Tuesday, October 05, 2004

sigh of relief

Finally, the hell-week is over. The week started innocuously enough. It was the last week of Medium Immediate Boss with us and we were preparing for the despedida surprises for Friday. Maleen, JP and I were psyched. We had thought up a short program, commissioned a caricature for her to bring to the land down under, as well as collected old pictures for what was supposed to be an AVP.

Unfortunately, my officemate GL made a huge mistake involving inputting wrong parameters into our administration system. Unfortunately, that error caused a chain reaction that resulted in veritable pandemonium, ultimately causing a delay in a major deliverable. All because of a single digit. This particular administration system (we have two) is still housed in StingyCo’s head office in the Island; as such, any problems require the help of regional IT. Everything was fixed on Monday; unfortunately, other systems were also affected, especially financial systems. I believe GL has tendered his resignation; I can’t help but feel a little guilty (aftermath of decidedly Catholic upbringing?) because it could have been avoided had I been a little more persistent. As it was V. and I, having reminded him twice, thought our job was done. Apparently not.

So there. Shit hit the fan. That wasn’t the end of it, though. Regional IT made a mistake in loading the data—we had to go through the entire process once more. This was by no means an enjoyable experience. Everyday until Wednesday was spent doing damage control. Unfortunately most damage control means dealing with the big bosses and explaining how something like that could go wrong.

goodbyes were never easy
Coincidentally, this was the time allotted to put together MIB’s short program. So Maleen, JP and I ended up a little frazzled on the big day itself. Thursday night was the only time we had completed all the pictures, scanned and resized, for the AVP. Since I had previously done DnA’s presentation using Adobe Premiere Pro, I tried to duplicate the feat. Unfortunately, at 2am on Friday, I tried rendering the 2 minutes of presentation I had completed. It took 30 minutes. I gave up. At 4am it was back to good old PowerPoint. To heck with it looking professional.

MIB’s last day started heartbreakingly enough—she was already crying on the way to the office. I have always known MIB to be strong so seeing her break down like that was enough for me to start sniffling and holding back tears. But there was no time to be sentimental (honestly!). We had our work cut out for us. Fortunately everything fell into place. Our pre-despedida with just the department at RedBox was quite enjoyable. For my first time there, it made a good impression. The room that we reserved had a billiard table, so we were singing our hearts out while the boys were playing billiards. Sir N’s rendition of Balatkayo by Anthony Castelo (complete with weird dance—don’t ask) brought down the house. I sang Ironic (“it’s like meeting the man of your dreams, then meeting his beautiful wife”—blatant shout-out to he who must not be named). Maleen gamely tried Dadalhin by Regine Velasquez; while Allan did Sasakyan Kita by Gladys and the Boxers with K. Much fun was had; it wasn’t like a despedida.

When we got back, it was time for the “program” at the boardroom. Mr. CEO actually made an appearance and a speech. There was an “18 roses” thing with our major surprise: we had invited MIB’s husband to be the last “rose”. Pandemonium erupted. The PowerPoint presentation went well; at the last minute we were able to borrow an LCD projector. Speeches all around, tears, laughs; we begged off from the speeches and instead presented the caricature. MIB was really touched; and she was really sobbing at some point in time.

It’s really hard to say goodbye. But when you have to, how can you ease the pain? You try to make light of it, tell jokes, remember the happy times, but in the end, someone’s still leaving and some people are still left behind. MIB was our leader, mentor, advocate, defendant, friend and confidante. How do you replace someone so special? You can’t. You just make do which what life throws you next. I don’t know how we are going to take to our new boss; it will definitely be different. I just hope that whoever that person will be will be even just a fraction as personable, inspiring and understanding as MIB.

Last Song Syndrome : Old Friends - EBTG

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