Of (Job)Huntings and Corporate Towers
Canon QL 19, 400 iso Fuji XTRA. ,(LONG EXPOSURE), Aperture: 16
For a few weeks now, I am preoccupied with my new found work. I am now working as a web copy writer for a company based somewhere around the busy metro. First of all, it’s all a matter of luck. At first ,way back 2008, I thought it would really be cool if I’ll be this self sufficient film photography enthusiast who could get away with films for “free” (Free meaning I really can’t get the money from Paypal to go to the bank since I don’t have a credit card) as I write articles online. It did work for some time. But when hospital duties, major nursing courses and other important concerns accumulated; I decided that it was time for me to give up the Paypal transaction thing with writing and just be thrifty instead to be able to buy my films. I used up my last Paypal fund by buying a Chairman Mao era, Cultural Revolution Pamphlet all the way from China via Ebay.
Before finding myself working in the 33rd floor of a kick-ass building, I passed my resume all over the place. For different job openings, I kept a few resumes at hand. At first, I really planned on becoming a medical transcriptionist. That was Plan A of Operation: Don’t be fucking Useless at Home. Since Nursing Licensure Exam was just up and I was fresh from school; I boosted up my ego and mindfucked myself into thinking I could really make it. Its basically typing words from a recorded audio file verbatim with a bunch of medical terms you learned from the four years of University life and endless nights of reading medical, and nursing books. I said to myself: EASY!. Or so I thought.
The most memorable stop was in Makati. I made my way up the building clogged with people on a hurry to reach their respective offices. I actually didn’t expect Makati buildings would have a traffic problem by the elevator that color scheme of shirts should be implemented like number coding schemes implemented to cars. So there I was, at the elevator with a bunch of people doing their own chit chat. I reached my floor. So happened that it was the day right after storm signal number 1 or 2 (PAGASA could be confusing nowadays). So when I got there, the office was closed But an employee by the door also came. I asked her if this is the right office and she said yes. We waited for a while and had a conversation. Based from how I remember it, she studied medical terms, common drugs and other medical ailments in a fast track course for the period of 6 months and she’s currently working as a medical transcriptionist for that company. Hearing this, I just told myself that I have a big (Not big, Ginormous!) chance of getting in, since I took a nursing degree for four years. I have enough clinical experience to have seen it, done it, heard it, I told myself. WTF, I’m eating pharmacology, pathophysiology and medical terms for lunch. Then I decided just to come back the next day, when the power lines were all back in order.
The next day came. The same corporate moshpit by the elevator greeted me an amazingly good morning. I reached the floor and headed directly to the office. Luckily they are now open. The first thing I noticed with the office is the absolutely amazing view of Makati’s skyline. Now that’s something. I’ll work here for free! But then again, I have to take the test.But before taking the test they broke the bad news. They only accept people with prior experience as medical transcriptionist for that same position. They told me I could go for a general transcription position since I’m a noob by their book. Hypnotized by the height of their building, I said YES! On that day I was a YES MAN.
The test was easy. Multiple choice, choose the right spelling of the word. Then they also gave me a vocabulary test, that was also easy. Then came the typing test. Without giving instructions on how their program works. I just went there and blitzkrieg the keyboards like crazy. The catch was that I was all along typing the wrong words since you need to follow the cursor when you make a mistake typing a word. I just realized the rules and regulation of their software after typing the last sentence. Making the long story short, they gave the famous we’ll give you a call (NOT!! – Borat).
Before the epic fail in Makati, I also had my share of epic fail in Boni. JOBSTREET select gave me a call asking if I was willing to go for an interview for a possibility being hired as a call center representative. Knowing the medical account which I think would suit my degree and since I already initiated Operation Don’t Be Fucking Useless at Home; I just gave it a shot. For the heck of it, I gave it a try. So the initial interview was a group interview. The HR lady came and told us we can no longer speak Filipino from this point on. All questions will be in English.
It was a group of five. Victim number 1, the profile of the kid was like a depressed guy. It looked liked he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or something. HR lady asked “So tell me something about yourself?”. The kid told her, “(Insert Victim’s name here), I’m 17 years old, I am from Palawan po.” Then the HR lady asked her again “You are applying for what position again?”. In dread, the kid simply replied “call center po”. The HR lady clarified to him his answer, “so you are applying for a customer service representative position?”. Politely, the kid answered “opo”. HR lady reminded him that he couldn’t speak Filipino from that point forward and stop using po and opo. The kid said “opo”
Victim number 2 was also seemed like a patient suffering from an anxiety disorder (Panic disorder) plus with a bit of depression. He was asked “So what position are you applying for again?”, he said the same answer as victim number 1, “call center”. So tell me more about yourself asked HR Lady. Victim number 2 answered “My mother is a nutritionist.(insert semi dead air) and my father is a Barangay Kagawad (Insert really Dead air). That’s all”
Then came victim number 3. HR Lady asked: “So what degree did you finish? Did you finish college”. Victim number 3 though suffering the same diagnosis as victim number 2, he proudly said yes. HR lady then asked “so what was your degree?”. He simply answered “HRM (Hotel and Restaurant Management)”. “So tell me something about your course?” asked HR Lady again. Victim number 3 answered with a bit of depression “It’s about hotel and restaurant management”.
The next guy who was interviewed before me was an experienced customer service representative who wasn’t happy with the night shifts he is having on his current company. And he’s a smooth sweet talker in making his way throughout the interview. The sad part, his request for a day shift position was turned down.
After my interview, I was the only one left for round 2. Since I was gunning for a medical account back then, they put me through a couple of test. But then again after a couple of easy tests, I was faced with my waterloo. They made me type without saying the baseline speed they require. HR lady asked me that I wasn’t qualified for the medical account position but I could go for other account. I was thinking, if it weren’t dying people on the phone, then you won’t see me pick up that phone. I politely said no and thanked her for the chance.