Office Work

A photo that gives a smile on my face

This was the photo shared by our client, it was an overlooking taken from her apartment window. It is the Freedom Tower at NYC and it just finished the spire on top the other day.

Ship and skyline

It’s amazing sometimes how people can connect though they are half world apart. Great view!

Imperatives of being a leader

bossesquotesEarlier we had a quick huddle, some work concerns were brought up like salary increase and support operations, I thought that our local boss must take note of those concerns, & most importantly, he should have addressed it. I felt that it was mishandled and that co-workers even noticed how defensive our boss was. As a pioneer, I felt the urge to acknowledge and even offer alternatives, and had to speak to boss privately. I was told that a co-worker was complained by a very important client, that’s why he couldn’t say anything about salary raise, now that boss neck is on the line. Told him that he has to deal with those separately: (1) co-worker issue (2) salary increase, which was raised a long time ago. The only thing I am against with is the idea that he is willing to let go of a co-worker, as opposed to give chance and correct the mistakes. I realized I shouldn’t be teaching him management 101. He trusted me so much that I am always the second to know on what’s going to happen on the next few weeks/months, but sometimes I get fed up with the entire process, most especially letting people go just like that.

I hate to think that firing people is the best option. I always see that attrition rate has something to do with building team culture. There’s no such thing as perfect roster, agents or employees. These people need to be led by someone they look up to. For me it’s more of identifying whether its an attitude or aptitude issue, and being able to punch that problem away. Firing them wouldn’t make them become better person on their next jobs. I felt that something is lacking, like a sense of direction, sense of leadership.

Honestly I do not fear being fired when worse comes to worst, I’m afraid that my boss is becoming dependent highly of us, (3 pioneers left) but what about the rest? A part of me is happy to know that he sees me like that, he respects the kind of contributions I am giving, but the other side of me, tells me that a lot of things were overlooked because of that ideology.

And so it begs the question, are you the boss you need to be? This question does not seek perfection from your management style, (yes we all suck at one point) but more of being able to influence the people around you. What entails in being a great leader? How are you getting the best from your people? As equally important as how are you setting your personal benchmarks as a leader? Are you making your employees happy?

Homebase Job Pitfalls

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In the United States, the percentage of people working from home had increased to more than 35%. This change is gradual for the past two decades. Home-based jobs are trending and it gives equal opportunity to working moms, part-timers, technical people who use computers to deliver daily tasks. Yes there are many perks in working from home and I can name a few: No gas expense or fare fees for commuters,  you don’t have to deal with traffic or rush-hour stress, and you can work at your own pace. Though these perks may sound awesome, the home-based job setup is still not bullet proof.

I’ve been working from home for the past three years, (prior to that, I used to work in a corporate environment for many years) and the first quarter is a tussle, because of the adjustments I had to do. So let me share with you the common pitfalls and how I am continuously beating it:

1. Overwork. This is the part wherein a worker can no longer identify the boundaries of being at home and the workload itself. Without a natural stopping point like timeout on a regular office work, the day gets longer and it’s harder to put aside work. You tend to check emails on a regular basis, check work related articles, without noticing that you are doing overtime, except not paid.

What I did when this hits me is to regulate my time, by setting my mind on my shift hours, example 8am-5pm, just like any regular office work. So I make it to the point that I step away from my computer and do other “home routines” after my shift hours. This helps me sustain energy & balance my work and family time.

2. Too many distractions. Well those who work from office are not 100% focused, so much more burden to those working from home. The TV is there, the unlimited food from the fridge, or the noise from your kids, are some elements that can keep your brain off from your workload. This is a hard transition especially to those who are beginners in working at home, because they still mind the dishes as opposed to sending reports to the boss.

In this pitfall, what I did is to have a dedicated office room, and explain to the rest of the family that when the door is closed, it means I’m on shift. I also use multi-tasking skills, like there are some hours  of the day when you’re not doing anything at work, so I turn those valuable minutes to doing other chores at home. Doing this will help you create your own work structure, self process and time versatility.

3. Isolation is fatal. This is the physical separation of yourself from social environment resulting to a form of isolation. Working remotely limits the face-to-face interactions and the opportunity to connect with peers. You get to miss the professional insights due to isolation.

The solution we implement to this barrier is to do regular meetups with peers, who like you, are also isolated at one point. We make transition reports and huddles before and after the shift, and yes we use real-time communications like skype, messengers, etc just to get everyone in the loop. We share common hobbies which are not necessarily work related and we talk about it. So far so good, I never felt choked by isolation and I always find ways to kill boredom.

Yes it is exciting to work in a home-based setup, as much as working in a corporate world. There will be pros and cons that you have to work on to be able to venture out on your own as an independent worker. Most importantly, you must enjoy what you are doing regardless where you are working at and always take pride in your work.

Feast at Redbox Eastwood

It has been years since the last time I dropped by at Eastwood Libis, and all the more it looks grandiose now, with the new establishments, “Eastwood mall,” and indeed you feel that yuletide bliss.

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Ongoing parade at the Eastwood mall

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12 Signs of a Great Boss

If you were a fan of the famous TV Series, The Office, you would remember Michael Scott, Manager of the Dunder Mifflin, Scranton branch. I remember my laughing days at the boss-employees satiric theme of that show, how his decision making turns out to be an epic fail.

best boss mug

Having said that I came across this podcast which relates to the characteristics of a great boss. So if you dying to know if you are a good one, or just another Michael Scott, check this out:

1. You get great pleasure from helping others, measure your own success by theirs.

2. You don’t treat everyone the same, you must know people well enough to manage them accordingly.

3. You understand that your title gives you power. Intelligence and integrity give you influence.

4. Your feedback must be specific, sincere and share it frequently, so people know where they stand with you.

5. Praise people gives a lot of impact.

6. Make a constructive response to mistakes or challenges when delivering bad news, when necessary.

7. Communicate plans and goals clearly and people understand their roles and responsibilities.

8. Hire people smarter than you are, you can look at the office door and see your replacement.

9. Your staff members feel ownership of ideas eventhough you originate it, because you share power and credit.

10. You know the occassions when only a top down decisions will do.

11. You are a continuous learner, always looking to improve skills.

12. Employees know what you stand for.

The list above does not require you to be a perfect boss, since it does not, and will never exist. It gives you hints to check if you are bringing your people to the right direction.

Press 1 if you’re bored, Press 2 if you wanna die

You checked your old photos, videos, computer files or anything and suddenly the funny, embarrassing, hurtful memories came back? Well it happened to me this morning, as I checked my not-so-new external hard drive, actually trying to free some space for my movies, when I clicked on the RAN voice over recordings from TrendMicro (yes its the automated voice you hear when you call a company, like please press 1 for ___, press 2 for ___, etc), I played it and whoa, whose voice is that? 

🙂 Well its mine, my ancient files..It was funny slash a bit embarrassing listening to your own voice. Not that I’m putting myself down, but I still don’t know why they picked me back then as there are numerous modulated speakers in the office. Anyhow its done, its my historical imprint to the company, hahah! And mind you, it was not easy, because when we did the recording, had to record it a gazillion times to make sure its the same volume, same modulation, just same shits…it actually felt that my throat got raped SEVERAL times. (yes worst than ___, fill in the blank, honey) Y’know its the time when your boss is giving you shitty tasks that you just can’t say NO to it… I still finished that thing anyways, and heard that even after I resigned, they are still using that recording, hahaha! silly.

Work Ethics

Working during weekends is not so bad, it actually gives me a leverage to check on a lot of things. (yes including this post) I am blessed to admit that my workload is not that toxic, much more during weekends, as I can only count in my hands how many people I have helped for the day. And so I am sharing you these work related quotations, which I am reminding myself everyday. Hope you find this a good read.

Party at Tong Yang

It is 2nd year Christmas party. We decided to try Tong Yang in Megamall. Dinner buffet starts at 5:00PM till 10:00PM. I arrived there at around 7pm after battling for over an hour of traffic in Ortigas, and started our “pigout dining session.” The buffet costs P585 per person, where food, drinks and desserts are unlimited.

Tong Yang hot plate

Yes, I decided not to eat with rice and go for protein stuff. My technique in not getting bloated over a bunch of food choices is to only get small amount per food type. I was able to taste the following: chicken liver,  shitake mushrooms, prawn, beef strips, lamb meat, octopus, some veggies that goes with butter, salami, chicken hotdogs, bite size cupcakes. As much as I’d like to build my very own banana split version, but I don’t wanna hurt my tummy.

Protein rich

Meet the men

Boss Ohms gave us a souvenir where our company logo is printed on a black t-shirt, I like that kind of bling bling effect 🙂 We went home with our bags of goodies. So I think we had a pretty good xmas time this year.

Stuck in “the Office”

The Office is the 2005 hit mockumentary TV series on the lives of Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch employees, where workday consists of ego clashes, lead by their lousy boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell), and of course too many inappropriate behavior and a lot of procrastination.

I can’t believe that this show has run for years, but I must admit up to now this gang made me smile. Though it took me a little while (a year or two) to watch season 6, (now trying to get hold of S7) it felt that I am still able to connect the story line, as if I just watched Season 1-5 last week. (go figure) I get hooked by the type of comedy they placed in here, kind of sardonic, a bit twisted and how they turn things horribly wrong in funny ways. Don’t ask me if I love Jon Kransinski (Jim Halpert) on this show….hell yeah! And yes some people are not into this kind of comedy but I think Carell is effective enough.

Good stuff

It is always nice to see old faces. Parang last month ko lang sila huling nakita, considering I haven’t seen them in ages. Normally I’m not that fascinated with reunions and stuff, but for whatever divine intervention, it made me meet them again. Of course we are always back to the time where we left off. Some things never change, correction….some awesome things never really change.

It is almost impossible to avert from the past, its funny to recall stuff, and even funnier kapag paulet ulet ang kamustahan about work, life, relationships, etc, na para bang kulang ang maghapon, khit pa wala silang tulog. The interesting stories from them, and whatever shits.  Glad to see them all.

End is near

after my years of staying in this company, finally my realization has come to a conclusion. we may lose the people we work with, the moments and time we spent with them, but we all need to move at one direction, which is upward. i am taking my career a notch higher, not just because i deserve it but its about time to leverage myself to the highly technological competitive world.

i am still apalled on whats gonna happen in the future, it seems that i am brought closer to that. should i work my ass off now that the end of the world is near…i dont know if i should feel threatened or excited about it. did you also realize that recently the world is experiencing the fulfillment of the prophecies. Like Dr. Owuor from Namibia who prophesize about the Chile and China earthquakes. It scares the hell out of me, knowing that something unknown is bound to happen. im not scared about death, im scared as to how death impacts the people i care about.

Everyday should be lived as if its the last day of the world. Maybe things would be different. Maybe my perspective would be more objective and focused. maybe i wouldnt be wasting much of my time online, like what im doing now.

Live High, live mighty

Live righteously. Let’s take it easy.

— Jason Mraz