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

Monday, July 23, 2007

First Impressions: Ascend Asia

Well, if my experiences in Intelligraph failed to teach me anything, it is that blogging about my opinion on my workplace is a bad, bad idea. However, as I said, the company failed to instill that lesson in my head, so here I am again. This time, I thought I'd jot down my first impressions on my new place of employment; a happy little place called Ascend Asia.

So far, I think the place is a better working environment than Intelligraph ever was. For one thing, the superiors seem to know that writing can be a stressful and mentally taxing endeavor. Another is that the people running the show seem to understand that, ultimately, writers are human beings. Finally, the people running the company understand that, despite the peso putting up a stronger showing against the dollar in recent times, their employees are still going to need a decent amount of cash.

What does all this add up to?

First off, there's a much smaller "quota." The moment I mentioned the 2000-word daily quota I had to meet at Intelligraph, I could smell it. There was that look of absolute surprise on the guy's face when I mentioned that, and even more so when I started explaining how it worked! Apparently, the quota here is much lower and, interestingly enough, is closer to the industry standard. You see, from what I've just heard...there's a 10 article quota per team. Each team consists of roughly 5 people. Each article needed has to have a minimum of 400 words. In other words, I'm basically only pushing out 800 words a day. Sure, the topic is a little medical, but unlike a certain Intelligraph project, Ascend Asia's clients don't demand I pretend to be a dermatologist.

Second, the people that run the show are significantly friendlier. The primary supervisor of the department herself is a writer and still writes for the company. That means she's still in the trenches and is aware of what is going on there, unlike a certain dumbass named Gene Cruz. The ones that are higher up than her are not blind either, as they have a good grasp of how hard things are and, from what I've heard, don't burden the writers with more crap than they can handle.

Finally, it means I have a higher salary. I'm working for a significantly larger salary than my old job. I've done my research and my salary is actually the industry standard for people working in this field. That means I am no longer underpaid or made to work for dirt cheap simply because I love to write. The company also has more decent benefits than Intelligraph does, though I can't divulge what they are.

So what does this all mean? Simply put, this company looks to be a lot more fun than Intellicrap. Sure, the people aren't the ones that I'm familiar with, but that can change with time. The office doubles as a call center at night, so no more having to deal with the obscene heat when I get to the office. Contact with others on my team is typically done with Yahoo! Messenger, which means I no longer have to run and hide whenever I open up Gaim (yes, I'm still on Ubuntu, but other machines run XP with service pack 3). Finally, the chairs actually have decent back support.

I do dislike the fact that even if I'm done with my work, I can't go home. That's one of two things I know I'll miss about Intelligraph. The other being the people I worked with. That excludes the people who are supposedly running the company, obviously.

Obviously, this is just a bunch of first day observations. Things might change as I continue to observe more. I can be sure of one thing, though. Ascend Asia is definitely a better company than Intelligraph Corporation, no matter how you measure it or what standard you decide to compare the two with. I'd tell my former co-workers to just resign and move on (Ascend's people tell me they still have openings for writers and the more people there are, the less you have to write per day), but I prefer to leave that decision to them. I'm just doing what I've always done, which is say what's in my mind way too much.

Now, I'm not sure what to write next. If you've any interest at all in what entry I should do next, please drop a comment. Ideas are as follows:

1. Why Men Should Watch More Romantic Comedies
2. My early impressions of School Days
3. Random observations of Ascend Asia's working environment.

That's all for now, gits. Be back when I feel like it.



nye. nasend ba yung koment ko? hehe

Anonymous said...

hire me Harvey! hire me!!!!!!

i so wanna leave Intellicrap na!!!!