Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Fitting One's Life in a Suitcase

When I saw 'Up in the Air' I wondered how George Clooney's character fit his life in a suitcase. A small one at that. Little did I know I'd have to solve that problem myself.

I haven't talked about it yet before I didn't want to "count the chicks before they hatched" y'know. But well, it's been hatched and now they're chickens I guess. I applied for a job I saw an Ad in Facebook. Ok. I officially love Facebook now. The Ad said: "Work as a Cruise Ship MD." I told myself: "What could I lose?" I was a new doctor, they'd never accept me. It turned out they were looking for people to work in a new program. A big spa company currently with branches in 16 cruise lines will be starting to offer medispa services onboard. Botox and dermal fillers. I submitted my resume and in a total surprise that had me running our upstairs hall waving up my arms, they accepted me. God loves me.

I was asked to undergo an interview with their manager and the medical director. It seems they liked me. They accepted me right? I got to prove they were totally right accepting me. This is a super opportunity for me. The thing I love about this job the most is that I will get to travel and see countries! How is that not divine intervention?! God really knows how to surprise me and tell me (with a personal touch) that He loves me.

The Amazing Race Chris Alipio Edition then began. Lucky me I had just renewed my passport. Passport renewal by then was a burden with a scheduling waiting time of one month. One more evidence of divine intervention. Lucky me again UST is efficient in paperwork. I got my CAV (a document authenticating my diploma and transcript) in the exact 7 days they said it would get done. Feedback from other universities was 1 month processing time! I breezed through the NBI. The big trouble for me... I had no previous employment. And I needed that for the POEA and the US Embassy. And then yet again by divine intervention, I had just worked with Makati Red Cross by then so that clinched it! The only requirement that took a lot of time was undergoing the Basic Safety Training required for all seafarers regardless of their job onboard.

I enrolled and attended the BST (I've posted photos from it from a previous entry) meeting two more of the doctors that will be leaving with me. It was mostly boring. The teachers were incompetent. They wasted hours and hours teaching nothing but bullshit really. The only fun part was the practical exam where we had to jump from a 15 feet height into a 14 feet deep pool (with a lifejacket), swim to a liferaft, climb without assistance, then fallback from the liferaft into the water. We then had to swim one lap of the pool without a lifejacket. I almost drowned when I bumped into one of my classmates and both of us were disoriented. Hahaha. I think I'll just voluntarily drown myself at sea if that happens. Why waste effort fighting. Hahaha.

We put out a big indoor fire and learned how to use fire extinguishers to put out smaller fires. I learned a big lesson. When you see a fire... don't just grab ANY fire extinguisher to put it out. You MUST know how to use one and WHAT KIND to use in each kind of fire. Each class of fire has a specific fire extinguisher that will work for it. You could end up making the fire bigger if you mistakenly used the wrong one. That was a big bummer. Highschools should require firefighting lessons for all its students.

This exercise of processing all my paperwork to work overseas educated me in one important lesson. Adult life isn't for the fainthearted. It certainly ain't for ignorant people. You'll get eaten alive by sharks out there. You have to fight for your rights at every line, every government agency, every office you go. If you are not assertive or if you are too soft, you'll get stepped on, cut through, or ignored. One more important lesson: most of the people left in this country especially those working in the government are either super-inefficient or incompetent. Couldn't we give our heart to our work no matter how small it is? This is exactly why I think Gordon will do good for our country. We could use a little push on our work ethic. And he is a very good example of good work ethic which most people mistake for abrasiveness.

And so now I leave after I vote (I had to vote. It is my responsibility.) and I still can't figure out how to pack my whole life in 1 suitcase, 1 gym bag, and 1 backpack...

No comments: