Last Smock

So it’s been eight years since I found myself wearing an antistatic smock. This room in the picture is gone, goner than any structure on Marcus’ Fallout game. Retrenchment breaks buildings apart faster than nukes, huh?

Incidentally, I’m still into my 2008 posts migration and one I’ve already inserted the name Intel which I once held back to be discreet about some topics. Now all those are basically declassified.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Plan B on blood extraction. Cancelling today’s St. Luke’s appointment.)

What is Intel Culture?

My tweet got favorited and it deserves a spot on this blog:

Jobs at Intel favorited your Tweet
23 Nov:

[CrisIs73] Where only the paranoid survive? “@JobsatIntel: “What do you think Intel’s organizational culture is like? #intelculture
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Not an ordinary Sunday: Someone dropping by later to buy my 3-year old treadmill, Pacman vs. Rios fight, and wifey’s about to be discharged from the hospital. Something in me wishes that she gets out after the boxing match–the room’s got cable TV.

Micro-love

Love can’t be seen but it can be magnified.” — Me (wink wink)

 

Many years ago, I created this and gave it to my girlfriend–now my wife. Can you guess how it’s made?

The original copy is currently posted on our cabinet’s door and it was only now that I noticed it was made exactly 16 years ago. We were young, ‘slimmer’,  and so in love then. Ha-ha.

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Did you know that there’s such thing as microchip art? Click here.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Marcus has no class. So this is how it will be like for him this summer.)

Ending work on a Monday

“Tell me why I don’t like Mondays” – Bob Gelfof and Johnny Fingers

“I hate Mondays” – Garfield

Yesterday was the weirdest Monday that I can recall so far. The following are the reasons why:

On my way to work the discussion over the radio was about an episode of the Oprah show where she approved of her guest’s suggestion of introducing teenage girls to vibrators-–and to mention that several Filipina girls called agreeing to the idea.

***

The parking lot was already full when I arrived. If my memory serves me right, it’s been months since it has become one of the most deserted places in our company. For a moment I actually thought that our company isn’t closing after all. Wishful thinking.

***

I am starting my first day of the week listening to one of my most hated things to do: selling (outbound call center account) but for some weird reasons I ended up enjoying the simulation activity. Isn’t that great? So does this mean that I might have the potential to sell?

***

Lastly, after reading one farewell email coming after the other, it has finally dawned on me that this is my last week at work, together with other identified employees. It now feels I’m starting to be sucked into the deep void of the bumhood’s black hole and conceding to the fact that this is really it, I had to excuse myself from our call center training just to compose my own farewell message.

Here’s what I wrote in haste:

Friends and co-workers,

This is my last week at and I’d like to say the following: Thank you, Sorry and Goodbye.

Thanks. For the wonderful years I had with every people I work with.Thanks to my past and present mentors, colleagues and subordinates. Rest assured that every encounter I had with each and every one of you gave me experience and knowledge, and it has made me a better person than I was years ago. Of course, I would like to thank my very recent group who welcomed me like I was already one of the experienced engineers—I really appreciate it. Thanks for the opportunity.

Sorry. I apologize to those whom I might have offended in one way or the other; it’s just some times the word constructive doesn’t come together with confrontation. And while I’m at it I’d like to say to those who have offended me (or at least they thought so) as well that I won’t be leaving with any hard feelings.

Goodbye. I’d like to say goodbye those who are yet to leave—whether they like it or not. And lastly, I’d like to say good luck to everyone whether you’re continuing to Vietnam or be pursuing a different life after Intel.

Keep in touch. See you around folks.

Although I hate the fact that it isn’t a resignation letter (I haven’t written one in my entire career), I sent it out of course to almost everyone I’ve worked with; but like one lit up fuse flickering slowly towards a barrel of explosives, I became somewhat sentimental about the whole thing only when I was on my way home.

All of a sudden I find it ironic that at the start of this week is the beginning of the end of the long years working for what I’ve known as a great place to work. Hasta la vista Intel folks.

***

I have figured out later in the day that the reason why the parking lot was full is because some of my co-workers are already processing their clearances and some brought their car along with them. There is also a job opportunity expo participated by a number of companies and probably the representatives parked their vehicles ahead of some of the employees like me. This is one thing that will be missed by most because if there’s one company that doesn’t have reserved parking slots, it would be Intel. It is only here that ”sorry boss, you’re late…go park somewhere” applies.

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The sight and feel of yesterday’s job opportunity expo was unexpectedly great – maybe because there isn’t much crowd unlike in the malls. The   participating companies range from several business franchisors to cater to those who have finally decided to be entrepreneurs; the ever familiar semiconductors were also present for those who haven’t gotten enough of the manufacturing environment; and of course there were call center companies which lately have become one of my interests. Well, isn’t that great?

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Mood: 4/10 Honks!

Relearning English the Call Center Way

In my quest to learn English I started attending a call center training that will go on for one week. Although I prepared myself to be corrected, all that mind setting did little to help suppress the shock I got the moment I heard our trainer speak. I haven’t heard such good and fluent English spoken in person for a long while.

The fluency of our trainer got me humbled and speechless. It made me feel that I was totally ignorant of this language the whole time and this may be because even if I have been blogging a lot for a couple of years already, I never had regular English conversation and if ever I had such chance to speak with someone at work, the quality did not come any near to what I am hearing inside this class. I am not saying that there is none in our current company who can speak English impressively but it is just that there is a very big difference compared with the call center standard. And it has something to do with what is called the “American thwang.”

According to our trainer, learning the American accent or pronunciation—funny that even this word is hard to pronounce—will be the majority of our training on top of my favorite grammar discussions. We also practiced listening skills and yesterday, we did tongue twisters that by the end of the class my tongue was just as tired as my mind.

Our trainer also suggested that we evaluate our typing skills by downloading Typing Master—I discovered can still do a decent 50 wpm with 95% accuracy for English words.

There will be three more sessions to go and I am eager to learn more. As painful and embarrassing as it may seem, I will open my mind to what is being taught, for this week I am relearning English. I kill me.

Stressed@Work  

 

 

August is just around the corner and I still can’t believe that I still have work to do. And of course, I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible. Contrary to what I’ve imagined how the 2nd half of this year will look like–after the gloomy, yet anticipated April 2 announcement–the environment at work still appears challenging enough, at least for me.

Although activity in my area seems to have significantly slowed down in the past few weeks, the pressure to meet commitments and deliverables remains unwavering as before. This means that feeling down and out for the count is out of the question. At some point, I may slack off a bit but I there is still the need to get back on track.

The latest stress that had me feeling a total mixture of emotions–from passing gas to almost collapsing and vice-versa–was the presentation of our 2nd quarter indicators to the next level managers and other key players.  Its preparation started about a month before and the extraction and crunching of data almost took much of my time. What made it even more stressful is seeing some of the indicators in a down trend even if the reasons behind it are perfectly justifiable.

Presentation day came and I could feel that the 12-hour day is turning into a 24-hour vigil. Most of the time I get excited, jumpy and the butterflies inside my stomach kept on flapping their fragile wings. On that day, anxiety was all over the place. In fact, even those senior to me had the same uneasiness.  If it is of any consolation, it appears that public speaking, regardless of the number of audience, remains to be a nightmare for most.

My turn to present came at last but despite knowing that the foils are self-supporting and show factual data, the fear of being questioned and not being able to answer was just overwhelming. If I remember it right, the last time I was into this predicament was when I asked for our wedding’s approval from my now father-in-law. I was focused yet awkward and the words were hard to come by.

Surprisingly, in the end, the horrible questions I was expecting from the start didn’t come.  There were some inquiries, comments and advice that registered into my then half-conscious state but that was it. More surprising was getting a compliment from my direct manager who rarely recognizes a job well done. At least, I must have done something right. Whew!

I went home that night feeling proud and accomplished. I was even singing along with the FM songs in the car like I’ve just been accepted in a job interview. And there’s no better way to cap the day than to treat my wife and I with a couple of slices of my favorite comfort food–a Red Ribbon black forest cake.

With that event done, I now feel more ready to face another work-related stress. Whatever that is, I will surely know in the next days to come.

stressatwork
Evidence of stress?

 

What Is Career Counseling?

 

Yesterday I attended another Leadership Enhancement Program and the recent training we had are tailor-made for us to cope up with the soon-to-be closure of our company. Yesterday’s topic was about career opportunities and career counseling.

I actually enjoyed the whole training and find it very interactive and informative until when it came to one of the foils wherein first line reads: Career counseling is NOT giving advice.

Hmm. That isn’t right. I know that deep in my vocabulary the word counsel is for sure synonymous to advice. So I raised my hand to clarify if I’m reading it right and our trainer without batting an eyelash emphasized, “Career counseling is not giving an advice.”

The training ended by noon time and my colleagues and I went on with our kill-time activities disguised as WLE (Work Life Effectiveness) activities. Some played basketball, while we did a good badminton until past 7 PM. But those positive stress activities didn’t shake off the counseling thing. In fact, while driving my wife to work this morning, I kept on thinking about it still.

Bothered, while preparing breakfast for myself, I juggled with the plates and our trusty Merriam-Webster dictionary and there it was printed in one of the pages: to counsel is to give advice. I was so excited that I eagerly finish my bread, egg, and meat loaf . I was in front of our PC after I gobbled the last piece of the processed meat.

In order to confirm if our Merriam-Webster hardcopy isn’t obsolete yet, I browsed through www.m-w.com . The following entries appeared:

Main Entry:  counsel

Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): counseled or counselled; counsel·ing or counsel·ling

\-s(

Date: 14th century

transitive verb : advise <counseled them to avoid rash actions — George Orwell> intransitive verb : consult <counseled with her husband>

Main Entry: counseling Variant(s): or counselling Function: noun

Date: 1927

: professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes

Main Entry: ad·vise Pronunciation:  \ Function: verb

Inflected Form(s): ad·vised; ad·vis·ing

transitive verb 1 a: to give advice to : counsel <advise her to try a drier climate> b: caution, warn <advise them of the consequences> c: recommend <advise prudence>2: to give information or notice to

: inform <advise them of their rights>intransitive verb 1:  to give advice <advise on legal matters> 2: to take counsel : consult <advise with friends>

Counsel equals advice or to advise. Boom. With those results and the fact that this top semiconductor company have some managers whom to my shock pronounce words such as freight like fright, sub- like sob and my favorite pet peeve, z like zay, I am no longer surprised that one foil in the training material may be erroneous.

Like a fighter aiming to finish off a sprawling and bloodied adversary, I typed career counseling in the browser’s search field expecting something that will back up my vocabulary. In a matter of seconds, several results appeared and I eagerly clicked each one of it and prepared to celebrate my victory over the foil item in question.

career
 

To my dismay, not one of the sites shows a bit of “Career Counseling IS about giving advice” to support my argument. Instead it listed common words such as assessment, aptitude tests, planning, decision making, development, and research. It was almost about everything but advice. I wave the white flag.

As much as I hate defeat, I came to realize that career counseling may not be just two words that can be discussed over a one-on-one meeting which in our case would only last 15-30 minutes every three months. If one staff gets lucky (or not) enough at all he’ll be in one at least three times every quarter. Career counseling after all is indeed a task to be handled only by a professional career counselor and if you’re not one of them, most likely, you can only advise. So is that first slide correct? Be my guest.