Saturday, January 1

HaPpY nEw YeAr!!

Welcome 2005! I watched an ad saying something about making this year YOUR (or MY) year. Let's see. Wow, another year has passed. A lot has happened. A lot. Even on the last few days of the year, something devastating happened but life goes on, as the cliché goes. As they say too, let's count our blessings! Frankly, I can say that I've had really more blessings last year (weird, it's only been two hours ago) and I can never thank God enough. My family is always on top of the good things I have year after year. Don't want to divulge further, it will make me so melodramatic. The rest are:

My (my familys' and friends') health. I've never been really sick this year though I had bouts of illness pero i was able to pull it off well. Ako pa. My Dad had been seriously sick twice but I'm glad he's doing okay. My Mom had bouts of fever and menopausal blues but in general, it's been okay. And so goes for the rest of my family and friends. Health is so important, uh-huh.

My job. I can rant about it all day but generally, I am really lucky compared to thousands of college graduates out there. I'll only be on my second year this month and I've reached what could probably be achieved by some in about five years. I said something about experiencing a plateau at some point, probably in the next five to seven years but it's okay. The promotion keeps on coming, the glitch is that I can't get it that easily, and I can only heave a big great sigh. See, in a nutshell, I've been promoted since April of 2003. I was then on a Grade 5 level (parang skul talaga) but unlike school accelerations, you can't move up to the next grade that easily. I was promoted to a Grade 7 position but because of what I said before this sentence, I had to "crawl' my way to that grade. You can only do that after a minimum of 52 weeks or one year (for some whose positions stay the same, they can only do a step increase in one year). So by simple Math, I had to wait for two freaking years to get to the grade commensurate with what I do. Time flew fast and I got to climb Grade 6 last January. Our former chief did me a "favor" and had me moved up by a step (a grade, by the way, has 12 steps), thus the Meritorious Step Increase in February (if you feel that I am not happy, fine, you can call me an ingrate, I won't mind). Then there was the computer-assisted job evaluation (known in State Dept. parlance as CAJE), where they reviewed our current job descriptions and a long overdue upgrade for our team was given. There was a personalized email sent by our current Deputy Chief saying that my position was upgraded to an (Grade) 8. I should be jumping for joy, right? But I'm not, the selfish, ingrate me. You know why? The rest of the people who got upgraded will "feel" the effect of the upgrade on the first pay period of the year, which is on Thursday. And I won't. I won't! It took three different people, with the same script, to explain to me that per State Department Regulations, an employee cannot move 2 grades within a year. They said that I know I will be promoted--no, not promoted, but I will get to Grade 7, per the effect of the April 2003 promotion and as such, I cannot receive the CAJE result grade as yet. Call me greedy, call me whatever you want. It will not do anything either for me or for the State because the rule stands. Oo nga naman, if you think of that Grade 7 then Grade 8 climb, theoretically, they're equivalent to 24 long years. Don't blame me if I muttered, "Syempre, gapang na naman!" when asked how I felt about my CAJE upgrade. Maybe I'm just bitter. Haha, frankly, it's not about the power it entails. I am not even a power-oriented person. What I'm feeling bad about is the monetary deprivation-- the "crawl" is not retroactive in terms of the pay!!! Sure, there's an Appeals Committee but the HR people "advised" me to just "crawl" because the committee takes forever to hear out those grievances. Wais talaga. But on the other end, do you think I should feel this way? That I feel shortchanged? You think this is the reason why I am online most of my office hours and fail to have passion with my work? What do you think? There are perks naman, yun na nga, yung high-speed net access, kahit madaming restrictions, and they even send you to trainings even if they will have you pledge that after that you have to serve the Federal government for the next five years...hay ewan. Let's leave this employment dilemma here because it's taking too much blog space. And oh, one last, thank you sa trabaho ko I can afford the luxuries I'm experiencing now, and luxury in Judith Octavo's world means buying many...

Books. My greatest passion. I read the most number of books this year in my entire life. Just before the clock struck 12 kanina, I finished my 51st book (I read The Five People You Meet In Heaven in one sitting, for an hour and a half!) and it was well, heaven. I also bought the most number of books this year (roughly around 167), though most of them were from Booksale. I plan to be diligent in reading next year, not quite sure about the buying part though.

Friends. I met a lot this year and by met it does not necessarily entail personally. Blame the shrinking global village crap, I am in touch with most of my online friends than my friends I personally know. It was not bad though, I got to expand my horizon din in some ways. A few friends left, though hindi naman yung total goodbye, a few got out of touch na talaga, a few reconnected, a few came by. Thank you for making this year worthwhile.

Starbucks. Well, I'm not really thankful for/about this, it's just that this year, "we" got to know each other very well. I spent most of my reading times in Starbucks Rob, moments when I got lost in space just reading and flipping page by page until, well, it was time to go home because it's getting late. I got to gauge my tolerance for caffeine and it brought me a cool planner.

Mar and Korina. Call me weird or what but not having a boyfriend probably flips you to liking a celebrity couple. Ewan ko, imbentong theory ko lang yan. Kumbaga kasi, you see in them what you want to see happen to you. Well, add to that the fact that they still remain mysterious even if they go out more publicly now, and the fact that it's not everyday you see a woman branded as the bitchest of bitches by almost everybody blush and get kilig by the slightest "Mar" provocation. We also swoon over men in their late forties get all romantic, defying stature and image (that's Mar, for one). Well, if things work out for the better for these two soon, like getting married and having babies, I don't know if I'll stop na...and go to others like...Carlo and Vivian!!! Hahahahahaha!!!!

This year has been good. I will even reap the effect of that "goodness" this year. I just hope that everything will be okay. Hehe. Okay is so vague, I will just leave it at that.

Next: My New Year's Resolutions (I already have a list but let me get some sleep because there might be more to add tomorrow)!!!