Lesson From My Lemon Seedlings

Pardon me for not posting a picture of my two lemon seedlings because I want them to grow away from the spectators’ prying eyes.  My tree planting journey started in July last year. The first seedling that I took care of was a mango tree that I got from a vacant lot beside our home. Three months later, I experimented with lemon seeds if they could survive my not-so-green thumb from seed to seedling.

What I did was to plant lemon seeds on five different containers, covered them with plastic bag, poked holes for breathing and then kept them from the strong sun. I was near to giving up until I got the surprise of my life when one of the containers showed my lemon seed germinating! To add more happiness to my already happy day, it was my birthday when I found out about it!

The original location of my lemon seedlings was at the shaded part of our tiny terrace. They stayed there from October 2017 up to March 2018. From April 2018 and up to the present, the lemon seedlings are exposed to the sun. Had I known earlier that lemons love lots of sunshine, I would have moved them last year. Unfortunately, only 2 out of 5 lemons survived.

The remaining lemons are given the same amount of water, sunshine and care but Lemon A is growing faster than Lemon B. Both came from the same fruit, by the way. I realize that no matter how healthy the fruit is, we cannot be sure that the quality of its seeds are also as good as it.

That is why as leaders, we need to look beyond our first impression because the weakest fruit on the table might be the one with the strongest seed of knowledge and we just have to uncover it.  Likewise, the most beautiful fruit on the table might be the one that needs more salt for flavor. It’s perfect if we are able to find that one fruit with healthy seeds that can replicate the quality of its originator.


10 Years of Diligence

10 years at my current employment.

The work that has given me and my family a house and a car.

The work that has given my kids the opportunity to study in a private school.

The work that has given me the chance to pursue my graduate studies.

I couldn’t ask for more.

But somehow, I still feel like a hidden entity.

I could have done more, achieved more but timing and circumstance are not yet favoring me.

For the meantime, I will just go with the flow and see where it brings me.

Happiness is a choice.

I could have reacted negatively but happiness is my shield.

There is nothing to be depressed about because my time to fully utilize what I can offer is still waiting to be discovered.

Again, happiness is a choice.


For Us, Industrial Engineers


Industrial Engineers are trained to be non-resistant to change. We expect change. We welcome change. At some point, we are the reason for the change. As an IE, we need to have a healthy balance between being a management person and operations person. We should act as the arbiter between the management and its people so we need to be fair and just.

The common characteristics of an IE are the following:

1. We are hardworking. Yes, there are times when we feel like being lazy the whole day but those days are rare as compared to the number of times that we need to render long working hours just to get the job done. Since the organization relies to our data or our study for their decision-making, we tend to walk an extra mile just to submit a comprehensive report.

2. We promote a healthy culture at work. Since we are the catalyst for change in an organization, we are aware that a harmonious work environment is more receptive to change than one that is chaotic. We are the ones who promote change but do not appear to be intimidating. We are the ones who justify the change but do not act as a know-it-all because we prefer to be low-key.

3. We don’t stop asking questions until we find the acceptable answer. We are trained to ask, to investigate, to be thorough so some people might find us annoying but they end up appreciating our insistence because they know that we have the best intentions for them.

4. We are competitive without really trying hard. Competitiveness is in our culture from the moment we step into junior college. But our kind of competitiveness is a friendly one because we want continual improvement on the existing systems or processes. Seldom does an IE compete with another group in an organization because it contradicts with our culture of being the internal consultant of the organization.

5. We are well-groomed, or at least, the majority of us. We know that personality matters if we want people to listen to us. While working, an IE may look messy because we are too busy but when presenting, an IE makes herself presentable.

6. We value teamwork very much. Even the loner types of IE are forced to embrace the concept of teamwork simply because the nature of our job requires us to mingle with people from the other departments or section.

The Performance Bonus

Boss went to my cubicle just a while ago to ask if I’m aware of the performance bonus that’s scheduled to be given (through payroll) today.

Boss: Are you aware that today is the release of the bonus?

Me: Of course, Sir—look at what I’m doing.

I gave him a glimpse of my online banking then minimized the screen.

Boss: How was it? It’s not as big as last year because the pie also decreased.

He sounded curious and sympathetic and in my most cheerful mood, I replied.

Me: Sir, I’ve never complained about my bonus ever since. Big or small, I’m always grateful. What I want to achieve for 2016 is to be more productive and useful and the reward will just follow.

Sounds fake but I really mean it.

Money is not everything, dear!

I am happy if I am productive and useful.

Thank you, Lord for the gift of gratitude!


An Entity In The Dark

Lunch date with office mates.

We discussed about how the ExCom went through yesterday. Nothing juicy about it, the two of them said.

Then one of them remarked that I should also attend the ExCom with my boss.

I told him that I don’t attend ExComs because nobody requires me anyway and I put it that way—no big deal!

He said attending ExComs and being in the company of the top management is a privilege. I agreed to him. They are privileged and the antonym of it is, I am not privileged! LOL.

Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong if I become the “taong-bahay” every Thursday. In the same way that, I won’t complain if my boss tells me to go to the Head Office during ExComs. I don’t see myself as a very important person to protest. I don’t see myself as a somebody at work to be acting like a prima donna.

Being a manager is only a title but it does not define the totality of a person. I just want to help and to serve and be productive at work. I want to learn new things and excel at it. I have personal plans and I think I’m on the right track. 🙂