How I Spent My VTO

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 with 4 comments

After hearing yesterday that today is VTO day, when I reached home last night, I slept around 3:00 am because I need not wake up on a specific time to go to work. So I watched one of the DVDs Carl lent me, "Misery." Well, it was actually an exchange of DVDs. His "Misery" and "Training Day" for my "Imelda" documentary and a friend's "Almost Famous" that has been on our work locker for months. Since my friend isn't looking for it yet, I had Carl borrow it.

"Misery" is one of the best Stephen King novel movie adaptations. I remember watching it when I was a kid, and Kathy Bates became my boogeywoman for some time; she was that effective. It's no wonder that she got an Oscar for that. It's nice to get to see this again, now that you have the mental faculties to fully appreciate what's on the screen. Although Kathy Bates no longer scares me the same way she did before, her performance is still riveting after all those years.

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Waking up with a terrible headache from sleeping late, I remembered that I had some errands to make. The past few days, I've been busy buying stuff for my siblings. The Glutathione supplements (here), a codal of the constitution, a flash drive, tape recorders I bought at Quiapo's Raon, and an MP4 for my brother. I had everything ready for mailing, except the codal for my sister as National Bookstore, Goodwill, and Powerbooks have run out of copies. Somebody said that Rex is the place to get that. As Rex is far from where I'm staying, I'll get a copy when I get the chance.

I dropped by LBC first as I know a package of the size that I had cost only P230. But upon inspection of the contents, they said that the 2 MP4s (the other one is my sister's) will be billed separately. So that'll be three packages each costing P230; I only had P400 with me. I know that there is a JRS Express nearby and I decided to try it there, hoping that it'll be more affordable. And I was right. It only cost P335, plus insurance. It was a bargain that I didn't have second thoughts. LBC wouldn't even want DVDs included in the package. I didn't know they were that strict.

My mom has been worrying as to why she has not received her monthly survivorship pension. So GSIS was my next stop. I've been there third week of December, but at that time, their server was down so there was no way that the queries of pensioners will be answered. I haven't had the chance to drop by again as my work schedule wouldn't permit it. And today's VTO is such an opportuned time. When I reached the place, and as with every government offices, there were just too many people. I was thinking of backing out and coming at a later date, but whenever that day will be, I know it'll be the same thing: It will always be full of people. Add to that, my mom badly needed her monthly stipend, and she hasn't received six months' worth of pension money. So I stayed and asked for a number stub: 54.

I was surprised that I had to wait for 53 others to be called before I get my turn. It was past 4:00 already and my number was the last stub given to people asking queries from the Survivorship Pension department of GSIS. Killing time and nothing better to do, I started observing people. Most everybody there were in their 60s, the age to be for a Juan or Maria to be called a senior. And since they were at that particular department, I know that somebody from their family passed away and that they're one of the beneficiaries. Just like my mom, and I was there representing her. Almost nearing 5:00, my number was then called, but I still had to wait as there was a client that the servicing officer was talking to. We were seated close to each other that I heard everything that was exchanged between the two of them. As the concern of the senior lady was a little complicated, the SO asked her who died in the family as to confirm that she was in the right department. She said it was Josephine, and her name also happened to be Josephine. "Sino po ang namatay?" the SO said while pointing to the name on the form that the pensioner had. "Josephine po." "Eh sino po tong Josephine na to?" the SO said again, still pointing to the same form. "Ako po." I was suppressing my laughter and the SO was too. The SO repeated it so many times and got the same answer. She was apparently "dead" but claiming her pension. Hehe. The things you get from not being under the same wavelength.

The SO knew that it'll be a long discussion so she asked for me to be serviced first. And in just a few minutes and filling out some form, my mom's problem was solved. From what was said, she'll get the pension in bulk and in check in two to three weeks. I didn't know that it'd be that easy and fast to resolve a six-month issue that my mother was worrying about. I left the place with a smile, knowing that it'd be great news for her.

So even if I had some negative feelings about today being a VTO, I made it a point to take advantage of the opportunity it had to offer, that of time, and do the errands that my family had for me back home. And I was successful in that. I know that there'll be more worthless VTOs in the future at the expense of our PTOs. The only solution is to make good use of them. Before my PTOs are drained, I'm now planning of taking a two-week needed time off.

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Sidenote: On my first entry of the year, I had subconsciously typed "Aw, aw, aw" as the opening line for that. Weird, when the fact is, it's the year of the rat. Now I know that rat's can bark. LOL. I was actually born under the sign of the dog, and on a Multiply journal comment (here), I said the very same thing. That explains it really. Just wanted to say that point. Hehe.
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