A few things about my new job, which I started yesterday.

I'm working in Ortigas.

I'm working on the same side of Ortigas as before.

I'm working on the same street in Ortigas as before.

But no, I'm not working in the same building in Ortigas.

I am, however, working on the building beside it. (See how uncanny it is?) When I started working three (almost four) years ago, it was just an empty lot. When things went haywire a year ago, the building was up, and it was accepting new tenants, and it made eating at a Jollibee branch much more convenient.

Yesterday went well. As you'd expect from a newcomer, there's your usual orientation. And I did a few things here and there. But I spent a fair chunk of my normal workday chatting. Still a long way from being properly acquainted, I admit, as my orientation process could last a month. I'd need that much time: this is something pretty new to me.

Another thing that's pretty new to me: the idea of having lunch with colleagues. Especially after last time. They were telling me of this cheap place right across Gold Loop, one which I've never heard of before during my three years at my first job configuration. At midday - something else I should get used to - I went there with a colleague and my boss, who also happens to be my dad.

"It's a free pass," I told Icka last week.

"It's still a good opportunity," she answered.

Lunch was cheap. I could've spent forty-five bucks if I brought my water bottle along; I ended up spending an extra ten for a soda. I don't know what I had, but it was some meat in tomato sauce, slightly home-cooked, just the way I like it. Eighteen months ago I would've spent a hundred bucks minimum on lunch: then again, this was the time when I'd go out of my way to try new places. Maybe soon, I'll get to do that again.

Anyway, the whole place was packed, as you'd expect during the lunch hour. Packed, actually, by people from the same company. I know this because they're all wearing the same jacket.

It was kinda creepy.

Not exactly a call center, I think. It was definitely a BPO, though. A computer company. Probably doing some programming, since it's the middle of the day and they weren't dragging either their feet or their cigarettes. Outsourcing that sort of thing definitely helps a multinational company. As it always does, some people want us to believe. The conversation inevitably went there.

I wouldn't mind if it was a uniform. But they're jackets with some vaguely motivational buzzword on the back. In black. Guys in their late twenties wearing them, laughing boisterously or something. Also, it was a pretty hot day, albeit windy. For a moment I thought they were brainwashed, although the thought of a really cold workplace making you too lazy to take your jackets off when you leave it sounds more plausible.

Turns out they were in the same building as we were. Why I've never seen them before, in the many times over the past year when I visited my eventually future office, I do not know. Maybe they were brainwashed all this time. Computer programmers taking over the world? One, it's kinda happened, and two, I did not want another hostage situation in my hands.

And your responses...

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