Are you a quitter in seat?

A photo posted by Carl C. Lozano (@cclozano) on

“Quitting in seat” is the more popular use, referring to an employee who decides to stay with a company but is no longer engaged or is just doing enough to keep the job. You may have dealt with one, but quitters in seat are not necessarily problematic employees who fail miserably at the tasks they’re assigned to. In fact, they may have become top performers at one point, then slowly faded in the background having no interest in doing more than what’s expected, for the practical reason of just staying in the payroll. continue reading »

My son’s a bonafide rockstar now

My youngest son Kirk Marcus is the lead guitarist for his recently formed band they named The New Coming Horizon (TNCH), busying himself this past summer collaborating with schoolmates and friends, jamming to cover Paramore’s “Emergency” and penning an original composition “Nailed Promises” together with Matthew (Bass), Levi (Rhythm), Lindsay (Drums), fronted by Gio and Anna on vocals, which they performed for the public for the first time and won them 3rd place at the Clash of Bands 2016 by Blaster Studio, held at Selda Dos Music Bar and Studio in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City last June 4, 2016. continue reading »

It’s March Madness and I’m excited!

Kumusta? It’s been very busy for me for the first two months of 2015. I’m not complaining though, it’s just that sometimes the tricky balancing act between having to keep work equally productive and enjoyable without affecting or neglecting personal life or family, can get too overwhelming. And I guess I’m not the only one getting almost burned out–I’ve been asked several times how I manage to overcome the madness of the daily grind and stay positive amidst circumstances that seem to encourage negativity or simply push you to quit–that got me asking myself do I even have an answer? I have more questions actually. And I have no formula, except that I get excited how things will turn out positively, even if it doesn’t come out exactly that way all the time.

But I’m thankful that I’m surrounded with loved ones who inspire me to be at my best and support me even if I fail miserably, friends who shower my every day with good vibes, and lucky that I’m in the company of individuals who seem bullies at first impression but are actually just exuding with confidence, sometimes to a fault, but cheerfully jovial and reliably hardworking. There’s really no secret, just be in the circle of people who’ll help you keep at it, whatever you’re busy with.

So I won’t even bother worrying about the busier March, in fact, I’m excited about the prospects of the new month I’m calling it March Madness. I’ll be even busier but that’s fine, it’s not as if I didn’t sign up to this, I did and I’m going to work even harder this time. I’d count my blessings, and while we can never put a halt to worrisome problems, some of which will seem to finally bring us down, realize that you’re always blessed and that there’s always something to be thankful for, huge or small.

IMMAP 2014: Digital Transformation

Spent the past two days at the 8th Internet and Mobile Marketing Summit or IMMAP Summit 2014, representing my company Home Shopping Network Inc., of which I’m currently the General Manager for contact center operations. IMMAP, established in 2007, is comprised of Internet and mobile marketing professionals and practitioners of the industry. While the summit’s target audience are digital marketers or advertising agencies, businesses regardless of type or size, are sure to benefit from the ideas and best practices shared by speakers. That is, if the aim is to adapt to its evolving customers and the ever changing consumption landscape, as well as ensuring continued growth through digital marketing strategies that actually work.

I was particularly interested in knowing who the “Pinoy Digital Consumer” is, presented by Nielsen’s Carole Sarthou on Day 1, and finding out how to best serve him/her, who now spends most of waking hours on a mobile device. Good thing I was able to catch the panel discussions on “E-Commerce and Logistics” participated in by speakers from ACommerce, Xend, Island Rose, and EZtap. Day 2 offered an eye-opening keynote on “Crowdsourcing” by Rappler’s Maria Ressa and “Slaying the Elephant: Digital Transformation from the Inside Out” by DigitasLBi’s Christopher Lee Ball in the morning, which I’m sure to apply in strategizing our social media campaigns through my web services team.

Missed the afternoon sessions as I have to be at the office for an appointment, but all in all, two days well spent on picking up great ideas for companies wanting to evolve with customers who are becoming more mobile and tech-savvy. Overwhelming ideas but of great value to business for keeping up with the digital era.

Marital status of the confused

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Like most interviewers’ routine, every time I get to talk to aspiring agents for our telesales and special projects campaigns, I’d ask straightforward questions that are meant to bring out the honest details that are sometimes missing, or excluded (intentionally or otherwise) in the submitted resume or filled-up application form.

But recently, of all the applicant details I’d focus on, it’s the civil status that I’d ask more about, that’s because most applicants won’t reveal their marital status unless you ask. Strange that this is not unique to female applicants, yet “single” seems to be the common response among applicants with live-in partners, even those already with kids.

Curious, I’d ask why and applicants will be quick to explain that there’s really no space or option for “with live-in partner” in our application form. And some would reason out that it’s easy to get passed the initial screening when you’re single, and a few said there’s an added pressure when having to explain their complicated relationships during job interviews. The rest just say as long as they haven’t signed a marriage contract or had a church wedding, their best bet is the single status. continue reading »

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 »