leap date

i must post an entry with a date of february 29. this will only come around once in four years, so i’m going to take advantage of it. i won’t get another chance to fill such a date in cyberspace until 2012.

so here goes a lengthy one. (sorry for the uninspired, incongruent blabber)

yesterday was one of those days that seem ordinary in actual experience, but looks extraordinary in retrospect. such days are those mottled with very small unique occurrences which assemble into a large and curious whole.

i always start the day early, arriving in the office 10 minutes before 7 in the morning (so i can go home early; i’m on flexitime). yesterday was mobile training day, that is, we take the training to a store site, lugging materials which consist of numerous booklets and test papers, so this is quite an arduous task for just one person.

my assistant calls at around 8, sounding rather choked and piteous, to tell me that she couldn’t report for work. she vividly narrates how she had another “chest pain attack” (for lack of a better term; none of us is entirely sure of what is wrong with her) going home from work the other day, that time much worse than the one she suffered at the mrt station a few weeks ago. 

this is not good at all. all our programs were designed with two facilitators in mind, especially one that requires uprooting the training personnel from its domicile. but my welfare was far from the primary concern, i wanted to know if she expects to get better soon and if she might be able to recover enough strength to go back to work in a few days. then she starts apologizing profusely, her voice getting even more paltry, and after a torrent of explanations, she tells me that she is resigning. she says her health is failing, and she has been advised not to work for a while. (brief but significant silence here)

this is not good at all. apart from the added trouble of having to find a replacement, how on earth can i find someone else of her skill and attitude? she is by far the most efficient, most conscientious, most reliable assistant i have ever worked with. she has initiative, is detail-oriented and is very quick to pick up new learnings, whether it be knowledge- or skills-based. to top it all off, she has such a pleasant disposition! this is not good, not good at all.

i embarked on the onerous task of carrying the heavy loads myself. in my three-inch stilleto heels. i reminded myself to get a collapsible stroller.

at the mall, i decided to take my nicotine fix by one of those ubiquitous garbage bins along the sidewalk. a respectable-looking lady toting a roomy, expensive-looking bag happened to be by the same garbage bin. she was extinguishing her own joint when i approached the spot, poised to light without a care in the gosh darn world. all of sudden, she says to me, “do you have five pesos?” i raise my eyes to see if she was talking to me. no one else was around, so i reply “no,” eventhough i had a whole jangling collection of five-peso coins in my purse. then she retorts, all snooty and important, “ah ok. pahingi na lang ng yosi.” (brief but significant silence here) not wanting to incite the rage of an obvious psycho, i slowly extend the hand that held the pack, then she coyly pulls out the wish stick. “thank you,” she says with a smile and walks away, kind of wobbling in heels as high as mine. how weird was that?

my boss brought to light the subject of performance appraisal last january. he has scheduled mine for march 3, and he has been reminding me of it at least once a week since. in yesterday’s lunch meeting, he brings it up again, informing me that he is advancing my appraisal date to february 29, which is today. all i say is “ok, sir,” and we both continue to eat our lunch in relative silence. then as i mop the pasta sauce with my roll, i ask, “sir, may i know what this performance appraisal is for?” he looks quizzically at me for a second, then replies, “performance appraisal. you know, regular appraisal.” i take a moment to think, then i furrow my brows, saying, “isn’t mine supposed to be in may yet?” (brief but significant silence here) “is it?” he hurriedly leafs through our admin manual and stops on a page. he skims through the memo, then says to me a little sheepishly and exasperated, “why didn’t you tell me earlier?” and i think, that’s right, why didn’t i tell him earlier? i guess i just didn’t need any reason to know why my performance is going to be evaluated. i’m not tense about it or anything. well, but since he has prepared an assessment, he still thought we should push through with it, including a discussion on career path.

ok, cool. i’ll go with that.

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