The Option That I Chose

Life is full of options. Of course, it would be up to someone to choose what destiny they would take, and how they would go about it.

In my case, I chose this life. Some people may think I have chosen the wrong path, others think that I have been stagnating for so long, and others even question what my purpose and intentions are. I, on my part, have resolved to take this path and wait, and do what I must while at it.

It’s been five years since I left college, and I had been eyeing for a job in the mainstream broadcast media, which was aligned with the degree I took up at the university. But as what I had observed and experience, there are two basic qualifications in joining the major networks (and even the minor ones): having connections inside the company (which I have none), and being an over-achiever (which I’m not). I was desperate for a job at that time, since I had a conflict with my parents and thought I wanted to make some money to prove that I can fend for myself.

And so I landed into the call-center industry. Way back college, I declared that being in a call center would be the last thing I would ever want to do in my life, and won’t take that career path if I had a choice. I used to think that being a phone operator was a no-brainer job: just answer people’s phone calls, answer their questions — that was about it. But at that time, I was left with no career options. With huge competition in the broadcast and journalism industries, with no room for me who had yet to settle a conflict with my academics, I took back what I had said. I was in the call-center industry, and my first job didn’t give me enough money to pull me through the next pay day. Not that it was mediocre — I am a big spender, especially on food, and the industry itself is specially stressful. Though, it was not that stressful, since I was still in training. Two months later, I was axed. While I had no regret leaving the company, I regret having to part with my colleagues, considering that I had already established a friendship with some of them.

So there I was. I was back into the employment “limbo,” being practically jobless for over six months, and my mom was berating me for it. Then, I was approached with a job offer: a graphic artist at a company that sells game currency, particularly World of Warcraft gold. There, I saw a stark difference. My pay was at par with my skills, and my bosses were generous, but the office environment was kind of uptight. There were just a few of us in the department where I belonged, yet I felt kind of being limited. That, coupled with the fact that the job description wasn’t as what I’ve expected, and I lasted only six months in the job.

Again, I was into the limbo. I tried applying for numerous jobs at the graphic-design and the mainstream broadcasting industries, to no avail. One time, though, my feet were leading me to some place, and I found out that they took me to the recruitment office of another contact center. So I said to myself, “Why not give it another shot?” since I had a couple of résumés at hand. I played around with the recruitment process, and was not taking it too seriously. Now at that time, I was expecting something like this: “Sir, we will just call you whether you passed the recruitment process.” (That is what most employers would tell you once you failed.) To my surprise, they handed me a contract and some tote notes, and told me, “Come back next week to this place at the time stated on the notes, and bring along these requirements.” I blankly signed the contract, and did come back.

And that started my two years of realization. I had gone through hell and all, being in an environment whose policies and environment keep on changing every time and being with colleagues who had yet to accept my quirks; a old maid who had the hallmarks of Gordon Ramsay in Hell’s Kitchen and a flamboyantly gay guy for managers; a schoolteacher, a goth girl, a call-center veteran, and a flight attendant for supervisors; and a diversity of personalities for teammates. While I was able to look up to my colleagues as my saving grace against leaving a job I diddn’t like doing and was really pushing me to my limits, in the long run, it was no longer working. My work statistics slowly deteriorated, and I attempted resigning, but at first, the management refused to let me go, since they still considered me a hard worker and a special individual. Well, would they consider someone who constantly breaks business policies and gives out discounts and unauthorized workarounds to customers an “asset”? Perhaps not. But in the end, they relented, when they had finally realized that it wasn’t working anymore.

It was at the end of the year, the option that I chose now presented itself. We had some family friends into our home to have lunch. I was tasked at that time to pay the bills, and when I came home and saw them, I was like, “I know these guys! I’ve read about them!” And yes, I’ve read about them on the Autism Society Philippines blog site, since they were prominently featured there. I had a chat with them, and they were inviting me to their activities. Initially, I balked at doing so, but in the long run…

Here I am.

I’ll tell you more about my adventures pretty soon. Right now, I have Big Bro duties to do. And I chose to do those. And I have no regrets.

* * * * * * * * * *

Anyway, Angel’s Walk for Autism is a few days away! Join us and be an angel for autism. See you on Sunday, 20 January 2013, at the SM Mall of Asia! For more details and updates, visit Autism Society Philippines’ blog site, autismsocietyphilippines.blogspot.com.

Don’t forget to catch my live status updates, too! Add #BigBroAngelsWalk to your Twitter feed to keep yourself updated with live updates at the event. And, oh, I have a big surprise for you, too! Want to know? Stay tune! 😉

While you’re at it, you might want to follow @autisticbigbro on Twitter and like Autistic Big Bro on Facebook.

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