time to break free

i feel like i’m at this job for just about forever. i first took a spot as an abstractor at a data company after i graduated in 2000. the idealistic me then thought that i could make a difference in the lives of filipino public. so i took this job hoping to do some good in this world. while public perception of government employees was low even then (that’s putting it mildly), i wanted to give it a try and see for myself how it is in the world of a philippine government agency. boy, was i in for a surprise at how things work out in my new office. the staff was made up of people in their 20s, a few in their 30s and a handful of “oldies”. my new bosses were nothing quite like the ones i’ve encountered my life. they were formal, strict and no-nonsense type of people. the first few weeks i’ve spent there, i was completely surprised by how efficient, how straight people were. gone was my idea of government employees spending their time dilly-dallying the whole day, putting on their makeup and already at the line at the bundy clock way before the 5 pm time. i’ve seen other agencies harboring employees who do their pedicures in their cubicles, are in their slippers, and have rollers on their hair. people here actually worked! they stay until the wee hours of the night to finish papers and tasks. graft and corruption were far from their minds (i experienced my director return so much as a pringle crisp back to the person who tried to bribe her to process his papers differentially). the bosses’ methods were a little unorthodox, especially for a public agency. some would even say they were a little inhumane. but still, it got the job done. and that’s what’s important right? that we provide the best service to the taxpayers who foot our bill.

eight years have since passed. administrations came and went. i was promoted twice; the first six months after i came in and then almost three years after that. i would have been a senior officer had it not been for the crab mentality that overpowered one of my colleagues here but that’s another story. by 2004 and age 25, i think i hit the end of the road. i don’t think i could move forward any further. gave my all but still it had not been good enough. or it was but you know, as in any organization (or friendship for that matter), people do step in your way so that they could have theirs. i wouldn’t want to dwell on it because it has been eating me up for the past ___ years (i’d forgotten count). people you used to share ideas with were overtook by their own desires for glory. i’m amazed at the lengths they went through to elbow their way ahead of you. i think they’ve forgotten what they were here for. they wasted time and effort in putting other people done including of yours truly instead of just doing their jobs well and good. i’ve been the subject of gossip, wrongdoing, rumor-mongering, you name it. i tried to fight but i was outnumbered, overpowered. my status at facebook yesterday goes like this, and it summarizes what i went to through:

learn to let go–of anger, of disappointments, of old grudges that seem to have no ending. move on–let others be happy and have what they deserve in life. do not use “temporary” power to put others down. it’ll be an empty victory. be… happy with yourself and what you have, and glory at the moment without stepping on others.

now it’s time to move on. and break free. i know i’ve been telling this for years, and sometimes i can’t seem to find where to go. but i have to. for my sanity.

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