“Published” on June 29, 2012 on facebook.com
Two note posts ago, I was complaining about how exhausting the final semester of this infernal School Year was being (and is still being, and will continue to be). I complained about fatigue, about the noontime inferno, about the cloud of cigarette smoke in the crowded smoking den near the school. I complained about classmates, about the corrupt politics plighting an innocent educational institution. I complained and complained about everything; except the office, where I still prefer to be in during the weekdays.
The past few days have somewhat shifted my perspective to a different tone. I have come to realize something:
I am fortunate.
Those things still stand; some of it, at least. I still have to trudge along the corporate Sahara at noontime. The presence of my classmates still annoy me for no reason. My school is still ran by puppeteers and pigs in suits and heels thirsty for cash.
But the smoking den is no longer a smoking den; now it’s just…well…a den. The people running the nearby store and computer shop decided they weren’t going to put up with cocky teenagers filling the place with a fog of smoke thick enough to deplete the ozone layer if it were near the ground; so they banned smoking in the den.
Though I’m also one of the exhaust pipes contributing to the pollution in that place, I couldn’t help but be relieved when I got there from the office the other day. It’s a regular stopover. I could open my eyes wide! The place smelled great! My clothes didn’t reek of breaking the school rules when I went up to the classrooms! Sure, it’s quite a hassle just to get a puff between classes, but it does get me away from some of the annoying freshmen who crowded the former smoking den.
Anyway, that was just a minor point. Let me get to the major ones.
I thought I was exhausted. I thought I was killing myself. I even daydreamt from time to time about collapsing in the office due to stress so they could bring me to the hospital to get myself some free bed rest, doctor-advised or whatever. I thought I was at the edge of my seat. I went through a PhilGov class last Thursday going in and out of consciousness. No matter what position I tried sitting with, I would doze off. It was that intense.
Then as I was scanning my Facebook News Feed two or three nights ago mindlessly (like a refrigerator, we know it’s probably not going to have anything worthy, but we still check), I came across posts from some of my classmates (seniors like myself, not those annoying kids) who took up the Practicum in the summer, like myself.
They go to the office in the morning then attend their classes in the afternoon, like me. Not much of a difference at first glance, but get this: they’re taking up maybe 5 or 6 subjects…including the Thesis.
Along with my Practicum, I’m taking up 5 subjects, 4 of which are major. But we already finished our Thesis a year ago. The thought of being an Intern and a Thesis student in one semester didn’t even cross my mind — it did, but I immediately classified that kind of idea as ‘fucking crazy’. Yet these guys are doing it. Not only that, they have to suffer under the school roof until 9 in the evening. My classes finish at 7, then I go straight home because of my “fatigue”.
I am fortunate.
Then I had a conversation with someone (whose identity will be withheld because I might be oriented into the court of justice due to libel) two nights ago while I was chomping down on a Buy 1 Take 1 Bart Burger in Burger Machine — his treat, but he only took a bite. I ate the rest. He’s a regular employee, and of course, they also have Interns from time to time.
They treat their Interns pretty well, to get them comfortable with their surroundings and more confident when they truly step into the lavish world of suits, ties, briefcases, laptops and projectors. As in my situation, they aren’t being ordered to do menial “initiate” tasks like making coffee for the employees — more technical duties maybe, such as having documents photocopied, delivered and received, more respectable undertakings like those. They’re taken care of. Those interns however, now sail stormy seas when their superior decided getting along with (the person I’m talking to) was insufferable — the two parties don’t get along, and one party is fond of inside-closed-doors name calling, defamation with no other purpose than self-upheaval.
Thus, those interns are going to be marked as failures when their respective final performance analyses arrives. “The ally of my enemy is my enemy,” is what went into said superior’s head perhaps. Those poor, innocent, unknowing, street-smart souls. Who would have thought that their supposedly commendable lack of naivety would be their downfall? Really, who? Such a shallow reason to risk one’s professionalism over.
My situation, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. My boss is a saint. And I don’t think there would be any reason for any of my officemates to come charging into the school to defend my case, unless I screw things up majorly. But not because of unprofessional behavior emanating from the upper echelon.
I am fucking fortunate.
(Damn it, I did it again. “My officemates.” That’s how comfortable I am here in OPAPP.)
Now that I saw the light, I’m more pumped up to do better at what I’m currently going through. I don’t think I’ll be playing Diablo III for a while, that shit can wait. It’s not ran by prepaid credit like WoW is, anway. I need to be up at 6 so I can leave at 6:30. The time-you-leave-to-travel-time ratio increases exponentionally during peak morning hours, especially when this route you’re taking includes EDSA and Commonwealth Avenue. So far, I’ve been late twice in 2 weeks. There’s two 8:30 AM log-ins in my Daily Time Record which I manually fill up. But that’s probably because I’m too lazy to include minutes in calculating the total duration I’ve spent in my training.
I usually just round it off to the next 30 minute mark when I’m late, then the last 30 minute mark when I leave the office. i.e. if I arrive at 8:15, I write “8:30” on my manual DTR; if I leave the office at 7:23, I write “7:00”. When I arrive before 8:00 AM, I write 8:00 AM on the time I went in. I don’t know if I’m going to get sanctioned for “Inaccurate Chronology”, but it can’t be that bad. I’m actually taking minutes off of my cumulative hours — I should be rewarded! (*Cough* beer on Pay Day *cough*). Joking aside, I can’t really find a care to give on the minutes I exclude. I like the office. I’m even being pushed by my few remaining peers in school to cheat my Practicum hours, but I wasn’t having any of it. Where I’m at, I’m learning and having a great time with it. Maybe they’re not, but that’s none of my concerns.
I am really fucking fortunate.
They even lifted the relatively new restriction on working students and interns to have to wear their daily uniforms on days when they have to attend to both their respective jobs/”jobs” and their classes. I don’t know if my lengthy, objective yet obviously ticked off rant on the school’s Facebook page had anything to do with it, but it’s a relief. I never liked the new school polo anyway; it reminded me of something men wear at funerals. It could probably double as that and a school uniform. That way students who have to attend necrological services wouldn’t have to bring additional clothing, save water, soap and moolah along the way as well. All I know is that it doesn’t double as a decent corporate top, the “inexperienced youngster” label is still pasted all over that atrocious uniform.
Everything’s just that well-ironed for me, I guess. That I even have the balls and the stamina to give myself more time in the office. See? Just a while ago, I was complaining about dying of exhaustion, now I’m talking about stamina.
Carry on, life. Come at me, bro.