Friday, September 12, 2008
(Picture courtesy of cartoonstock.com. Thanks!)
In my working life, I am very fortunate to have a lot of mentors that helped shaped my career and my life.
These mentors made me realized that in order to be relevant to this world hard work is not enough. They taught me that people come first and dignity of the person should be upholded always.
My first mentor was Mr. Cesar V. Almendras. The man is amazing when he is dealing with customers. He is the Pag-IBIG Lucena manager who treats clients as a real Kings and Queens. It is very common to find him walking around the office to see that all employees adhere to the common purpose of serving the customers. Later I found out in my MBA that Mr. Almendras’ style is what we called Management by Walking Around (MBWA). It was my first job and in my 3 years of stay at Pag-IBIG Fund, Mr. Almendras taught me the proper way to delight customers.
When I transferred to Ayala, Makati in Pilipino Telephone Corporation (PILTEL), I was even allowed by Mr. Almendras to file a leave of absence first and resign only if I feel that I fit in my new company. The man is amazing!.
My new company then is a sister company of PLDT. That time we are launching the first cellular phones in the country. The pace of work is different and stress is part of the territory. In PILTEL output is paramount. We work early and stay late. Working in a big company means better pay but the work is damn demanding. The bosses will not accept excuses and everybody is required to deliver. The Damocles sword is always in your head that you feel you can be fired anytime if you fall short of what is needed. In this big company one advantage is having numerous mentors who are expert on their fields.
One of them is Mr. Tony Ramirez. He is the HR Manager and I was under him. My unit is General Services and my job is to handle building administration, janitors, security, fleet and insurance. Mr. Ramirez is very passionate on written communication. It is very common that he issues memorandum and policies on a weekly basis. He required us to make policies and procedures and he is relentless on following it up. I wrote more than 20 HR and Administrative policies and that 20 were subjected to frequent revision, consultation before he signed it. The standard of the man is very high that he himself edited the policies before endorsing to the VP. Mr. Ramirez taught me that I need to put in writing all that is relevant to the organization. To Do Lists, Weekly report, monthly report and to report all of them orally became my ordinary activity. To express my views without being penalized was his legacy to me.
My supervisor in PILTEL was Noel Dacanay. A graduate of Cebu Institute of Technology. Noel is a mechanical engineer who guided me in the intricacies of building administration. The man is simple and very supportive. I made mistakes but he always understand me. Noel taught me that being simple, reliable and understanding worker were the traits of a good supervisor. I will never forget his kindness.
After Mr. Ramirez was promoted, a new manager arrived. His name is Bayani M. Castro, son of the famous Dakila Castro. The man is very good in numbers and costings. His forte is Administration and to him I learn that in order to be a good administrator I should be good in details. It is in the details where company succeed or fail. He never approved what is not necessary and negotiation on the prices should be the norm. Being cost conscious and always thinking what is beneficial to the company were his legacy to me.
In my current works, three nuns I considered my holy mentors.
Sr. Letty Garcia, DC was the former president of Sacred Heart College. She is a nun who believed that every person possessed talent that should be utilized and compensated properly. Her unflinching belief in my ability helped me work harder that I never done before. Her constant teaching about family and her large collection of rare books which I was allowed to borrow were another significant and unforgettable moment in my working life.
Sr. Rebecca Felizardo, DC was the former Dean of Sacred Heart College. She is instrumental of my good performance as a Chairperson. Although our professional relationship is short I learn from her the value of forgiveness and dedication.
Sr. Remedios T. Tidor, DC my current VP practices what she believes in and always thinking that dignity of a person is more important than anything else. She is a nun who trusts her people and as return her people remember her even though she is reassigned to other mission. They have a vow of mobility but this do not prohibit her to be an active administrator.
These mentors of mine made my working life colorful and meaningful which made the work related problems not a burden but a temporary cross that I should carry and move on with confidence of a good future.