Episode 159 – Friday, June 9th, 2017 (7465)
After my college graduation, I got my first ever job in Alabang where it started my career growth and made new friends. However, despite of my happiness with my work colleagues, I was unhappy at all because of mismanagement, project dissolution, and internal issues in the company located in Alabang, Muntinlupa. I tried to resign from there several times and to apply other companies, but I failed. It’s not until when I finally found one company in Mandaluyong that suited my career life.
RR Donnelley (RRD) is a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that provides print, business services and documents. Named after Richard Robert Donnelley in 1864, it was a Fortune 500 company with its headquarters in Chicago, United States, and this was the leading provider of printing business such as brochures, business cards, invitations, and even larger documents such as books. Some said that RRD was the “brother” of RH Donnelley who became Dex One, one of the projects where I worked there in Alabang.
During my break with my work colleagues around May 2012, I heard from them about an opening in RRD where they’re looking for graphic artists. And because of this, I got an idea to “escape” from my job in Alabang. I immediately applied there as a walk-in applicant and entered into an examination. After only a week or so, they called me as they hired me to become a newest employee of RRD. During the first few weeks at RRD, it became great, not only in my working career, but also in my love life when I finally had a new girlfriend who had been my long-time textmate.
I started to work at RRD on June 4, 2012, just four days after my departure from Alabang, and introduced to other newly hired employees who would be placed in different departments. I was the one of two graphic designers during our first day of work; the other one was named Jenny, who was skinny-type of lady that had already a child. She joined me together to be trained for few weeks before we would be placed in Team Americana. We also learned, not just only in graphic designs, but also in Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel.
After our training, we were separated where I continued to work in a night shift schedule while she was placed into dayshift. Thus, I met new friends to become my new colleagues in Team Americana. Two of them were from Laguna (the one also lived in Santa Rosa as we accompanied together going home from work). There were other colleagues called Senior Graphic Designers who gave instructions to the graphic designers like me while the proofreaders were called Quality Controllers who checked our works. Our working schedules were in 4-week rotation where we worked dayshift, mid-shift (afternoon to evening), and night shift (graveyard).
While I began to work for few months, there were some additions on the team including my former officemates from Alabang were Jonathan and Josephine (Banjo). I was so happy that one of my closest officemate, Jonathan, joined our team despite that we were in different schedule. The only time that we were together was on December 1, 2012, a day after RRD Christmas Party.
Unlike my previous job in Alabang, the workplace at RRD was so secure and strict. Working in one large room, we must work for our serious jobs all around because there were CCTV cameras around the room that our bosses might observe on what we’re doing inside.
Achievements and Activities
When I was just new at Team Americana, I was awarded some recognitions such as “The Amazing EPU Race” where our team must hit EPU (until now I still don’t know what was the meaning of EPU) to collect high points. I received this recognition as the first and third place on the performance that I did in the months of September and November respectively. In August 2012, I also received the certificate of achievement as the Instant Recognition Award.
In September 2012, there was an activity where our team went to Star City, an amusement park in Pasay City, to take our act and to make into a comic-type story. Although we didn’t take too much ride, we did enjoy our bonding moments with other colleagues.
My Good and Bad Experiences at RRD
When I was newly hired in the company, I was happy to work with new friends in a new environment. At first, my work at RRD seemed me okay because of higher salary compared from my old job in Alabang, staying in one project unlike being transferred to one another when I was in Alabang, free meals especially when I was working for night shift (graveyard shift), having benefits, learning new techniques especially in MS Office applications, activities where we experienced Christmas parties twice (one for the company and the other for our team), and recognitions such as “The Amazing EPU Race”. However, there were lots of disadvantages that made me too dissatisfied on this company. (Note: I have no intention to express against the company, but I just expressed my displeasures especially those people behind the team.)
One of the major problems was inconvenience. Located in traffic-prone EDSA, Mandaluyong, about 41.5 kilometers (or 25.75 miles) from my home, RRD was the farthest that I worked for my job, and I was commuting from home going to my work in the past one year. I didn’t understand why I didn’t take to rent a bedspace or room (with Jonathan) near the workplace (probably because my elder brother wasn’t at home, so that I could stay my bedroom so freely), but I just loved to commute far place like Mandaluyong where RRD was located. As we know, EDSA has been one of the most congested roads in the metro where there’s always heavy traffic day and night. Because of the traffic, I usually came late at work during dayshift and mid-shift. And most of the times, the provincial buses were always full most especially when I was heading to go home from work, but I patiently stood with other passengers inside the bus for almost the entire travel.
Another reason why I became unhappy to work at RRD was bullying. Yeah, because I was too introvert and silent, I was bullied by some colleagues. During several months of my working at RRD, nobody did tease or bully me while we’re in the workplace. But it didn’t until April 2013 when one senior quality controller (who was looked like a “witch” or bruha) with her close friend who was a senior graphic designer (who was too lesbian or “siboli boom-boom paw”) started to intimidate me because of my “silent” personality that they noticed. There was one time that I had a job where I cleaned up an old portrait photo on the Photoshop, and the lesbian senior graphic designer got mad on me because she thought that I didn’t clean up the entire old photo completely then she picked my right ear to pull because of her anger. That was too abusive for me because I did it for my best effort on one simple job. Another incident was during my solo break time. While I was eating for my early morning “dinner” (lunch or whatever) alone at the pantry, the “witch” senior quality controller came inside and approached me with her greet, “kamusta ka naman? Umayos ka ah?” (“How are you? You must be right, ah?”), but I just remained silent with some anger inside while eating. I felt that they bullied me in one workplace. These incidents were happened during my night shift schedule, and because of bullying, I just decided that I would not stay longer in the workplace anymore.
There were other notable things why I felt unhappy working with the team and the company:
- Limited break time that we had only an hour to have a break after our work.
- There was no sleeping place to take some nap especially those who worked in the night shift.
- Frequent overtimes that we must come to the office 2-3 hours ahead from our original schedule (for those were in the night shifts).
- No fix schedules where some of us came at work even holidays (my old friend, Jonathan, came at work during Christmas and New Year’s Eve).
- Some of my colleagues were unfriendly when I needed to help on my work (making me so helpless.
- There were some issues on other colleagues or friendships who were not so closed to others, so that I was not too much socializing with them because of having their “own” groups. Favoritism and hypocrites did exist on the workplace.
- Most of the times, the computers were so slow, and the internet access was sometimes interrupted making the connection too slow enough.
- Lack of provided sources (such as Shutterstock) that we downloaded photos to use for the design.
- Strict implementation on quota (EPU) and on quality.
- Some computers had some missing fonts that we used for the design.
Because of these things that I encountered so badly most especially in bullying, I decided to file my resignation letter to the team manager. At first, he encouraged me to stay at the team longer and to solve the problem that I had (although I didn’t tell my true reason particularly about being bullied), but I strongly kept my final decision to leave from the team and RRD. After the argument, they finally approved my resignation letter where I remained to work for the final four weeks (which were dayshift) before my departure.
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On June 9, 2013, I came at RRD for my final working day with my work colleagues who had been my friends for one year. Since then, I became jobless and searched for a new job, but it had been hard to get my replacement. While I was looking for a new one, I started to attend The Feast at Central Mall Biñan where I also started to serve for Media Ministry. Despite of being jobless, I was so happy to have my attendance and service at The Feast, my privacy and freedom in my bedroom (because my elder brother was still working abroad), and having my long distance relationship with my girlfriend (but in my present situation, except The Feast, these have been no longer existed). But entering the year 2014, after almost 8 months of having no work, I finally found a new job in San Pedro where it gave me a new opportunity to work there. When I started to work at San Pedro in late January 2014, my life became so colorful, making the year 2014 as my best year ever because of the most memorable and happiest moments that I had (better work, serving at the Feast, happy love life), and there were lots of the best things working in San Pedro that my two previous jobs (in Alabang and Mandaluyong) didn’t have such as convenience (nearer from home, better working schedule with no night shifts, less-pressure from the bosses) and freedom (staying at the office for longer time, free internet access, relaxation, etc.). That’s why I stayed to work at San Pedro for three long years – the longest ever in my working career.
Although RRD still operates in Mandaluyong, I have never heard any latest news from my former work colleagues from RRD because my old Facebook account, where most of them were my friends on that account, has been deactivated (currently, I’ve used my second Facebook account). But some of my friends and former colleagues left from their work at RRD and currently work in their new jobs. My close friend, Jonathan, has been working abroad while Banjo, with one of my former pretty officemate named Bea, is now working somewhere in Makati area.
As of now, I don’t have any idea about happenings on RRD in Manila (Mandaluyong) office, but I spotted on a job-searching website that the company had job openings for graphic designer. Despite Although I had been jobless for few months, I don’t want to apply in this company again because it’s already in my “past” life.