The Grey Chronicles


After the Grey Day

It has been a month ago when my Grey Day started. I have served the imposed penalty of 15-day suspension. I even made a self-imposed act of being incommunicado.

On the day when I was to report back to work, I was apprehensive of what awaited me in there. In hindsight, I believe now that punishment is not yet really over. My apprehension became a reality. On the fourth week of September, I retrieved my identification card signalling that I was available for duty if the company still wanted my services. There was no indications to the contrary, but based on much more recent events, I have already braced myself for the worst.

Fortunately, during my suspension, the 13th-month pay was finally released and fully paid. The windfall, if one could it that, tided my family and I over the impending financial difficulty during the past month and the days ahead. But, unfortunately without a regular job schedule during the plant on shutdown since December, debts and bills mounted. Added to all these, I only rendered a three-day duty for the month of August, suspended for most of September, and had not been scheduled for work since then. Thus, I am without a paying job since 11 August to the present, or for 52 days. And, no forthcoming salary on sight.

The meaning is clear: I was no longer wanted or was put in some deep-freeze. Neither did I see any smiles when I reported back, or I only met a few personnel on duty then. Most did not even know that I was on an “unscheduled vacation”! On my way to the Human Resources office that day, I met one of my subordinates while I was still assigned in another production line and asked if he could borrow money having heard that our 13th-month pay was recently released. I declined lending him some, but offered no explanation.

This reminded me of a similar scenario three weeks ago while I was on my way home with my three-year old son after some grocery shopping. A taxi driver, who happened to be also a colleague at work, a rank-and-file assigned in another production area, jokingly said that we—my son and I—should hire his taxi to ferry us back home because I can afford it having received the full payment of the 13th-month pay. I just said: “So, you haven’t heard the news?” and declined his offer. He muttered that I was sort of a closefisted person, or words to that effect.

I remember one incident during my plebe year in a military school wherein one upperclassmen was found guilty of an honor code violation weeks prior to his graduation. He opted not to resign his cadetship believing that he could endure the ostracism from his classmates and underlings, and could hold on to his sanity until graduation day. The military academy’s Honor Code states: A cadet does not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate among us those who do.

Upon learning that the said upperclassman did not heed his mistahs’, i.e., classmates, advice for his resignation, during lunch we all heard a howling sound in the mess hall which signaled that we were to be joined by a Honor Code violator. At the center of the cadet mess hal, there was a singular one-sitter table, draped in black, surrounded by the other tables sitting eight cadets each. Above the one-sitter table were handwritten signs of despicable words: dog, scum, etc.

For the whole duration of that particular lunch, the heckling, shouting, disparaging remarks, or what-have-you were not directed to us, plebes, but rather to the Honor Code violator. Some upperclassmen even encouraged us plebes to do the same. I remember distinctly that the firstclassman at the head of the table, a mistah of the Honor Code violator, even instructed us plebes to do what was necessary that night to get rid of the dog, i.e., the Honor Code violator, from the corps of cadets, explaining the process that lead to this scenario.

After dinner, we all heard talks from upperclassmen the things they were about to do that night, and some even required us to be there when it happens. The Honor Code violator’s room was ransacked, his personal things thrown around the room. The next morning, one upperclassman at my table reported that other acts were committed against the violator: excreta thrown to his room, clothes were ripped, the walls plastered with the same despicable words, etc.

You might ask: So why am I retelling you all these?

Life is not always fair, a moral of some anecdote stated. Am I being naive believing that my services to the company is still needed, or me wanted? Cold shoulders, I expected that! Banishment or ostracism? My supposed “disloyalty” might be debatable. What I wrote in this blog was considered detrimental to the company’s interests even before and during the pre-investigation. The unacceptability of my written explanation was also a clue. The suspension was only the effect. Of course, considering the plant on shutdown, work schedule is a management discretion, I know that. But ignoring the fact that I have already served the punishment commensurate to my supposedly violation of the company’s Rules of Conduct is a very clear message that I am no longer wanted by the latter.

Lucky for the upperclassman in the above story, he offered his resignation the next day and was welcomed back by the cadet corps as though the previous day never not happened. The same cannot be said in my case. Or maybe, I should do what he did after his Grey Day?


Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: The posts herein do not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions. Read the full version of self-imposed rules for this blog: A New Year; New Rules. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
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