For the past three months or so, my blog was largely untouched, devoid of any new posts, not even quick posts, trivias or random blog fillers. Something happened that caused a massive and sudden shift in my lifestyle, fully consuming the entire 100% (plus more) of my time and energy. It took me a very long time to adjust to this new way of life, pushing my perseverance to its very limits and forcing me to reschedule my spare time for “rest & recreation” to just “rest.” Remembering the first two months, how I survived the ordeal can only be described by a single word: miraculous.
Here is what happened.
In the beginning of October, I went to MetroTown Mall to pay off the monthly bills for our Internet connection. On my way out, I discovered a long queue of people from the stairs all the way to the basement of the building. I got curious and decided to have a look.
A job fair was in full swing. Surprisingly, for such a cramped space, there were more than a dozen companies hiring. However, much to my disappointment, there was only a limited choice of jobs available, and even lesser choice for jobs that fits my qualifications. In fact, the closest fit for me would be the two BPO companies located ironically on the opposite corners of the area.
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BPO companies, more popularly known as “call centers,” had nowhere to go but up since it was introduced in 2002 or so. Actually, CC’s should not be used interchangeably with BPO’s, because CC’s were basically just a subset of the BPO industry. Outsourcing is also utilized in other services. It was considered a lifesaver for many people in particular because, given the current situation, a substantial percentage of the adult population is unemployed, or is having trouble getting a decent-paying job. Because BPO’s aren’t too demanding in terms of qualifications, there’s a higher probability for applicants to be employed here compared to other companies.
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Luckily, I always have a copy of my resume with me.
* * *
Actually, this is not my first attempt to apply in a CC. Last August, I went to a live-hiring session for NCO (which BTW “owns” one of the corners I had talked about awhile ago). I actually aced the written and listening exercises. However, during the interview, I was unable to overcome my nerves. I can’t believe I’m having some trouble answering even the simplest of questions. I was absolutely fucked up, and I literally surrendered at the middle of the interview. I did not even bother listening to the words of advise coming from the interviewer. I felt devastated. If there’s one thing I learned from this experience, it’s the fact that getting hired wasn’t just about the skills, it’s also about the attitude.
* * *
The “other” corner belonged to Sutherland, whose building had been standing since 2005 outside the commercial section of city, a white structure in the middle of a grassland and beside a university. The company had its HR office in Diwa, waving its perpetual “Instant Hiring” posters to every person who pass by the building. It’s because of this that I got the impression that it’s harder to get inside compared to other BPO’s.
To make sure I’m not going to fuck up this time, I practiced first in the CR. LOLZ. Then, clutching the resume in my hand, I went to Suth’s booth and bravely said my intention. (I’m still nervous, you see. It actually helped, because doing the first step will help you avoid the interviewer from taking control of the situation). I was told to wait for my turn to be interviewed by the two persons manning the booth. I was third in line. The one before me didn’t make it.
But the interview went smoothly. I can clearly tell that the interviewers were visibly impressed with the contents of my resume. A particular point of interest is my life in UP and why I left the school. I answered all the questions accurately and spontaneously. More importantly, I spoke the answers with absolute clarity, and there was never a single instance when they asked me to repeat the answers. After 1\roughly 15 minutes, I shook hands with the interviewers and I was told to go to the HR office tomorrow for the written examination.
* * *
Actually, I’d wanted to get inside a CC for a very long time. I just couldn’t because of one major hindrance: my voice. Somehow, it never “matured.” It’s high-pitched. In fact, it’s one of my distinguishing feature. I have heard all sorts of insults, but I just ignore them. Hell, during one of my latter interviews in Suth, I was rejected because he said that my voice was “annoying.” Being able to get in here was already an achievement for me. And I haven’t got any for about 10 years now (except perhaps that Scrabble Tourney in 2002). There’s a downside, however, because I had to morph my voice from the normal, “conversational mode” to my “work mode” voice everytime. It’s going to be a constant struggle for me.
* * *
The day after, I reported to the office for the examination. I’m confident that I’m going to pass this one. I wasn’t told my score, instead I was told to just wait for the SMS or the phone call coming from them. Those are the words I don’t want to hear.