And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

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"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Gripe#2 Goodybe Wave 3.3

Being unemployed (again) sucks. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the least bit bitter about my being fired for failing the ACE exam. I’m bitter about a little something else – the way the test was graded made me (and the others who failed) seem like idiots. We’re not. We’ve passed through tests and assessments far tougher than ACE, just not with the same insane standards and, now that I think about it, somewhat nonsensical goals.

We were supposed to be offering Technical Support. Over the phone. You know the drill. Help stupid people fix small, nonsensical ‘issues’ (as they prefer we call them) that, more often than not, require only common sense. Given that, does it really matter if we’re talking faster than 150 words per minute? Is it really all that important that we pronounce $29.95 as twenty-nine ninety-five and not properly (twenty nine dollars and ninety five cents)? Does it really matter if we are exchanging the ‘th’ sound with a ‘d’ or ‘t’ sound? I dare say it isn’t. It doesn’t matter, so long as we can get the point across and we can talk the customer into solving their tech problem.

If you consider it, emulating an accent isn’t important in that line of work at all. It’s just an accent, people! What one should be careful of and wary of is one’s knowledge of technical details and procedures. That is where the assessments should be so critical and so detail-oriented and having so many ridiculous strictures and regulations, not the accent training. But no! From the way things are, it feels like that’s what they think really matters. Ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. If you want tech support people speaking near-perfect American English with the accent included, then don’t outsource!

However, for all it’s worth, I had a good time during those 2 weeks. I met some good people that I’ll consider friends for life. I’m happy for those who passed even though I didn’t. I’m pleased that so many of them managed to get through. I’m happy because we all had a great time together and I really think I made a close friend or two among the ranks of Wave 3.3. To Da Benjie, Rami, Thea and the others that made it through the eye of the needle, my congratulations to you. I hope to see you all again.

Pag-sweldo nyo, manglibre naman kayo!

[Gripe Ends Here]

Moving on to happier things…

My being fired has given me more time to write. My experience and my friends over at Wave 3.3 gave me two literary gifts. The first is an idea that started out as nothing more than an in-joke among the class. By the end of the first week however, it had grown into so much more. For those monitoring my website, you’ve probably already picked up on the video download. Beware for The Da Benjie Code is coming. U R Not E. The other is a long, long list of potential characters based off of my friends. They may not all be as easy to assimilate into fiction as the others are but a few…might recognize themselves in my work if I ever get it published or they somehow get a copy of it.

Having more time to write is a double-edged sword. I have the time but not the prerequisite fire and inspiration to do so. I find myself falling back to Vampires, an old favorite staple of mine in my imagination. I’m trying to go for a Modern Gothic style but I’m having difficulty with it – the Philippine Islands are not very good for Gothic work and thought. I’m delving deeper and deeper into the style of Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem, as well as older references such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Le Fanu’s Carmilla, to try and get a feel of how I want it done, of how it should be done. It’s starting to become a slight obsession with me and I’m determined to slip in a little bit of Wave 3.3’s influence into it in some way, shape or form. Doing that would make it un-Gothic however, so I still need to ponder on how to re-shape it.

As for me personally, I’m caught in a bit of a sinkhole. Alone, deprived of income and rather disappointed at myself, bitter over things and drawing deeper and deeper into a state of mind I thought I’d never have to draw into, I feel…empty. I wanted to get to know this girl better but let the chance slip through my fingers. I have her digits on my phone but…spineless coward that I’ve become, I can’t even punch in a few keys and let her know I exist. Asking advice isn’t a healthy thing for me. Somehow I always listen and it somehow screws up. I’ll figure things out soon but for now, I’ll be busy trying to talk myself into just trying to get to know her better. Like I said, I’ve become spineless in regards to women I’m attracted to but not necessarily to ones I find attractive. There is a big difference on those two things for me.

Back to work now, I suppose.

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