Saturday, May 30, 2009

Band of the brothers

I thought I would never get to bond again with my cousin, Jay. For almost ten years, I have been detached, by choice, from my folks. The once stone-hearted me could have actually gone forever, but I am as soft as jello now. Long and forgettable story.

I remember him being a college freshman or so building my first website. Now, he has made it into a career. Excellent job! I even recall, a... er... forget about it. You could not fault young men flooding with testosterone.

Anyway, in a recent trip, we were able to relate as "siblings" again. Although this time around, my influence as a big brother leaned on the good. None of those screwing around like there was no tomorrow. No more wham, bam, thank you ma'am episodes. Instead we talked about the years that have gone by, family, parenting, career, business, values, future, and life in general.

We are presently exploring business opportunities. It is on its way.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Goodwill Bank

Today, a client was stood up by one of our most reliable consultants. The client was 20 minutes early, while the bugger was an hour late. I was there. How do I explain that one lapse? Nada!

To someone who has not seen it all, having to deal with an irate person is one horrifying experience. Fortunately, I have this uncanny ability to lead someone out of control to reach a calm and logical state. Why? Because "irate" is/was me, often describes/described me. Good to have one foot inside, in a good way that is.

Anyway, a couple of hours later, I received a call from the (already) cool and collected client absolving our company, my partner, and me. The productive resolution was expected after all the apologies (both in person and over the phone) and refund offer: the very least that we could do.

I just finished writing a letter to the client, for send-off on Monday. I have also enclosed a spa gift certificate. Why? Because we care to do more. As I always say, when dealing with non-clients and clients, "lose the argument but win the goodwill." It has always worked.

With regard to the consultant, she used an overdraft. She will have to clear it, together with the attached indirect costs. Otherwise, her credit rating will be damaged.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In love and irrational

After four years of lust-hate relationship, I finally bid farewell to my partner-in-crime. Had I listened to my wife, the send-off could have been much sooner and less hurtful. However, I was madly in love then; I was irrational.

When you are taken with something, reason is often thrown out of the window. Passion is not always malicious, but it could reign over you. I must confess, for a moment, I was a submissive slave. Worst of all, I took it beyond plain appreciation of beauty.

My partner-in-crime kept me company whenever I was away from home. She made me feel so secure. Yes, I cared for her a lot; she was my baby. Our companionship was like no other, but life is no fairytale. People change.

Apart from having to pull back because of the times, I am now more logical. No more high-maintenance. Goodbye, classic car.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Under the weather

I have been down with the flu for three days now. I tried going to work early today, only to find out that it was not the smartest thing to do. I felt like a zombie trying to fit into life. Again, driving was not at all fun. Anyway, I safely made it back home.

Whenever illness strikes me, I would recall exactly how mom's nursing routine was: the icy water rubdown, bottle of coke, and so forth. I think vinegar rubdown was also part of the treatment. Nonetheless, mom's care always made me well.

Where mom left off, Shiela has taken charge. I still get the same pampering, the loving touch. I should get well just the same.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Retiring with stepmom

Not all stepmoms and stepdads are witches. My Dad 3 is a kid in a big man's body. Who could not love a child? Although inherently naughty, kids are positively pure. Likewise, stepmom is proving to be not the monster that I once painted in my mind as a child.

Stepmom is supposed to be a total stranger, but she is the least of it. Unknown to me, all these years, I have been part of her life as a wife to my Dad 1. I thank her for that. More importantly, I appreciate her efforts to connect with my family and help me understand my roots.

Over lunch one time, stepmom unveiled her true character.

In me, stepmom saw a young Dad 1. It must have scared her. Seriously, it was an invaluable genetics-learning session, with emphasis on exploiting the good and departing from things that could jeopardize my marriage. I could only think highly of her for drawing from experience, painful and otherwise; it showed her vulnerability. She was determined to mold me into a better person, son, spouse, and father.

Stepmom, similar to Dad 3, is kind-hearted. She is a loving mom. I hope Dad 1 realizes, while there is still time, that retirement is better with family than in a faraway place. In some respects, I am different. I will leave work for home. I will find happiness in Shiela; my wife will never be alone.

Not all spouses are like stepmom. Even in the middle of a chilly european winter, Dad 1 will surely feel the warmth of stepmom's love radiating from New York. Pure luck!