What Weekend?

It’s the weekend.

Yes, I just wrote that as a statement. Yay? Nay? It’s nay for me. I am so not looking forward to this weekend but I have no choice. We need to get things done so we can move on with the schedule. In other words, I have to report for work.

So, if someone says, “Happy weekend!”, I’d say, “What weekend?”

This is the second weekend that I will have to work. I haven’t had any decent sleep since last week, worked last weekend, rendered long hours at work this week and now another weekend support. To say that I am exhausted is an understatement. My back hurts, my legs hurt, my brains hurt, everything literally hurts.

I am soooo in need a long soak in a hot tub while drinking beer (or champagne :P ), about 2-hour session of relaxing massage or probably until I fall asleep and long, uninterrupted, restful sleep.

But then, that will have to be put on hold right now. As how Scarlett O’Hara put it…”…After all… tomorrow is another day.”

I am so crossing my fingers that we can get everything done tomorrow so I can at least have Sunday to myself.

 

#Random Thoughts: Manic Monday…

Is it time to go home yet?

Is it time to go home yet?

For most of us, Monday is the start of the work week. For me, my work week started yesterday. Yep, I was at work on a Sunday. In fact, I was working all day since last Monday. And yes, I didn’t have a weekend because I had work. I wasn’t able to go home to my son. :'( Though I called home Saturday night to talk to him and Skype’d with him yesterday night before my late dinner. Suffice it to say that I miss my little Z so much.

Today was the start of our 4-week testing at work. It is the last testing stage that we have before implementation and everything has to properly work within this 4-week period. And my day will start at 9:30 AM. To say that I am not used to working the normal working hours (aka dayshift) is an understatement. I have been working the night shift for several years before shifting to mid day (which starts in the afternoon). I am used to sleeping majority of the morning and waking up at noon or afternoon, even. And to say that I have to sleep before midnight (or midnight being the cut-off) and wake up just as the sun comes up is a great challenge for my body clock. Or lack thereof.

Anyway, I was planning to wake up early this morning. I have my phones set to alarm by 6:30AM until 7:30 AM with 30-minute intervals. So much for alarms since I still woke up at 8:30AM. That was my fault, actually. I couldn’t sleep very well last night and I think I was only able to get some decent sleep by 3 in the morning. I was only able to take a quick shower with my brain still trying to wake up, changed clothes (good thing I finished my laundry last Saturday night) and got to work just in time for the 9:30AM briefing call that I forgot to log in to our time keeping system. :P

And so there I was, from 9:30AM until 8PM, with about 20 other people stuck in the conference rooms with our own laptops doing the tasks that were assigned to us. Issues after issues were encountered, I couldn’t get anything done because there were some issues faced as well and then to end the day, the wrap up call that was supposed to be for only an hour, lasted for 2 hours. I had a lot of spreadsheets open all at the same time that I have been confusing myself which file I need to look into and which file would be my look ups and all that. And my brains were starting to freeze because somebody decided that the temperature in the room needs to be at 19 degrees celsius with the fan at the maximum. Half of the people in the room was feeling too cold to enter data efficiently because their hands were freezing.

To cut the story short (if there is a story in all of this), there are a lot of things that need to be accomplished in the next 4 weeks and we are still at day 1. 29 more days to go (and hopefully, no more weekend work).

Here’s to surviving the next 4 weeks.

Okay, I am off to neverland in the hopes that I will wake up early in the morning. :P

 

 

Plug-In: Crochet and Coffee

It’s been almost a week since the last post and I have been itching to post something for the past few days but I have been getting anxious and stressed out with work lately because of the high expectations and tight deadlines. I’ll keep it at that. LOL

Anyway, my brother (yes, my BROTHER), has just started his own blog to showcase his hobby – crocheting. It may be unheard of for some and quite unusual to find a guy who is into needle craft such as crocheting and knitting but I think it is no different from finding a guy who knows his way around a sewing machine. Besides, my brother is a lot more knowledgeable about crocheting than I am and a lot of women I know. :D

So, why Crochet and Coffee? Well, he is into crocheting since he was 8 years old and he is a coffee drinker, too. So why not combine the two things that you enjoy, right? Simple as that.

Check out some of his creations:

finished goods

finished goods

character hat - panda

character hat – panda

Get the free pattern here :D

Get the free pattern here :D

beanies

beanies

scarves :D

scarves :D

crocheted socks for the cold weather

crocheted socks for the cold weather

Here are some of his creations worn by my little Z:

10383080_10152746948418205_3754116644349128220_n

i don’t know what this beanie is called.. Can I call it mushroom beanie? :D

10710521_10152751397778205_73067525081134758_n

beanie with ear flaps.. Good for the cold weather.. Keeps your ears warm :D

owl hat :D

owl hat :D

Go check out my brother’s blog whether you’re into needle crafts or coffee or just appreciates anything handmade: http://gantsilyoatkape.wordpress.com/

He’s also got a Facebook fanpage: Crochet and Coffee

And I think he will be accepting made to order beanies or scarves so you can just leave him a comment in his blog or in his fan page. :D

 

Christmas Shopping Starts Now…

It’s already the start of the second week of November. Where have all those weeks gone by? Just barely 7 weeks and it is Christmas once again. Have you started with your Christmas shopping yet? I haven’t yet. I haven’t started decorating yet, too, since I find it a tad bit too early for Christmas decorations. We usually start decorating at the end of the month or the first weekend of December.

My schedule lately has been going haywire and I haven’t had the chance to visit the sale and bazaar events that I have been waiting for months. :( Today is the last day of the Mommy Mundo Bazaar in Glorietta and the Toy Kingdom sale in Megatrade Halls 1, 2 and 3 in SM Megamall. If you’ve got the time, you still have until 9PM today to go and join the rush. :)

Anyway, previously, I have not really been making a list of who to include in my gift list. It was always automatic: family, nephews and nieces, a few cousins, close friends, close work mates. I roam the malls and bazaars and if there is something that catches my fancy that will fit someone from that list or even someone not included in my list, I buy it. Once I am down to the last two weeks before Christmas, that’s the time I list down what I bought and for whom and who I still need to buy a gift. I usually overshoot my budget, too. (I am not the only one, am I?)

Since this year the budget is quite tight and time to shop is almost close to nil, I have come up with a few guidelines that will make my Christmas shopping a little bit easier. So, here goes:

1) Make a list. Not only of the names of the people you want to give a gift to. Include the age, too, and if you already have something in mind that you want to give to a certain person in your list, note it down. This will make it easier for you to once you hit the stores as you wouldn’t be wasting time looking for an idea for a gift.

2) Set a budget. What I do before is I come up with a ballpark figure of how much I plan to spend for gifts. Then I break it down further depending on how much I would like to spend for each of the persons in my list. It may seem a tedious task but what I used to do was that I write down a number but I don’t always stick to it. That’s how I go overboard. Also, knowing what you want to give to a person will already give you an idea how much you need to spend. If you think it is going to eat a chunk of your budget, then try to come up with other ideas that wouldn’t require you to spend that much. Since I have a limited budget for this year, I have actually cut down my shopping list. If your budget cannot afford to buy gifts for your friends, then don’t include them. They wouldn’t hate you for it anyway. :)

3) Shop whenever you can. It’s never too early to shop for gifts. Always bring your shopping list with you so whenever you hit the mall and you have the budget, you can already get probably a couple of the items and cross them off your list. You never know, by the time December is here, you’re already halfway done or even almost done with your Christmas shopping. :)

4) Be creative. Wrapping papers, paper bags, boxes and all that are getting quite expensive now because of the different designs and concepts that are now available and it is really tempting to buy a few of the cute bags for the little cute gifts that you bought without thinking about the expense. Little did you know, at the end of the day, it has made quite a dent in your expense list. Keep those boxes of cellphone and other gadgets as you might be able to use those for some of your gift items. I usually keep paperbags of stuff that I buy, even the paperbags used for gifts given to me or my son. And, since you’ve saved time shopping by shopping early, try to come up with creative ways of wrapping those gifts. Use extra art paper instead of throwing them away, and those cake ribbons come in handy, too, you know. :) Or, instead of buying ribbons, have you ever tried using yarns instead? This kind of gift wrapping activity will also be a good idea for family bonding.

So far, these are the guidelines that I will be following this year. I already have my gift list and starting to list down the items that I would like to give them. I am currently working on the budget now but I have yet to start checking out the malls and the bazaars and other sale events.

I’m sure a lot of you out there have your own guidelines to follow and I am interested to know. Please do share your thoughts. :)

#RandomThoughts: Halloween, All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days…

And here I am once again, blogging on the way to the mountain city. Yep, I am going home for the weekend. Good thing that I bought my bus ticket last Monday when I arrived in the big metro because the queue at the ticket booth was so long, it already reached the main highway.
There was a time that I don’t go home during these times because of the heavy traffic jams on main thoroughfares as well as the hassle of lining up to buy a ticket or queueing for a chance ride. And besides, I used to enjoy the big metro during  these kinds of times because there are no heavy traffic jams and the city somewhat becomes a little bit quieter than normal.

It is a different case for me now, though. This year, I have to go home for two reasons: 1) it is the weekend and my son is in the mountain city so I go home to spend time with him, 2) my Dad passed away two years ago and it was his death anniversary last 29th and my family will be together this weekend to remember him.

I already asked my sister to buy me a ticket a few days ago for my trip back tp the big metro so that means that I will not have to go through the hassle of doing so on Sunday night. :-)

——–

The last day of October has been known as Halloween. Nowadays, it has become the tradition to put on costumes and attend trick-or-treat parties. However, I wonder if people really know how Halloween started.

If I remember correctly, Halloween is known to be the day that witches go out and either treat people if they do what they have been asked to do or trick them is they refuse to do the witch’s bidding. There’s more to that actually but that is the only thing that I remember about Halloween.

My family doesn’t believe in Halloween. I don’t believe in it, too. But given how this day is being celebrated now (all treats and no tricks), I find it quite fun to participate in if you only look at it as it is: a costume party.

Methinks that Halloween has now become an excuse for people to don the costumes that they have wanted to wear but cannot wear on normal days, because let’s face it, who would wear a zombie costume or dress up as a princess on a regular coffee or grocery run? One would really look ridiculous, wouldn’t you agree? :-P

I love watching kids in their costumes during Halloween, though. They really look cute. :-D

———-

November 1 is known as All Saints’ Day here in the Philippines. But for the life of me, I don’t know why our dearly departed ones are remembered on this day. As per day itself, for the Catholic faith (for one), this is the day that the Saints are remembered. (I am not Catholic so I do not know the names of the Saints).

Now, November 2 is known as All Souls’ Day which is supposed to be the day that we remember our dearly departed ones.

I learned this when  I was still in grade school and the question still remains: why do we remember the dead on November 1 when it is a day of the Saints? I am really curious.

Here in the Philippines, this season is called Undas. Why is it called Undas? I really don’t know what Undas means. Is it a Filipino word? What does it actually mean?

*Note: these are questions that I really have and nothing I wrote here should be taken as an inault. If it is deemed to be insulting, my apologies.

———

So, like I said, we are on the road to the mountain city and so far, there is no heavy traffic jam along the expressway. Weeeee! And in a few minutes, it will be 3am on this side of the world, which is also known as the witching hour.

Whether I believe in Halloween or not, I guess it doesn’t hurt to say a little prayer for a safe journey.

———–

Happy Halloween! Enjoy the candies but don’t eat too much because if everybody loses their tooth/teeth, the tooth fairy might get bankrupt since there will be a LOT of people who will be placing the extracted teeth under their pillows. LOL!

And, be careful if you guys plan to go to the cemetery this weekend. Make sure that all your things are secured. Bring only the necessities and don’t stay under the sun for too long.

As for me, I think I’ll try to get some shut-eye while I still can. :-)

Product Review: Attipas: Baby Walking Science

Looking for shoes to help my son properly walk was not easy for me. I had no idea what I need to look for. Though I was advised by family and peers that it is still best for my little boy to learn to walk barefoot, I was worried about the cold tile floor in the house. And since I don’t really want my little boy to be learning to walk barefoot or just wearing socks outside the house, I knew that I needed to get him a good footwear. I didn’t hesitate to sign up for a product review of Attipas toddler shoes. Based on the features, I figured it was what I needed to get for my little Z. I was excited for my little Z to try this out immediately when I received it in the mail last month: It is a combination of shoes and socks. The sole is soft and flexible and is made of non-toxic material while the top part is just like any cotton-knit socks. This shoes fits my son’s feet perfectly – not too snug, not too loose. It is just right. :) 4 This is the science behind the shoes:

Here’s what I like about this shoes compared to the other toddler shoes based on the 5 points above: 1) Convenience: The non-slip sole makes it easier to retain the balance while trying to walk as the sole has a firm grip on any surface. I tried letting my son walk in it on a rubber mat, tiled floors, and even on the seat of the bus and not once did I see him lose balance because the sole slips on the surface. I haven’t tried washing it yet, though. 2) Breathability: My little boy’s feet sweats a lot especially when he has shoes on for a few hours or even when he wears socks at night. As a result, his feet starts to smell a little bit awful. I find it really great that this shoes has a sock-like top and the sole has holes to make it easier for the air to circulate, thus preventing sweaty and smelly feet after long usage. 3) Big Toe Box: At first, I find the design funny until I realized that the big toe box give more room for my son’s toes to move freely. (My son has, well, fat feet. LOL!) feet 4) Safety: My son loves to put anything in his mouth. He even loves licking any surface. Given that the materials used for this shoe are non-toxic, it makes me worry less if I find him eating his shoes again. :P 5) Lightweight and Flexibility: Have you tried looking for toddler shoes that is lightweight? Apart from crib shoes, all the rest that I found are quite heavy because of the thick hard soles. And since the soles are hard, it makes it hard for a tot or a toddler to really manage how to walk. What I like about the Attipas shoes is that it is indeed very light in weight so my son doesn’t have to make extra effort when he walks. It will just seem like he is walking barefoot. And the materials used are really flexible so whenever he makes a step, the sole follows the arch of his foot. 6 For more details about Attipas, you can visit the following: http://www.attipas.com/ https://www.facebook.com/AttipasPH Or you can also check out their retails partners:

*Disclosure: All sources are acknowledged and properly identified on the photos and product information included in this post. All opinions are solely my own. 

Epic Tales From My Encounters with Applicants

Let me segue a bit from the usual mommy/baby stuff or anything related to mommyhood and let me talk about something work-related.

Just to give you a background of my career. I have been in the customer service field my whole entire career. I used to work in the marketing group of an IT school for almost a year, handling private companies as my clientele. I’ve been a technical support rep in a call center for almost two years. And for the past almost 8 years, I have been in the customer service department of one of the supply chains of a multinational company. Don’t ask me how I lasted this long in this company because I can’t answer that myself. :P

I am not in recruitment nor do I have a background in that area, per se. However, in the last few years, I have conducted applicant interviews for my previous team as well as my current team. And I can say that I have my fair share of encounters with different kinds of people trying to sell their skills to our company.

I am more adept with dealing with customers and providing resolution to their issues. So when I was first tapped to handle an applicant interview, I had to research tips on how to conduct one. It should be easy, right? You just ask the applicants about their job experiences, validate what was in their resume and all that stuff. But what I looked for were the do’s and don’ts when conducting an interview. Well, I didn’t want to be asking inappropriate questions, to say the least. And when I need to conduct an interview, I usually get the assistance of one of my trusted colleague who is a part of the management team to handle more on the behavioral questions as I deal more with the technical side of things.

I usually conduct interviews in English. It has already been a standard for us as well. And while I am not perfect, when I am being asked in English, I answer using the same language. So I expect the applicant to do the same.

A few months ago, we interviewed one applicant for my team. All our questions were in English but she kept on answering us back in Filipino. I thought I was the only one who was getting irritated, my colleague asked the most obvious question in the middle of the interview process:

Colleague: Are you more comfortable with the Filipino language or are you OK with speaking English?

Applicant: I’m okay with English.

Colleague: Oh okay. We’ve just noticed that you keep answering our questions in Filipino even if we asked in English.

Applicant: …

Colleague: Moving on… (then he asked the next question)

Applicant: (answered back in Filipino again)

Me: *sigh*

There was an applicant that we interviewed who appeared to have been looking for an easy task.

Colleague: How many emails do you receive in a day that you need to respond to?

Applicant: About 10-20 emails.

Colleague: What if I tell you that you will be receiving more than that, about a hundred emails per day, and you need to read and respond to all of them within the 8-hour shift?

Applicant: 100?! I’m going to cry.

Me: … *toinks*

There was also a question that I love asking after all the standard questions were asked. I like asking questions that is not related to the applicant’s personal or professional life since they have already anticipated some of those questions and I expect them to have a ready answer for those. The reason I ask this one question at the end of an interview is to throw them off and see how quick they can come up with a logical answer. I’ve read somewhere that asking out-of-this-world questions during interviews will test how an applicant thinks and handles sudden unexpected situations.

Me: I have one last question before we end. There is no wrong answer here so just give it your best plausible answer.

Applicant: Okay.

Me: Why is there a hole in a donut?

Applicant: Huh? I don’t know. Ask the baker.

Me: … *bashing my head against the wall behind me*

So there was this applicant we interviewed who worked for supply chain companies as well and had a degree in Industrial Engineering. IE graduates are known to strong process management skills. So here’s how one interview went:

Me: I’ve noticed that most of your previous jobs are related to supply chain. And since you are a graduate of IE, what do you think is the advantage of an IE graduate in the supply chain field?

Applicant: Because when I was still studying, we went to Nestle and learned about the production of milk.

Me: *facepalm* *flips table*

Earlier today, we interviewed one applicant again and after the interview we asked him if he had any questions.

Applicant: First question. What other systems do you use here?

Me: You will know that if you get hired.

Applicant: Okay. Second question, what are your expectations of me for this job?

Colleague: You will know that as well if you get hired.

Applicant: Okay. Last question, what is the greatest goal of this team?

Me:  WORLD PEACE!

And even if I wanted to really answer World Peace to that last question (and it was at the tip of my tongue), I had to bite my tongue and act like a professional instead and told him that he will know more about it if he gets hired. He didn’t have questions after that.

After several months of searching, I was able to finalize the interviews earlier and got 2 good applicants for my requirement who will be reporting next week. Finally!

And no, I didn’t hire that last guy or any of these applicants.