July 2006


If hearing Brett Scallions of Fuel singing Bad Day on the radio while driving along the freeway on a Sunday was a portent of things to come this week, I wouldn’t have cranked up the volume to sing my lungs out and instead would’ve just pulled over the shoulder and prayed for a reversal of karma.

No, I didn’t have a bad day. I had a bad week.

Monday, I got a $35 parking violation ticket.

Tuesday, I checked in late (bundy clock read: 8.26AM) for work because I searched hard for a good parking spot because I did not wish to get another ticket.

Wednesday, I ran out of peanut butter which meant no smoothie for breakfast, which meant a pit stop at the corner deli, which meant smaller chances of finding a parking spot, and which meant checking in late (again) for work.

Thursday, the alarm didn’t go off, there was no peanut butter still, and the parking spot I found was two blocks away from the office. And yes, I checked in late.

Friday, I got up from the alarm, opened a fresh bottle of peanut butter, and got to leave early. Surprisingly, the entire office block was wide open for parking. On a high, I parked and checked in early for work; bundy read 7.54AM.

At 8.20, an officemate checked in. He had a hard time finding a spot, I surely told myself. Then he spoke in sheer amusement:

Some jerk parked his car in front. Must be blind not to see the Street Sweepers’ Day sign. Car’s gonna be towed, for sure!”

I made a lousy excuse to go to the john then hurriedly went to my car. It was still there and seeing it from afar still intact and untowed let my anxious self slip a heavy sigh of relief.

But then again, there it was: the dreaded green envelope clipped under the wiper. Another $35 ticket!

As I moved my car to park elsewhere (blocks and blocks away), I held the envelope in contempt while maneuvering the steering wheel thinking I had a really bad, bad, bad week…

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Italy wins the 2006 World Cup.

I wish I was still in NYC. I’m sure today is a day of free pizzas, pastas, and pesto breads in quaint Italian pizzerias across the city.

I rooted for the Italians to win against the French. They were the clear underdogs, and I love to see underdogs win.

My unprofessional opinion on soccer, er, football led me at first to predict (or wish) a Portugal-Italy final game (Portugal being an underdog, too, against France in the semis) but Zidane — yes the French butthead (pun intended) — wanted to end his career with a bang and in glory.

But an Italian win was just as sweet to watch.

So, yeah, the Italians are the champions until 2010. Felicitazioni!

One would think working for two years in a profession where lying is a licensed work ethic is enough to feel disgusted and disillusioned and to finally quit and move on to a better job. Well, I didn’t.

I enslaved myself in Public Relations for two years in Manila before I took a loooong sabbatical break in Japan for three years in the hope of scrubbing off the guilt of lying and lying some more for crooked politicians and high-end consumer-oriented companies that peddled commercialism and sucked the middle class into a spending pit for profits. Save for a few clients that turned out to be great friends, I swore to chuck my PR experience and move on to a better, nobler type of job: perhaps, a diplomat (I wish!) , a university lecturer, a writer, heck! even a postal worker… anything but PR.

I swore too soon.

I got a lucrative job offer as an AE in a PR firm a month ago and I took it without any hesitation or without giving myself a moment to search the morals in me for caution. I just took it. Perhaps out of no better offer or out of boredom from living a months-long nomadic and shiftless life around America, I just took it. And as spur as the decision was, I have resurrected my three-year dormant PR career and now work as a spin doctor… yet again.

But, after a month of working and re-learning the ropes of PR, I feel the decision I made was a good one. Not because of the job, per se (the PR industry is still brimming with twisted truths and licensed lies) or the perks that go with it; I made a good decision because, this time, I believe in the products I spin. In fact, there is no spinning involved anymore. I just magnify simple truths and magnify, too, the lies that are peddled by the competition. How is this? Well, the clients I represent (as well as the PR firm I work in) are ethical ones – companies that innovate, design, manufacture, and distribute products with a great deal of sensitivity for consumers and the environment; companies that inject terminologies such as hybrid, sustainability, green building, cause-marketing, social capital into products and into public consciousness; companies that serve as a social catalyst for positive change.

Too good to be true in corporate America? I find everything hard to believe myself. But at this point, having said a mouthful already, it’s either I’m in the best job ever or I’m too convincing a spin doctor to have actually convinced even myself that I’m indeed working in the best job ever…