Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hell Week

With the party and all, I enjoyed last weekend. A lot.

But that being said, you know how after something extremely good happens, there’s nowhere else to go but down? Well, I think that’s what happened to me, as last weekend’s extreme joy ushered in one hell of a week.

I trekked to work Monday morning, recharged and ready to start the week. When I got to the office, early as usual, I was greeted by a handful of visitors seated in the waiting area. Odd... why were there visitors so early in the morning? And then I remembered they had posted an ad in the papers that weekend announcing job vacancies in our company. Today was recruitment day.

It was half an hour before our hours of operation, but fine... as the person up front, I started preparing the application forms and examination papers for the job applicants. I’m not sure how long I turned my back, but the next thing I knew, all twenty seats in the waiting area were occupied, and more people had come in the door.

At that point, I started panicking. I packed as many people as I could into every available chair, as well as the conference room, but still that wasn’t enough. I was overwhelmed. And I was going to be overwhelmed... alone.

So I got thinking, the quicker they got through the application process, the quicker they would leave. I gave out application forms, conducted tests, checked and scored them, and forwarded them for interview, but I just could not do it fast enough alone. It’s like I was running... on a treadmill... getting nowhere. And while I was doing all that, more applicants just kept on pouring in.

At some point, I broke down. I didn’t know who needed what anymore. And I’d like to think I’m a pretty organized guy. But having to do all that, plus having to answer the phones, plus having to issue supplies, plus having to disburse cash, plus having to do everything else that I do... plus having to endure all those eyes staring as I panicked... I just lost it. It was absolutely inhuman. I wanted to cry. I wanted to faint.

I don’t know how attractive an ad they had put out, or if there are just that many people looking for the same job, or if we were the only job opening in the Metro or what... but it was insane. Would it have not been more practical to ask applicants to e-mail their applications and select and schedule them from there?

I was so busy that I didn’t have time to check my e-mail. I didn’t have time get online. I didn’t have time to check the incoming messages on my phone. I didn’t have time to take a snack. I didn’t have time to take a decent lunch. I didn’t even have time to pee, for heaven’s sakes!

If I wasn’t convinced before how badly stress could affect my physical well-being, I am now. I felt nauseous, had a headache, was coughing, was sniffling and developed back pain like I was doing more than a desk job. Trust me, I was just a fever, vomiting, and diarrhea short of all the Influenza A H1N1 symptoms.

Even my brain felt like it was on dimmers. Everything was just a blur. I sort of remember some of my colleagues coming to my desk to give me more things to do, but that’s it. I don’t recall what each of them said nor what I did. I must’ve looked like a deer in headlights.

At the end of the day, which actually went an hour past my regular working hours, the last applicant finally left. Finally, finally, finally. I had gone through almost a hundred applicants... and I was beat. I was both physically and mentally drained. It was miraculous that I could even manage to smile. But I was in a daze. I felt like I was on ARVs already. I felt like I had put in a week’s worth of work. But nooooo... this was just Monday.

Monday’s applicants were enough actually to fill up the six vacancies available. Yep, just six out of a hundred. But I was still told to entertain applicants on the days that followed. Sure, the days that followed weren’t as bad as the first, but by that time, Monday had already taken its toll on me and my body, so it wasn’t any easier.

Recharging just wasn’t as easy as plugging me into an outlet. Sleeping the full eight hours every night didn’t do it for me. I know sex is supposed to be an effective method to release stress, but being in an over a month-long drought, it didn’t seem like an option. I even had to beg the Hotbox team to postpone the Positivism meeting to next week because I was afraid I’d fall unconscious if I had much more of a load to take on. By Thursday, I got the permission from management to turn away applicants. Finally.

Yeah, sure, it was going to be a long weekend ahead, thanks to Friday being a national holiday in the Philippines, but still, it would take every minute of those three days to de-brief and de-stress, assuming of course that I had that luxury. I do have responsibilities at home, too, ya know.

So there, that should explain why I’ve been out of the loop for the past week. I’m assuming... and hoping... that it doesn’t turn out to just be the start of a Hell Month. If that happens, naku, Lord, kunin mo na ako. So for now, I declare... Hell Week is over.


Anonymous said...

take care... try not to let work overwhelm you...


Anonimus said...

This is why smoking is good for your health. See, if your bosses knew you smoke, they'd expect you to be gone for fifteen minutes. And every time they take a peek at your desk and you're not there, they'll assume you're smoking. That Monday, you could have smoked ten sticks, even if you actually didn't.

But because your always early for work, I think I'm correct in assuming this strategy will never work for you.

But hey, I have officemates (girls of course) who squeeze in shopping during lunchbreaks. And I had (past tense po) officemates who managed to feed their family fresh food everyday because they went to market everyday right after punching in at exactly 6am.

Yj said...

well good to hear it's over....

on days like this.... inhale exhale ka lang... sabay flip ng hair hehehehehe....


Herbs D. said...

oh my. im gld yer still breathin' *hugs*

PinoyPoz said...

@RubyPurple: I'm trying... Sigh... Hugs.

@Anonimus: I'd like to think I'm a decent employee... Plus I don't smoke. I know... such a loser.

@Yj: Inhale... Enhale... (Tama ba?) Hehe. Sigh, I don't have hair to flip either.

@HerbsD: Thanks. Yep, I need me some hugs.

Anonimus said...

In my eyes you're a winner nga eh. I've been trying to quit smoking for more than twenty years and I always lose the battle against myself. It's an addiction, it's substance abuse, and it's zero fun being on the receiving end of stares that could shrivel fresh pechay by old ladies with granchildren in tow. I swear I will never smoke outside a supermarket again.

Ming Meows said...

you deserve an applause and a hug!

Turismoboi said...

oh my napagod ka cguro ng bonggang bongga