Looking for something blue

I heard my officemate say that looking into a person’s closet will reveal many things about one’s personality. (I thought it was your comfort room that defines the personality.) Anyway, the idiom ‘skeletons in the closet’ justifies the notion that there’s a big secret behind the doors of our cabinets at home. In my case, I have a messy cabinet; does this mean that my life’s messed up?

Last Thursday night, I had to decide on what to wear on a ‘smart casual’ event of the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell. During that moment, I realized that I had a cluttered closet. Although the clothes are laundered, they’re all mixed up. Now that I wear uniforms at work, all my corporate long-sleeved polos, vests and slacks jumbled with jeans, shirts and shorts. I wonder what I would do with the dozens of neckties I bought last year for my office attire (see related post: https://earl1987.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/neckties/).

In pursuit of something blue (in the spirit of that school on the hill), I ended up finding almost ten pieces of green polo shirts in various shades and designs. Well, green is one of my favorite colors, so it dominated my cabinet. Following the greens are the yellows. I never had a yellow shirt until the UST Tigers became champion in the UAAP Men’s Basketball in 2006-07 (and everyone was required to wear something yellow). More yellow polo shirts were included in my wardrobe as the Tita Cory and Noynoy fever swept the land. I also have lots of whites and very few blues.

The funny thing is that on the morning of the Ateneo Congress, I ended up wearing a bland, dry grey-colored polo. Now, all my clothes are scattered on my bed as I try to sort them out. It’s time to throw the ‘skeletons inside the closet’ – the old, overused and faded clothing.

[Note: The Ateneo Professional Schools Sesquicentennial Congress was a great experience. According to Ed Morato, we should throw away Porter’s Five Forces; should we? And so my classmates applauded.]

I heard my officemate say that looking into a person’s closet will reveal many things about one’s personality.  (I thought it was your comfort room that defines the personality.) Anyway, the idiom ‘skeletons in the closet’ justifies the notion that there’s a big secret behind the doors of our cabinets at home. In my case, I have a messy cabinet; does this mean that my life’s messed up?

Last Thursday night, I had to decide on what to wear on a ‘smart casual’ event of the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell. During that moment, I realized that I had a cluttered closet. Although the clothes are laundered, they’re all mixed up. Now that I wear uniforms at work, all my corporate long-sleeved polos, vests and slacks jumbled with jeans, shirts and shorts. I wonder what I would do with the dozens of neckties I bought last year for my office attire (see related post: https://earl1987.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/neckties/).

In pursuit of something blue (in the spirit of that school on the hill), I ended up finding almost ten pieces of green polo shirts in various shades and designs. Well, green is one of my favorite colors, so it dominated my cabinet. Following the greens are the yellows. I never had a yellow shirt until the UST Tigers became champion in the UAAP Men’s Basketball in 2006-07 (and everyone was required to wear something yellow). More yellow polo shirts were included in my wardrobe as the Tita Cory and Noynoy fever swept the land. I also have lots of whites and very few blues.

The funny thing is that on the morning of the Ateneo Congress, I ended up wearing a bland, dry grey-colored polo. Now, all my clothes are scattered on my bed as I try to sort them out. It’s time to throw the ‘skeletons inside the closet’ – the old, overused and faded clothing.

[Note: The Ateneo Professional Schools Sesquicentennial Congress was a great experience. According to Ed Morato, we should throw away Porter’s Five Forces; should we? And so my classmates applauded.]

Recycled Resolution Tested

This year, I included PATIENCE as one of the virtues I want to cultivate. “I’ll be more patient this year,” I told myself while waiting for the clock to strike 12 on New Year’s Eve 2009. I thought it would be easy, but it turned out that 2010 doesn’t want to help me achieve this goal smoothly. Recent events tested this recycled resolution of mine.

Phone calls

Every time I pick up the phone, I take a deep breath and smile before I say my greetings. If I don’t do this, I’ll end up furious, especially when I pick up a ringing phone just to answer the question: “Hello, pwede pong magtanong?” It is as if they can take ‘no’ for an answer.

Queues

The ‘advantage’ card doesn’t give you an advantage at all. I hate it when you only buy one item (for example, a facial wash) and you have to wait for the one in front of you (who bought every single item on sale in the department store).

MBA

I took two subjects this time and so my Mondays and Wednesdays are blocked. Although the subject combination for this term is quite manageable, I tend to miss sleeping early during weekdays. Well, since I really want to get that that diploma with Athenaei Manilani Curatores inscribed on it, then I’ll have to deal with this.

Traffic

The newly-installed traffic lights in the city’s choke points already became part of my daily exam for patience. That red light surely knows how to irritate drivers.

Elections

I am very much excited about the upcoming elections. I’m sure the proclamation of a new President would put an end to the “Naligo ka na ba sa dagat ng basura” Last Song Syndrome.

It’s day 17 of 2010 and more tests of patience are expected to come my way.

Training for a Living

If you open my car’s trunk these days, you won’t find tons of shoes, clothes, prescription drugs nor giveaways. It’s funny to see a box of school materials, a roll of Manila paper and a bunch of folders. There was a time when my trunk was loaded with plastic balls, straws, barbeque sticks and plastic cups. I used to do this before, not for a living, but for fun. Now, it’s something really serious. It’s professional.

After a quick research and upon stumbling upon the actual job itself, I have settled for myself the great debate on “trainer vs trainor.” Now I know that I should be called a trainor (thanks to http://barenaked.i.ph/).

Every time I attend lectures, seminars and trainings, I am always fascinated by trainors. Now that I consider myself as one, I present to you the 10 COMMANDMENTS OF A TRAINOR (applicable to HR people or those in the corporate world) and not for trainers (i.e. fitness, animal, etc.), but if the need arises, then these may come handy:

1.Thou shall ask for Divine Intervention at all times.

Nowadays, AVPs are in. Download videos — Bukas Palad, Hillsong or Don Moen works. If not, better recite a simple one. There’s no other way to start any program than with a prayer.

2.Thou shall be financially prepared.

There were a couple of times when I had to buy some stuff for games, prizes and even pika-pikas for the participants. Whether you can reimburse the money or not, always think about the success of your activity.

3.Thou shall be (or look) cool and street smart.

Before any seminar, you should know the Billboard Top 100, current events, social issues, and trivia. Remember that you should always look (and be) more learned than your audience (whether they are subordinates, fellows or bosses). Watch TV, download the latest dance craze and know the latest jokes.

4.Thou shall not forget the checklist.

This is an important thing I learned from my superiors and friends who have been exposed in training or organizing – always have a checklist. Make sure that you are ready with everything from nametags to attendance sheets.

5.Thou shall act as an all-around event organizer.

Imagine that you are planning a wedding. Call up all the participants so that they’ll show up, prepare the sound system, food, entertainment and others. More often than not, you are also the emcee, speaker’s personal assistant, and waiter.

6.Thou shall accept criticisms good-naturedly.

No one else will be blamed but you. Bad-tasting food, missing handout pages, inkless pens, and even brownouts are blamed on trainors. Just smile and find solutions right away. Anyway, they will always enjoy the games.

7.Thou shall know your resource speaker.

If you are a facilitator, know the personality of your speaker. They come to ‘train’ as well, and you must treat them like a VIP. Know their favorite food, pet peeves, and moods. Someday (hopefully) you’ll be like them.

8.Thou shall be resourceful.

There are times wherein you have to craft something out of nothing. Produce an output or find a substitute for something which is needed for the training.

9.Thou shall be child-like.

Be a game master and prepare games, icebreakers and activities that will liven up a boring discussion. Try the games for you to know if they are applicable or feasible.

10.Thou shall be happy.

Training is a way of spreading something to a group of people. You don’t want to share gloom, hatred or problems. Share happiness.

I can’t help but smile each moment I reminisce the laughter of participants whenever they play games. I always look at their eyes and expressions whenever they listen to me. I feel excited when I facilitate a game. I am interested in hearing their problems, ideas and feelings.

When you’re a trainor, differences on age, sex or belief doesn’t matter. Expectations should be met and lessons must be properly disseminated. It’s making the blind see, the mute speak, and the deaf listen.

Now I have to plan for the next trainings. Three more to go before the month ends!

Free Will

While having lunch with two workmates, a segment of ABS-CBN’s defunct Alas Singko Y Medya (evolved into Umagang Kay Ganda) flashed back as we talked about the iconic astrologer Zenaida Seva, who always says: “Hindi hawak ng mga bitwin ang ating kapalaran, gabay lamang sila; meron tayong sariling free-will, gamitin natin ito.” (We simultaneously recited the line as if it was a mantra from a spell book!)

I have a colleague who frequently checks her horoscope. Her daily routine includes reading the horoscope column in broadsheets and eventually exclaiming, “Hey, they just got this from the Internet!” or “Crap! This is just a reprint of last week’s (or worse, yesterday’s) horoscope!” And so she made me a bit more interested about astrology.

According to the star signs, I am a Sagittarian. Susan Miller made a good forecast for me this month. Surprisingly, most of the things stated in my January horoscope seem to fall in place. I wonder if the findings are too general that they can be applied to any star sign, or I am too immersed with my life that I seem to apply them to everything I do.  I read my horoscope once in a while and knowingly or unknowingly, I use it as a guide. Let me dissect:

Huge changes in your cash flow are going on now.
— Isn’t this applicable to everybody?

December 31 / January 1 may end a source of income. Don’t worry. January 15 may bring in a new way to make money.
— Because it’s pay day!

Love and travel appear to be linked: all month.
— Like!

Alternatively, you may take a seminar, set of classes, or even a major exam near the full moon January 30.
— I have no choice, I have MBA classes.

Romance will be best: January 2, 10, 16, 20, 21, 26, 30, and 31.
— Cheesy!

Month’s end would also be the moment to spend a little time on your appearance.
— I’ll schedule a haircut!

Maybe it’s easier if I use my free will.

Running out of characters

I survived eight months without posting any blog entry because instead of concocting a feel-good write-up for my own (and a few readers’) pleasure, I ended up immersed in Facebook which I strategically linked to my Twitter account. These quick posting applications were handy. I found them very practical over the past busy months since I only had to share what I was doing, watching or listening to while I can tweet a 140-character line to my very few (sad to say) minions on Twitter.

When I was about to close my Friendster account, it made a move that didn’t came a surprise to social networking addicts. Dull “FS” turned green and became an “FB”-copycat. One thing common about social networking sites today is that built-in longitudinal box where people can publicize their thoughts by clicking the buttons ‘shoutout’ in Friendster, ‘update’ in Twitter and ‘share’ in Facebook. No wonder Yahoo! Mail also joined the craze and installed a “What are you doing right now” box as well.

Once in a while, I blankly stare at my bedroom window, thinking about a shout out, or wondering if a tweet would be interesting enough for my friends to “like.”I found these ‘share’ boxes very challenging since they are limited in characters. This means that you have to be creative enough to be noticed.

The online craze of announcing anything under the sun has been a subject of criticisms. I myself laugh at those ‘shares’ which do not gather any comments at all. Christine Gambito of “Happy Slip” saying that ‘here (status updates) is something that we complete indulge in simply because we can now.” (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV4PNwpqsCc). CNN (See http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/08/20/annoying.facebook.updaters/index.html ) and “Ang Pinaka” hosted by Rovilson Fernandez in QTV11 (See http://www.jumblepop.com/2009/10/ang-pinaka-pasaway-na-facebook-users.html) also enumerated the “Most Annoying Facebook Users.”

For the sake of online presence, I am still hooked in these portals. On the down side, I always run out of characters. This year, I think I’ll make more sense if I start to blog again.

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Read my blog: https://earl1987.wordpress.com