Thursday, February 7, 2013

Two sides of a coin

Before I can share a lot of things to my readers who don’t know me very well, let me share to you a story of the Allegory of the Cave.
In the story, men were tied up and there were nothing to see but shadows of the things that the higher being wants them to perceive. They can’t see what’s behind it. One day, a man was freed and saw the light. He saw things beyond the shadows and went back to the cave once again.
As he went back, he told stories to the others what he saw. Unfortunately, they don’t believe in him because they only believed the shadows that the higher being portrayed. The freed man was frustrated and his energies channeled into forever holding his peace.

As I quizzically ask myself when I was on my way home, have I not seen the other side of the story very well? 

It’s a given fact that people are flawed and to err is to be human. So, there’s no dichotomy in the rational mind of a person. Sometimes, people will dictate their own true and false. What was wrong and what was right. It always depends on the perception of the person; as their own allegories in the cave.

This is where I will share to you my experiences today. I don’t want to have further arguments with these people since they had their point and I had my own faults too. But as foolish and lutang as I was during that time due to not having had any breakfast and due to being stunned  by these people, I was not able to defend myself and voice out my own points and  apologize. All I did was to regress and laugh about it. I realized I sounded guilty [which I can say, I’m not] and stupid. So here I am, cowardly and indirectly pressing my points as I was frustrated and can’t move on.

We had this event yesterday. You can imagine my classmates doing their tasks and helping others with their own tasks preparing for the event last three days ago. I understand, as I was in the council for 3 years and I have learned that agitated and tensed people are always in this kind of situation. These people as they were with their own frustrations, channeled it into other forms making them say hurtful things. Sometimes, they really meant it or sometimes they do not. And sometimes, they’re just simply irritated. I once raised my voice, got bossy at my subordinates, but that’s just the way it has to be. It’s the culture of the work, and professional relationships are often crossed with personal effects. They have this thin line like love and friendship in the opposite sex. It just happens. No matter if it happens or not, people will have this kind of stigma that this or that person is this and that. And even if it just happens, the people affected will have their own responses too. They are also humans that can feel.

“Yan nalang ang gagawen nya, di nya pa magawa. Wala na nga syang ginagawa eh. Di natin trabaho to.” (That’s her only task and she couldn’t even do it. She didn’t do anything and we’re going to do her job.”)

[Pause. Breathe. Okay.] I was tasked to pass a request letter for the TV screening of the event in our campus. I did pass it, but Sir Gary told me that I still have to give them a copy of the approval letter of the event. Since it was 5PM and as I was to photocopy the approval letter (around 6PM?), the ITC was closed [office hours sucks] and I mentally remind myself that I should pass the letter tomorrow morning so that the AVP will play. As tomorrow came, I couldn't leave our photo studio business since me and my dad are the only ones responsible for developing pictures. Dad was sick and everything was in wrong timing. Our employees who assisted dad were in the other building and they were working on a big project (risographing test questionnaires for a big maritime training center), that was why dad counted on me.

I was also frustrated and pressured too. I was torn between my role as a good daughter and a good errand girl.

I could leave after lunch so that dad could rest in the morning. That’s why I texted everyone who were in the campus earlier in the morning and asked a favor. 2 people turned down my request until someone agreed to do it. Unfortunately, her company was also agitated and said such things behind my back because of people in the ITC office and our college office were pressuring them. I can’t blame her anyway. I always tell myself that she’s just stressed out. But one part of me wants to defend myself too.

You can’t say that a person doesn't do anything just because you don’t see them often.

It’s crazy and unnecessary. Just because you felt you have done too many things for today doesn't mean others didn't  Just because you see them chilled doesn't mean they’re not tense and pressured inside. And just because you were so tired that day, doesn't mean they’re not tired. Have you asked them sincerely and not sarcastically? Things like, “napagod ka?” (“tired already?”) in a sarcastic voice doesn't help. They don’t. I wasn't asked that way, THANK GOD I was spared, but thinking the person they asked, I felt sad. You can always tell them to help you if you can’t do it yourself, right? And you can always turn down any request if you don’t want to do it, it’s their problem anyway.

I compromised the tasked I left behind by doing the Routing Slip that day; I also continued to gather signatures for our campaign. I also took notes and forecasted future problems like the extra food I suggested and the lei. I also saw others too; I can’t blame them if they’re on the go and not on the UAC/shed/meeting place. It’s like accusing our head, who was always on the go and we don’t see her often, that she’s not doing her job. You always give others the benefit of the doubt. Lawyers do.

I may have qualms with other people, but I still think of the good side of them whenever I’m stressing out on my task (which I was barely stressing out, I've been here done that, and I know how to carry myself in these kind of situation), I often ask, “What did that guy/girl did today? I didn't see her/him. Maybe he/she’s carrying out his/her task on the go. Oh well, I’ll just do my own so that our head will be happy.” I’m not being hypocrite here. I’m being honest with myself. I just don’t care if others don’t do their task, that’s their problem!

Do you need help? You can always ask for help, but not in a manner of guilt tripping.

Sometimes, other people don’t think the same way that you do. Sometimes they don’t initiate first that’s why they’re just there to wait for your commands. This is the usual problem. Based on my experience, I jot down key notes why they don’t initiate/motivated to do the task on their own:
  •      Rejection. This is the flight response of a person in a situation when they are vulnerable. They  initiate, but they might be rejected and they might be reprimanded by their head (because they can’t do what the head wants to do for the things they want to do), that’s why they don’t take the risk and initiate.
  •   Dependence. Their leader was too good that’s why they don’t have to initiate and suggest good ideas because they trust their leader too much. And they believe in his/her commands. They’re like nails needed to be pushed before they can do something. This can be good or bad. Depends on how the leader leads his people.
  •    Laziness. Ah. The queen of all pain in the a**. They’re just uninterested, that’s all.
  •    Miscommunication. There were too many bosses. Everyone delegates tasks to everybody. It’s debilitating! You know how that feels. [FACUNDOOOO!!!] A good chain of command can help to resolve this.
  •    Other priorities. Some people have their own set of priorities. And sometimes, they’re not aligned the way with the leader’s priorities. That’s why they leave the rest to the head’s decision and start whatever they commanded to do. They may initiate, but mostly, initiated task will be left behind.

That’s why ask them clearly what you want to do with them.

I heard that I was being keenly observed by people who were being wearied by their work. I was garnering signing campaigns when I passed through their nook. She looked fatigued and stressed out and was looking at our direction like “Bitch please. Don’t talk to me.” I thought I understood her sentiments with the aura she gave at us. That’s why I went far away from her so that I can be spared. (Courage the cowardly dog. Arf arf!). I didn’t expect that I was the problem. I apologize for not realizing the meaning of the aura.

It’s hard to guess around people of what they think. 

Well, she told me after the event that she was irritated because I was with my boyfriend when I was garnering signatures and caught us naghaharutan (Is that teasing? Playing? Err. Bad English. HAHA.) ; That unlike them, who felt the world was on their shoulders, painstakingly and badly commented at us at the back with other people.

For the reason that I didn’t know that I was falsely accused. She should've told me something; that her committee needed help. I apologize for not initiating. I was garnering signatures and checking what our leader might’ve forgetten to foresee. I also asked myself, if my BF wasn't there with me, would they've perceived me the same?

But I helped with the cherry blossoms sticking after I think I was done my tasks that day. J

What was really saddening was the part that everybody knew the issue except the person who was entirely concerned [me] that day. I looked stupid because my company who went with me collecting signatures knew the issue. I understand my company’s part, since it’s not her problem. But if someone told me, I could have been of help. But no one did, that’s why I thought of some ways I can facilitate.  Like getting the invitations to the leader that day when they were about to disseminate it on the offices and took the task [along my BF] to spread the invitations to the colleges.

I have my own faults too.

And I apologize for being err. I felt ashamed to my former council presidents whom I worked with. I realized I selfishly kept what I learned in the council for years and didn't help with my very best to our leader. I know our leader’s potential and I don’t want to hinder her aspirations afar from what I had experience from working with the administration. I let her be. But inevitable things will come through like hidden hurdles. And I can’t stop her because that’s what you call learning from mistakes. I didn't warn her because I can’t do anything with it too.

I don’t want to boast of what I needed to do by shouting my voice out loud and acting if there are some things I can be of any help or being around in your eyes. In case you want to know, I discreetly ask from time to time to our head with what can I do, because she is the head of the whole pack. I was informed that I was to assist in doing the literature for this event. I gladly agreed since I understand the rules of action plan and everything our adviser wants to fill out in the document. I also suggested things with her.

“If you are in another committee doesn't mean you won’t help the other committees.”
TRUE. But the committee should first do their task before they can be of any help to others.

And don’t underestimate the other committee’s task too.

It’s like telling people that Tourism courses are not hard unlike Accountancy or Management. Tourism course is hard too. It’s non-debatable and non-negotiable. Every task has their own set of time, energy, skills and mindset to spend. It’s not the task; it’s the people doing their task. If you think their task was easy, did they do their best? If they failed, then they didn't do their best and will be a mistake to be learned. If you think your delegated task was too hard, then you’re under the circumstances that you’re doing your best and you’re damn fine.

I understand their side that they perceived I was not doing my job very well. If I was in their shoes, I might have felt the same [not doing the same thing]. But I have given my points and I hope they could understand too. I gave them a chance to be freed and see the other side of the shadow. Now, it’s up for them to stay believing in the shadows or understand my side of light.

x Kaze.

P.S. Once you have read the whole story, the whole thing was nearly forgotten with me. :D And for the record, I seldom initiate arguments.

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xx, Kaze