My (Not) First Job

Episode 156 – Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 (7455)

Travel-Agent-Cartoon

(Note: this may contain some harsh criticisms that I expressed so badly and some displeasures about the incident that I did before.)

It has been few weeks after I lost my job, and I feel so bored at home because I’m just idle for almost whole day and my house is so hot like an oven. I still remember when I had a new job in Cabuyao before I just stayed in the air-conditioned office to get rid the heat outside. But every time when I started my new day of work there, I got so sweated on my arrival because I took my bike going there from home. And not only that, I needed to find the keys covered with sticker tapes from the main office to unlock several padlocks in order to open the many doors/gates of the building. These caused my time consumed because I must do this in time before logging in on the timecard or else I would be late after opening these locked gates and doors of the office. Whew… At the time of work, I supposed to take my job so easily, but my officemates started to take some annoying jokes that I felt they verbally bullied me. I knew they’re just joking at me, but I didn’t like the way that they joked while I was busy working in front of the computer. This caused me pressure and filled almost anger because of what they did which hurt my feelings.

These were some reasons why I just decided to leave my “new” job in Cabuyao. My job stint in that place was so short-lived that I worked for only 27 working days (in which included Saturdays). I simply blew it. However, this is not my first time to quit a job for a very short time. This situation was also happened 7 years ago when I was freshly graduated from college.

Yeah, I had a job right after my college graduation 7 years ago where I didn’t really appreciate the job tasks that I worked. I’ll explain in this episode about my forgotten “first” job which only lasted for at least a month in 2010.

Flashback: 7 years ago…

eVolo2010-logo

Right after my college graduation in May 2010, I needed to look for a new opportunity which was my first ever job. Because I was just a fresh grad, I had a hard time to face the job interviews and to take exams for a chance to pass and to be hired by the I.T. companies in the metro. My toughest challenge was the job interview where they asked me questions in fluent English. But because I had speech deficiency, I couldn’t take to answer clearly, and sometimes I felt so nervous that made my mind blanked. However, I had a contact from one of my coordinators who helped me to bring my life to the United States in 2004. I went to a government agency for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Quezon City to ask for help to search for my new job, and fortunately they found a small business where I could start my working career. So I immediately applied in that said business as my (unofficial) “first” job.

The small business that they recommended me to work there was a travel agency located in Mandaluyong City and owned by a deaf entrepreneur (just called her “Miss G”) who studied and finished high school at the Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) in Pasay City where I also studied there for 10 long years (but I wasn’t graduated there). During the time when I was applying for her, she just started to build her small business where there was a small lounge (room) for the deaf and non-deaf tourists to stay for vacation.

lodging-hospitality

(Note: this is NOT an actual picture of the lounge owned by a deaf entrepreneur.)

At the time when I was recommended to work at her travel agency, there was a time that I supposed to go for a job interview. On May 10, 2010, it was an election day in the Philippines, and she wanted me to go at her office when I decided to reschedule our meeting. On the next day, I went to Mandaluyong, but I almost got lost when I entered a wrong hotel along EDSA. But suddenly, a deaf lady came to meet me and accompanied me going to the office where “Miss G” was there to prepare for my job interview in sign language. For the rarest time due of my current “world” (which was Post-Deaf World), I used to sign language for her because she’s deaf. This was the only time that I had a job interview in sign language although I had to speak for her assistant who could hear but couldn’t speak due of her throat removal when she was young, so that she also learned sign language (technically considered her as deaf). Consequentially, this led me to go back to so-called “Deaf World” that I had been once belonged before.

Then “Miss G” officially hired me to become a marketing officer of her deaf travel agency. She also recommended me to stay at her office during working days (Mondays to Fridays) to save my time (and money) from commuting far at home going to my workplace. So, it would be considered as my new “exile country” where I stayed away from home for days to avoid any distractions.

It was ok at first but…

When I started to work there in June 2010, I felt it was okay for me to work with “Miss G” despite of her disability. I worked in front of the computer to do new tasks that I needed to work, and I also helped her to assist on her non-deaf clients. At the first place, I thought it would be comfortable to me because I could live there during my working week to stay away from my noisy family, distractions at home and my adversaries lived in the subdivision where I live (I don’t mention who they are). However, days passed by, it seemed me too complicated that I had never learned from my college studies. I felt I was starting to dissatisfy the tasks that I had because I thought these were I.T.-related that I could work only thru computer systems (hardware and software), but they weren’t. I had no idea about being a marketing officer on the travel agency because I only thought that my work would be more on computers or I.T.-related jobs, but I was wrong.

My bizarre tasks that I had during my stint in the travel agency were the following:

  • Interpreter – because my employer is deaf, I worked for her as an interpreter every time when I talked with her non-deaf clients/visitors either thru phone call or thru personal.

sign-language-interpreter

  • Carrying big money – she reminded me to bring a huge amount of money to the bank to deposit under her business name. This might not be the safest task that I did because there were lots of notorious snatchers around the city that might rob things that were too expensive (such as carrying huge amount of money).
  • Filling-up her legal documents – I didn’t understand why she wanted me to help her applying the several documents for her business permits (in barangay hall and in city hall) somehow that she could read and write.
  • Buying items one by one – that was so annoying. After buying the one, she let me again to buy another one in the store outside and in the mall across Shaw Boulevard.
  • Carrying guest’s luggage – in most hotels, the bellboy is the responsible to carry the luggage of the guests to their room. However, there was one time when I carried guests’ large luggage to farther distance. In fact, I brought it several meters from the lounge to EDSA thru the overpass to accompany the guests and to call the taxi.

spot_ann_bellboy_p2

  • Carrying hardware tools – because some parts of her office were under construction, I was assigned to look for hardware tools to build. There was one time when I almost argued with the hardware owner after he misunderstood about the quantity of the tools that must build on her office. This made me so stressful and impatient during that time.
  • Security guard – at one time, there was one of her guests checking in at the lounge for few days. But she came back to her room at late night that sometimes she arrived at the lounge past midnight. Because there was no security guard to observe the guest’s check-in, I was assigned as a “security guard” to wait for her arrival. This made me uncomfortable to sleep at night because of my waiting on her. When she arrived at the lounge past midnight, I just let myself to sleep for only few hours before waking up on the next morning after observing for whole late night.
  • Back and forth – yeah, that made me a messenger where I went to the destination to have worked something then back to the office, but after I went to other place again. This thing made me tired, wasn’t it?

Because of these bizarre jobs that I had during my stint at the travel agency, I had never learned all of these from what I had studied when I was in college as an I.T. student. As a fresh I.T. graduate, I must work on the computers, but instead I was working non-I.T. related tasks. I was a messenger, security guard, accountant, interpreter, anything! WTF! Gosh! I couldn’t handle these bizarre tasks! I didn’t understand why these made me so tired with lots of sweat and stressful. Compared to some of my college classmates who worked on the computers in an air-conditioned office, I was working mostly outside the noisy and polluted environment of EDSA-Shaw. Also, communicating with deaf people was hard for me because I’ve been in “Post-Deaf World” for years, so that I couldn’t understand what my deaf employer said especially when I was talking with her clients (mostly were non-deaf) that she needed me for her translator. While I was working with her, she had a deaf organization where some of my old deaf friends mostly from PSD visited to her office to have their meeting about their group. It seemed that I just went back to my “past” despite that my life has been stuck to my “new” world (which is “Post-Deaf World”). I started to be disappointed on my doing non-sense jobs in that travel agency.

I Quitted…

On June 28, 2010, it was my first working day of the week, and I felt some discomfort on my job. In the morning, I accompanied with “Miss G” going to Megamall to have window shopping. But during the time, I felt some tiredness because we walked several meters from our office under the heat and polluted highway of EDSA then entered an air-conditioned place like mall, and then after we went out again walking several steps to go back to our office. When I took some rest at the office, I started to be ill because of the weather that my body was exposed from a hot climate outside to a cold environment like a shopping mall. But it was not yet over. After our lunch, I accompanied with her again going outside where it was heavily rainy afternoon, and we rode a public bus going to Robinson’s Pioneer to look something for her business. At the time, we rented a computer in an internet café where it was so cold inside. I felt extremely cold during that time because I didn’t wear any jacket or sweater, so that I felt so weak. Despite of this situation, “Miss G” wanted me to go to Banco de Oro (BDO), owned by Henry Sy’s SM, to deposit her client’s money. But because we’re at Robinson’s, owned by the rival conglomerate of Gokongwei’s, there’s no BDO branch inside, so I started to complain about this because I became ill and felt so cold. Later, she finally noticed me that I was not feeling well, so we went back to our office to take me some rest. That awful day of June 28 would be unexpectedly my final day at work.

1punvi

On the next morning, I took my absence from “Miss G” to go back home from Mandaluyong and took full rest for days (during that time when Benigno Aquino III was about to be inaugurated as the new Philippine president). At home, I totally decided to resign from her work after working for only four weeks (or 20 working days to be exact). There’s one time that I almost had an argument with her deaf assistant who wanted me to continue my job at the deaf travel agency, but I already decided to take my resignation letter to her. And on July 5, Monday, I went back to the office to file my resignation. “Miss G” understood my deeply explanation and concerns about my illness which was lasted for a week. She also gave me a final salary that I took for only two weeks. My departure from her deaf travel agency was not so good because I took it only a month to stay and to work with her for a short time.

Aftermath

After resigned from my short-lived job, I became jobless for months. I was looking for a better job that comforted me. I tried and applied several companies elsewhere, but I failed to pass the job interviews and exams that I took. On that time, my life became so bored because I felt so lonely and experiencing distractions at home especially I had no privacy at my bedroom because of my elder brother who was also jobless after working abroad in 2010. These were my darkest times that I had no job and also had no love life (no girlfriend for five years) which made me struggled. But being jobless was finally broken after three months when I was hired (as a trainee) in a BPO company in Alabang on October 2010, and soon my working career later became flourished, thanks to my new job in Alabang which was considered as my first ever (and official) job.

Meanwhile, in August 2010, “Miss G” invited me to have a birthday celebration for me at her office. This was the only time that I visited her after I left my job with her a month ago. However, it would be our final meeting. Three years later, when I had been jobless again for the second time, I visited her office shortly to have some “emergency”, but she wasn’t there. Instead, her helper allowed me to enter the place where there were several changes from the last time when I visited in 2010. In 2014, I supposed to check-in at her lounge for something, but I decided to back out. As of now, one of my coordinators from a government agency for PWDs told me that “Miss G” has no longer managed her lounge and deaf travel agency in Mandaluyong (which has been already closed for few years), and she’s already living in Japan with her Japanese deaf husband.

— 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 — 0 —

I felt I was immature why I decided to give up my “first” job at a deaf travel agency in Mandaluyong. But despite of misunderstandings, I learned a lot of experience to work in a small company after studying college. At least, my short-lived job stint in Mandaluyong was considered as my “training” background for my future jobs that I would have in later years. After I left from her small business, I felt I was struggled to find a better new job that related to what I’ve learned from college as an I.T. student. But when I finally found my first official job in Alabang, I felt better to work in a corporate world despite of stress, sleepless overtimes and night shifts, but at least my salary was slightly increased. Thus, my life was changed from being struggled in 2010 into a happy and wonderful life within few years later, not only my career life, but also in my love life.

This situation back in 2010 may be the same to what I have right now in the present. I had worked in a printing company in Cabuyao, but like to what I did in a deaf travel agency, I easily gave up because of some circumstances that made me so badly as well as being stressful, pressure and unhappy because of the distractions that affected my concentration at work. And like in 2010, I’ve now been struggled to look for a new and right job that might make my career life better. If I already did to make my life better years later after struggling in 2010, I’m hoping (and keep praying) that my life will be better in the future from my current situation where I’ve now been jobless and no love life. I’ll be so excited for my future in the few years to come if my dreams will come true thru hard work and patience.

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