Friday, September 26, 2003

All Alone in the Kervin Cave

I'm curently in Los Banos. I have to go home later this morning as I have a promise to keep. I also have to check on a few things in Manila and Quezon City-- namely, the status of my backdrop project, the status of my application for work at PHILPOST and the status of training for my indentured slavery to a ...(GASP!) call center.

Front and Call Center

Training! Blasted thing's already started and I knew absolutely squat about it. Let's point the finger of blame here: 1) nobody at home ever tells me about my unreceived phone calls and 2) a routine cleanup of my celphone inbox may have wiped out any messages from my prospective faceless corporate employers. The way things look, I'll have to indenture myself to another call center and soon. Yes, go ahead and laugh.

Dex for Sale

Let's not make this any nobler than it's not. "Dex gets job at call center" is symptomatic of he times-- the world is following the United States by dumping industry (manufacturing) and concentrating on service. It makes sense, given that government can't really provide better alternatives, and absolutely nobody wants to abdicate being a consumer. The job, assuming I get it, is "just another means to an end," which happens to be my financial liberation.

I understand the viewpoint that some of my employed friends take when we speak of these things. Indenture yourself now, get your nest-egg and draw, paint or act after you've made your first million. Catch is, some of these friends are past retirement age and still pushing pencils in the name of their kids' future. The questions I'd like to pose to them, especially to those artists-turned-advertisers are: "When was the last time you held a brush?" and "When are you likely going to hold a brush?"

Still, Dex bows to the gods of practicality.

What I'm doing is called sliding further and further into the quagmire of compromise. I was a bum and I am now, officially a sellout. I know, I know: the job you get must challenge you, must be fun, must bring the best out of you, must provide for your monetary needs. But all the jobs I've taken are always lacking in at least one of these criteria: most notably, steady money in respectable quantities.

It's come to the point that I don't dare to have a specific, concrete answer to "Just what is it you want to do, Dex?" In a world where you've been unwittingly taught that you cannot trust or shape the future, you can't promise yourself anything.

I remember being at the UPLB auditorium, watching Gino Padilla give his all for the crowd waaay back in '92. I remember telling myself, "I want this." But I didn't know who to see, or talk to about it. Besides, what was it that made me so different from the thousands of Filipinos who haunted the halls of Channel 2 and Channel 7, looking for that one big break that came only to a few? What made me better than them? You had to be better, if you were going to get noticed.

I remember being a skinny high school sophomore discussing the X-Men with my friend Leonard, way back in '88. I had cheekily declared that if I were to die, my parents were free to sprinkle my ashes over the venerable edifice that housed Marvel Comics. I'd even sent Stan Lee et. al. letters about an issue of Transformers I liked, as well as how Peter Parker was such a role model. And being enamored of Illyana Rasputin, I was also dead-set on sending her a love letter. I so wanted to be in comics --and we all know how that worked.

So what do I want to do...?

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