Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blind Jump

"Grabe Mugen, sa sobrang tagal na natin dito, you can literally walk at the door and tell me, 'Boss, may problema tayo.'"

The Boss
Conference Room
1135 Hrs.

Words slipped like a blunt knife under my cloak. It was an unprecedented move; even sneaky from another  person's point of view. After weeks of attending high-level meetings that will shape the post-retrenchment  direction of the company, I suddenly announced my intention to leave. To make things worse, I didn't even let the Patroness catch her breath before telling her to count me out of the team.  It took some time for her to absorb my words.  There was no resistance,  I had her approval.  But in the end, she could still not help but ask, "why?"

I did my best to lay down my arguments, that I wanted to take a breather and was disillusioned by some decisions made by the management. It didn't help that comparisons were made between my pay and what others recieve. The bitter aftertaste of the last interview remains but I chose not to breathe a single word.  It was enough to say I was soul-searching. The drive wasn't there and there was no certainty I could perform as expected.

After our heart to heart talk, the Patroness went to the room where the boss holds office. Meanwhile, I went to the parking lot to smoke.  Within minutes, my phone rang and it was the boss. I decided not to pick his call to process my decision. Leaving was difficult for me. It was like running away from a battle, assured of an irreconcilable guilt, and an unfinished business that will haunt me in the future.

I went to the conference room after my cigarette break. The boss was seated next to Mami Athena, whose eyes glistened for reasons I never asked.  The boss made known the company's gloomy situation, and laid down his plans to address it. From the way he worded his explanation, it seems our journey would be a one-way trip; that we stand between swift closure and slow death that might still be overturned.

Our stay meant delaying the inevitable. Should we succeed in holding the fort, the separation benefits of those asked to leave would be paid. After all the commitments are honored, we could start with a clean slate, Perhaps, even diversify the business and make it grow again.

"But we need talented people to look after the shifts."  

When I took my resignation letter seriously, I have no plans to start over had my request been granted.  I sent several application letters to SEO companies and ditched the pending job offer from Accenture. In my grandest delusions, I'd like to take a long vacation.  One that would please my inner hobo. I would upgrade my desktop computer (or even buy a laptop) and play Sims all day. I was planning to go on a pilgrimage and write everything that I see. That was how I intend to spend my break. After all, I no longer answer to anyone.

"You have stayed too long under my shadow,"  it was Mami Athena. "I guess its time for you to chart your own way."

I am free.

But reason nudges when faced with the truth that I have no means of earning. The gravity of past actions - where - I suddenly disappeared just when the companies I was part of faced tough moments added to the burden of guilt. "The cycle must be broken," I told myself, repeatedly  "If I run away now, I will flee again when I find myself in such crossroad."

The boss sweetens the pot with memories of shared accomplishments. He told me how we'd pull ourselves together when crises threatened our very way of life. In his vision, he sees me, Mami Athena  and him leading the transition.  How unfortunate that I'm backing out when they have high hopes for me  

With the final roster of agents revealed  (almost all of them belong to the team  the Patroness and I jointly picked) a shift that tailors to my nocturnal personality, and a possibility of getting a raise, should our endeavor pays off, I was almost tempted to retract my statement. The only thing keeping me from doing so was my worry that Mami Athena would question my sudden change of heart. 

"Make up your mind you fool!  Don't say anything only to take it back later!"

"Be professional, honor your word.  Nag-resign ka na eh."  

"Akala ko ba ayaw mo na, bakit bumabalik ka pa?"

I was given a day to reconsider, but when they said that they would have a hard time finding a last-minute replacement, I suddenly remembered what Mami told me when news of retrenchment came out.

"Honestly, I don't trust anyone aside from Pie, except you."

Then and there I made my decision. Between loyalty and chances to start anew - with no assurances of repeated growth - I chose the former. The boss wasn't yet done revising the new terms when I suddenly interrupted his overture .

"I'm staying."


Alter said...

that's one prized decision. kudos to that.

James - M.I. said...

I'm hoping for the best Mu[g]en. I hope it will turn out OK. :)

john stanley said...

i may not agree with your decision to stay
but in the end, you know what's ultimately best for you.

good luck, my friend.

jc said...

i tried my best to be subtle in pushing you to move forward and start anew hehehe. i don't want to put you under more pressure. susupport kita whatever decision you make. :)

Sean said...

i'm probably not in the best position to comment given that i have no career to speak of, but maybe establishing a timeline for your stay helps so that you can help turn the company around (which for me is both challenging and exciting) but if your milestones aren't met, then you can move forward. Then loyalty to all parties, including yourself, would be served. if i'm intruding on something that is not fully transparent to me - apologies and just disregard this. good luck mugen.

Carlo said...

must be a very tough call. wishing you all the best, sir.

canonista said...

Mugen, I composed quite a long comment on this post of yours. However, I thought it would be better to send it to you in private. Please check your facebopok.

canonista said...

You know how important you are to me, Mugen. Just so you know.

Here's a song for you.

"The Sound Of Settling"
- Death Cab for Cutie

I've got a hunger
Twisting my stomach into knots
That my tongue was tied off

My brain's repeating
"if you've got an impulse let it out"
But they never make it past my mouth.

Baa bah, this is the sound of settling

Our youth is fleeting
Old age is just around the bend
And i can't wait to go grey

And i'll sit and wonder
Of every love that could've been
If i'd only thought of something charming to say.

I've got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots.