Separated and Sadness

Our company is one of the biggest names in the karaoke industry, especially in Korea. It is, without a doubt, not a two-bit enterprise that I should be ashamed of.

In the local office here in the Philippines, the management is good enough to take care of the staff. We have free food every day – from breakfast to dinner; paid leave of absences (including birthdays); and other wonderful privileges that some run-of-a-mill firms might be deprived of. We also have regular natal day celebrations for employees, which usually take place in a fine restaurant picked by the boss.

Employees are entitled with O.T. pay and cash incentives for proficiency and perfect attendance. We acknowledge Philippines festivities and we are paid accordingly for everything. I’m telling you, this is one hell of a company.

Why?

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate.  

***

In this company, we should, most of the time, observe silence.

Babbling is sometimes tolerated but generally not advised, especially when the bosses are around. A loquacious individual like me cannot fully cope with that, particularly, when the boys have interesting topics on-going like music theory, botany, engineering, culinary stuff, barber jokes, and anatomy. Guffaws will send us to the principal’s office.

In reality, a room without any verbal interactions is dull and quite absurd. We all know that.

But we have to comply.

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate.  

***

In this company, we eat lunch en masse.

11:30 A.M. isn’t an orthodox time for people of my type to gobble up grubs, but it is one of the two stretches that employees are allowed to eat (or do anything) outside the office. We should also be back inside not a second after 12:30 P.M. Given that diminutive amount of time to chow means that getting far is not feasible. We have no choice but to dine to the nearest greasy spoons every single day. Me and my buddy, Dudz, have decided long ago that eating in The Fourth is noxious. Glop is still lesser evil than past food. Period.

A thirty-minute afternoon break somehow limited my nicotine intake. Again, together with Dudz, it is usually a two-to-three stick quickie in the parking lot, while turning into our alter egos: Pervert Bautista and Perverto de Castro. Just guess who’s who.

We always have our daily espionage on beautiful women, cool wheels, beautiful women, and beautiful women. But again, we also have to be back inside not a second after 4:00 P.M. or else we would be nagged by the supervisor and might end up with a memo.

And we can’t blame our lungs or the inoperative elevators.

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate.  

***

In this company, we have a dress code.

Wearing a uniform almost doesn’t bother me. The truth is, being a liveried employee helps me blend with the cookie-cutter rabble that I walk with everyday. I can also accept the fact that during Mondays, we look like Home Depot guys selling bathroom tiles, and on Wednesdays, we can be demonstrating modern kitchen faucets.

The only setback about the attire is the loud and brazen phrase printed in our shirts.

A (insert adjective) and (insert noun) tagline is amazingly off the beam.

“Stinky and Kimchi”

“Angry and Genital”

“Few and Fear”

“Collectively and Happiness”

“Separated and Sadness”

Trust me, they will never change that.

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate.  

***

In this company, we are relaxed.

Honestly, our office is very conducive for working. For us, the artists in the Content Production Department, the stations are neat and comely. The management makes us feel comfortable so we can be efficient. It’s indeed a nice approach of conditioning our minds for work. But wait until you hear the Korean boss yell at the administration staff. There are only four almost fully-soundproofed rooms in the company and the surly boss’ is not one of them. So every time he lavishly reviles the lady personnel, his offensive words suffuse in the whole unit and even penetrate the walls of the 16th floor’s other tenants. For hours, or sometimes, for an entire day, our seemingly high-end headsets cannot muffle the brute’s irritating snarls and frequent banging of things.

And we are artists. We are musicians. We are rapt listeners. We cannot do our art when our minds are abstracted by nuisance like foul language and strident, racist chidings coming from the other room. Yeah, we are physically appeased but the hubbub created by the boss is a big bane for our craft.

But we just let it be.

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate  

***

In this company, we try our best to hit the numbers: the monthly quota.

We also give our greatest efforts to meet the quality. But we are in a tight spot figuring out the standard that seems vague, or perhaps, not existing. Arranging, replicating, and creating music involve a specific knowledge, and of course, appreciation. Since we are not trained or comprehensively oriented about any detailed procedures, we are groping for a lot of things. Everything is subjective. And that being said, we are left questioning each other on how to do this and that. All lies in the approval of the other Korean thing person entity that’s sitting inside the fetid room in the far end of the office.

It He is by the way, in-charge of checking our files. It He is not actually a bad thing person being. We can always ask him what the fuck he wants or hates. But the hitch is, he cannot speak any language besides Korean. Man, he only knows like ten English words (go, out, sleepi, finishi, banki, getting getting, etc.) so communication is as futile as talking to a two-year old monkey. That It He doesn’t even want to try to learn English (which is a common denominator for all) that he can use for professionally conversing with people.

But we have to deal with it.

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate.  

***

In this company, the compensation is good.

I mean, it is initially nicer than others and I am not complaining about it. But when we don’t reach the numbers, we can actually see perdition in Ortigas. The quota can be considered realistic. It’s a fact. But if we can hear Mr. Anger Management bawl the ladies out everyday, and at the same time, Mr. Stinky Smegma is calling us inside his reeking room for revisions due (mostly) to his blunder, the cut will be getting far from our reach without even knowing it. It’s a wreck of momentum too. Anyway, at the end of the month, if we don’t bonk the quantity, the rate of every file that we failed to finish will be deducted in our salary.

Yes, we understand the meaning quota-basis.

The worst scenario is when we don’t knock down the goal and we have issues on tardiness and absences. It’s a two-fold loss since our rate per hour/day will be amassed from our basic pay. And we thought it’s quota-basis.

But we still try to compromise.

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate.  

***

And this I swear, I won’t grow old in front of a computer monitor, facing a MP3 waveform that’s synced under the track view of a .cwp template. No. No matter how I convince myself about how ideal this company seems to be, I have already decided that I will have a career change when the right time comes or when someone drastically pulls the trigger. No matter how I lie to myself that the growth I am looking for is probably here, I cannot find answers that will confirm my blind surmise.

Though I am happy to go to work every day, for I only enjoy being with my new-found friends, I might quit when I am fully burned-out. Though I am excited to learn new things and explore that small world of PCS, CCs, GM and stuff, I might not last a year here.

Why?

Because we have strict corporate policies, requisites, and system that make us first-rate.  

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