Jinxed

This post is long overdue. I should have written this last Sunday but because 1) I was too busy with work, 2) the electricity was often out, 3) the internet went out starting at dusk, and 4) when the power and the internet came back, I was busy again with work.

On being jinxed…

Bobby and I have this long-standing joke – or call it observation – that every time I have a deadline for my online job, something comes up unexpectedly to hinder my progress and to make my submissions late. Call it findng a scapegoat but I prefer to think that I’m jinxed.

With my first freelance job

  • Back when I was still with my former freelance boss, I was using a very unreliable internet connection – we’ll call it SB prepaid, it is actually a Smart product which was supposed to give me fast internet because of it being the largest mobile phone provider in the country. Sad to say that my expections were all proven too high because everytime I have a project, the connection goes down. I couldn’t even check my mails! And to think that I am using Gmail 😦
  • The power failures would also creep into the last hour – as in when I am still writing my last article. Because my deadlines had been daily, at 8 PM, it came to a point where I was constantly late in sending out projects.
  • To add to the dramatic effect, my illness – mitral valve prolapse – would decide to make itself known by making me palpitate 😦 maybe it was just the stress of it all but, in the end, I had to quit that job because of a particular incident where I couldn’t meet the deadlines because I was constantly lying down – it was around the time when Bobby’s grandmother passed away.

With my current freelance job

  • I still blame the power failures that the electric company brings every week. I have too many rants about the brownouts – mostly happening when I have a deadline! 😦
  • My internet connection is much more reliable these days. I’m hooked up with SkyLineAccess with a grid antenna. While it was new to us, though, the crazy brownouts would come – causing the antenna’s microchip to breakdown, leaving me with no internet access for days. The Engineer was confused as to why, for the very first time in their long business career, an antenna keeps breaking down. The last time the antenna went on a major breakdown, it died. Well, I had to shell out some Php7,000 just to have a new microchip installed. 😦
  • Over the course of time, I have developed new illnesses. According to a good friend, Dieter, when the creator was calling for people who were interested in diseases, I must have been calling out me! me! 😀 This time, I had to return some projects because I was hospitalized or had to go to the hospital for an emergency case 😦
  • The last major event happened last weekend with the storm, Jolina. I call it really personal – I mean, what’s with Joy, Jolina, and jinxed? 😀 Anyway, we had a major rush project but the weather and the electric company decided to play with us (Lurchie, Maree, and, perhaps, my other colleagues). The power would turn off for several minutes or hours, turn on for some time, then off again, then on again, and off again, until it was too difficult to keep track of how many times the ons-offs happened. It was going really crazy to the point that I just sat near the PC, turned it on when the power went back and worked as fast as I could. When the power goes off, I chat with Maree and Lurchie but sometimes had to just text. When the power comes back, we work back…on and on the cycle went until it became too infuriating that we were grumbling with some *#*#*##* signs and crazy, frustrating messages. My internet connection actually held on through the entire 2 days of crazy brown-outs that Lurchie said were early Christmas lights. 🙂 However, during the last power off, it died, too  – leaving me with a project to pass but no internet connection. Bobby and I had to go to Scooby’s to send the articles – which I had a hard time transfering to the flash drive because the PC acted crazy and wouldn’t recognize the USB (sigh). I had to burn the files in a blank CD – glad I found one.

So, there it is – everything that makes me conclude that I might really be jinxed. Still, Maree said that I have to think positive. Alright, I will try to…but for the meantime, let me blame the electric company, the weather, and my being jinxed 😀

Martial Law – The Company

Massive sleep break

Massive sleep break

It seems that everyday I am finding new reasons to quit from The Company.

The annual audit is scheduled tomorrow – as always, the heads are frantically trying to make The Company and the processes look their best for the auditors. Oh, I do know that most companies would brief their employees about structures and process but rehearsing how the employees should answer questions is just going too far. But that is not what I am ranting about. I don’t really care about this audit thing.

My real rant here is the way that our heads call meetings. In fairness to our team leader, she always tells us when she knows that a meeting is looming in the schedule. The higher ups are the ones who are really really really really irritating. And this has happened on about 95% of all meetings that it is almost expected {major double sigh!}.

Anyway, it was exactly 1:53 PM (yes, exactly because I made it a point to look at the clock on my computer!) when Head C informed us that there will be a meeting at 2 PM! The reaction from the group was almost unanimous – groans of protest and frustration. Why were we informed so late into the hour? Our work place is in a town next to our city so most of the people who will come fetch us are either already on the way or are already waiting outside! That means that they will have to wait outside until the meeting is finished. I had already raised this concern to Head C many meetings ago but the suggestion/reaction must have fallen to deaf ears!

Rebel as I am, I tried to sneak out at 1:55 PM to go home – hubby is already waiting for me outside! But the guards were actually informed that there will be a meeting and no one is allowed to go out! WTF? It’s Martial Law now? This was the common grumble by many of us left dumbstruck at the stairs. They had never done that before – close the doors during meetings! They even closed the door to the login/logout room just to be sure! What are they feeling so threatened about that they would resort to doing this?

So, we really had no choice but attend the boring meeting called by a boss from Manila on audit topics that we already know about. I mean, we were taught exactly how to lock our computers when we go on breaks or whatever: CTRL+ALT+DEL. Isn’t that too trivial? Really! So, his voice was drowned by most people grumbling and chattering. I think only about 15% of the people there were actually listening. Honestly, I only listened to about 10% of what he said. Such meetings of a large body of employees (two shifts) in such a large area (the whole first floor of the production building ) by one person is totally not effective at all -especially when you are trying to tell them how to answer the auditors on a major annual external audit!

All in all, the meeting – the way it was called, how we were informed, how it went – was a flop! But I guess that it was something expected of The Company! Again, why am I not quitting yet? Drat that contract!

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}.  

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.