Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Once I worked as a PR writer for an events company. It happened many years ago and the job served as my foray into a career outside our family business. The pay was mediocre but the work environment was glamorous. I got freebies left and right and I forged close bonds with colleagues around me. Since the job merely required to write press articles for events which we put up, I was left idle most of the time. To kill boredom, I slept during office hours or showed up only when I felt doing so.

When I remember those days, I would laugh and shake my head out of embarrassment. How'd I become so thick-faced to allow myself dwell in such habit, only my immaturity would explain. The supervisor would not scold me nor the bosses. They have other things to worry about. Besides, I delivered results with urgency compared to the one I replaced.

Past forward many years later. I was hired in my present job just when I was desperate to find work. I was a pioneer, and the last to remain in the rank and file position. The others have moved on. As to the reason behind my apparent stagnation, one thing was said about my work attitude.

I was too immature to handle my own agents.

To complain being left behind never occurred to me. I was busy with so many things including a race to finish a master's degree and a downward spiral love life that I tried to recover. I never graduated from this notion that we're still a small business struggling to exist. The truth is, we are not. We are growing and those around me were being promoted as well. Perhaps, I had cocooned myself into this belief that I would get a better-paying job should I decide to change career path. But I didn't. I was invested to my company that I chose to stay no matter how tempting other offers were.

Time flew and the next thing I knew, my assistant team leader was pregnant. A replacement was needed and because of the faith my surrogate mother had in me, I was recommended to the officer-in-charge position. I thought it would be a solitary endeavor. But the management was wise enough to make some back-up arrangement. I would be working side by side with another officer that the supervisors probably nominated in the first place.

Judgment day arrived and our performance was scrutinized from a distance. The other officer proved her incompetence by arriving late all the time. Her shortcomings were my salvation for in her absence I learned to run a shift just when a leader needed it most. The boss looked for someone he could depend on and reliability was my best character. There were days I took responsibility of the entire floor, alone, and without proper training to reinforce my leadership. I fared well during those hell days and the reward came when my subordinates freely gave their respect.

Including Meyor

Even when my leadership was bound to end.

Two months after my introduction and the management duties were finally over. The assistant team leader returned to work and I was back to being a lowly agent. I struck a deal to be assigned to another shift, but my request was declined. I insisted that competition for work assignment with my subordinates was non-negotiable, but Mami Athena told me to wait.

Someone of my caliber deserve not to go to waste.

And so the secret days commenced. Basically it was a training, but I felt more like in a boot camp. I often clashed with my trainer, who is also a friend and a mentor. Some pre-emptive decisions were made and she had to clean my shit after. Good thing, my blunders were only minor. Once, I had a harmless small talk with a client which was forbidden. Another time, I told some instructions to subordinates that their supervisors were not aware of. Flustered to the point of resignation, she told me I was a loose cannon and I had to grow up.

She wagered her name on my behalf and here I was tearing down what she built for me to rise up.


Ilang linggo rin akong nabahag ang buntot habang kausap si Mami, nagdadalawang-isip na baka sablay muli ang mga diskarte sa opisina. Nakuwestiyon rin ako ng ilan dahil magulo ang aking direksyon at abala ako sa trabaho ng marami. Higit sa lahat, nawalan ng halaga ang body clock ko dahil sa paiba-ibang oras ng pasok sa opisina. Minsan ay gabi, minsan naman ay umaga. Madalas tuloy ay tulog at buhat lang ang aking tanging pahinga.

Sa kabila nito, ni minsan ay hindi nila ako narinig na nagreklamo.

Bakit? Kasi alam kong karanasan sa akin ang promotion na ito. Maraming beses ko man talikuran ngunit dumadaloy sa aking dugo ang pagiging pinuno.

Buhay ko ang paghawak ng responsibilidad.

Panganay ako sa bahay. Naging presidente ako ng isang klase sa panahong may kanya-kanyang pag-iisip ang aking pinamumunuan. Napag-iwanan ako ng isang negosyo isang taon bago magtapos ng kolehiyo. At pinatakbo ito ng limang buwan, wala man akong kapital para palaguin ito. Hindi ako risk taker. Hindi ko ugaling tumaya ng walang kasiguraduhan ang panalo. Ngunit sa lahat ng aking naging laban, isang prinsipyo lang ang aking kinatigan.

Ang matuto sa bawat hamon ng buhay.


"During our last meeting, we brought up the possibility of training someone who would focus on this account, since, most of the supervisors are busy doing some other things." My trainer said during the conference call. As early as September, I was already known to the agents but my moves were crippled. The management still had to introduce me to the client before my official duties begin "He's next to me right now. His name is Knox Galen and I am sure he spoke to some of you before. I hope you would extend your reception to him, like you have given your heartfelt support to us."

Penny-less, sleep-less, and with so much work ahead. This is a time for reflection.

I've always known myself as a late bloomer: a person who only shines just when the race is about to draw close.

Belated my promotion is, this is it.

I have finally climbed the career ladder.


red the mod said...

Well deserved kuya, well deserved. The mark of a good leader is someone who has the patient capacity to listen. To recognize opportunity when it manifests, and to optimally use the nuanced abilities of your subordinates as equitable as it is encouraging.

Ikaw yun, kuya. And so much more. Ilabas na ang pulutan at Red Horse!

period said...

natameme na ako sa komento ni red the mod..

kaya ang masasabi ko na lang...invited ba ako sa celebration party, kuya knox?!


engel said...


Been reading your blog for quite awhile now, following your work stories and all that. I'm certain you deserve that. It's been a long time coming.

Good job Joms. ;)

wanderingcommuter said...


kelan na tayo ulit mag rereunion to celbrate it? promise, less carbs and less food. pero more drinking. nyahaha!

john stanley said...

pa-burger ka naman!

congratulations, dude.

Trip said...

congrats Knox! sa wakas nagkaroon na rin ng kasagutan ang agam-agam mo. you deserve it. :)

Niel Camhalla said...

All this because of a change of outlook and belief. A lot of great things start with that.

You're lucky you have someone to tell to your face that you need to grow up. I think people like those are more important than...I'll shut up now.

dencios said...

pasensya ka na papa joms e kasi tsong di ako maka relate sa field of work mo. magkaibang magkaiba tayo in terms of promotions, mga assistant-manger-supervisor na iyan. pero tama ka, mayroon talagang late bloomer maski sa work. teka alam mo habang ninanamnam ko itong pinagbabato mo sa amin, naisip ko bigla yung patakaran ko sa buhay: ok lang na ako ang pinakamababang posisyon sa opisina, kahit matambakan ako ng work kakayanin ko yun! basta ba yung level of my accuracy at politeness ay matutumbasan ng sahod na "gusto ko" ay ok na ako dun. importante sa akin ang trabaho at PERA. hehe

kung ikaw man ay na promote o mapo-promote pa lang ay binabati na kita ng congrats! pakanton ka naman. yung swabe ha. hehe

mikel said...

if the extra step up is happiness, then congratulations. :)

dr magsasaka said...

Congratulations are in order. I always knew you can do better.

After that, isang kataga lang.
Focus. It is needed everywhere.

Anonymous said...

congratulations, Knox! you more than deserve it.

-- an avid fan of yours here in blogsphere who wants to remain anonymous. lol!

Anonymous said...

buratsulations papa joms!

kelan ka magpapa pizza samin?

pizza! pizza! pizza!

-buraot mong kapatid.

Iurico said...

hope you don't mind - I added your blog on my links. :-)

rudeboy said...

Congratulations, Knox.

Not so much for the promotion.

But for growing up. Which is harder.

Knox Galen said...

Thank you very much guys. :)

xtian1978ii said...

congrats Knox Galen. well deserved.

Anonymous said...

congrats knoxxbro! talagang good things come to those who wait.

*ehem ehem, pizza, ehem ehem*


gauxves said...

congratulations! :D

Jett Paul said...

Maraming beses kang nabanggit sa Facebook at Twitter ko dahil sa entry na ito. Mahusay.

Sana ay patuloy kang magsulat ng mga inspirasyon para sa aming mga papaakyat pa lamang.

Pasensya na wala akong oras ngayon para magsulat ng isang mahabang rebyu para sa iyo ser. Pero tunay kang idol.