The First Friday of 2012 is Awesome because I am Most Improved!

My first week of January is too awesome to be true. I can’t believe it’s the second Monday of the year already. I have got three reasons why I think the start of this year is an effective propeller for the next days to come but let me share the first one first.

Last Friday, our office held our 2nd Annual DAN-ny Awards. I’m not really sure what the addition of the -ny stuff means; so, let’s just leave it at that. However, this year the awarding was accompanied by a game of scavenger hunt and a boodle fight. Anyway, the night before was kind of a disaster for me — and for Lance, actually. The office was divided into five groups and each group were assigned two dishes to bring the next day for the anticipated boodle fight. Unfortunately, I was assigned to bring the food. And no matter how hard I fought with RJ, Cyan and Lee (my groupmates) telling them I don’t freakin’ know how to cook beef tapa, I had to resign to my fate and accept the fact that I would lose any argument I put up with them because I don’t have kids, I live alone, and I have a stove.

I don’t really hate cooking. I actually like cooking but the thing is I suck at it big time!

Man, he's actually smiling!
Please insert face --->

Okay, to cut the cooking story short, Lance and I started at 9:30 in the evening and ended up cooking the whole thing at 1 AM. Of course, as a regular Claude thing, this includes stupid moments like burning a number of beef strips, charring the two frying pans black, and almost setting the curtains on fire while trying to manually lit the defective second burner with a matchstick! How am I ever going to get married?!

Fast forward to Friday morning, I arrived at the office one and a half hour late. At 8 o’clock, the scavenger hunt began! Each group has a game master who would provide them with the first clue written on a deck of black card. The answer to the first clue leads to the place where the second deck of card is hidden and the answer to it leads to the third and so on and so forth until all 10 clues are completed. I have always loved scavenger hunts, although, I’ve never played one. I have lived vicariously on books and movies for quite a long time, I guess. Luckily, I have some really fast thinking and energetic groupmates; so, running/jumping staircases up and down the building wasn’t much of a problem.

Here’s one funny moment I can remember about the hunt:

While answering questions, filling in the boxes with them and singling out the letters inside the shaded boxes…

Groupmate whoever: F!
Groupmate whoever: R!
Groupmate whoever: I!
Groupmate whoever: Errrrmm….
Groupmate whoever: Iwan muna yan! Next!
Groupmate whoever: Ge! G-E!
Me: FRI… FRI… FRINGE! — (receives blank stares from groupmates) Anung FRINGE?
Groupmates: Fridge?! Saang fridge?!
RJ: Eh isa lang naman fridge natin eh!

This always cracks me up every time I remember it ’cause I keep seeing the look on my groupmates faces especially RJ and Joey when I shouted Fringe! Like they were confused whether to believe me or not. Hahahaha! And then there’s the overloaded elevator where our gamemaster as well as our manager, Ate Ems, was pushed out of the elevator as an unwilling sacrifice. Hahahaha! Surprisingly, we won! I relayed to my groupmates the last answer to our clue which is the English translation for the French word, gagnant; which I, of course, obtained by quick googling. As the winning team, we were awarded a REALLY BIG CHRISTMAS SOCK OF FOOD!

The Competitive Group 3! (Photo Courtesy of Marvin Cruz)

Now, here’s the story why the awesomeness of this Friday is due to the fact that I am most improved. Literally, I was voted DAN’s Most Improved Employee (or Specialist or whatever) by the people of Dial-A-Note. Hahaha! Alright, I’m not really the model employee. I’ve got issues with tardiness, browsing of non-work related websites, and the quality of my transcription. The first one is due to my inability to discipline myself entirely; the second simply to our team’s enormous amount of free time and my love for jumping from one wiki article to another; and the last one, to my always blamed unilateral deafness. I had always told my friends in the office before that I was contented on being on a low-profile position. I didn’t have plans on moving up in the company ladder because I loved the leniency I get whenever I needed to go on vacation. No big responsibilities. No great expectations. I get to climb any weekend, file for a vacation, leave work without having to spend extended hours for admin works, and simply just work with no added pressure. Besides, I wasn’t really planning on staying here this long. I didn’t really expect to love this place more than I would allow myself to. I was expecting I would have saved enough money in a year, continue my film studies and pursue my dreams of having some passionate stalker fan write my own Wikipedia entry! That WAS my life at work until all my friends in the office, with the exception of Ainna, started submitting their applications for team lead positions about three or four months ago. Suddenly, the dream bubble I lived in exploded right before my butt and sent it hitting reality rock bottom. I realize I was so busy daydreaming about reaching my big dreams that I failed to see the formula of needing to excel first in my present job in order to excel in the future I have always dreamt to have.

So, I made a move. It took a great deal of guts and pride to ask my team leader to help me out with my transcription and proofing skills having been considered a tenured employee for more than a year. I confessed to her that I wouldn’t want to have to blame my non-functioning right ear all the time for my “unintelligibles”. Oh, and she never hesitated. I had to re-learn many things fast about transcription having been on the CRM entry side of the work process for the majority of my stay in the company. This may not be a big deal for many but it is for me. My work seldom gets proofed now. Thanks to my awesome teammates who are always willing to provide me feedbacks whenever I ask for them.

And yes, being awarded the Most Improved title encourages me to move forward, stop procrastinating, and waiting for “the dream” to happen. No matter how handmade my trophy is (which I actually find more meaningful than the usual ones made of fiber glass), its value is as priceless as the Heart of the Ocean for me. Alright, that may be a little exaggerated if I really do have the jewelry. Let’s just say one of the most wonderful experiences on earth is to be rewarded with recognition for your hard work.



Speaking of office rewards and to end this another lengthy blog entry, I always find MORE FOOD to be extremely rewarding! THE BOODLE FIGHTTT!!! We actually thought it was going to be part of the games; like the group who finishes their food set first wins and I was sooo ready to fight making sure I was extremely famished! But don’t confuse me for sounding more excited for the boodle fight rather than the awards ceremony. I mean, c’mon, me? Really?!