Gone are the days. This sentence has been filling up my mind lately. And the more you say this, the more you tell yourself you’re actually getting older. I was in denial before: that I’m a grown up and I hold responsibilities like a grown up.
You know that word accountability? It’s a scary long word that means you cover up for someone’s ass, or you are to be counted on for whatever happens in a certain situation or to a certain person.
When I was a kid, I used to be accountable for my siblings (7 all of them, now) and I don’t remember being scared of that because it was fun, bossing them around, playing with them, laughing all day long, looking after the small, tender ones.
A few years back, I was accountable for hundreds of university students in the Philippines. Everyone looks up to you, literally and figuratively so every movement of mine was under extreme caution. But I enjoyed the intellectual atmosphere and competition.
Starting two months ago, I was accountable for information that circulates around the world. The tasks were scary for me, the first time I did them. Take a peek at my Singapore tasks:
Week 1 : Visit the printing press, talk to the production managers, proofread/edit (at Starbucks heh)
Week 2: Coordinate with DHL and IRRI in the distribution of the magazines worldwide (with express delivery to Vietnam and India events) and we’re talking about more than 6,000 copies here. I was so scared that a single subscriber or (worse) company may not get their copies for a simple mistake I might accidentally do.
Week 3: Answer some emails (re: subscriptions, contribution, etc) like a diligent editor. First time the emails came in, I was in panic mode and contacted Lanie, the other editor of Rice Today, asking what the hell is going on (my inbox was getting a message every 10 seconds), and was assured that it’s perfectly normal to get a hundred emails for an editor of such a publication (good thing, the deluge happens only once in a quarter). One of the last emails I replied to was an inquiry from Asian Development Bank. Cool.
But my main job is something else and I can’t talk about everything here. Let’s just say that I observe the international trade of some commodities. From Communication Arts to Comparative Literature to Economics and World Trade. What a leap (of faith).
The thing I like about my “main job” is I see the world in a totally different perspective this time. I used to look at countries in terms of their literary writers. Now, I am conscious about their imports/exports.
The last week was a little boring because not much action is seen in the market but the Euro-zone still trying to figure out how to salvage Greece (then, the next volatile country in the euro area, Italy–interesting, right? the Greek (tragedy) and Roman( ’empire’) go down first. They who rose first in the world history, art and civilization), U.S. crops not being exported much, Thailand draining their inundated provinces and industrial zones before automobile and tech global supply chain gets disconnected (many manufacturing companies are in Thailand), India selling rice at floor-level low price (which Pakistan is determined to match since rice, not their staple food, is abundantly planted there). And. The Philippines is not buying rice, yet.
So. Gone are the days when all I do is play with my siblings at home. Hello, world.