Page 21 of 365: A Year Later

Dear reader,

Today marks my 365th day of being employed at Project Pie. My how time flies. I remember my first day like it was yesterday.

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January 21, 2014. The day it all started.

The first day at Bluebay Walk consisted of an orientation and a little hands-on training. I was assigned at the meats station. For the second and third day, they focused on teaching me how to do the oven. Man, that oven was hot. This holds true for all the ovens.

My batch was composed of only thirteen people. The supposed unlucky number. Superstitions aside, it was an okay-ish number; not too big, and definitely not too small. Six of those people (me included) was assigned to Block 28. The four stayed, and the three remaining ones were transferred to Eastwood.

January 24, 2014. My first day at Block 28. I got lost on the way. Typical me. I kept circling the Filinvest City and ended up at Festival Supermall.

I desperately tried asking everyone I passed by for the location of Project Pie Block 28. The store, at that time, was relatively new. I had no wiFi and GPS, and the landmarks were really hard to find too.

Eventually, I found the store and arrived half an hour early for my shift. The allotment of extra time for searching paid off.

I entered through the Commerce Ave. entrance. The first person I saw wore a black polo shirt with the Project Pie logo and blue denim pants. She was short, and seemed to be in her early or mid thirties. She was Mommy Liz. Only later did I realize that she was the OIC of the store.

My first day was bloody. No, not literally. There were waves and waves of people coming and going. I was assigned at the meats station, again. That time, I had little hands-on training in the line. Stashed away secretly in my apron was the menu – my cheat sheet. I barely made it out alive.

June 8. A day after my birthday. I had to request a day off for my special day. I deserved some rest and relaxation. The next day, my partners and managers surprised me.

I came in the store and played my usual routine like it was some kind of playlist. No one was stationed as the dough greeter, so my managers assigned it to me.

As I was entertaining this little family, the kitchen door burst open, and this little group of partners and managers came out. With their hands full holding a birthday cake with a blue candle, they started singing happy birthday. Only then did it sink in that they were singing to me. I was so touched. My cheeks felt like they were being flamethrower-ed. I lowered my gaze, smiling ever so lightly.

The singing didn’t stop yet. A few seconds later, even the guests started singing along. It was a memorable event.

Project Pie has this tradition of celebrating birthdays at the store. The surprise varied from person to person, but the thought remained intact. When it all comes down to it, it’s the thought that counts.

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July 7, 2014. Exactly a month after my birthday, I got transferred to Park Square. Jason, the previous scheduling manager of Block 28, brought me along with him. He claimed that I can be of great help to the next branch that was opening – the Park Square branch. This day was also my last day of work at Block 28. Or so I thought.

July 8, 2014. My first day as the pioneer of the Park Square branch. The store was still under construction. Dust and smoke kept the construction workers company. Me and my fellow partners only had cleaning duties. I also helped set up the stockroom.

The store was a refresher. It had so many new elements added: the interior design, the sofas, the tables, the lights. The store was beautiful.

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A couple of weeks later, I had befriended everyone. We built the culture of Park Square. I had so many fun times with them. Most of the partners were new hires. Only ten or eleven of us were “oldies” or the ones who were already hired a few months ago.

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Alas, this, too, came to an end. I had to go back to Block 28 because of the lack of partners. Far too many had quit. The numbers decreased significantly. I came back to my roots.

January 21, 2015. Fast forward to the present. A lot of my batchmates have quit for certain reasons. Only Iza and I were left at Block 28.

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Iza became a Team Leader Understudy for BEF, but had to reject the promotion for certain reasons. I, on the other hand, am currently the Team Leader Understudy for Admin. Honestly, Admin is what I like the most. Glad I was chosen.

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. ~ John Lennon

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Unforgettably yours,
Rommel

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