Unwanted finales

I formally started my Practicum at OPAPP on April 24. It has been exactly 3 months since then. I’ve logged almost 380 hours. I have 106 hours left. If I was any other person, I would’ve rejoiced knowing that I’m a month away from finishing my tenure as an Intern. That doesn’t seem to be the case, however.

As I filled up my Daily Time Record sheet that the school provided us with, I discovered how close I was to the end. I realized how little time remained for me in OPAPP. It depressed me.

It was a strange feeling. I grew fond of the place — not exactly their goals, their visions, missions or the head honchos running the place; but the common folk making the place work. I want to say they’re the best. Yet I can’t, since I haven’t really tried any place else. Their personalities make the place worth looking forward to in the morning. The leadership that most of the division heads, directors and secretaries display make you want to work harder, and the open-mindedness of (most of) their employees make Troubleshooting for them much easier.

I’m aware of some of the company’s downsides, such as lack of Overtime pay or lack of retirement benefits. But those don’t bother me at the moment (probably because I’m still young and immature, in a sense). The thing is, OPAPP would be my first choice of employment; because it’s a fun work place to be. I know people would say I’m doing it for the wrong reasons, but my thinking differs from most people. Here’s how I think:

  1. A less stressful working environment eventually pays off in terms of physical, mental and psychological health. Those are things that are expensive to repair if you shatter them.
  2. I’d take less pay for less stress over more pay for more stress.
  3. I’d take less pay for more time with my family (if I ever get one) over more pay for less time with them.
  4. A positive perspective of the place you work in does wonders for your productivity. A negative perspective, on the other hand, will turn you into a ticking time bomb that will explode if you pluck the wrong nerve.

Those are just a few of the things I keep in mind. I haven’t fully explored how the workload in OPAPP comes and goes, but as an IT personnel, it seems relatively balanced. There’s time for laughs and there’s time for work. Again, I know I’m going to attract some more raised eyebrows over my mention of laughter in the workplace, but here’s a “Fuck You” to those who think you shouldn’t have even a little bit of fun in the office.

There are limitations, of course. There always will be; such as playing games during working hours or every-half-an-hour cigarette breaks. Those are absolute transgressions. But who wants to be an uptight bastard who everyone trembles at the sight of just because you’re grumpy all the time? There are people in the office whose definitive characteristic is a short fuse. Perhaps “fun” is a term used mainly by children and these people scowl at the implication. A better word, or phrase, perhaps that should be used is “stress-free”.

As I continue to find ways to try to absorb the cold fact that I’m less than a hundred hours away from ending my Practicum at OPAPP, my mind was restless. I kept thinking. Yesterday, as I sat quietly in the school’s former smoking den, I was staring into the nothingness of things, brainstorming.

Was there a way for me to remain in OPAPP to continue doing what I’ve grown to enjoy? Was there a way to continue on that path once my 486 hours are fulfilled? I wanted to continue troubleshooting for people, doing work for Ms. Joey, helping the Property division with cabling, setting up computer hardware, encoding, programming; I wanted to stay. But was there a way?

My Tita Bambi told me I could visit from time to time, seeing as my school load is relatively light, especially on Mondays and Fridays. She told me I could do voluntary work. I could do that, I would do that, actually, but would I be allowed to do office work? I could do that, I would do that, I would accept what they give me, but would they be comfortable with making someone no longer under any formal contract do work? If I casually pop up in the office once my hours are finished, people wouldn’t mind, but they wouldn’t completely look at me as one of them anymore. I would be seen as a visitor, and I might not be allowed to help people. Because I’m no longer any under formal contract.

I wanted to stay. I don’t even need to be paid or be provided free lunch with; I can cook my own food. All I would be asking for is to remain there and continue helping the company. There must be some legal agreement that can be made for that.

I still can’t find the words to explain as to why I adore the office. The closest thing I have to an explanation is the hospitality of the people there.

This morning I was ordered by Mrs. Joey to keep an eye on one of our Assistant Secretaries because he’s one of our frequent ‘customers’. He wasn’t in the office that time as he had attended a meeting, so I applied the proxy settings Sir Nante made just for him and made sure the static IP I had assigned to him was still in place.

I wasn’t doing anything after that so I decided to remain in the 6th Floor, telling everyone that if they ever needed assistance concerning IT matters, I would be around. The Finance Division, which had just gotten some renovations done in their office, immediately called for help.

As soon as I came in, 4 people wanted something fixed. I didn’t mind; I attended to them one by one. They asked if I was getting stressed. I said no. Everything was fine. I’m doing what I enjoy; and they weren’t pesky about what they wanted done. With some help from Sir Dave and Sir Noel from the Property Unit, I got an internet problem fixed, a printer installed, some printers shared and some cables changed. It took a while, but it was worth it. I got some more free thank you’s.

I find those things worth living for. I really don’t want it to end.

I’ll probably start working on getting my requirements for application in that office as soon as I finish my Practicum…

…to continue what I love doing.

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