I had to write an autobiography as part of an application to an unnamed company. This is what spewed out...
You’re born, you live, you die; cycle of life. Zero control over the first, partial over the third and relatively total control over the living part. I say relative because we make choices as we go through our lives. We do exercise free will but the source of the actual choice comes from everything and everyone around us. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. For a partially obsessive-compulsive bookworm, the thought of not having complete control over anything can be scary but at the same time, liberating. My coping mechanism is to divide everything up into controllable and uncontrollable parts therefore avoiding as much unnecessary stress as possible.
Uncontrollable: I was born 33 years ago; 5 months after my parents were married. My dad’s best friend asked me once if I knew that I was a preemie. My response was a smile and a sarcastic remark.
Controllable: St. Scholastica’s College Manila for my primary and secondary education, DLSU-College of St. Benilde for the tertiary. The last I left before receiving that rolled up piece of parchment which would have been purchased with several hundred thousand pesos of my parents’ money and is the only evidence of 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears. The highlight of those collegiate years was a stint as the Features Editor of my college paper where I terrorized my writers with a red Sharpie. Eventually, I realized that everything I was learning in the classroom was prehistoric compared to what was being used in the real world of my chosen field. So I decided to get a “practical” education.
Uncontrollable: The Philippine economy at that time. Nothing was available in my line of work.
Controllable: Opted for the scenic route and entered the unknown field of call centers. I figured that if I can’t use the left side of my brain, I’d use the right. Joining Adobe Tech Support was the perfect segue as I was required to spend the entire day playing in PhotoShop while trying to explain to some idiot in the Asia Pacific that it wasn’t the software’s fault that his 200mb file was completely corrupted and no, it does not automatically create a back up file.
Uncontrollable: My parents not believing that Philippine holidays; including Christmas, are normal working days. It also didn’t help that I had the worst schedule ever and that it kept changing every 2 weeks.
Controllable: After 8 years, several call centers and a stint at Accenture; I had totally veered away from any artistic leanings. A few years back, I entered the Quality Assurance department. In the industry, these people are known as the police, the watchdogs and the naysayers. They are the know-it-alls, pointing out your mistakes and telling you how to do things right or better. This fit my anal-retentive self to a T because I spent my days which were technically nights, telling everybody that they were doing their jobs wrong. My resume, however, summarizes my job description as “Identifying areas of improvement through historical data analysis then formulating recommendations for the continual progression of identified metric, ranging from individual agents to entire sites.” I progressed from Quality Monitoring to Quality Assurance, then Process Improvement and finally Process Management.
Uncontrollable: The onset of boredom. Ennui. The problems were always the same, only the names of the people and the sizes of the groups changed. It was like ordering a steak well done, carving into it and seeing the blood ooze, sending it back and after 5 minutes, it arrives with a whole lot more gravy plus extra potatoes but the blood was still there. Screaming at the manager isn’t going to help. Better to just cook the steak yourself.
Controllable: Getting out and starting anew. Making sure I don’t die of a heart attack or a stress disorder.
Author's note: I've decided to periodically update this because it might come in handy if I have an egotistical brain fart and decide to write my memoirs...