Lucky streak part 3 / John

3:17:00 PM

At the moment, I am working full-time for Selecta, the biggest ice cream company in the Philippines. I'm both Corporate Communications Supervisor and Executive Assistant to the Managing Director/CEO. I started in August 2011 after my brief stint in Plantersbank, and although I left my previous job with a heavy heart, I know I made the right decision. My boss now is John Concepcion, son of Filipino industrialist Jose Maria "JoeCon" Concepcion, Jr. He personally interviewed me for the post, and it was one of the longest interviews ever.

Ma'am Marivic, Ma'am Peachy, Sir JoeCon, and my boss, John
(photo courtesy of Yabu)
During the first half hour, he asked me the usual questions about my previous job experience, which was quite easy since I just had to recite my resume. However, when he asked me about my five-year plan, I didn't have a concrete answer. There I was, a 24-year-old girl who had drive but no direction. I could sense his disappointment, and I knew he wasn't going to hire me. He stopped me halfway through my mumbling by asking me to describe myself. I only had one answer to that question: I'm OC.

When he asked me to expound, I whipped out my trusty Moleskine planner and flipped through pages and pages of color-coded to-do lists. He asked to see the notebook up close, so I handed it to him, and he was surprised at what he saw. He couldn't believe that any person would exert so much effort as to use a different color pen to write each kind of task (orange for itinerary, blue for emails, red for phone calls, and so on).

I knew then that I got the job. When I started, every time he introduced me to people, he would ask me to bring out my Moleskine so he can show it off and re-tell the story of my job interview ("Oh, you're like this? You're hired!"). He even referred to me as his "new secret weapon" for a time, which was quite funny since I almost didn't get the job in the first place for not having a five-year plan.

John is very appreciative. After my first major accomplishment at work, he sent me a message to say thank you and that I was a huge asset to the company. He even copied his Executive Committee in the text, and as a result, everybody chimed in to congratulate me. And when I helped organize his birthday bash in his beach house, he also sent me a message to thank me for my effort to make his party very memorable.

Although he can be difficult at times (especially when we're dealing with technology, haha!), I'm still incredibly lucky for the opportunity to work with him. You can learn so much just by listening to him. The things I know now about guerilla marketing, I picked up from him. I've had the chance to put these lessons to good use when I did marketing consultancy for a friend's small business, and I got paid for that, too!

He's very compassionate; he's kind to the people who work for him, even his drivers and helpers. In November 2011, I drank a bad batch of milk tea from a shop that will remain unnamed, so I had to skip work for days to recover. John called the HR Manager, ordering him to send the company doctor to my house to make sure I was alright. And he even talked to the owner of the milk tea place to tell them that their product sidelined me! How sweet is that? :)

When he's in the mood, John can be quite the funny guy, too. Once, he replied to an email with a remark that is completely unrelated to the topic of discussion: "My wife says you're so organized. She might steal you from me. Haha!" Another time in the office, when he saw me eating three Cornettos in a row, he yelled, "Oh, Isay, you are gonna get fat here! Haha!" After months of my ice cream diet, I still didn't gain extra pounds, so he actually asked me where I put the food I eat. (Side note: I almost wanted to answer, "Obviously, not in my boobs," but I kept mum since it was a rhetorical question.

At this point, I'm sure that John won't be my last boss. Although I'm okay with my job now, it's not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. If I resign, or if he assigns me to a different department, then I'll be reporting to someone else. I can only wish my lucky streak would continue.


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