Reading this still feels surreal:

Trevor Batenga

December 17, 1971 – March 24, 2011


Two weeks after and I am still hoping that this is a bad dream and that I would wake up anytime soon – like now. I have kept what happened at Midnight on that day in box and tucked it away in the furthest corner of my mind. I cannot deal with it, I cannot face it, I cannot breathe when I think about it.

It is so unfair that when my chance at something good finally happened, the rug was snacthed away from underneath me. It is painful, it is weakening, it is maddening.

How can someone survive the death of a person that they love so much? People keep saying that I will be ok. What is OK? It’s definition has escaped me. They say that time heals –  what is “time”? Time can be days, weeks, months, years.

My heart has died with him, my hopes and my dreams. My only source of strength and joy has left. How do you build strength and joy from scratch?

People around me are moving on – getting on with their lives while I stare at the pieces of what was my life not knowing how to pick them up. I stretch my arm to grab the life passing by me  but I only catch air.

My longing transmutes to pain, my heartache breaks me down. I am devoid of color, devoid of music, devoid of everything. An empty shell.

All I have left is my prayer…

Dear God, I am but a speck of life on this earth. Hear me plead. I beg you ease my pain! Wrap your comforting arm around me. I will not question your purpose, I will submit to your will. But please dear God, my heart is dying, and only you can heal it.



Staying away from Facebook a while. Getting sick of the status messages about the world as we know it ending.  Ok, so you feel the world is ending and you put that on your status message, now what?

Do you even realize what you are doing? I am not being a cynic. Eventually, everything will change and this will prompt us to think that the world has ended. In the meantime, all this negativity about the world ending is wearing me down. So if it does, if it rains fire and sulfur, are you ready for it? Will it make you feel better, and say “I told you so” while your flesh is being eaten away by it? How will you really feel if you witness the world ending in destruction? What are you doing NOW? Are you changing for the better? Are you repenting and going back to the graces of God?

That being said (and that lump of irritant out of my chest) I would like to make a suggestion: Instead of posting negative thoughts about the world ending and scaring the shit out of everyone, please do something positive and pay it forward. I mean, the world is already full of negative energy, let us make an effort to bring in a little sunshine. Do a little at a time. Smile at somebody you don’t know, help an old woman cross the street, count your blessings, share stories of hope.

At least if the world does end, what ever good we’ve done before it does is worthwhile.


I work in a callcenter –  which means I have to be perky and lively during the unholy hours of the day – meaning from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am – and sometimes that just doesn’t go well.

You know you are in luck when the other person on the other line is nice, he knows what he wants which means you can wrap up everything he needs in four minutes, it sucks to be you when you are speaking to an old man and he talks ever so slooooowly. It takes all of your will power to stay awake and try to politely cut off his war stories in the Philippines so you could get on to business.

Prank and obscene callers are sometimes a welcome lot when you are about to crash. The heavy breathing on the other line annoys you enough to wake you up. The caller who is playing his sexual fantasy over the phone by pretending to be your supervisor jolts you to sit up properly and then you are 100% awake (and enraged) when he asks you to remove your underwear “now!”. And of course, you let your team mates know, talk about it a little bit and then have a little laugh and when everybody is busy again, you are on your own on the battleground – battling sleep.

Some lose the battle, you see them nodding off, or the best thing I have ever seen yet is somebody whose eyes are closed and her breathing is rhythmic akin to sleep, but lo and behold! The hand is moving the mouse! Some are a little unsightly than others, like somebody whose head is thrown back with all his pearly whites showing. And probably the worst of them all is when somebody has fallen into the sweet lull of sleep and then suddenly something catches in his throat and he lets out a loud sound which is a combination of a snort, a snore and a cough.

When you’ve passed the 2:00am mark, you know you’ve survived the worst of it, your body slowly gets its second wind and though your eyes are a bit heavy you are awake and you can go another two to three hours before you finally sign off and go home.


There are two constant things in an agents life in a call center  – McDonalds and Mini-Stop/Seven-Eleven.

McDonalds spring like mushrooms in and around Callcenter buildings where you can enjoy sugar-highs at 12:00 midnight, get your cholesterol dose at 2:00 am and an endless source of fried carbs. Addictive and affordable, McDonalds are always jampacked during lunchbreaks or even before and after a call center agents’ shifts. Ask any callcenter agent and he could probably name all the McDonalds products from memory and he can give you a comparison on the taste and even the size of the portions from the competitor’s products. They get to know the service crew and the counter staff  by name because they practically see them five (5) days a week – more times than they see their spouses and children.

Another constant in any callcenter is Mini-stop or Seven-Eleven. These overpriced one-stop-shop has everything from microwave dinners to quick sandwiches and “siopao”. They also have all types of energy drinks, from the old school ones like “Lipovitan” or “Red Bull” to the new ones like “Cobra”and“Sting” that come in different flavors and colors. For the nicotine dependent, they have all brands too, from the common ones like “Marlboro”, to the less papular “Philip” and the ones that are ground newspaper packed in cylindrical paper tubes disguised as cigarettes. They also have interesting stuff on their shelves like Tagalog paperbacks, condoms, disposable underwears, feminine wash, stockings and socks, etc. Admittedly, Mini-stop comes in handy for the gung-ho who are in need of toiletries in a spur of the moment excapdes.

My callcenter diet consisted of McDonald’s meals until I used up all the holes in my belt and I am now slowly getting sick of it. Just the sight of the letter “M” anywhere, even seen from a distance makes me sick. Mini-stop and Seven-Eleven though is another story – it is like an emergency kikay kit which comes in handy when I need toiletries that come in sachets or when I need my nicotine fix. However, now that I am trying to quit it looks like I am steering clear of it.

Somebody has to come up with something new, something exciting where callcenter agents can hang-out, get their regular fix of carbs and cholesterol, somewhere that would spice up the otherwise dull life of a callcenter agent.

My laptop and blackberry

They say that companies fear giving out  thirteenth month pay and tax rebates for January, because employees tend to “disappear” after. I never did think this was true because  in my previous employment I stuck it out with them, through thick and thin, through pay or no pay  until it closed down in 2009. Now that explains why companies gear up employment hiring in November.

Loyalty I guess is a diminishing quality from employees. For one, employees are always on the look out for something better – meaning more pay or just something that works out best for them. But I do not think that employees are entirely to blame for this. Companies now are just hiring employees by the numbers and sometimes they forget a little bit that aside from the benefits they give the employees, they also have to look into the working environment they are giving them, the attention and loosen the noose around their necks a little bit. BPO’s have been (and still is) mana from heaven, providing thousands of jobs at a higher pay than most enabling even the retiring age to work graveyard shifts.

But I guess my early morning travels are about to end, I would be able to rest my vocal cords more and I will be back in my comfort zone, to the one thing that gives me joy and to where I belong – with my laptop and blackberry, I will be sitting in my own office again.

New Year…

Goodbye 2010, Hello 2011! This is the fourth day of the New Year and I haven’t been inspired to do anything creative, much less productive. I feel like the hassle-and-bustle  from the last two weeks have caught up with me and I just want to be in one spot, either on my bed or the sofa, lounging, or just plain – THERE.

I know there are bills waiting to be opened in my drawer, and they are starting to nip at my thoughts but just like an annoying mosquito, I swat the thought away. There are clothes to be laundered in my laundry room. I must say there is  little accomplishment there when I attempted to do one batch, but it looks like I have been doing laundry forever so I covered the hamper nicely with a tub and making sure that no dirty laundry is peeking from underneath it, I turned off the lights and closed the door.

The hubby is doing whatever he is doing, I hear him tell me that he is hungry  which means that he needs food. BUT cooking just turned out to be a complex process for me to do. So poor guy had to open a can of corned beef and had to do with his burnt rice  (he always seems to burn it).

I remembered I have to return and make a few calls, some important, some seemingly important just because the holidays have passed and I am obligated to call family members and close friends to greet them and find out how they are. The phone is too far from me and it is too heavy to lift to my ear.

I am supposed to be back to work tonight. Actually, later by 2:30 am. I have a strong feeling I won’t make it.

If my boss needs me, you know where to find me – on my bed or on my couch, lethargic and I have the brain cells of a potato. Talk to me later.

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