The OS X Yosemite public beta 1 is now available for download

That is, if you’re one of the first one million users who signed up to the OS X Beta Program, as Apple’s been sending out notification via email this morning.

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When Apple announced OS X Yosemite–the new version of its operating system that powers every Mac–slated to succeed OS X Mavericks this coming October, the OS X Beta Program was also introduced, giving customers early access to Yosemite to try out the release and contribute to its development by submitting feedback. So as soon as the preview registration was open last June, I signed up. Continue reading

Game of Thrones S1-4 recap in 3 minutes

I haven’t even finished reading the first book and I only got the chance to watch the TV adaptation over the weekend (up to the last episode of Season 2), but as if I’m not already hooked, I found this fan-made video recap of Game of Thrones, that mishmashes the highlights of the series in about three minutes, mixed perfectly to Lorde’s rendition of a TFF classic – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” – now I’m excited and is looking forward to another sleepless marathon this coming weekend.

Gadget-shopping for good vibes

On the lookout for premium powerbanks, protective cases, stylish bags, and gadget-whatnots? Fulfill your gadget lust and wake up to good vibes.

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If you’re itching to go gadget-shopping, then head on over to a Digital Walker nearest you (my favorite store for the latest mobile devices and accessories) and spend at least PHP 5,000.00 (or you can accumulate your receipts until August 15) to get this cute, yellow-bright, limited edition Digital Walker Espresso speaker.

Now that’s the perfect accessory for your easy morning serenades while on a coffee or tea brewing session.

Just say “Blessing!”

I’ve been working late at the office for a couple of weeks now in my attempt to cover three shifts. Since we transferred from our Parañaque headquarters to our own building in Makati about six years ago, my agents, especially those assigned in the mid- and graveyard shifts, have been sharing stories of scary chair movements, doors shutting, weird noises, uneasy feeling and nightmares when napping in our lounge, sightings that went from negligible to somewhat significant that such paranormal activities have somehow affected our operations, at least for the agents who claim to have experienced the horrific instances. That’s why it’s been our practice, tradition actually, to have our office blessed at least once a year. And so in my many late nights at the office, I was actually also hoping, waiting to experience the same. While I would get this eery feeling every time, no, the office was just that–workspace–plain and simple. But there’s no ignoring the fact that my agents are beginning to get scared, again. And we learned that we’ve been too busy last year we forgot to do the customary blessing.

So I asked my secretary to immediately look for a priest and schedule a mass and blessing. We used to just ask a priest from any parish, but my secretary was told this time that we’ll need to get in touch with the nearest parish, and thank goodness she was able to make arrangements easily. She was asked for what occasion it’s for, she said there was none, that we want to start the workweek blessed with a holy mass.

And so Monday came, everyone at the office was all prepped up. As soon as the priest arrived and got ready, he started the mass, with a question though.

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Sell me this pen, with questions

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I’m soon celebrating 14 years in the industry of business process outsourcing, working mostly in contact centers. The thing is, I didn’t exactly start out as a call center agent, but it’s as if my teaching, business development, and operations management experience set the path for me to make a career out of “calling.” While I would usually kickstart a telemarketing campaign but work in the background later managing its after-sales operations, I’d immerse myself in sales that I’d barge agent calls like a hawk and work on spiels calibration as if it’s my quota, inculcating the idea that in order for each call interaction to be productive, the agent receiving or making the call must be in control. But how do you actually take control of a call? Continue reading

Spontaneity at the Social Media Day 2014

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If you were at the Social Media Day 2014 celebration last Saturday 28-June-2014, organized by TweetUpMNL and aptly hash-tagged #SMDay #BoomPH (short for best of online media in the Philippines) held at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier, you must have seen me talk on stage about Instagram and the IGersManila community. Too bad, my presentation didn’t play (my batch of co-speakers’ as well) but it’s all good, as I think the audience appreciated the spontaneity (and our IGM-Selfie-Frame snapshot) even more. If you missed the event, here’s my presentation, and the video that partially played, collated and created by fellow IGersManila moderator Ed Calaycay. Photo above courtesy of @darthmao.

For more videos, subscribe to CCLozano and IGersManila on YouTube, thanks!

It feels good to do good, so what’s #YourMove?

Recently at IGersManila Philippines, we’ve been asking fellow Instagram’ers to a game of tag with #YourMove, the aim of which is not only to spread good vibes through mobile photography but to challenge and encourage the community to do good deeds and spread the word.

It’s actually easy to join this social campaign, all you have to do is: (1) Snap a photo or video of your good deed today; (2) Share your photo or video via Instagram and write about your good deed and add the hashtags #IGersManila #YourMove to your caption; (3) Tag your friends to do the same to keep the good vibes and good deeds rolling!

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The king of the house

My kids would typically surprise me with a sketch-cum-gift, and this Father’s Day they added another personalized greeting card to my growing collection, this time crowning me with a kingly smirk. That’s enough to keep me proud and perhaps, regal. Work has kept me busy, but while I spend most waking hours at the office, I make sure that weekends are solely for the family, and I’m just happy my kids still consider me “the best dad.”

Cheers to all the royalties in the house–the whoawesome dads–around the world!

If you haven’t already, kiss and hug your father, daddy, papa, or tatay and tell him how much he is loved, make every day his special day!

Fishing the teams

After so many hiccups, due to venue availability and conflicts with schedules, this mid-June finally saw our company’s team building happening. It’s an event we’ve set months ahead, with weekly activities focused on the FISH! Philosophy that will culminate into an out-of-town overnight retreat of sorts, the highlight of which is the pool party and drinking sessions, accompanied by everyone’s favorite videoke machine. While I actually wanted to do as many exercises as time will permit, this time around I decided to just keep it simple and quick, so there will be more time spent for bonding.

Like other companies, especially those that are into the outsourcing business, we’ve been “team building” regularly or at least once a year. It sure felt more than a decade, and in the many years I’ve been in the call center industry, I’ve joined a variety of team building programs–from the remotest of venues with energy draining obstacle courses to the retreat houses with yawn-worthy, lecture-centered discussions–I still wouldn’t claim to be a veteran though, but taking advantage of my experience in teaching and training, especially theater in terms of group dynamics, I think this is something I can easily hack.

From the “porky adobo with eggs” activity–that’s our version of the open sesame game with a twist–to the more serious personality-perception-discussion I pegged as “change not change” capping the dynamics off with the shortened “colors exercise” I picked up from my theater acting days, which associates colors with emotions, encouraging participants to give up situations that trigger negative feelings.

Reminds me of that former accountant from an affiliate company who asked, without hiding her sarcasm, why we keep doing this team building. “Are you guys not that closely knit that you need to be constantly reminded via these costly resort trips?” This question is what actually convinced me that team building must be an essential part of our operations and I’m proud to have the lowest attrition rate, working with a bunch of crazy but funny and talented telesales and customer service professionals. Continue reading