Monday, May 25, 2009

Ascension Journals (Act One)

"Sir Galen gud am this is Earvin of pm shift nde po ako makapasok ngaun sir regarding po sa pinaalam ko s inyo last friday about dun sa richmonde hotel. naka book napo kz kmi ng 1pm sayang po kz gift smin ng ninong ko. sir ok lng po b?"

- A text message.

It was the middle of summer and dad picked a better time to have a European tour with his business partner. The leisurely trip, which I dubbed the "Cannes Honeymoon" would last for two weeks. No one would take care of their interests while being out of the country and being my father's successor, I was considered for the position of becoming his replacement.

It was also the summer before my final year in the university. Having a vacation was a chance denied, for we have to finish our on the job training before the school year begins. Drunk with success after being assigned to be a lifestyle writer for Manila Times at the age of 19 , moving to a different playing field was for me a challenge. The new assignment required that I run an empire with different set of rules, principles and subordinates to get along with.

There was no time for lengthy preparations.

First two hours went smoothly. Two agents called sick, the assistant didn't come late like she did during the training and the flow of work went from a deluge yesterday to a mere trickle when the shift began earlier. The team leader showed up to observe how we ran the floor. It remains a question how he will assess our performance after our reliever duties end. Beneath the calm attitude that pervades my being, I am being bombarded with doubts from within. In transit with my new role, questions arise whether readiness is behind me or not.

I showed up in my dad's office on the eve of their departure. Strapped on my shoulders is a bulky blue bag packed with clothes and toiletries enough to last me a week. With me is my personal computer, whose disk drive I crammed with every mp3s and strategy games on my CD rack. I will be staying in during the entire stretch of my duty.

While my dad and his associate prepared for the trip , I busied myself setting camp inside their quarters. In between the unpacking of clothes, connecting the cables and wires to run my computer, and re-acquainting with the officers and managers who will work with me in the coming days, a briefing from the boss revealed the things I will have to pay attention during the 24-hour operation of the business.

"This is what you will do" my father explains while counting a stack of 100-dollar bills on his fingers "The first thing you have to check when you wake up is the returns report of the newspaper back-issues. The dealers bring them before getting their copies of the tabloid for next day's run. The accounting will also furnish a report of the sales and operations expense incurred the previous day."

"Okay..." I said, while my eyes remain fixed on the monitor screen. Windows 2000 is currently loading on my desktop.

"You have to collect these reports. It's your call how will you present them when we come back from our trip on the 20th."

"What else do I have to do dad?"


The briefing lasted less than thirty minutes for my dad wasn't really into details. His associate and I rarely spoke and over the course of that afternoon, she was overwhelmed with consultations with the editors on how the layout will appear on the newspaper in the coming issues. Suffice to say, my duties extend beyond the reaches of the Accounting Department - and touching grounds with the Editorial, Cashier and Circulation offices of our publishing business. Finally, dad assigned my most important job which, for someone barely legal of age, would never dare accept.

"I will lend you my space."

"You will be the ghost writer for my column."

"Great! Now I will shape the opinions of the masses. And they number over hundred of thousands..." Rolling my eyes, I return to installing some last-minute additional software on my computer.

And leaving the responsibilities I will have to carry out the moment they step foot outside their quarters the next day.

Hindi ko alam kung restless ako, o talaga lang uncomfortable ako sa bago kong upuan. Haaay. Gusto ko na umuwi at magkubli sa aking kwarto.

- Twitter Entry, 5:30 pm


Jake said...

You're a journalist! You make me really proud, dude.

This explains why I'm constantly moved by your writings.

My highest regards. :)

Knox Galen said...

Jake: I was born and groomed to be one. Though life has other plans for me. Hehe.

MkSurf8 said...

taking responsibilities. taking charge.

antagal ko nang nag take charge. sadly, only of myself most of the time. high time for me to reach out and broaden my turf and sphere of influence.

thanks for this post buddy. it helps spark a dormant desire ;-)

Knox Galen said...

MkSurf: You may not be aware of it, but your turf and influence is already expanding.

You're welcome.

blagadag said...

teka lang. grey's anatomy na.