Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wanting but Not Wanting Enough

I felt a lump on my throat receiving the news of Johanna’s forthcoming resignation. It’s like having all those years of working together and knowing each other flashing before me, and I feel some sadness on the eventuality of the parting ways with a colleague friend.

Looking Back

My dealings with Jo started way back in college when we were still serving our respective colleges as council officers. I remember attending the National Convention of Council Officers in Los Baños; she was also there along with one other officer from her college. She was the quiet type so we didn’t really get the chance to talk much. Had I not seen her after that my last memory of her would be of a lady, quite slim, wearing a smile, carrying a duffle bag and boxes of buko pie which she bought in Laguna and transported back to Iloilo for pasalubong.

Meeting Again

Our paths crossed again during a job application stint. She was jobless and applying like me. While we were waiting for our written exam, we had a chance to talk and exchange info about our whereabouts after college. I learned that she quit her job in Cebu to go back to Iloilo and that she’s married and with one child. Then, I was still teaching and well… expecting a child.

There were only four applicants vying for the three vacant positions offered by the office. Judith (another applicant whom I will grow a fondness for in the future) was sure to get a provincial post (she’s actually a returnee after she took a leave, exited and was rejoining the organization). The two remaining positions were for another provincial post (to do field work) and a regional post (to oversee provincial operations). After the second interview, it was clear that it was down to Jo and I and the decision would have to be on who shall stay close by and who shall be doing field work.

A Little Rejoicing

Perhaps, because I was from the academe and I didn’t really have that much experience doing field work, I got the regional post and Jo was detailed in province, my position being of a higher salary bracket than hers. Of course I was happy about it! Given that I would have to leave my mother in Bacolod, given that I was expecting a child, I got the better deal out of the situation.

Work had been easy for me, being in the regional office, overseeing things, collating reports, coordinating activities to name a few! I would see Jo during provincial monitorings, plannings activities and trainings and always she was her usual quiet self. Although she would share about how happy she was being in the field and really affecting the lives of our clients in the communities, I still think at times that she, in a way, resented the fact that she had to accept the provincial post because she didn’t have anything going on when the offer came.

Finding Out the Truth

During one of those head-office request thing, I came across our appointment papers and the results of our hiring process. I found out that indeed Jo got better scores than I did in terms of work experience, educational background and even in the panel interview. (All the while I thought it was my panel interview that got me my job.) Jo was favored over me for the regional post. But then after the panel interview, there was another one- the final interview with the director. I got interviewed first, asked not why I was the right person for the job but what was I bringing in into the organization and how I would feel about being given the regional office post. Something about how the interview went reassured me after it was over that I was getting the regional post, which I certainly did.

Three Years into it

When I accepted my job, I didn’t have enough experience to begin with. I didn’t know how to organize my own action planning, struggled with the rudimentariness of documents preparation for procuring supplies, deal with office personalities. But I’ve managed to educate myself along that way. I’ve been fortunate to be having a job which allows me have a hand on things.

There are days though when I wished I was given the provincial post. That I was also given the change to work with the clients down in the field, meet with stakeholders, spearheading activities, giving directions to projects. I would feel envy every time I would go to the provinces to conduct area visits when the clients would talk about how their lives were being transformed by the assistance given by the provincial staff. And I could also feel the pride that it gave to the staff after all the hard work that they are doing to effect changes in the community-level. It also makes me feel like an outsider of sorts, being there, checking how things are doing and the next day, I was back in my air-conditioned room while the staff and the client continue to sweat it out for another day.

Wanting a Way Out

I’ve been restless and bored most of the time now and I’ve been looking at the clock more often. Except for the usual quarterly reports and the occasional activities, there is really nothing to be excited about my work. Couple of times I tried to apply for work elsewhere, even tried to apply for a scholarship. But then, I guess, in the principle of The Secret if you really want something, you have to make room for it in your life. I may have been wanting a way out but I wasn’t really ready for the trade-offs and opportunity cost of working away from home.

Wake-up Call

Reading Jo’s letter of resignation made me reassess my current situation at work. Jo is leaving…and I am still here. Jo recognizes the pros and cons of her decision and is taking the bold step of leaving her current job to try her hand at being an entrepreneur. And while her decision is final, I still am here, wanting to leave but never really wanting to. I’ve reached my three-year moratorium with my current job and I’ve been stretching it out a little longer. The restlessness is building up but no opportunity has presented itself. I am still here, waiting and hoping that what I am currently doing is all to prepare me for something big that is yet to come. But maybe the reason why it isn't coming is because I have not been making myself available for it too. I have to do something, right? I have to make room for it in my life. So I have to make up my mind soon…Soon…


  1. gladita4:44 PM

    hahaha..same predicament dear. :-)

  2. mang hay hay na lang ta anay kay daw wala pa gid ya mag ga-abot. in the mean time, let's enjoy the restlessness!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...