Book Series: SENIOR MOMENTS ARE FOREVER

August 7, 2020

36th MOMENT: Consultancy, Ukay-Ukay and Paintings

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On working as a consultant – Having been a private development consultant for almost 24 years I have one important philosophy:
never accept a job that you do not like. If the terms of reference offered to me does not conform with my principles, I reject it, or I submit a counter proposal. I tell my client that is the essence of being a consultant; 99% of the time I get the job.
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How to learn to use Computers: 
When I took my post-graduate course at the Asian Institute of Management, I really did not know how to use the computer. In the office you have the Secretary to do the computer job for you. But in school you cannot escape using the machine. Every day, and that will last for one year, we have at least 3-4 cases to analyze and submit reports. Every Saturday we had examination we call WAC or written analysis of case, again you have to use a computer, otherwise you have to pay somebody which is a little extensive.
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I had an Indonesian classmate, a roommate at the dormitory, who offered to teach me in exchange for a dinner every evening after class. His first advice is to do it step by step especially the commands. That evening I went to the bookstore and bought a Case for floppy disks. When we saw each other, I showed him the case and he was amazed. I said I am just following his instruction to do it step by step. The following night I bought the Floppy disk, then I will be ready to learn the first command, how to open the computer. The following days I learned at least 10 commands until I was able to type my own lessons and assignments.
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One of my classmates, Bisan Singh (RIP) in MDM at AIM was a Malaysian, a president of an NGO. One time he asked why I don’t actively participate in case discussions in the class so I can become a Dean’s lister. I said, Bisan, I came here to learn not to study. He was surprised and asked, “why, what is the difference between studying and learning Rudy?” I said “studying is burning your eyebrows dissecting 3-4 cases in the evening in order to engage in debates with our classmates the following day. Learning is browsing on the cases in the evening, select one or two important facts or issues, raise them in class the following day, let our classmates’ debate on them and learn from their ideas!” 
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A young boy was asked. “What will you do if you have one thousand pesos”? The smart boy answered, “give it to me first and I will show you what I will do!” 
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Ukay-ukay: 
During my last project assignment in Mindanao I was based in Cotabato city where UKAY-UKAY overflowed. I bought signature jeans, Levi’s, Guess, Marlboro Classics, Replay etc. I imagined that when I retire, I will have enough original jeans to wear. But after I retired, I noticed that the fashion trend has shifted into shorts and tattered jeans. So, I started cutting my ukay jeans into shorts and hammering and shearing the others into tattered shits. But when you are in development it is hard to retire. So now that I am in office work again, I have no more decent jeans to wear!
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Do you know that paintings become expensive when the painter is already dead? So, if you are a painter and you want to make money what will you do? 
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On government office contests: 
Now it can be told. Back when TESDA was still NMYC there was an annual contest for the best RMDO or Regional Manpower Development Office. We at Region 5 won it three consecutive years, we only stopped winning when we decided to stop winning. Our strategy? We studied the contest criteria and directed our operations based on the criteria! We maintained a War Room. Utakan lng hehehe. 
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I met a project staff of mine after several years. After the usual hello, how are you, I asked him what he is doing now. He said he is running an evening radio program answering letters from his listeners. I said it great. So, I asked whether he has enough letters to read every evening. He said there are evenings that there are none. So, I asked what he does when there are no letters. He told me simply, “I write myself”. 
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Old luggage and backpack: 
At last my old, rugged but dependable buddy-buddy for 23 years of travel-on-work in 14 different countries across 5 continents from South Asia to South Pacific, to the Caribbean and Africa, battered by savage luggage personnel in airports, is now retired. Thank you so much for the service. I promise you will not go to a museum but will remain with me in my room until I leave earth for planet krypton.
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A friend of mine who once studied law but opted to drop out asked me: “If Marcos’s martial law and dictatorship did nothing but bad for the country why is it that there are still Presidential decrees being followed until today?” 
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The difference between an economist and a politician is that the economist looks at the future while the politician looks at his/her approval rating.
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Real economists look at long term effects of present policies, programs and projects. Politicians just look at short term gift to their voters.
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