smoke

I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

Jobs

We’ve got a blog carnival going on over at Filipino Voices and the topic for this very first carnival is JOBS. Check it out starting tomorrow.

Filipino Voices will hold a blog carnival every second and fourth Sunday of the month. Each topic will be announced that week and all submissions must be made no later than 12 noon of that Sunday.

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I love my job, I admit it. I’m a happy worker. It’s part-time so I don’t make much, but it’s enough to keep my grad school fund slowly growing. I don’t have a car of my own and I’m not above bumming a ride from friends now and again. My boss isn’t a pain in the neck nor is she my best friend so, we’re colleagues and that’s exactly how I want it to be. I have a good friend in the office, but we’re not bff’s so there’s no pressure to “hang out” – again, exactly how I want it.

My friend (from the apartment building where I live when I’m not being my mother’s daughter) Chick works the graveyard at a call center. I call her Chick because her boyfriend’s name is Ken. I could have called her Barbie but that’s not how my mind works. She loves her job too, because it pays enough for her to have an interesting Friday night out twice a month; because it pays enough to keep her in Greenhills-designer bags and tight-fitting camisoles; because it pays enough that she can afford a mocha frap at Starbucks three days a week; because it pays enough that she can convince herself she can delay taking the CPA board one more year.

I went to a job fair recently, and I was struck by how pretty everyone was. Even the guys. I filled out a couple of forms – nothing serious, really, just wanting to get a feel of how it will be like when I finally get out of school. While I was laying my chicken scratches on the forms, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversations of the hiring people. It was so valley-girl. So hollywood-cliche. Everyone just “loooooooved” the new song, and “ohhhh myyyyy gawd!” wasn’t Paolo so cute? And they were “like, shit PAAAAAAHre! the ride was so sweeeeeeeet!” and  everyone had a “pad” or a “flat.” If this was what new graduates were exposed to at these job fairs, then it’s not surprising that so many kids are flocking to call centers. The bait – although I doubt that the ‘bait’ actually realized that was in the fine print of their HR contracts – was pretty goddamned irresistible. Good thing I read alot when I was a kid; I was no stranger to the house made of candy and cakes that so entranced Hansel and Gretel.

Another friend Tickles – real name Tess (figure it out) – says she works at a call center, but people around here think she’s lying. She comes in at 6 in the morning; she leaves at seven in the evening.  Sometimes, when I arrive early enough to catch her just before she leaves, we sit around and smoke. She tells me about this boy she’s sweet on at work and how theyre both saving money for their wedding. She says she loves her job too, but there are times when I can’t help wondering why she leaves for work all pretty and fresh-faced, with hardly any blush, but comes home wearing pancake make-up.

Sometimes, listening to the conversations going on around me at work, I wonder if I haven’t strayed into a cave sometime during the neolithic age. There I am, surrounded by cavemen wearing neckties, talking about their latest exploits as though the cavewomen were either deaf or not there at all. This is where I learned what GRO stands for, and FM, and LD. This is where I learned that a few centimeters of cigarette ash in the LD is supposed to make the GRO more e-z. I actually sent Mythbusters an e-mail about that. Haha. Morons. That shit doesn’t work.

Howard works at the salon. He’s doing shampoos now, but he says he’s learning how to cut and blow. He always jokes that all he really needs to learn is how to cut. He dropped out of school when his dad up and left his mother. Now, he has dreams of owning his own salon some day. Whenever he brings it up, I always ask him “Howard can it be?” But he never gets the joke. That’s ok. He laughs enough for ten people anyway. He hates GMA with a passion because his dad was a cop. In his mind, cops are just extensions of GMA’s evil. He’s happy with his job too, and he saves all his tips. To date, he has bought a first rate pair of scissors and a Denman brush.

I was at the salon the other day, getting a haircut. Aaaah. Sometimes, being a woman has its benefits. LOL. The topic that had all the parloristas abuzz was, of course, Brian Gorrell. Having assiduously followed Gorrell’s blog for awhile, I was pretty amused at how wrong they were getting some parts of the story.

Honeys, he’s Australian, not a Filipino who became an Australian and wanted to become Filipino again.

He has HIV, not AIDS; there’s a whale of a difference.

He wasn’t forced to give the money. He gave it of his own free will. And its in Australian Dollars, not US.

DJ Montano is not related to Troy (I think) and he is most definitely not a disk jockey.

Only DJ Montano actually owes him money. The rest of the Gucci (Gu-chi, not Gu-si) Gang doesn’t owe him anything. He’s going after them so they’ll be forced to force DJ Montano to pay up if only to shut Gorrell up. And no, the strategy doesn’t seem to be working as planned. Instead, it seems that Gorrell is becoming something of an internet legend which, of course, has its own rewards.

Marie doesn’t have a job. She’s a full-time student. At least that’s what she tells her mother in Italy. She lives alone, like me, and she get’s up at about half-past three. In the afternoon. Her day starts with cup noodles and a quick shower. Then it’s off to the mall. She’s back by nine with friends in tow. They drink red horse until the cows come home. She sends her class cards to her mom regularly. I have no idea where she gets those things. She seems happy enough, except that every now and again, she’s prone to pounding on my door crying that she thinks she’s pregnant. Everytime, she swears she’ll never do it again, but when she starts to bleed, she forgets.

The internet is a wonderful thing. With it, I get to chat with my mom a few minutes everyday – mostly before I go to bed. When I first discovered how much I enjoyed the internet, I toyed with the idea of blogging for a living. I thought, now there’s money for nothing. But breaking into the blogging-biz is not as easy as it looks. Oh sure, you can have a blog up and running in under five minutes, but getting it to make money for you is a different story entirely. For one thing, there’s the matter of generating content people will want to read. As with any business, it’s about returning customers – or in this case, readers. Just this morning, I was talking to a cousin of mine and I asked her what she wanted to do with her life. She goes: I want to blog. For alot of kids nowadays, apparently blogging ranks pretty high in the list of jobs I’d like to have. I swear, kids are getting more and more hedonistic nowadays, always on the look-out for jobs that they think bring in money without requiring real work. Too few  kids nowadays think of jobs as a way to a better future, just as a means of making dough for the next round of pleasure-seeking. Morons.

Mark, at work, wants to be a lawyer someday. For him, his job is a ‘stepping-stone’ – he loves that word. He’s a pretty sharp researcher and I think he will be a lawyer at some point. But the clock’s ticking. His wife just gave birth and he knows he can’t raise a family on a legal researcher’s salary. Oh well, maybe the fourth time’s the charm. In the meantime, he sells chocolates that his wife makes. I don’t eat chocolates alot, but whenever I get some financial slack, I buy a box and share it in the office or in school.

On weekends and long holidays, I go home to be my mom’s daughter for awhile. When I’m there, I usually see cousins and their friends. I get dragged to Starbuck’s more often that I like, and I witness more impulse buying than I’m comfortable with. At first, my cousins used to tease me about being so tight-fisted. But eventually, they stopped. At first I thought they had just gotten tired of the same old joke, but recently, I found out the real reason. On one of my visits, and just before we were supposed to go to the mall, my mom pulled me aside and tried to give me money. “Your cousins are worried,” she says. I laugh my head off and kiss her. Not being too finicky, I gratefully pocketed the money and was just as tight-fisted as ever.

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Filed under: blogging, education, Filipino Voices, musings, pop-culture, science, society, , , ,

2 Responses

  1. BrianB says:

    Tickles? So where does she “work”? Makati? Pasay? Malate? Give me a clue, ROM.

  2. BrianB says:

    And are the highlighted paragraphs supposed to be excerpts from other blogs?

    And FYI: blogs, especially my other blog (not the one that is linked to my name), requires hard work. There’s an article somewhere that says bloggers are the hardest and lowest paid workers in the world. It’s from the Times or some other decent publication.

    I will not recommend it as a job at all, not unless you can find some venture capital to back you up. It’s risky as a long-term career. New media is a popular world but employees looking at your resume will not be too impressed.

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