Finally, it has happened:  I am updating my blog.
I have been MIA for a while and it is for a good reason.  Since moving to the US, the Husband and I were in agreement that I can take the opportunity to start over by taking some time not working.  It has been pretty great, in fact.  Before getting married, we didn’t really have any time to be together-together.  There hasn’t been that much room for dating in person, much more living together.  The past year has been pure bliss of getting to know the Husband better, and while it has it’s ups and downs, I would gladly go through it all over again.
But the thing is… I have not not worked.  You know what I mean?  I’ve always worked.  I am either employed (full-time or as a talent) or doing freelance.  I’ve always been occupied.  So you can only imagine how overwhelmed I was with suddenly having time.

View this post on Instagram

Employee of the year. #cats

A post shared by Carla Shmarlaloo (@carlaloo) on

I tried to stick to a schedule.  Make breakfast everyday, do the laundry twice a week, read a book, catch up on a show — and for a while, I was doing really well.  That is, until I discovered Netflix.  I know that some Americans complain about the quality and speed of the Internet here, but coming from the Philippines, the fact that I can stream shows SEAMLESSLY across three different devices absolutely BLEW MY MIND.  It was the start of my crumbling schedule.
Thankfully, my sister needed help with the kids when she found a job early this year.  That became my preoccupation.  My days were suddenly filled with two girls that either adore or repel each other; there is no middle ground feeling.  It was exhilarating and at the same time, draining.  If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you can see what I’m talking about.  These girls, you either love or hate, and I’m pretty sure you would lean more toward the former.  I was hooked myself.  I’m so crazy about them.

After watching Juliana’s play, Olivia joined her for her morning snack.

Until, a new friend came along.  After a quick exchange over the holidays, and I mean just one day, I must have been so blessed that when there was an opening for her company, she immediately thought of me.  Four weeks after sending my resume and three interviews later, I have a start date.  It was Monday, June 19.
I was unemployed for 1 year, 6 months, and 4 days.  It took me countless applications, MLM interviews, nine months and 12 days from the date I got my visa to find a job.  I pulled all the strings I had then; they can only do so much from afar.  Even the Husband got in the mix of finding me one.  Now, I am three days in and all I can say is this:  it came at the right time.

View this post on Instagram

First day high. #workmodeon

A post shared by Carla Shmarlaloo (@carlaloo) on


On humility

There have been way too many things happening at work and I have to admit, I have not been handling it well. I’ve been brave enough to divide my time with school, and now, the workload from both aspects are just getting to be too much to handle.

Let’s put it this way: when I’m in school, I think about work. When I’m at work, I think about school. I am neither here nor there, and the office gossip and drama do not really make it any easier.

However, I cannot deny the lessons learned in the past couple of weeks. The implosion of a hot tempered personality has vindicated so many people in our team (and by team, I mean team that knows that personality’s evil ways). I don’t even know how to properly articulate what has been going on in the office without implicating myself.

Is this really the way to work or operate in the office scenario? Always watching your back for people that may stab it? It’s weird, I thought quitting show business had saved me from the drama. Evidently, it is a plague on all houses.

Looking back, there was only one thing lacking between the initiation and the disorderly exit of it all: humility. Once you start walking around as if the world owes you something, you start burning bridges, you begin to demean people, you ignite flames that could have easily been managed in the first place. As a professional — or rather as a human being — humility should never leave your body. After all, whatever it is that you have now, the world gave to you. Sure, hardwork cannot be discounted, but only humble work is rewarded greatly.

With that, I hope to lessen posts of my work dissatisfaction. I have never failed myself at this scale for so long, but at least I have people believing in me, rallying behind me, and a certain kind of faith that never waivers, that always believes in justice, where prayers are always answered.

That seems to be a rock solid foundation I can boost myself up from.

I hope your month is turning out to be better than mine. Past the halfway mark, I hope to catch a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.


Business ethics: a reminder

There has been a lot of hostility as of late.  It has exceeded even the expectations I’ve set for myself as I entered into government service.  Stumbling upon this infographic, I believe it is high time to remind ourselves of the code values for proper business ethics.

It is always sad when these values are lost as we try to fix things and make status quo better.  However, harsh words, being mean and straight-up disrespect will never get you the results you need in the first place.

Just a thought.  Because we could all use a good reminder.


You knew better.

Dear You,

In all honesty, your two-facedness is something I didn’t quite anticipate.  In 2009, you were the quiet one, the one who reads the Word for lunch, the one who took jokes and jeers in stride.  You were the one who asks if anyone else would like something from McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts, or anything that you can bring back to Manila whenever you’d go home to your hometown.  What you have become is quite unprecedented.

I really didn’t anticipate your backstabbing ways.  But then, I should have known we all have our dark sides.  I should have known that we have two wolves in all of us.  I just didn’t think you would be the kind of person who will feed the bad one.

Is it the smoke up your ass?  Is it their constant fawning over the work you do?  Is it the way they worship your work?  It has to be that right?  After all, you do pick up their slack.  You are the one completing everything that’s supposed to be their workload.  You are the doormat.  So you have to be part of that click.

And a part of it, you have become.  It’s so disappointing.  But then who am I to expect loyalty?  Who am I to expect some semblance of identity?  I just graduated with you, finished the training with you.  We probably studied together once, but that’s it.  I have mocked you endlessly, but then, you have mocked me to my face too.  Our relationship was limited to that.

Was I wrong to assume that you have a sense of fealty?  After all, we went through the same hardships.  I do not expect you to know the inner workings of my twisted mind and harpooned feelings, but at the very least, as someone who went through the same kind of test as you, I just expected you would at least defend me.  Or not add fuel to the fire.  Instead, you contributed to the senseless and baseless babble of my so-called elitism and spoiled-ness.  You contributed to the preconceived notions others had of me, notions that I have always thought you knew was wrong.  You and I met way before all these, after all.  You knew me way before all these.  As it turned out, you are not the ally I thought you were.

I only hope that I am the lone victim of your backstabbing ways.  I still have use to you; I am still your lone link for matters that require his confirmation.  And that’s how I’ve come to be for you — a person who will entertain your bitch-filled lunches, your passes to a click that “accepted” you, your shining example of what not to be.  But you want to know the real sad story here?

Never in a million years would I do the same thing to you.

May you sleep soundly at night, you backstabbing two-faced lying low-level ass kisser.

Gossip in the office

Here’s the thing that most fresh grads have the hard time learning:  no matter who your employer is or where you work, office gossip and politics exist.  It’s just that.  Every company is a kingdom on its own, regardless of existing external regulators and other neutralizers that are supposed to keep employers in check.  It’s just there.  Ever present.

And that includes — now, more than ever — government offices.

I have worked for this company in the last three years.  I’m about to mark my fourth year in September.  Before becoming a regular employee, I underwent a 13-month management training program and I survived because my friends are very patient and very good educators.  My mother used to work here.  My aunt used to work here too.  I remember joining the institution’s summer arts program for five years in a row.  I loved this place.  Even before I joined the company, I have heard numerous praise not only for its performance in development finance, but also for its management.

Until recently, drastic changes were made.  From operating at a developmental standpoint, it appears, at least to me, that the gears have shifted to retail banking.  Don’t get me wrong; posting profit absolutely trumps breaking even.  However, it is rapidly starting to feel like this is not the institution I signed up for.

It’s frustrating isn’t it?  I joined the institution because of its developmental mandate.  I fell in love with it because my family never stopped praising its efforts in improving countryside economies.  I was often teased during our management training that I will be a “lifer,” as in someone willing to work for this institution for life.  I think I would have been, but now… well, it is not the same anymore.

What’s even more depressing is the fact that the gossip mutates.  I know it’s not supposed to die, but there has to be a period of silence somehow.  But not here.  As one executive after another is added to an already-full roster of senior rank offices, the gossip just becomes richer.  From utilizing company assets for personal use, to inglorious pay demands, to poorly examined trades, the gossip never ends.  Worse, the people in the circulating white papers are the same people who have the gall and energy to prejudge existing employees without even a semblance of validation.

I read somewhere that you should never judge a person based on someone’s opinion of them.  Lately, this has been the norm here in the office.  It is such a depressing character trait from senior officers.  Or rather disappointing.  I think what seniors often forget is that, as much as they are part of management that ensures the seamless operations and business generation of the company, they are also the primary advocates of their subordinates, not their nemesis.

But then, this is just my opinion.

Susie and Sally