After battling one of the worst fits of writer’s block in recent memory and my own crazy adventures in the past few weeks, the writer in me had finally decided to wake up and get cracking once more.

On the heels of an epic six-weekend streak which ended with my first-time voyage to Zamboanga City, I crashed landed into reality upon my arrival back at the office on Monday night. Before I went off on my weekend journey to Ifugao, I had filed my resignation to be effective on Friday, July 16, 2010, a full four and a half years since I started working for my present company. While the main reason was a seeming lack of direction after failed attempts at further growth within the company, it had been unduly accelerated by serious conflicts with two supervisors I had formerly been close with.

After overcoming my own failings in my second year as a Tech Lead (similar to my old post as Resolution Specialist back in EA Games), I had started to become disillusioned and exhausted with their partiality to some of their close agents and tendency to “cut corners” in an attempt to get their work done. So several months prior, I decided to stop talking to them. I knew I was risking their wrath, but I was not fully prepared for their tactics.

It soon got to the point that going to work felt more like a trip to the battlefield than the office. I constantly feared for my sanity, feeling like the two head honchos were out to get me at each turn to the point I could not even focus on the tasks at hand. After I discovered the impending reduction of agents within the account, and seeking the advice of well-trusted people, I made the fateful decision to file my resignation and make the almost unprecedented leap to TrendLabs.

I managed to keep my plans to jump ship a secret, after having submitted my resume to TrendLabs almost two weeks ago. My resignation did get the attention of a much higher official within the company, who spoke with me in private regarding my plans to resign. He then offered me the option to start fresh in another account, and allow me to get the chance at promotion that I had long sought. I was given until Thursday, July 15, 2010 to decide on whether I would take him up on his offer.

With time running out, I received an SMS from TrendLabs on Wednesday, July 14th, informing me I was scheduled to take their entrance examination the following afternoon. With adrenaline pumping through my veins, I arrived just in time to take an English proficiency, IQ and basic technical exams, which I passed pretty nicely. After the exams were completed, and several of us were removed, I was informed along with the remaining “survivors” that we would begin work on Monday as soon as possible.

Finally, after waiting several tense hours, my interview came up next. While I was not short on confidence, I was stopped cold when they started scrounging through my resume. It turned out that one of their requirements was a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology, and I failed to meet the requirement not so much in lacking a college degree more than lacking the right degree.

I was utterly crushed by Plan A being shot down so cruelly, and I ended up giving the representatives of the HR department an earful at the rather ridiculous requirement. Still, I managed to leave on good terms after explaining that I was not upset at them so much as I felt the said requirement should have been made optional and not mandatory. With no sleep, I met up with a close friend who gave as much solace as she could and slogged on to the office afterwards.

Zynga, the social network gaming company, has become my third account in the span of four and a half years.

I eventually met with the higher-up and made my fateful decision to stay with the company and take him up on his offer. He was delighted with my decision and informed me I was to go on floating status and wait for an opening in a new account. Essentially, going on floating status meant that although I was still part of the company, I was not part of any account and thus was entitled to an unpaid leave. Eventually, I found out that I was going to work for Zynga, the makers of social networking games Mafia Wars, FarmVille, FrontierVille, Treasure Isle and Warstorm.

With two weeks of nothing to do but sit at home, I soaked up time trying to learn all I could about Zynga’s games on Facebook. And when the training days came in, I soaked up as much as I could within the limited time afforded for preparing. Due to the sudden need for agents to support the FarmVille queue, we hit the floor after just four days of training and started answering live emails.

As of this writing, I have struggled mightily to improve my productivity as my email output has not been stellar to start. Still, I have every intention to do better and climb up the ladder eventually. Already, there have been calls for me to become a Level 2 like before, which has gotten me pumped up with both fire and fear. But first things first. I can’t go to Chapter 2 if I haven’t mastered Chapter 1 anyway.

This reminded me of an article published in the school paper back in my high school years, which was written by one of the priests. It spoke of problems and why they exist in life. In one instance he compared people to teabags, stating that you never know what is inside them unless they are allowed to steep in hot water.

Looks like I’m having crumpets with mine this time around. And falling flat on my face is not an option.

*****

For the first time in years, the core members of Uyat Artista (well, most of them) got together for a night of good memories and better times.

The previous Sunday, I enjoyed a reunion with my friends from our performing group Uyat Artista, a full eight years since its inception at the old headquarters in Marisol Subdivision, Angeles City. Many of the core members were present, and we ended up sharing stories of the old days and our lives since then. It has left me longing for more time with the people I shared many great and not-so-great moments with. Again, thanks for making my weekend so worth it.

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