|GA Manila Reception|
In 1998 I found a new job. GA Manila, a branch of an international interior design firm, allowed me to be creative with Microsoft Project and PowerPoint. I even enjoyed filing. Not long after, I was promoted to Administrative Manager.
I loved the company and my officemates. The cubicles were designed so each one of us can see everybody else. While we all worked hard, there was always conversation going, teasing and laughter. Everyone was an open book. We accepted each other with no pretenses, no defenses necessary. We swapped lunches like fifth graders. There was a sound system where employees played their favorite music. To top that, a flat screen TV with cable was installed in the break room, hanging high off a wall to be visible to everyone so employees don’t miss their favorite show during lunch break.
|Office Overtime Fun|
We didn’t get paid for overtime but on those nights when we needed to work after five, the company provided pizza so projects got done in party mode. Employees happily stayed till nine or ten without overtime pay.
The Managing Director, who preferred to be called CDC, treated the employees kindly. When my daughter needed a computer, I approached CDC in the break room one morning.
“CDC, my daughter is in college and she needs a computer. I need a raise to be able to afford the monthly payments.” I said while handing CDC a newspaper ad of a computer.
“This is not right. You’ll be paying big interest. Do you remember the company from where we bought the new flat screen monitors? Order your computer from them and charge it to the company. I will give you a raise equivalent to the 24 monthly payments and you pay no interest.” CDC said after he read the ad.
“Thank you so much!” I did not think it would be so easy. I got the raise and the computer interest free.
Company events were celebrated with dinner, booze and dancing at Hard Rock Café. Summer trips were overnight at a beach resort with bonfire by the shore, all at company expense. During the Holiday season, the year end party had raffle prizes like appliances, latest cellphones and wine baskets, etc. The office closed from December 24 to January 1st, giving everyone a week of paid vacation on top of each individual’s vacation benefit.
I worked in GA Manila until I left for the US. Those were the best 8 years of my life.