Slumber and Sobriety  

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Wake up sleepyhead!
Slumber and sobriety are just two of the things that I often take for granted. I have never felt the repercussions of trying to force a depleted supply of brain cells to function normally while in a severely sleep-deprived, zombie-like state than I did last week. I was a disaster waiting to happen.

I have always believed that the consumption of alcohol should go hand in hand with a sufficient amount of sleep. After a night out on the town guzzling down pint after pint of the local clubs' finest booze, one should see to it that he not only gets to sleep it off, but one also needs to make sure that he sleeps at home. The general idea is to go home then sleep, not sleep then go home; although I have often found myself violating this relatively simple concept.

This week I intend to allow my brain to recuperate, even attempt to grow a few brain cells if possible. We're deep into the nitty-gritty of training now and I really need to absorb as much information as I can. So off I go into Lala-land to grab a few Z's. I'll try not to snore too loud.

Oh, and I better get started on that book real soon.

About Being Rigged And Multi-Purpose Holes  

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Okay I admit, the title of this post's a bit of an inside joke. Somebody I know syllabicated the word "RIG-GED" and another blushed profusely after saying hole instead of hall. But I still love them both to bits. What I really just wanted to write about was how I feel about my new beginning. For me, it seems as though my career has finally come full circle, and I am once again that wide-eyed newcomer hoping to make it big in this industry.

As many of you (I often optimistically envision an increase in the number of people that read this blog) may have already surmised, I am currently undergoing training at one of the more prominent yet less financially rewarding call centers in the country today. I still have a few weeks to go before I officially start mentally lambasting people from across the other side of the planet because of their stupidity, but the here and now says I am having the time of my life.

Despite all my personal prohibitions against ever putting on a pair of headsets again, for once I find myself actually smiling at the thought of going to work. I will probably end up burning out again eventually, but I believe I have found something I haven't had at any call center for a very long time - hope. I can sense an air of positivity, especially because the chances of me finally moving up the corporate ladder are pretty big. The last time I felt like this towards my employer, my colleagues, and myself was during training in the very first call center that took me in. Friends felt like family and work seemed more like recreation rather than duty.

Many online dictionaries would define the idiom "come full circle" as to return to the same situation or attitude one originally had. Before I came running back to the industry with my proverbial tail firmly tucked between my legs and my pride thoroughly trampled on, I told myself that this will be the last time I'll ever work for a call center. It will be my last hurrah, so to speak. Every time I told myself that this will be the last time I'll have to put my headsets on and solve other people's problems, I kept wondering about where I'd go next or what career I would likely be involved in if not this. Now that I've come full circle however, I realized that maybe I don't have to go anywhere else. Maybe this is what I was meant to do.

Maybe, I'm finally home.

Home. Finally.

Bitter Sweet Bitter Gourd  

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I saw the Disney Pixar movie Cars the other day, and I recalled how rookie race car Lightning McQueen hit the brakes and stopped dead in his tracks just a few short feet from the finish line, in the last lap of the most important race of his life. Instead of going on to become the first ever rookie to win a Piston Cup, he shifted gears to reverse and went back to help The King, who had just crashed and spun out of the track. The life lesson here may be a bit juvenile, but that particular scene got me thinking: If that had happened to me, would I have done the same thing? What would the movie had been like if Lightning McQueen simply ignored The King's mangled chassis and continued racing towards victory? Would that have been a real victory?

I recently won my first "Piston Cup". In a class mostly consisting of call center virgins and registered nurses, I managed to achieve the honor of being class valedictorian. I aced most of the written exams and passed the oral assessments with flying colors. Sadly though, my "Piston Cup" story also came with its own version of "The King".

Last night, Zune CVG Wave 2 celebrated our last day of communication and culture training. The night was filled with fun, food and booze, and everybody seemed to have had a great time. But the celebration was tainted with sorrow, or at least it was for me. Everybody from our class will move on to product specific training on Monday, all except one.

Arleen, who was my partner during the latter stages of communication and culture training, failed to make the grade. She was a first-time call center trainee, and she was still struggling with her confidence and English communication skills. But she was determined, which is why it felt terribly sad to see her fail. It felt like part of her failure was my fault; that I had not been able to help her enough, being the tenured veteran that I am. Guilt found itself a tiny little nook inside my heart and I think it plans to stay there for a while.

If I could've only stopped before crossing the finish line like Lightning McQueen did, maybe I could have helped her. Hands down, this tops my list of bittersweet victories.

I wish I could've gone back and helped you.


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Are opportunities meant to be taken?

This question kept playing in the back of my head like that last song you heard over the radio. Are all opportunities really meant to be taken?

If God opens a door, should you walk in? There are two schools of thought in this scenario. Some would say that one should walk in and grab the chance to enter because the opportunity presented itself. Others, however, would argue that God also gave man the unique ability to think for himself, therefore free will dictates whether one should choose to enter or not.

Given the two options, the obvious choice would be to take a shot at it and just walk right through the door. Sure. But my hesitation comes from uncertainty and doubt.

Will I be ready for what's on the other side of the door?
Will I be able to stay on the other side without getting unceremoniously shown my way out?
Will I be stepping on other people's toes on my way to the top?

Trying to answer the question of whether I should take the opportunity or not has sadly brought about more questions. Life can really be confusing sometimes, and I often feel that I can barely keep my head above the water.

Don't get me wrong folks, I would love nothing more than to walk right through the door and finally make something of my life. But the apocryphal hellions of self-doubt and apathy have reared their ugly heads, and I am still struggling to find purpose and meaning amidst all the chaos.

I know this post seems awfully vague, but I assure you, I will expound on the topic as soon as I find clarity. As a parting shot however, I would like to end this profound nonsense with yet another question:

Just because you can walk through the door, does that mean you should enter?

Up, or down?

Of Bird Tenses and 1-2-Trees  

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As high and mighty as I thought I was in terms of my phraseological prowess and my command of the English language, it has recently come to my attention that I am far from being grammatically perfect. For one, I often employ writing methods that have never been - and in all probability will never be - acceptable to them English scholars. There are even times when I feel like I seem to invent some of the words I use in my blog.

I often attribute my grammatical imperfection to my being casual and informal. Now I realize that it was all an excuse, which begs the question: am really I up to the task of writing anything publish-worthy?

But I digress, right off the bat. The realization that there is so much more to learn about the English language came to me in one of the communications and culture training sessions which I am currently taking. It was a lesson in humility, although I wasn't a complete embarrassment. There were written assessments which I was certain I was going to ace, but ended up making a couple of mistakes. Disappointing, yes, but hardly disheartening. In fact, I look forward to learning more. Bring it on, baby.

There were those of us who seem to have a relatively respectable grasp on how to use certain words, while others merely transliterate. I do not mean to belittle my colleagues, but I sincerely fear for their survival. The call center industry is a cutthroat business. It isn't enough to know what you want to say; if you can't say it right, you won't last long.

While I rue the fact that I have come back running towards the very same industry which I had desperately tried to run away from, I enjoy the fact that for once in my not-so-illustrious career, I actually did learn something useful from culture and communications training: verb tenses. Now the term "future progressive" no longer conjures up images of rock bands in face paint to my mind.

But I still hate those accursed Thuringian Thermometer folks.

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Stories from the Simian Crease by Binchee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.
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