Thursday, February 24, 2005

Q&A: What do you miss?

The past two weeks have been quite hectic. I'll post the highlights soon. In the meantime, this week's Q&A comes courtesy of Manny Escosa, a college classmate:

"What do you miss about your previous life in the private sector?"

An office in the Makati Central Business District. My commute distance has tripled! Though with all the ongoing efforts to decongest EDSA (thank you, Chairman Bayani) commute time is not that bad. Fortunately, a kind soul at DTI has offered me a visitor's desk at their office. So for those lull times between meetings in Makati, I now have a place to work. Just have to make sure their PCs have a USB port (see next item).

A fast
computer. Gone are those days when I could whip out my 1Ghz notebook, sit down at the nearest wi-fi hotspot, and catch up on e-mail. Nowadays I use a Pentium III desktop at my office, which starts choking when more than five windows are open! At night, I have a Pentium 4 at home, but it only frees up when my 15-year old son decides he's had his gaming fix for the day. How do I shuttle work back and forth between the 2 machines? I've learned to trust my USB dongle (a gift from my friend Mark) to hold my workfiles.

A PDA (sob!) The week before Christmas, my wife used our CR-V to go to the parlor. Unfortunately for me, I left my Tungsten E and my Canon Ixus camera in a knapsack in the back seat. While my wife was getting her trim, someone smashed the CR-V's window and took off with my knapsack! I was miserable for a month! I would reach into my pocket and come up with ... a blank palm. Literally. Fortunately, my data was backed up on my desktop. Still, it's only now that I'm getting over the withdrawal symptoms. And I'm still saving up to buy a replacement. In the meantime, it's back to paper and pen. :-(

Private Sector Salary. Well I don't miss it as much as missing the things I might do with that salary. Like taking my son scuba diving (we worked on our Advanced Diver certification together). Or buying a new PDA to replace the one stolen from me (next time, I'm having my email address engraved onto the case). I'm simply learning to live with a cash trickle rather than a cash flow. Fortunately, my wife's a high school principal, so that helps to subsidize the tuition of our three children, ages: 15, 14 and 10.

Power Steering. The government issued me a service vehicle: a manual-transmission, 1.3 liter 1996-model Corolla. My wife thus claimed exclusive use of our CR-V (remember the parlor above?). So instead of driving an automatic, power-steering CR-V to work, I make do with "pawis" steering. On the plus side, my biceps seem to be getting bigger! Whoo hoo!

Why do I put up with it? Find out why I joined government.


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