The perils of government service

Okay, so I thought it’s about time I write something like this.

The Philippine government has been dominating (yet again, or as always?) national (and some international) headlines as of late.

Janet Napoles and her infamous list
Singing senator
Impeaching chief justice

And then there’s the privileged kin of the corrupt

Jolo Estrada, including his diplomatic passport
Janet Napoles’ daughter and her amazing lifestyle
And let’s not forget the consenting adult

It is also not a secret that more and more citizens are calling for a proper clean up of government offices.  Heck, even a radio jock’s sarcastic banter was taken so personally that these corrupt officials buried themselves in deeper shit.

All of these are frustrating (and entertaining, to a fault) because I work for government.  So when people say those who work in government should burn in hell or die or off themselves, I cannot help but be affected by it.

In the past, if you asked me when I was in college, I would never have dreamed of working for a government institution.  13 months of hardcore management training and a renewed appreciation of good governance, especially for countryside development, changed that.  I have been in government service for almost 5 years now.

And these corrupt fucktards are making me regret my decision.

To be honest, when I see those criticisms posted on my Facebook wall — BY THE BEST OF MY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES NO LESS — I just ignore them.  I have never stolen or coveted or pocketed a single penny.  But if I will be persecuted by the number of Post It flags that I took home, I will be guilty of it — all 12 of those.

I come to work as early 7:30 in the morning.  I work till 5.  There was an entire year that I would also come in Saturdays, because the work has become so burdensome that it no longer fits the regular 40-hour work week.  And I am the “lazy” one because I have seen my officemates; some of them stay at work for so long, their love and social lives have turned moot and academic.

I diligently observe the No Lunch Break law.  My department makes sure that there’s always someone manning the phones and addressing inquiries.  My boss and I take turns in official travels because there has to be an officer left in our department to handle official matters.  Our small team of 4 handles the ATM network of our bank, all 300+ deployed nationwide, including the hundreds of thousands of cards and the hundreds more ATMs to be deployed within the year.

We made RA 9184 our bible.  We follow it to a T.  We are the mainstayers of the Bids and Awards Committee meetings because our acquisitions are always expensive and high profile.

We love being audited.  How else can we see our errors?  How else can we find ways to correct them?  If there’s no one patient enough to play the role of the devil’s advocate, how can our projections be fair and impartial?

We serve well.  I serve well.  And apparently, I should eat my friend’s shorts, kiss their rear and suck stuff (among others).

I worked ceaselessly for three years to afford a Paris trip and the first thing that welcomes me when I get home is a Facebook message from a (former) friend, asking if I enjoyed burning his taxes in Champs Elysees.

It makes me so angry.  The corrupt politicians are ruining it for all of us!  They’re ruining it for the account officer that deserves that performance bonus.  They’re ruining it for the janitor that stays extra late to clean the halls.  They’re ruining it for the security guard that does not charge his extended hours as he waits for his reliever.

Corruption is ruining it for the employees and other government officials that travel and leave their families — sometimes, for weeks — while they conduct research, close accounts, guide investors, and bring in the money for their institution.

They’re ruining it for the traders, the treasury people that gain the biggest in the stock market and remit 100% of their earnings to the Philippine government.

They’re ruining it for the government institutions that supports scholars, the impoverished, the entrepreneurs, rural banks, schools, highways, farm to market roads, ROROs, and all the other things simple government workers cannot even brag about BECAUSE A HANDFUL STOLE SO MUCH.

It pains to be in the service of people who have become ungrateful.  And you cannot blame the Filipino people for feeling that way.  We feel that way because WE GET TAXED TOO.  THEY STOLE OUR TAX MONEY TOO.  THEY DID US WRONG TOO.  US.  THE ASSISTANT MANAGERS.  THE MANAGERS.  THE RANK AND FILE.  THE JANITOR.  THE MANANG.  THE GUARDS.  THE TELLER.  THE DRIVER.  THEY STOLE FROM US TOO.  THOSE ARE OUR MONEY TOO.

So I guess I’m just venting here.  Because it’s hard to be in government service.  Because they make government service look bad.  So if the time comes when we leave and move on with our lives — migrate, retire, marry and settle down at home — who will replace us?  Who will do the hard work?  Who will do the research?  These people have demonized the posts that we hold at severe rates that NO ONE WOULD WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED BY IT.

Because of the handful corrupt, we are antagonized.  And if we get tired of being the “enemy”, when we get tired of being “thieves” and move out of our offices and into private practice, who do you think will run the paperwork?  The research?  The leg work?

No one.

Because if we won’t do it, who would want to?


Wild, encumbered, bewildered

Though the week has barely started, I am already experiencing severe cases of rageaholism.  So may I just be random today, especially that I am blogging at an hour that is not of my choosing?

1. Excuse you, but I am not hard-headed.  I freaking comply every single rule imposed upon me.  There is only ONE condition to that:  I HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IT.  Is it my fault that I cannot understand why corporate=black for you?  You cannot rebrand a company just by changing the facade of a building, you have to change the people as well.  It’s not leaving culture and tradition behind.  It’s merely adding new ones.  It’s called developing.  Learn it.  Live it.  Love it.  Or better, just read up on it.  Then maybe I won’t have a hard time justifying why an institution is spending over a billion pesos on a luxury condominium.

*word vomit*

2. I am not being tough nor am I filled with pride.  Is it too much to ask from anyone that maybe this time, they can consider me?  I know what I did (and I did that on purpose, unfortunately) that made a person hurt as much as a person can.  But does that other person know or at least, is that person considerate enough to acknowledge doing something of the same effect?  I’ve been looking out for person after person after person all my life.  Maybe this time, you all can consider looking out for me.

*word vomit*

3.  You are probably the only thing that keeps me sane in my life right now and I am having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that you will have to go away soon in order to actually make a living.  But I am comforted by the ideas and plans that you have for your future… and how those plans include me.

*word vomit*

Okaaay.  I believe I am officially bulimic.  So much for a great lunch.

Because people can be insecure by THAT much.

Posts have become less frequent, and I think there are about two more people who know where I’ve chosen to air my rants.  To be frank, it wasn’t that comforting at first; after all, this is the "vessel of my frustrations" [excuse the pun, you know I adore you hehe].  But then again, when you come to think of it, it’s a good thing because in a way, I am trusting more people, even though (ironically) this blog is public in the first place.

There’s a pitfall though.  You can’t always trust people and that is one lesson I had to learn the hard way this week.  Or at least the bad part of it.

In an effort to make up for the weak written reports, my group and I ace our presentations for the past three subjects.  Out of the blue, the "entire class" thinks we don’t deserve our grade, since we were graded favorably as "favorites."  I don’t know which is more insulting:  to have an evidently competent instructor be tagged as partial or to be grossly underestimated by a group of people with whom we share a goal.  

I don’t understand where the negativity comes from.  Is it envy?  Why?  Because we can hack it and they can’t?  Since when did we question the validity of the prof’s evaluation of you?  I mean really, give us a break.  First, you say we deserve less, then we show you that we deserve otherwise (if not, more).  Then, you cry in front of our peers to appear as the victim because we chose to celebrate our success.  Wtf.  Where the hell do you get off?  Quoting A, just because we didn’t cry doesn’t mean we’re any less offended.

I hate the part where people assume this training is a competition because it’s not.  The goal is to finish.  Not to finish first or second, but simply to finish.  This is not a ranking program, this is not college.  This is work.  Step back and wipe those unnecessary emissions from your tear ducts just so you can see the big picture:  we are all here because we are all needed.  No one is needed more than the other.  

Now grab a pen and write that on your forehead.  Just so you know, we hate narrow-mindedness.  We despise envy.  On top of everything else, we loathe critics with no merit or credibility.  We barf at the sight of crab mentality.  We reject negativity.  And if you choose to say what you said, don’t be a freaking disgrace by crying over it.  It was your opinion; eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Own up to it.  If there’s something to cry about, it’s the fact that you hurt other people by being to quick to pull the trigger.

It puzzles me as to why anyone would choose to think this way.  But in the end, it all makes sense.  We are all given free will, to speak our mind.  Intellect and tact are learned over the years.  

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Disappointments come in all shapes and sizes.

I received my presentation/defense grade the other day, and I couldn’t be more disappointed.  I cannot believe I got a grade that’s so low.  It’s not even at par with the deposits and clients I was able to gather.  I don’t understand where I went wrong.  According to the facilitator, I had a high mark for marketing.  So that means, I got a low mark for my suggested improvements in the branch.

I don’t understand why they would give me a low mark for suggesting hiring more people.  Isn’t that what you do when you’re expanding?  Isn’t that what you do when you plan to make service your number one product?  Isn’t that what you need when you aim to be better?  Isn’t that what you need when you are for development?  They berated me for suggesting something  that won’t be cost-effective to the company.  Why would you see additional service as an added cost?  Isn’t that supposed to be an added value? 

I cannot believe how conservative they are.  They plan to become one of the premiere corporations in the country, they plan to add quality and prestige to their name, they plan to be in the service of the Filipino, but they’re not going to pay for it?  Ano yon?  Birthright?  Noynoy, ikaw ba yan?

There’s just something about getting what you don’t deserve.  I worked hard for the past module.  I really did.  I worked my butt off, related to every single person I can relate to, became "feeling close", became "too close for comfort", I did my thing.  Research, study, market.  And just because you don’t agree with my manner of suggesting a VITAL improvement, you give me this?  Excuse you.  Excuse you very much.

Changing topics now.

Dylan was so nice to have joined me for dinner with friends last Friday.  I can tell he wasn’t having a good time, and that he was having a hard time trying to relate to them.  But he didn’t leave.  Neither did he try to corner me and box me to himself.  I am beginning to think again, that I have been given another reason to love him more.

And yes, that is my feeble attempt to end this entry with a high note.