Category: Thinking out loud

Is ghosting just a thing or part of the process?

Regardless of the content or results, we appreciate feedback like a normal human being. I mean, I know people who get frustrated when their partners do not reply to the “Have you eaten?” question.😅

As someone who’ve sent more than a hundred applications online since November 2020, I have only gotten +/- 20 templated emails telling me that they will not be moving forward with my application because they have found the individual more fit in the role. It is not as detailed as I would’ve preferred, like indicating the reasons why I didn’t get in. But hey, at least I got something. Honestly, I appreciate that a lot compared to the companies I applied to. There are about 2-3 that I had done 3 interviews with (1 over the phone and 2 via Zoom), then after that completely nada.

It is still important NOT to ignore or “ghost” applicants when they obviously did not pass the job screening process. Why?

  1. Feedback can help job applicants gauge what they need to improve on. Like how they answered in the interview, do they need to gain more experience for their desired position, etc. However, I completely understand if those info are unavailable because there might be 1 position with hundreds of applicants. But something is still better than nothing.
  2. We want to know if we can move forward in trying to reach our professional goals with other companies. The recruiters may be aware that we also submitted CVs to other job listings. But we prioritize those who respond and give feedback first.
  3. It says a lot about the company. If we cannot be given a simple feedback, how shady are the processes, policies, etc they have in there? I guess we’ll never know.
  4. We have exerted time and effort. We just didn’t click the “Apply” button, attached the required files and hit on “send”. Aside from mentally and emotionally preparing ourselves, making multiple revisions to our CVs, most job listings/openings have cover letter requirements, questions to answer, and forms to fill out (wherein the answers to the questions btw, are all indicated in the resume you have to attach before submitting).
  5. For mental health. It eases the anxiety we had in submitting the application, as well as while waiting for any kind of feedback.

These reasons or thoughts are all mine. If you’re a recruiter and you find these somehow offensive (for lack of a lighter term), it might be time to make a suggestion to update your hiring process, if you have any.

After all, even in real life, we don’t want to let anyone hanging (like who would want that? 😏).

Drained

I rushed my mom twice to the ER the other day (7/16/2021) due to her complaining about an excruciating pain on her left side.

I woke up with her moaning in pain around 7am, so I immediately got up and packed a lot of disinfectants and my laptop (I had to work) and drove to 2 goverment hospitals’ ER. The 1st one just referred us to the 2nd, the 2nd just prescribed meds. They were prioritizing COVID patients, even though their ERs are empty (shoutout to the 2nd which is QCGH). I’m not going to comment on how they handled our situation because I know they have their “reasons”. Since Mom was still in so much pain, we went ahead to Capitol Med. Yes, I know it is private and expensive but fuck it. It’s Mom.

We arrived at around 11am (I had no concept of time, I just wanted the day to be over) and we were immediately attended to. Mom was hooked up to an IV (omeprazole at first, then liquid paracetamol), blood works, urinalysis, and xray were done. When I asked her, she says the pain was level 8 and went to intermittent. There were also times that it goes away. According to her urinalysis, they found specks of blood, so they Rx’d Mom to be CT scanned for suspected kidney stones. During that time I kept on asking her if she can manage the pain, etc. She was like meh, and we were already given prescriptions so we decided that we will sign the waiver to not perform the CT Scan at that moment (the reason and backstory later). We were discharged around 4pm.

I was able to settle a bit when we got home and go back to working. Not even two hours later, Mom was again writhing in pain and she was crying “Lord, please make it stop.” Her pain tolerance is so high that seeing her in that situation was very alarming, so thats when I decided to ask my sister to call an ambulance (I was no longer in the right mental and emotional state to drive at that moment) while I prepare the stuff we need in case she gets confined.

We were brought again to Capitol Med because at least they already know us, the guard was literally like “Uy, parang kanina lang…”. We agreed to do the CT Scan and results says the pain is caused by kidney stones.

Also, even though my Mom doesn’t feel anything, they saw an 8x12x12 benign cyst on her right ovaries. While the doctor assured us its nothing and can be treated easily, they referred us to an OB GYN, who explained the next steps for treatment to us.

Honestly at that point, I hear garbled messages. I can no longer process anything because all I worry about was how the fuck am I going to pay for the hospital bills because I am super bankrupt.

The Backstory: I was retrenched in December 2020 and we were trying to survive off my separation pay (which isn’t that big amount so if you ask me, no I didn’t even have the chance to enjoy it). In April 2021, I got a freelancing job and I am in contract until December, which I am very thankful for. But what I earn is just enough for the utility bills and monthly groceries for 3 people. Yes, I also have been the provider in this house.

I only have Php 1,000 ($20) in my bank account. I have 2 credit cards that I have not been using and been paying off so I can cut it.

But I had to. I maxed out the limit of my first credit card to settle the hospital bills during our ER Visit #1. I had no choice but to do the same for my second to pay off ER Visit #2, not to mention the prescribed medicines worth 2 weeks. Oh btw, the OB GYN consultation fee needed to be paid in cash, so yeah goodbye 1k. Before, I psych myself bankrupt but I still have like 10k+ in the bank. But now, I am literally, really, very, zero balance.

At this point I am not sure how will I be able to bring her to a urologist, another OB GYN session and possible operation.

Well, going back to the main story… we got home around 12am. Mom was still in pain but at least we know the cause. Also, the pain reliever works so Mom was able to sleep enough.

I am still mentally and emotionally drained. Most of all, financially.

So that’s how the day went.

English = Intelligence?

Is being able to speak and write in English a basis of intelligence? 

No — or at least not exactly. The words “Yes” and “No” are english. We have and do stuff or things without a specific identifier in our vernacular. We speak and write in English everyday, even unconsciously.

But is having a near-perfect English grammar a basis of intelligence? IMHO, technically, yes. Why?

Parts of Speech Examples

As  far as I can remember, we have English as a subject in school from 1st grade, and the contents of the syllabus, study guide or discussions are the same — parts of speech, subject-verb agreement (S-TV-IO-DO), etc. — until 4th year high school. Only the examples being used change because we construct longer sentences. College english may be different because it has more research and writing exercises.

As defined by Merriam-Webster, INTELLIGENCE is

(1) the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (such as tests)

(2) the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations

(3) the act of understanding COMPREHENSION

Howard Gardener’s 8 Theories of Multiple Intelligence also include the Linguistic-Verbal intelligence, which is somehow related to what this post is about.

We’ve been studying English and had exams/tests/quizzes about grammar almost our whole school-life. But I still read stuff (like simple emails from the boss(es), or even those who graduated with the highest honors) with incorrect subject-verb agreement. I mean were you able to graduate or pass the English subject yearly?

Don’t get me wrong. I honestly and definitely still have moments where I proofread/re-read (more than 5x) what I write or have written, and I still find it cringe-y because of grammatical errors. So I ask my mom or my friends if a sentence is correct, or is there a synonym for this word, or even if I used a term correctly for what I want to convey. But I think that’s the thing. We should already know what needs correction or changes and doing something about it.

Here’s how you improve in speaking and writing in English with minimal grammatical errors:

    1. READ anything in English. From magazines, romance pocketbooks and fictions, e-books, recipes, simple navigation or route instructions, manuals of your new gadgets, The Bible, essays, etc. It may sound boring, but reading gives you an idea of different writing styles and how words are used appropriately.
    2. Always have a dictionary ready. Or a thesaurus, whichever will be fine. This will also help expand your vocabulary as well as English spelling and pronunciation. I have the Merriam-Webster app on my phone. (Gotta love technology. I used to bring a mini dictionary with me all the time 😅)
    3. If you’re not into #1, watch English movies/TV series. This works. BIG TIME. I used to work in a call center, and people who do have the ability to turn their English-speaking-self mode on and off. During my days off, I make sure to always watch Charmed, FRIENDS, and other movies a day before my work week starts so when I go back to the office, I will have no problem in enabling my English-only mode 😆.
    4. Practice. Have a physical diary, or have a blog. You can start with two paragraphs, or even make a list in random but complete sentences a day. Do an “English Only Policy” challenge where you just speak the language for 24 hours when communicating with others. Then encourage them to tell you if you have improved. (This is a segue to the next one).
    5. Be open to other people’s comments or corrections about your grammar. Most of them mean well, especially your friends and family. There are only a few who will think that “your grammar sucks” and they’re not worth your time. Don’t be intimidated. At least you’re doing something for a better you. Self-improvement is the best “clap back” to your haters. Also, asking questions is a sign of strength and intelligence.
    6. As much as possible, avoid reading tabloids and online grammar checker/composer. Tabloids often use informal english, slang or based in urban dictionaries. They’re not wrong, it is just that most words and phrases are made up. Also, the online grammar checkers that use A.I usually translate literally.

In summary, being able to communicate in English with correct grammar can be considered a basis of intelligence. If you think otherwise, that’s fine. But don’t let the “English isn’t a measurement of intelligence” phrase be an excuse not to learn the how-to or the basics of the language, and when others correct you.

Also, never settle in being fluent in English because it makes you sound intelligent. You should also have wit, and your way of thinking combined with your knowledge are more important. I mean you can consider yourself linguistically blessed in being able articulate your exact thought process in writing and verbally. However, if there’s no substance, those are just words.

To the people who know better, we must not look down upon or degrade anyone who do not have the same abilities that you think you have. If you claim that you’re superior, have the interpersonal intelligence to educate others in a pleasing manner. 🙂

There is no dead end in customer service

In one way or another we are living the double life as the service provider and a customer.

Being a customer service provider doesn’t just mean that you have to be working in a call center, answering customer queries via email using templates, or as a cashier at a fast food chain. The moment you answer someone’s question, the time you open and held the door for an elderly and helped them cross the street, when your mom asks you to wash the dishes, or even when your best friend borrows your car – you are providing service.

In a professional setting, there are indeed times that we cannot fulfill our clients’ requests and/or demands. We have policies, processes, and even verbatim to follow which are strictly based on our trainings and the knowledge management system. Scripted or not, how can you say no without the customers going irate nor having a markdown in QA?

It’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.

Politely decline if you have to, and anticipate the “Why?” right after. 

  • If you have absorbed the lessons during your training or even from your past experiences, you will be able to explain in detail why you can’t fulfill their requests/demands. When I say explain, tell them the truth and don’t be shady, while making sure that you don’t put yourself or your employer in a bad light.
  • Positive scripting is still important. It’s like telling the customers to look at the bright side because there is always one. Some just tend to ignore it because it’s not how they want to see it.
  • Explain what they need to know, not what they want to hear.

Think outside of the box. 

Provided that you have already exhausted your resources and you’re still far from getting a 9 or a 10 in NPS, step back and think as the customer. How would you like your questions be answered and your requests done? For sure, at any time, you know what to do (or want done) if you put yourselves in their situation. If it is beyond your control, seek assistance from someone who can possibly help.

Customers are not always right, but they always have the right to complain and leave any type of feedback.

Moving on, I hate to break it to y’all but customers are not always right. But as customers we always have the right to vent frustrations, complain, suggest, leave a feedback, and comment on the products and services we receive – nicely. As customers we do not have the right to be impolite, shout at, be rude, insult, nor degrade the service providers. Remember, we called or asked them for help. We are the ones who need something from them, specifically their assistance.

For example, engaging with a customer service representative over the phone because your internet/cable has been cut because you have overlooked your bill due date. If you plan to be a Karen on the onset of the call because it worked the last time and they have reinstated your subscription even without a payment, think again. Most of the CSRs are stressed out because they’re like sponges and shock absorbers of strangers 7-8 hours daily. If you have chanced someone who is so burnout, who knows what will happen to your personal details. Your full name, address, your birthday and any details used for verification are all visible on their end. This is the part where I tell you you may not know who you’re dealing with. Also, before you think otherwise, if they’re naughty enough — yes, they can. I know stories of real people who did.

But anyhow, probably the key takeaway from all these blabs is be human. We do not know everybody’s struggles, but we all have it. We have daily challenges, obstacles and battles to beat/overcome. Those are normal, known and present in our lives to make us who we are now. Use the experiences gained from it wisely.

Sense of Deja Vu…

But this time, there is a pandemic to blame.

Like many companies around the world, the one we’re in started laying off employees. Our whole team is part of Wave 3.

Surprisingly, I’m emotionally fine (at least I think I am), probably because I’ve been in the same situation in 2016 when there was a reduction due to redundant positions 🤷. What is heartbreaking was hearing (and seeing) my immediate supervisor deliver the bad news. It is undoubtedly the most difficult task to do. 🙁

Currently, I’m still OK but I’m too disoriented that I feel like my brain cells are everywhere. My anxiety level is at 999 because since the pandemic I am the only one working. The utility bills, my own bills, groceries, mom’s meds or any emergency gastos are on me. *My gahly*.

My diversion now is non-stop browsing in LinkedIn, JobStreet, Kalibrr and all other websites where you can see job openings being listed, sending out my CV like candies, and composing cover letters. Fortunately, there are a lot of openings and they’re currently on Work From Home status until further notice.

My teammates/family at work will meet up next week to submit the needed documents (clearance), return assets, and pick up the stuff we have in the office. When I think about it… the last time we saw each other was March 15[?], or when the quarantine started. When we meet or see each other next, it will also be kind-of the last time after spending more than 8 hours a day with them for almost 4 years.

I have been working for a total of 14 years, and I have different experiences with various professionals. But I can say that the bonding with my recent team (Center of Excellence) is at the top of my list. Don’t get me wrong, I am forever grateful to everyone I’ve been with in my previous endeavors, from whom I really learned a lot for sure. It’s just that this is the first time I felt the family vibe at work. I trust that we’ll meet again really soon. 🙂

For now, it’s just another waiting game. I’m psyching myself that this too shall pass. God will never put you in a situation, nor give you challenges, without a safe way out.

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