Posts tagged ‘office’

What, Me Worry?

I went to a team lunch last Friday at the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. I made sure I dressed up comfortably, wearing baggy pants. As you see, I was looking forward to eating a lot because of my penchant for South Asian food. On this occasion, however, I didn’t get my money’s worth. I wasn’t my usual self. I didn’t have an appetite to go for seconds.

The lunch was held in honor of a departing team member. In the past week and a half, we lost three people due to reorganization. This was in spite of the fact that our management had said around the end of third quarter that there would be no more layoffs. It looks like you can’t really trust management on their word, especially if it’s not written on paper.

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December 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm 6 comments

Memorial to a Former Manager

Last night, I attended a memorial to my former manager held at his friend’s house. Even though he left the company two years ago, communications between us didn’t stop. He continued to send us e-mails from time to time.

As a manager, he didn’t come across as likeable to some. He could be gruff, demanding, and eager to exercise his authority.

I remember one of my co-workers even thought of assaulting him in the garage for “messing up” with his program. On the way to lunch, I told the co-worker what did he expect the manager to do? He was on vacation and that somebody had to work on his code that didn’t pass quality assurance.

I surmised that there might be other issues that made him blow his top, but rather than allow him to add more fuel to the fire, I squashed it by giving him some lessons on karma. I told him that it’s better to settle our differences now in this lifetime than face them in the next.

“What if, on the next life, you’re born a woman and, by some twist of fate, you and the manager become husband and wife,” I joked. “How would it feel to see him on top of you all the time making lovey-dovey?”

That did it. He quieted down. “Don’t ever say that even if it’s just a joke,” he sneered and pretended to hit me on the face.

Anyway, back to my former manager’s story.

It appears that last week, his younger brother was unable to reach him. He called one of his friends (the one who coordinated the memorial) to check him out. When she went to his apartment, there was no answer at the door. Alarmed, she called the cops. When the cops forced themselves in, they found his corpse. They figured he had been dead for a couple of days.

From what I had gathered, he had been sick and in pain for many months now. Two years ago, he had surgery to alleviate the pain in his back. Recently, he required a second surgery to remove some hardware that was no longer required. During this surgery, the surgeon accidentally ‘nicked’ his spinal cord, and he ended up contracting meningitis. After a struggle and doses of antibiotics, he seemed to be doing better. He started taking classes to get his MCSE. About three weeks ago, during one of his classes, he sat next to someone that had a bad cold. He caught the cold, further adding to his health misery.

The memorial was attended by his two brothers who came from Philadelphia, friends, and former co-workers.

One of his friends told stories about how he loved her two boys. Her mother, who also knew him, said that he was the kindest man to her daughter and grandkids that she had ever met.

His best friend in California, his wife, and their kids were there. The couple had very fond memories of him. They told how he had supported them through hard times and how he loved their kids. He always had the biggest presents (‘never wrapped’) for their birthdays and holidays.

Some of his childhood friends, who now live in California, were there, too. They told stories about their growing up together. They also talked about his involvement with the drum and bugle corps.

Me and three female companions did not talk. We were speechless in our grief that Kleenex couldn’t hide.

His older brother always worried about him and whether he was happy here in California. He always wondered if he should have moved back to Philadelphia. But after meeting all of his friends last night, he felt relieved that his brother had many wonderful friends and was happy.

In accordance to his will, his body would be cremated. His younger brother would take his ashes back to Philadelphia for a family memorial and burial.

It’s amazing how death enables you to see a person from a different perspective. By then, it’s too late.

September 2, 2011 at 1:00 am 2 comments

This Lady Is One Of A Kind

Have I told you that the place I work is highly secured? You need a badge to access the gate that leads to the elevators. Inside and outside the buildings, you’d see security guards on patrol dressed in black pants and white top complete with a badge.

The security guards are usually retired people. Hiring retirees too old for other jobs makes their agency a true equal opportunity employer. But does it make the buildings and employees that they are supposed to protect any safer? It looks like the security guards themselves need protection.

An old lady used to guard our building. She’s blonde and tall and skinny like a model. By her looks and demeanor, You’d mistake her for your former religion teacher. But once you get to know her, you’d realize she’s from a different mold. first of all, she smokes like a man. she’s full of energy. A NASCAR enthusiast, she drove race cars in her younger days.

One day I saw her being attended to by a couple of fellow security guards. She was sitting on the pavement outside the building and she looked frail and close to fainting. For that reason I didn’t approach her as my deodorant was a little strong that day. It was her diabetes acting up. She didn’t come to work for a week. A few days after her return, she was transferred to another building. She was being punished for feeding the ducks that make residence in the man-made pool outside our building every spring. It appears that this kindly gesture is forbidden. Ducks and wild animals are not supposed to be humanly fed as it’s against the natural order of things as envisioned by the environmentalists.

It has been a couple of months since the event occurred but to this day I still think that taking her away from her beloved ducks was a cruel and excessive punishment. In my opinion, it merely deserved a reprimand. However, you know how management people are. They salivate at every opportunity to exercise their authority to ensure everybody knows who’s running the show.

I don’t know why but every time she sees me walking by, she waves at me enthusiastically as if I’m a race car driver instead of the Forrest gump i resemble. Is it because I bought her coffee when she was still in our building? Is it because I always treat her with respect? Yep, I really don’t know and I don’t care to ask.

June 29, 2011 at 10:54 am 8 comments

A Change in Perspective Goes a Long Way

a scene from seinfeld

The other day I saw somebody at the farmers’ market a block away from work. She looked familiar. I could swear I had seen her before but I just couldn’t figure out where. It was only when she smiled that a feeling of deja vu came over me. She works as a waitress at the Japanese restaurant close by.

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May 4, 2011 at 1:00 am 9 comments

has spring finally arrived?

after experiencing unrelenting storm after storm in march, we’re starting to see the light. the weather has been great lately. it’s been mostly sunny with temperature in the high 60s. forecast for the next 10 days is expected to be the same except for scattered showers on friday. has spring, supposed to start last month, finally arrived? the sudden appearance of the ducks outside our office building seems to confirm it. it was last thursday when the security guard told me that they are back swimming in the man-made pool. they have returned to start a family once again.

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April 6, 2011 at 1:00 am 4 comments

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From The Book Thief

i have hated the words and i have loved them, and i hope i have made them right.

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