Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Bungled Up Weekend


It is apparent that we go through things over and over again in life, much like a moron who tests the heat from an open fire and does it again hoping or thinking that it won’t hurt as much the next time, the weekend that was offered me no less than being a pissed off guy from things that I probably had no control over.

The golf tournament I had to attend to was the worst game I’ve ever played… but I guess that that’s all normal for me. Anyway, I was supposedly home after lunch to pick up my wife for a visit with my in-laws but since it was a tournament, I had no control over which flight I would be in. and since there were only two of us playing together, the organizers would have to put two more players in the same flight and that meant waiting for another two-man team. The wait was long and by the time we teed off, I was already pissed off, tired and had my mind off the game.

I was in the shower by two and was heading out of the golf club by half past two and remembered that the main road would be officially closed for the government-sponsored anti-drug rally where the President would be in attendance. So to a snail’s pace, we inched our way through the detoured traffic, dropped off my staff and got home late afternoon… and my wife was pissed off as hell.

Point? It was an official tournament where my organization sponsored the first hole. I should have been there in the first place until the end of the event and witness the awarding ceremonies but I skipped it. For what? Ok, it was for something important, but I also missed out an opportunity for the company to mingle in with some very important people. Not to mention that my staff who was my flight partner won 1st runner up but we weren’t there… that would have been a good cause for a celebration and more elbow-rubbing opportunities.

And she’s pissed off? Hell yeah, but I was in no mood for an argument. I already stopped talking about work a long time ago to prevent myself from hearing solicited comments where the circumstances and parameters are unclear to her anyway and I’d probably end up absorbing more stress. Hell, the traffic ain’t my fault either. Government could simply close a major road, waste valuable fuel for everyone, mess up everybody else’s schedule, grind business activities in the area to a stand still for a few political gains to earn for 2010. I and my guys didn’t take breakfast and lunch since we had to go back home… she’s pissed off? Hell yeah.

Opportunities were wasted that day. Need I explain? And I will not explain, this is my world and I won’t expect second-hand sympathy since that is something I won’t need anyway…

So to sum it up, congratulations Jay An, you have proven yourself a good golfer. To bad we didn’t stick around so you’d be able to ceremoniously receive your award. I had unfortunately domestic obligations I needed to attend to.

Part 2

So with all the hoola-balloohs over and done with, I had to take my rest after sitting in the car the entire day for a trip to our branch in Cebu for the ship’s stage major renovation. My phone is already dead by that time and I missed like a gazillion calls from my boss.

I picked him up from his place early in the morning for the flight and another adventure begins.

More sensitivity issues…

I travel light, that’s the general rule. A day before this trip my finance director already informed me that I’d have to haul a small box with me. It was simple… I heard “small” and it was. My secretary was already in the office when we got there, puts the box in the car and she comes with us to the airport.

First insensitivity… the box had no handles, makeshift of what not. That means I had to embrace an ugly box around with my short arms, lug it around like Igor and walk around the aiport. I didn’t check it in because that would be a waste of time when I arrive in Cebu. That’s despite the fact that I had to argue with an airport personnel about hand carrying this box.

It was done, we have arrived and I had a “hell” of a time lugging it around and finally, I was curious as to the contents and ALAS, several business card boxes, a relatively small flag and a gun-tucker… all of which could have fitted in my bag! Talk about unnecessary suffering!

I was already pissed-off that time that I excused myself from lunch telling the chairman I had a heavy breakfast. We headed to the site afterwards; I checked in with the boys about the work in progress and gave some small talk about our style. “tour de force”, a little less than 44 hours to complete the project.

I noticed that although the progress was quite impressive, I wasn’t quite sure we’d beat the deadline. So I gave money to my associate director so that he’d buy me something to wear while working since I'd have to literally get down and dirty… I specifically mentioned that I trusted him on his taste of outfit and I ended up wearing floral designed shorts for a day… huuhuhu…

A major sensitivity issue…

If you’re going to ask people to work in excess of the normal hours a human being is supposed to outside of sleep, then they would have to be fed properly. Apparently, they were not so I asked one of the boys to buy some barbeque chicken and rice for everyone and that got us going the rest of the day.

Days before sending my key people from Manila to Cebu, I specifically mentioned things needed to be done and materials needed to be purchased. Some of them were turned down by the branch manager because he “thinks” that they were unnecessary.

My major gripe…

How can someone with no experience in construction and stage development be entitled to an opinion? Or for that matter, how can someone with no experience at all be entitled to an opinion?

I tell you, this is a moronic organization. No wonder he has already developed a pet name from the staff. And this is the second time he has bungled up on something. First was the ceiling that he did not have cleaned and washed down because he “thinks” that it’s not going to turn out well. It took an ultimatum for him to work on it and did it work? Hell yeah! The ceiling is 2000% better looking. Three months after my order.

He wanted to request for new air conditioning units. I simply said that the ACs were never maintained by qualified people for the last five years so he simply has to have the ACs serviced and it’ll be fine. He took the advice and did it work? Hell Yeah! For Php1,200 three ACs were serviced and they’re all working better now.

This attitude already borders with insubordination and I will make sure that I put it on a memo.

So with his “opinion” he has managed to waste precious time and resources, managed to piss me off and almost compromised the objective of my visit to Cebu. And that is why I shall continue to turn down offers of the presidency of this company for as long as the culture of “accommodation” remains. It’s either my way, or no way. At the moment, I am content of having to answer to the Chairman as his Vice President.

As work progressed the rest of the day and night, I was on the floor and working while the branch manager looked on unable to physically contribute to this project. By midnight, I asked for beer bottles be opened and asked everyone to cease working because we were snail-pacing from exhaustion. I gave money for a hearty lunch the next day. A few beers and we called it a night.

The bottomline…

The project was completed… not on time, but photo finish. We would have met the 3pm deadline was it not for the f&%*@# up indecisiveness of the branch manager. And this has been the problem that has pervaded this company for the longest time. My gripes in Boracay were the same and there seems to be no end to it. Like some special child, we just do the same mistakes over and over again. I actually now refuse to be associated with this stupidity…

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Golf Day @ Intramuros

It was another day of golf at good old Intramuros Golf Club with Kyo. I wish that this game would start loving me, hehehe. But honestly, it's not the game, it's me that's f&#$ed up. But no matter what, I have learned to like this game and good or bad days, I'm gonna play when given the chance.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

well, i was...

We had a scheduled fun run for the celebration yesterday of the Filipino-Korean Friendship Day so that meant that most everyone would be sleeping over at the office Friday night. Earlier that day, I played golf with my son Kyo in Club Intramuros. We weren’t able to take my car because my wife used it to bring my mother-in-law to the hospital so we had to use his beamer. Took a very late lunch and went back to the office.

That night I prepared a small pajama party for the employees with their preferred drink, red horse consumed Pinoy style “tagay”. We downed a lot of it while watching my recently released dvd and the December Miss Gay Lotto video which I partially sponsored. A lot of shop talk and a lot of stupid jokes and it was really very enjoyable. By the time the drink kicked in it was a little after three and they continued drinking downstairs.

What made me really happy that day was the fact that so much “talent” was in the same room. My stage manager has exhibited that he is now capable of directing an event in a semi-big scale proportion. Who knows, he might be ready to take on a branch if ever we decide to make one.

This was much like my experience in Cebu were I started playing the old files of the original Amazing Show most of the sequences of which are now obsolete but the performers still remembered the steps, the blockings and the choreography. And it was really flattering least to say that these people loves their work so much.

Those were my most recent happy moments. I was shaken out my slumber by my secretary and driver for the run… I could barely breathe and I wanted the event to finish as soon as possible. Drinking the night before was a bad idea… actually not. And I later learned that two of my favorite performers had a go at it by engaging on a fight downstairs with somebody having a mark after being hit with a wooden sword we use as a prop. So I spent the better half of the day investigating what happened and who was at fault. Well, like I always say, my performers only fight about two things… casting and boy toys.

I was called in by the Chairman to discuss marketing issues and the possibility of making another business to support this brontosaurus company given that we are vey much affected by the crisis so that got me excited thinking that I’ll probably need to stir my brain cells once again for this one.

Later I had dinner with two friends from the bureau and played nine holes of screen golf and later the night had to drop of at Undersecretary Gil’s birthday party. I had to excuse myself early since I was dying to lie on my bed and get some decent sleep.

It was a full long day… and it made me happy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

i'm happy

I'm just happy... need i explain Why? when i'm sober... i will...

Friday, March 13, 2009

death all around us

These days, people seem to be dying in close proximity from us. Maybe it’s the season, or maybe it’s just a bunch of random coincidences. Most of the time, I find it difficult to have a meal with my wife without having to hear stories of tragedy that happens to someone she knows. I do have my share of “heard of” tragedies that makes life as life should be… moments.

Most recently, a performer of mine suffered a tragedy involving his mother. Someone told me how it was when they visited the wake. Apparently, the entire scene looks like some scene lifted from a movie, a cruel uncle who is a local gangster who treats them all very badly. Six siblings, and he has to take care of all of them and all is dependent on whatever little he has despite the fact that two are married with their own children… so it’s like carrying Christ’s cross on his shoulder. But despite everything, I see him as a person of simplicity, content and as I assumed happiness.

I suppose that everyone has a way of dealing with what life has to offer us.

Yesterday, my wife and her co-workers were in a wake for the parent of another co-worker when they were informed that a co-worker who was with them earlier that day has committed suicide in her house. They ran over to the funeral parlor where she was brought in and they could not believe that she committed suicide nor was she the type who would do such a thing… but then again apparently she did. And this is based on the initial findings of the post mortem examination.

At the moment, we are also faced with problems of our own which I am not at the moment not at liberty to blog.

Anyway, since I am on the topic, I myself sometimes think about how death shall come to me. I am not a morbid person, I think everyone knows that. But there are times when I am confronted with facts about being diabetic. I saw how my mother struggled with this disease. I saw one of my uncles lose his leg in installments as he made comments on how he does not wish to be buried in parts. I recently suffered from an infection on my left foot that had me walking with a cane for a couple of days. It all started with a mosquito or insect bite I got in Boracay and it subliminally scared the shit out of me at the time.

But death comes. No one is exempted. Not even vampires since Buffy might just be around the corner. The hardest thing I guess is having knowledge of the bigger possibilities that lay ahead; deep vein thrombosis leading to pulmonary embolism, a diabetic coma or whatever it is that kills my kind. But what worries me most is being “alive” and not being well. Losing my sight the way my mother did… although that would be a bit cool while playing the piano or losing a leg just like my uncle.

My solution?... Simply don’t think about it. Lead a normal life with a bit of precaution but don’t live life like a DIABETIC! If you act sick, then you will be. I’ve been recently happy with the outcome of the homecoming concert… in no part of that show was it ever apparent that am sick. And apparently, there are no signs in my present life that I am sick, except when my secretary brings me those pills I have to take for maintenance or when I have to prick myself for blood for a glucose test.

And since I know that my life will be shorter than most, I always say that it is not the length of your stay that matters, but the quality of your stay that matters most. So make the most out of it.

P.S. that is perhaps the reason why my wife calls me a narcissist… because I am. By the time I get sick, only those who truly love me will be by my side.

The things I enjoy most these days…

  • Watching the marketing team gain ground…
  • Being fascinated by the amount of growth my executive director has exhibited over the past couple of months… I did not make a mistake
  • Watching my son sleep… it’s more appreciated because when he’s awake, he’s tearing up the house… that’s my demolition baby...
  • Watching how much improvement my daughter has made on guitar and piano playing… and the singing isn’t bad, too. I’m excited to see the reaction on her face once I give her the fender squire hello kitty Stratocaster I’ve been saving up on… that’ll be her fourth guitar
  • A one-on smack on the green on a par 3… of course it’ll probably take me five putts to sink the sucker
  • The tee house... hot noodles, coke light and a piece of chicken pie
  • Taking cover and scared witless on my airsoft games… 600 fps is simply not fair guys… it hurts!

For the most part, this blog post should’ve been titled; “life all around us”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

jet flash!

My second day in Cebu revolved around the present conditions of the boat and the possibilities that lay ahead. We were looking at the possibility of transferring the venue of the show somewhere else as the conditions in the present venue is becoming less favorable. The condition of the boat as well is a bit on the down side. Almost a year ago, our engineering team went to the site for some basic stop-gap measures and some remedies to the situation accosting the Cebu branch, the boat in particular.

I was particularly against the remedial repairs because I felt that en earning project should be given more attention than that of a non-earning project. Unfortunately, my Boss is much like the biblical character with the prodigal son… he tends to put more attention, time and effort on the prodigal son… perhaps that is why he loves me as much.

Several years ago, I told branch managers to lighten the load of the boat by getting rid of the engines mainly Fuso 4DR5s which were rusting away given that we’ve not been bringing her to open seas and since we had no intention to ever let her out to sea again. All we needed was the single engine in the middle hull as generator back-up. Did they listen? Hell, no! And now the engines are all rusted up and worthless when we could have liquidated it back then.

Last Christmas, I told the branch manager to have our staff scrub the ceiling and he said yes. I returned February infuriated by the fact that it has remained dismally dirty. I finally gave two managers an ultimatum and my most recent visit proved me correct in giving that order. The ceiling looks great.

This is my problem with this company. My Korean managers would always say yes but will ultimately “forget” the order and that is why I suppose that it is time to change my ways.

So my last branch visit gave me the opportunity to point out to the chairman some ideas I’ve had in my head in order to better the show. Turns out that the branch manager had the same idea and a nod from the chairman for the improvements was immediately earned. So I had my lighting designer/director flown in from Manila the next day to inspect and make plans for the relocation of the wires and the lights on the existing ceiling. As of the moment, coordination with the Manila office is on-going and soon my Engineering Director and my Batten supervisor will be joining him there for the “Amazing Style” operation of doing a major renovation without interrupting the show schedule.

I really miss the hands-on approach I used to do when I was Executive Director. All I needed was to convince my immediate boss of what I needed and nine out of ten I’d have it. Nowadays, I seem to be surrounded by subordinates who are less likely to follow simply because they don’t want to be responsible for decisions that they make…. Or is it because they are Koreans? But I really don’t want to turn this issue to a racial slur so I’d just assume that they have decidophobia.

Anyway, since I seem to have veered way out where with this post, all I really wanted to say is that I was thrilled by the fact that my Engineering Director has kept files of my old computer sketches of the Cebu / MB La Trinidad Project. It was quite fascinating after he misunderstood my instruction of sending me the original blue print file of the vessel; he sends me these sketches which he has kept over all these years. Thanks Francis… they are pieces of mementos I wish I could’ve kept.

A plausible day for things to go wrong…

originallly written march 5, 2009

I woke up wrong… I got bugged too early, and I spent the better half of the early hours being pissed off. I missed my daily home internet session but that wasn’t bad enough… I also heard that my nephew and my nephew-in-law figured in a collision somewhere in Makati.

So like all good and bad things, they would pass. I scheduled a visit to my Mom’s and Dad’s grave this morning and it went without any hitches. Two nice flower arrangements and my friend prepared the candles. We proceeded for the office and since I was to stressed to take my lunch in the house, I ate with my staff at the canteen and partially discussed some issues that needed my attention. A few signatures later, I was on my way to the airport with my Boss.

I figured earlier that today’s stress would mean I’d have to supplement myself with more food… and food was plentiful, at the Mabuhay Lounge, in-flight and at Anton’s Restaurant. So despite the additional stress, there was compensation… I haven’t been a big fan of food lately and I suppose that today is the exception to that assumption. I pigged out and it was a good day after all.

Being in Cebu is always good.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

a photographer for a day...

i decided to be a photographer for a day... i took several pictures for a concept that we're developing for the website representing the several sequences of the show. here's two of the pictures featuring Donita Gauten, lead for our phantom of the opera...

the BUG...

I’ve been pissed of these past couple of days since I can’t find reason as to why I’m supposed to get the “unnecessary” stress I get from a lot of people. Like I’ve always said, sometimes we take it upon ourselves to take the planet too serious when the planet doesn’t give a rants ass about us.

When I was in my early thirties, as I’ve mentioned in this blogspot so often, I gripe like there was no tomorrow. These days, I try my best to control the rants and the gripes so that my body won’t be taking in too much of the bad vibes I’ve been getting lately. In a way, it’s like therapy to cleanse out all the “bad” things that I’ve been through.

So here’s my problem… when I hire somebody, the main reason for hiring is to make life easier for me and the company. That means that I expect that problems will be resolved and all the knots be ironed out. It’s much like I hired a driver despite my love of driving, I hired one to make sure that I remain safe since I’m usually out late every night or still sleepy on my way to work. I hired a secretary for the convenience, both professional and personal. I can’t remember when to take my diabetic medication so she’ll have to virtually shove it down my throat in the middle of a meal, assuming I remember taking meals too.

Lately, my consultant has been bugging my brains out about marketing activities and I always say, well that’s your job. I already previously explained my dilemma in this office and the eccentricities plus the queer situation we’re in to her so I expect that she would be the one to partially solve the issues I have.

So I don’t know why she has to bug me every time! Once in a meeting with another probable consultant, she keeps talking about what the protocol lacks, what the office needs, what should be this and that and I am honestly getting sick and tired of it. if I didn’t know that I have these problems then I wouldn’t have needed to hire her.

And tones like, I just asked them to cascade something to you. But I bet you don’t know what it’s about so I’ll have to explain it you all over again…

Damn! That’s why I HIRED you… I bet you don’t know any single thing about guitars, keyboards, percussion instruments right? How about video and music editing? How about the technical side of the theatre?... the lights, the sound system? How about people management….? Oh, I’m sorry; I meant “good” people management. It’s a good thing I won’t have to explain all of these things to you.

Like I said… I hire people to make life convenient. Not the other way around. It’s time that people put their money where their mouth is. If they are good, stop talking and start working. That’s why I got my main office on the 4th floor, because there are times when I cherish the isolation, the peace, the calm and the view of the bay.

P.S. My Tatay (father) would have been 78 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TATAY! I LOVE YOU VERY, VERY MUCH. I’ll see you and Nanay soon. But not that soon I hope… I'll just visit tomorrow before my flight to Cebu.

Another P.S. I do appreciate my consultant’s contribution to the team, but for goodness sake, if I wanted to hear every bit of problem the world has, then I should have just been a psychiatrist.