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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Monday, November 5, 2012

When Old-Timers Gather

When old-timers gather, they trade veteran stories.
When old-timers gather, they look back at the long road they've travelled to see how far they've come.
When old-timers gather, they try to pierce through the veil of time into the future to catch a glimpse of what lies ahead waiting for them further down the road.

Jacelyn and me are old timers in our company. Come next year's February and it will be my 6th year with our Pharmaceutical company. For Jace, she will hit her 6th year mark on next year's May. My gosh, Time has its way of hiding her wings from you and before you realize it, she has already taken you so far and wide that the realization of the passage of Time can be really scary sometimes.

You cannot fight time, it always wins. Either you make the most of it as you have no choice but to march forward along with it or you just let it drag you along with it as you do nothing and waste it. Time is like Nature - its an integral part of life and our existence but even so, trying to dominate it completely is a pipe dream and it humbles you. It's like water - it can flow onto your palm but you can't grasp it, it escapes between your fingers. Try to contain it and it evaporates over time. You can borrow from it but you can never claim ownership over it.

If you make Time your enemy instead of your friend, you are screwed in the long run.

Check out the view, it's quite lovely, isn't it? Jace drove us both up Mount Faber on my suggestion since me and my family drove past here during the weekend and I liked the environment here. We decided to hunker down at this place here called Faber Bistro for a drink and to catch a bite. Chilling together at the peak of a hill is a nice change of pace from ground level for us.

Faber Nom: Prawn Twists
On the way up the hill, I joked about how misty and cold the weather has gotten as we climbed altitude and Jace contributed to the nonsense by commenting that she should have brought her trench coat and gloves. It was nice distracting ourselves from the humid shit we have for weather here in the tropical belt. I wish I was on the other side of the globe enjoying cool autumn proper and I miss wearing my coats and gloves.

We talked about many things: chief of which were her acting projects, my guitar playing, films, friends, our aspirations, YouTube videos, the awesome Samsung Galaxy Note 2, the boring as wet paint iPhone and work. That's how things always go whenever Jace and me hang out together, we chat about everything about everything to the point that before we realize it, hours usually already flew by us. Now that's quality companionship. Just so happens that serious and logical topics that make sense can be derived out of a multitude of initial 'nonsense', so hey. It's probably conversation evolution. Whatever.

Oh yeah, the subject of work. Sigh, work.

All of us in the Sales Division are stressed up lately with sudden changes in product portfolios, changes in modus operandi and some key products have been pulled out from under our feet like used rugs. In my case, a certain core product under my care all these years has recently been taken back for good by the product principal. That product has been one of my best-selling products and so, a huge hole has been ripped in my sales earnings and me and my manager have been looking for ways to patch up the monetary hole.

We've learned to accept the fact that when a principal's product has boomed in the market under our distributorship, chances are that the principal will take back the product. We lay the groundwork and they tread on it, so to speak. That's how it can usually go, it's just business. Still, it sucks and punches you in the gut if you happen to be the sales rep that has all along been relying on such a product which has constituted a huge chunk of your bread & butter.

It's been a challenging year for the company as a whole across the entire Sales Division. Imagine having to endure not just one, but a few profit-generating products across the board which we've been working hard on taken back by their principals and well, that ought to give you an idea of basically what we are going through.

And then Jace told me about the probable possibility that she might leave the company next year. She has been telling me the same thing every year but this time, something tells me that she's never been more serious about it. Luke already left a few days ago and he has been with us for 7 years, so anything can happen with the rest of us left behind given the state of the situation. It just so happens that Luke wasn't the only one who has left the company within the year.

It Jace leaves, I'll never be sure if I could ever get over that huge empty void I know I'll feel everytime I go to the office. That's because we've been colleagues for almost 6 years now and Jace is my buddy and we hang out together. Once the rapport and attachment have been established, letting go will not be an easy thing to do.

Both of us looked at the scenery of the city scape before us and at the far horizon that stretched out to the sea as the shadows lengthened with the approach of dusk, filling the late evening orange sky with the retiring rays of the setting sun, lost in our own thoughts as we wonder about the uncertain future.

For me, this is the best job I've ever had in my entire adult working life because my colleagues and customers are wonderful people and if I have to leave all these behind and move on some day, it won't be easy for me to let go of it all just Iike that. I found this job when I was at a down and out stage of my life, thank God. How many of us can truly say that we love our jobs and the people involved that we need to deal with? It's just too bad if the economy and market situation ruin it all for you.

And then Jace asked me: "Will you miss me when I'm gone?" The trouble with her question is that I knew she wasn't joking when she asked me that. I was taken aback and was stunned for a couple of seconds. Of course I'll miss my buddy if she leaves. In fact, if it happens to be me who leaves first, she'll be the one I'll miss the most and worry for. So we made a deal then and there to continue hanging out with each other if either or both of us leave the company.

The thought of either one or both of us leaving the company is a painful one, since the sales situation aside, we like working in the company. The tide may be changing but the current is still pleasant. We feel torn just thinking about it.

Night was almost upon us as we left Faber Bistro and I snapped a photo of the place as Jace and me walked back to her Chevrolet. Faber Bistro is a nice cozy place to chill at if you prefer it remote away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In case you've been wondering, the staffs working here get up and down the hill by cable cars linked from here to Harbourfront. Yup, I chatted with one of the waitresses since I'm always curious about things like that. I hope I have 9 lives.

Jace drove us down to the foot of Mount Faber where Fragrance Hotel is and we went to the 7-11 there (which has to be the smallest 7-11 store I've ever come across) to get some more drinks and we chatted some more before we split. Hours always fly by whenever l hang out with Jace. Night has already fallen by this point and I could feel that the waters of Time have already slipped through my fingers and our mood then was rather dark, just like the night that has just engulfed us and everything around us.

Sitting in the cab heading home, I thought about everything Jace and me talked about as I hoped that our situation will improve somehow so that nobody has to leave. Would suck if it didn't.

My heart aches. There's something ominous about the whole issue lingering in my gut. There are times when I hope with all my might that my Scorpio instincts will turn out wrong.

-De Lion Speaks

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