Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Unpopular Opinion

I haven't written in a long while, probably years if I ever bothered to count. Grab a seat, a cold beer or a hot coffee (depending on where or what time you're at) since this is gonna be a long one.

I'm gonna tell you about three scenarios where having an unpopular opinion shifts you from being thought of as just a random guy to the most hated man in a circle. All of which, everyone is entitled to their opinion on whats right or wrong. The world is no longer black or white.

So there's this one time I got flak for reacting how people are overacting about Ramon Bautista's "Ang daming hipon sa Davao" issue. The guy has apologized for the commend and from my perspective, I agree that it was an awful joke but things started getting steam and getting out of proportion. I wouldn't be surprised how a gay acquaintance of mine jumped into the defense of his/her friend who I reacted with the comment. They probably thought that my comment was misogynistic and anti-LGBT and how I'm the most evil person in the world for condoning the act. No, I don't condone any of it. I also don't condone how virtually stoning people to death would lead to a better society. Did anyone actually bother knowing my stand about women empowerment and LGBT? None. I was virtually stoned to death along with that comment how we all overreacted to that offensive joke by Ramon. Did anyone bother asking me if I'm a misogynist and anti-LGBT? None. I was treated like an infection due to an unpopular opinion which nobody bothered clarifying. Everybody was already carrying pitchforks, burning people at the town square because of an unpopular opinion.

In my family, my mother worked hard in a corporate environment for more than 20 years. I was raised knowing that it doesn't matter if you're male or female as long as you do good work you're supposed to be treated equally. I have a tito who is openly gay. He works for as a fashion designer and has been a very caring individual to our family over the years. Often times, he is a stand in parent for my cousins who's mother (my tita) who is working hard abroad. Over the course of my 10+ year career, I've had two female bosses who I respected as a superior and just recently, a colleague of mine from a former company got promoted to lead our APAC and US-WEST team.

My mother always told me to treat women with respect. Most are just treating women as equals, but as a gentleman, women should be respected. Open doors for women and elderly, always offer to help, always 'mano', always say "po" and "opo" and call mothers "tita" (except for Mama Singh and Papa Singh: in the house of Singh, you should bestow proper honors).

Call me a misogynist or anti-LGBT for all I care. The ones who already condemned me wouldn't care to read this anyway (since I've long been unfollowed or unfriended).

Another story involves work ethic. I've tried so hard to keep everything fair, stick to an agreement everyone has agreed on. I did a project with a friend who I considered talented in what he does. There was a bounty for a project which had a small budget but we pushed through with it nonetheless. My role was business development, my friends role was development and our other colleague was graphic design. It was agreed upon that the bounty was going to be split 3-way. I wanted to save as much cash as we can, but still wanted to make sure that the project gets completed without any complications I asked our development guy two things: 1.) would paying for an API make development easier. (I offered to research on open source implementations) and 2.) would paying for another developer ship it faster. It was a consensus that we would try to make the open source solution work and save money by not getting more people. Our developer was confident enough to make it work.

One milestone passed, graphic assets were already ready but development was sub par. Second milestone passed, still not production ready. Anxiety about this project loomed well within the Christmas and New Year season and finally, with some compromises, a final product was shipped one day late of our target delivery. Our client was kind enough not to impose the penalty of paying twice the amount of the project budget if we failed to comply. Towards the end of the project, our developer told me that he lost his full time job. I told him that we could start charging higher if need be and prioritize his needs in future projects. After the bounty was paid, I met with the team and discussed the breakdown.

Deductions for expenses (meetings, dinners, toll fees, gas, etc.) and with the net amount, split into three. Someone at the table then asked, "divided by 3?". I took a deep breath and explained that it was agreed upon when we started, that he committed that its going to be "easy" and we wouldn't need to pay for additional developers and APIs and upon not meeting his targets, the blame was on me. I know that he just lost his full time job, but what is agreed upon should be upheld. I offered to pursue more opportunities to sustain his lifestyle while he looks for another permanent home, but not at the expense of the amount agreed upon for the just completed project.

I opted to stick to what is agreed upon and offered to ask him "his cost" for future projects. I knew it's gonna leave a sour taste in the mouth, but what else can we hold on to but our words and our commitment? There was another project worth 5 times the cost of that previous project, I asked him to cost it (so that we would not end up with a project cost being divided by 3 anymore and people complaining about shit) and asked if he can give an amount by the weekend. The weekend passed without any cost estimates. I told him that I had to ask someone else to do it due to his unfulfilled commitments (again). We never talked since. I wouldn't be surprised if in his circle, i'm the demon who short-changed him of his 'rightful bounty'.

Even if I completely give him my share of the bounty, for a total amount less than the current iPhone.. apparently a person would sacrifice friendship over money.

People would call me a douchebag or an asshole for my unpopular opinion, but then again, have you asked yourself if you haven't done the same? Am I an asshole for thinking Apple makes better products vs Microsoft (in some aspects)? Am I an asshole for Razer sells expensive crap (like Apple) compared to Dell? Am I an asshole for pointing out your humblebrags when you throw us "trivia" about some places abroad you visited (we could Google that, you don't need to shove that up our faces"). Am I an asshole for being sarcastic about your "recent car purchase #blessed" or "new condo #adulting"? Hey it's your life anyway, if you really need validation from others. I'm just the guy with the unpopular opinion.

Footnote:

[1] I emphasize on the word 'opinion'. I am not saying I know all the facts nor i'm not saying I'm right. I am just offering another perspective.
[2] Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. A variation of a saying goes: "Opinion is like a penis. It's fine to have one and it's fine to be proud of it, but please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around... and PLEASE don't try to shove it down peoples throat."
[3] I appreciate the ones who stuck around. I know I'm an acquired taste, but we all know that being brutally honest is better than being plastic.
[4] Wheres the third one? Maybe for another day. People hate me so much that I bet it'd be more than three instances where I've been virtually stoned to death.