no-no, too! Is it really that bad? Well, most people may not agree with me but when you are editing an article for more than an hour, you have to divert your brain to another activity or else you’d go mad. With nothing to divert our brains to, we resort to talking among ourselves – which is more likely to make us go on another i-hate-my-job rant session.
  • We also have clothing restrictions: shoes have to have at least 1.5-inch heels, and we have to wear business attires. Too bad nobody really sees us wear them except ourselves although the company always tells us that it is for the sake of the clients – who expect the working people to be “professionals”. So, do clothes really make the man?
  • We have unrealistic targets. How fast can you read one page of a letter-sized scientific article while searching for spacing, grammar, syntax, spelling, and consistency errors? Can you do 23 pages an hour? I have actually achieved that but the question is, did I read those papers line by line? Sadly, the answer is “no!”. If you want to make the article as perfect as possible, since that is really my job, 23 pages is just too unrealistic. But because we were threatened that a written memorandum (a step higher than written warning by HR standard) will be issued, we strove to reach that standard. Yes, the “quantity” part was achieved but the “quality” part is way lower than ever.
  • And I am still in middle of the two-year contract thing. I can’t leave till the last quarter of 2009 but I am starting the countdown. Why don’t I just leave? The contract has bound me with a hefty sum of money which equals about 7 months salary – I am not about to give the company that much money for nothing! No matter how crazy this all seems to me, I’d still wait that deadline out. I am a ranting editor but I am not a money fool.
  • {end, for now}

 Is that all? No! But since I just got back from work, my energy has been drained. Let me question the sanity with which I took this job in other posts in a later time. Let me just muse on what the cartoon above had pointed out. Yes, I must have been fooled by the job description plus the lure of a high salary with the chance to be working at my own hometown. Was it still worth my jumping ship (from a cement company)? I love my family so I think that it was worth the transfer but I had come to hate the job which had held so much promise when I was first offered the position.

So, why did I start this blog? Many things, really. But for now, let us just say that I am trying to divert some of the steam that is threatening to consume me.