Friday, September 4, 2009

My ACS Experience ( Sept 2 08- Sept 2 09)

“Advanced Contact Solutions, Inc. (ACS) is a pioneer and leader in Philippine BPO. Started as a single site single client company with 300 seats to five state of the art facilities with over 6,500 seats… blah blah blah… “
I can say a lot of things about ACS. Of course, because that is what my work is all about. Ive answered a lot of RFIs & RFPs (request for Information/Proposal). I know quite a bit about all departments (again, not because of anything but because it is my job). I worked as a researcher for the business development department though I havent researched a lot—researches are on a need basis only. What is business development doing? We are more or less the sales and marketing leg of the company.

We’ll, I guess that was quite an introduction of what I did for a year. But who or what ACS really is to me or what has it become to me?

This is my first job. My first real job. How was it? Let me tell you a bit.

Last year, I was a timid girl—not really looking for a job cause I am enrolling for a Masters degree but am open to employment possibilities. I posted my resume on an online job database. ACS called me and invited me for a battery of tests and interviews. And I was accepted for the position. Sept 2 08- I accepted their job offer. Researcher for Business Development. Shift: 2PM-12AM. That same day, I was about to enrol online for my masters degree—only to know that DLSU’s psych department doesn’t offer Saturday classes—only weekday nights. Boom. Im stuck cause I already said yes to ACS.

On my first day, I went home 2am with no idea how to get home in the wee hours of the night. So I took a cab to the bus station. Surprise! No buses. The last trip was 11pm. Ooops. how do I get home?? Good thing one of my closest friends is still up. And volunteered to pick me at the bus station. I was home 4:00am. I havent slept a bit!! Not even for a few minutes. Haha. Jitters? Biological clock anomaly? I don’t know. So I went to work literally sleepless. My first week was painful. I havent slept much. 1-3 hours everyday—im a sleeper, I used to sleep 12-16 hours a day.

Hmm, my officemates? We’ll I only have 1. Yup, just the two of us. Marketing assistant and marketing researcher. And of course, our boss—with the initials—RUG, VP for Business Development. How are they? They’re fine. Erin is the whiz when it comes to graphic design and my boss is a super sales person. Me? Im a psych graduate stuck in the marketing department. Erin and I became good friends. We have no other choice. Its just the two of us in our little office. I enjoyed her company. My boss, I am a bit nervous about him (I hope he’s not reading this) he is like always shouting(though not to me). He reacts in a loud voice. You can hear it from afar—even beyond walls.

Weeks passed.. im doing fine. Until one day, I think im getting a bit depressed. Then more depressed. Then even more. Yeah, well, maybe im getting a bit exagerrated. Its not clinical depression. But I was feeling so low back then. I would even cry. I cry almost everyday. Dragging myself to work every afternoon. It was so painful. It was during my learning curve. Not just that—something personal happened. Which contributed to my so called depression. I am so so so devastated. I don’t get to see close friends cause of my working hours. At home, when I arrive from work(between 2-4 in the morning) they’re asleep. When I wake up, most of them are gone. So I have no one but myself. There was even a few times that I cried while on the bus. I didn’t know why. I just did. Oh well, uncertainties are creeping. I wanted to resign. *mind you,this is just not about work, I am also experiencing some personal issues* Through much prayers and tears, I was able to get over it. I was doing fine. Then my office resigned. Suddenly I was more alone. As in. I have that cold silent office all to myself. For 10 hours a day excluding overtimes. There are even times when my boss would go to business trips for a week or two. Not just that, work load was much more. I was doing my work and what used to be hers. Pressure was more, too, since weve got deadlines. And due to some reasons, the turnover was not completed. I don’t know photoshop. I am not a marketing person. Few friends from other departments resigned, too. More pressure came in. I needed to work with the mancom. I was so shy then. I was always nervous. But I have no other choice. Dead end for me. Thats when the story shifted its pace.

Bit by bit I started to open myself. Little by little I went out of my box. Ive learned a lot cause I was pushed to. Ive learned to face people with confidence—no matter who they are. Ive learned a bit about photoshop(yey!) . Ive learned about the industry. Ive learned about marketing. Ive learned to manage my time. Ive learned to work better. Ive learned that work can be fun. Ive learned that my boss is fun. Ive learned that I can actually have fun. That was it. I found myself enjoying what once seemed to be dreadful. I didn’t even thought id endure it til my sixth month.

March 27 09. My new officemate came in (after 3 months of waiting). She is a very good graphic designer. Our department developed a unique camaraderie. By then, I was out of the painful part of the learning curve but is still learning a lot. Months passed so quickly. I decided to pursue my studies—psychology has always been my first love. Today is actually my first day out of the office. Looking back, I cant be more grateful for what I have become. The learning was worth all the tears and sleepless nights.

ACS became a home to me. I love the people there. And the culture—we are family—bosses call their subs “anak” or “sis” but work is still work, very professional. I can’t be more thankful. My deepest and heartfelt thanks to them. To my boss—who has managed to always be objective. Ive learned a lot from him not just about work but about life in general. He has received all my cruel jokes gracefully and thrown a few too. He has managed to create a good learning and fun work environment for us. To the other bosses— the mancom. Ive learned a lot from them. A lot about life. The real life. When they talk, I always get bits of wisdom. I am just a bit sad about the gossips I hear about them. They are not “tamad”, “corrupt” or anything. They are so hardworking (they work for hours and hours each day, night or day) and they are so friendly. I just hope that the Management-Employees gap be addressed. To my officemates—they will always be good friends. To my friends from other departments—they made my stay lighter. Genuine friendships were built. And of course, to my parents who has endured with my runts and tantrums and who has always been supportive.

I will always be grateful to God for bringing me there. At first, I didn’t understand His plan. Now it is clear. It is for the best. All went well after all. I am different person on my first and last day (both are Sept 2 08-09). I was just so glad I have a great God who orchestrates everything. He didn’t leave me alone for a second. It turned out to be a good journey inspite and despite things. Now, I am facing another chapter in my life. I don’t know what’s in store for me but im excited knowing that God only wants the best for me. Im looking forward to new lessons that he has yet to reveal to me. Cant wait to see the new me after this unfolding season. Il just pray and trust and hold my Father’s hand.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

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