Tag Archives: work

A Routine Reflection on Routines

You know what they call drinking on Fridays, right? They call it “unwinding.” The connotation is something like, Monday to Friday, you stress yourself out, working on your job, a trapped robot among hundreds of trapped robots along a kilometer of conveyor belt. But then on Friday night, you get a screwdriver and unscrew all your nuts and bolts, get out of your metal shell, and sit on a table in a bar a complete breathing human being for once. And then you look at the inviting golden bubbles of your cold bottle of beer and drink it. All the problems sorta melt, dripping at the back of your head, vaporizing into nothing at least for that night, and you’re free. That’s “unwinding” for you. For us.

But that’s the thing with routines. Even the part where you unwind after a routine is part of the routine–you tend to realize that after a few drinking sessions. You realize that somebody’s fooling you and having a good laugh at you. Even that blissful moment of drunken freedom is actually part of your role as a clunking robot. You can say it’s even the last stop at the conveyor belt before it enters the machine, goes around, and begins the cycle once more.

Routines are our lives. Well, at least for some of us, like me, for example. If you’ve got a creative job then good for you. Or it may also be the case that your job’s really not creative at all, but since you’ve got very low standards and expectations when it comes to creativity, you’re satisfied with your job as it is. If you’re that kinda guy, you’re lucky and I envy you. Continue reading

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Neverland: 121 Days to Go (Fast-forwarding the Fruitless Week)

Coming back from an awesome beach trip to Nagsasa, this week felt more incredibly dull as the city looked like a completely gray picture of staleness and pollution. The only thing that’s pushing me to continue doing my regular day-to-death activities is the prospect of a fun drinking session today, Friday, at Mogwai in Cubao Expo — the beehive of all the cool “artist” bees in the metro. But let it be known: I still prefer Sarah’s careless banter and layman philosophical talk over Mogwai’s. Still, with Lele, Angel and Rizch coming over, it should be great later.

And now, a quick review of this monotonous week, which just gobbled up 5 days of my precious time with Chemae:

125 Days to Go:

I kept thinking about how beautiful Nagsasa was compared to Pag-Asa, Quezon City and Ortigas Center, Pasig City. I worked and waited for our pictures to get uploaded on Facebook. Memories of danggit made my stomach growl and Chemae’s, too. I wore a white shirt.

124 Days to Go:

We are two very quiet and shy individuals. Our blogs betray our true personality. She wrote an insulting message over YM and I sent an insulting reply to her cell phone. That night, I felt like I was in a loony bin. She made me realize something valuable by inventing a very convincing facebook story. I wore my black company shirt. It was a good shirt and quite comfortable. Continue reading

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Neverland: 129 Days to Go

 

 

I worked from 8:00 AM ’til 8:00 PM today. If I were in Canada or in Singapore, I’d be so filthy rich by now I’d have my own pad filled with PS3 and Xbox games, all the guy and geek magazines in the store, endless supplies of beer in my ref, and a siberian husky lapping at my ears.

But I’m in the Philippines so I have nothing.

I have a plan, though. A plan to get rich as quickly as possible or else risk losing the girl of my dreams. It’s a shoddy plan that involves transporting myself from the Philippines to Singapore and then to Canada as I’ve been saying quite repeatedly here in my ongoing countdown.

But before I start moving along with that plan, Chemae and I have to go through our tiny plan this weekend: a beach trip to Nagsasa Cove, Zambales. Continue reading

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The Strange Adventures of a Bored Mind in the Office (or Writing Without Really Writing Anything)

How strange is this?

As this massive ball of earth and water spins in the seemingly infinite space of the universe, and as random people talk about new worries and problems in their lives, like random amateur photographers talking about how to score the newest, costliest DSLR camera, I am here in front of the computer screen, staring at it for about an hour now, trying to squeeze out some words to write?

I’m taking a break from my work and writing something personal. The problem is there’s nothing personal to write.

In a way, I’m actually spending large amounts of time, figuring out how best to describe my life.

That’s pretty strange to me. Continue reading

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Death Comes to Us on a Friday

Friday is the most unusual of all the days of the week. It is the penultimate day before the weekend. Everything ends on a Friday: the rush, the frustrations, the expectations, the wickedness of work. They end, at least temporarily, on a Friday.

Friday is neither part of the work week nor the weekend. It is somewhere in between. This is probably the reason why we feel so lethargic when Friday comes. It’s like we’re working while tasting the sweetness of the weekend at the tip of our tongue. The day is a transition from here to there, from files to TV marathons, from coffee to beer, from the office to the park, from our stiff work clothes to our loose outdoor clothes, from pain to pleasure, from colleagues to family. We’re working while we’re heading home on a Friday. We’re being slaves to our bosses while we’re setting ourselves free on this very unique day. In a way, everything ends and starts on a Friday. Continue reading

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Blue Waffle Welcomes Me Back

pool

I’m on the 27th floor, writing newsletters for the company and blogs for myself.

It’s been almost a month now since I returned to the Blue Waffle Building. My comeback was mostly a silent operation since I didn’t want people to ask too many questions what happened to me. I appreciate some of the curiosity though and I’m glad that a few people actually care.

Three months ago, I wrote a very emotional blog on my farewell to the Blue Waffle Company and my friends here. Back then, I really thought everything was over for me in this company. No more clunky elevator rides, no more coffee and cigarette breaks beside the moldy pool, no more 5th and 27th floors. Still, I didn’t burn the last bridge I had with it. I couldn’t because I left my heart there. Continue reading

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Love in the Office and the Duality of Modernity

I am in favor of office romances, you know, love between fellow employees.

Now, that statement is almost kind of taboo in this capitalist world frantic with competition and productivity issues. For me, however, office romances are like those unexplored theories regarding human feelings and their role and place in the modern world. It’s like that long-held belief about gay men not being effective in the military because their insufficiently macho sexuality might prove harmful to national defense. Modernity has this curious obsession with objectivity disguised as promotion of science, but in many ways, it’s just one more tool for alienation and preservation of the status quo.

Feelings are not welcome in the public space. People have to hide them inside their rooms, so this world would supposedly run more smoothly.

I think modernity has this crazy duality or contradiction. On the one hand, it promotes customization and freedom of self-expression, but on the other hand, because of the capitalistic machine that is its main economic driving force, “consumers” are forced to push all that creativity and honesty into relatively cramped spaces called “private lives.” When they wear those uniforms, they become faceless once again. As workers, they lose their identities in order to sell better identities to others. A sales clerk may be the same as any other sales clerk in a cosmetics stall, but she can offer you some makeup products so, as a customer, you can be who you want to be.

I believe that office romances have very positive effects in terms of productivity. I know because I live such a life and I’m very happy. Critics might say, “Well, you’re happy that’s why your productivity is unaffected, but what happens when your relationship suddenly turns sour?”

Well, that again is a biased interpretation of feelings and their effects in the workplace. It’s as if before office romances, employees have been working like robots devoid of feelings. That’s bullsh*t. Every employee has subjective, personal motives for working. Now and then, those personal motives flood the workspace and they express their unique humanity through them. That is why you have coworkers that are rebels, coworkers who are hopeless romantics, coworkers who are outspoken gays and lesbians. You know these people for who they are because they’ve always been — now and then — honest in the workplace.

Given this fact that no worker is absolutely faceless and devoid of identity in the workplace, why do many people look down on employees in love with each other? Isn’t love just another expression of identity that surfaces every now and then?

One assumption is that you will be less inspired to do work because your main focus is to cuddle your officemate. Isn’t that absurd? Why not assume that you will be more inspired to work your ass off because you want to prove that you’re a decent, hardworking man to your officemate? Isn’t that a fair assumption, too?

There are many ways to avoid potential productive issues and I outlined them in one article for LifeHackery. I believe that once capitalism becomes more open to the idea that self-expression breeds more productivity, it will realize that affection between employees is generally not harmful to work.

It’s all a matter of productive forces breaking out of relations of production, like old-school Marxism. Productivity will speak for itself. Capitalism cannot remain this way forever. Workers will soon be free in the workplace just as they are in their bedrooms, and society will enjoy more goods, this time, more sincerely produced from the heart.

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Dedicated to cool folks. 😀

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