the last battle

// November 25th, 2011 // Journal

“and you’re still open right?” he asked again for the umpteen times with a strong british accent. my reply in return was always a short one “yeah…” 

it all started months back when the phone rang with KC saying “welcome onboard, i’ll see you once back from Australia. meanwhile get to know the team while you’re here.”

a sense of gratitude is what i’ve felt, a favor that i promised to return.

they weren’t the best team i’ve dreamed of but i can never deny the fact of two exceptional talent in this team.

KC has always been the man behind the show. never failed to greet everyone with a genuine smile on his face. of the leaders i’ve followed in workforce, it never crossed my mind that KC will be the game-changer for my career life.

back in 2008, the reigning days of the Titans has always been a talk among the peers. back in 2008, the Titans dealt blows and was considered as one of the big boys. back in 2008, I was part of the Titans where I’m proud of it. reality wise, loyalty meant nothing for the corporate. one is strip apart for no valid reason other than a man’s greed.

sometimes, you keep the faith by holding onto something that you once had or belonged to. even when things hit rock bottom, you will only be on your knees.

KC has always been low profile with great personalities, a guy that walk the talk. at times, we see his childishness that reflects his tender-heart. we were being greeted and taught like his own child. most times, KC maintained his calm personality on the outward but the zeal for imparting knowledge and empowerment remained unchanged.

“give me a word that best describes work attitude?” said KC. “talent?” “efficiency?” as i replied in an uncertain manner. he smiled and replied saying “well that’s not wrong of you my friend. but the exact word that i’m looking for is Passion.”

“passion is love. if you have passion for your work, what challenges could bind you down? then, your work will no longer be just another task.” the word that he referred to changed my perspective.

and soon after i was being taught on the workflow and learn to get things moving. subsequent meetings were part of my task as the involvement of my duties expanded further. with KC around, it was always a well fought battle and fatigue never existed.

“where do we go for lunch? any good suggestion?” as he drives us around. in response to his lunch questions, we’ll always answer “let’s go to Cafe A or even Restaurant B. they serve good food.”

hilariously, he answers everytime  “that’s a little too far off kiddo. let’s go somewhere nearby for lunch.” in which we ended up somewhere further than the place we recommended and steamed fish is always part of our meal. i dislike fish due to the phobia i had during my childhood days, its odor and small bones that choke me everytime.

not only i accommodated the meal but started enjoying it. i evolved from depending on Starbucks for lunch to a person that takes proper meal.

1030 was the time he walks into the building. coffee and cigarettes are the norm of our lives. an ardent fan of Starbucks i am and he sips a cup of americano, compliment from me when i dine alone. “honestly, i prefer white coffee, asian brew.” was the confession he made during a time of lunch. we smiled and smoke just like any buddies would do making jokes of the confession.

aged 50, men in the industry i am would look like an obese but that’s not the case for KC. responses from him are swift and he looks youthful. maybe it was due to his favorite sport, badminton.

as a generous person with no qualms, he shares his experiences and beliefs like there is no tomorrow. six years in the workforce, it’s the only time i’ve learnt more than what i could asked. “i’ll see you for five minutes” was the famous tagline and it’s two hours later when the meeting concluded. those were the times when i learnt.

soon after gaining his trust, he started sharing more. in everything, it was never about him. it was about us. family, loyalty and teamwork is what he emphasized. i doubted that initially, but looking at the sacrifices and effort he laid down, genuine it is. unlike many of the leaders that emphasizes on these, it’s always been the case of every man for himself.

“i’ve proposed the idea to them. keep the pace up kiddo. it’s time you shoulder heavier responsibility.” a proposition by KC to the management in acknowledging me. not only is KC a generous and sincere man, but a defensive person be it for family or colleagues. everyone is treated equally.

no leaders are able to raise their sword against us without going through KC. a liberty from him in assuring that this team stays unruffled.

“it’s alright to be a fool for a day. you’ll gain wisdom each day.” KC cited each time while we acquire his knowledge and experiences. Patience is a Virtue, and KC completely demonstrated that.

“let’s get this done and over with. no IFs and no BUTs.”  said KC. that’s how we execute our tasks and duties, relatively a straightforward approach mirrored after his character.

door knocking, then came KC smiling “i’ll need to see you for a while.” it was a sunny mid afternoon when i walked into his office. “what is up? by the way, we should…” and was halted before i could finish my sentence. it was an unforeseen circumstance when he uttered “i’ve thrown in my resignation letter.”

seated next to him, i stared blankly at the ceiling. speechless for a moment, exhaling and forming thick layers of smoke from the cigarette lit earlier. “so that’s it?” i asked and KC replied, “since i was the one that brought you in. thus, i’m giving you some options to consider for responsibility is mine.”

before the time comes, we continue to fight the remaining battles consistently. battling side by side with KC my mentor, adds honorary value to my life. a brand new day signifies the near departure of KC, a significant loss to me and the team.

our last battle together, dated on the early week of November. KC as himself, calm as always with sharp intuition. his execution remains accurate and firm. in someway, i wasn’t able to maintain my stand as what i used to be. a couple of time, KC brought me back in focusing on the last battle. my execution was blunt and imprecise compared to KC’s. “focus kiddo, the strongest wave is now. you need to be on track even after my departure. i’m sure you’ll do just fine. i’m always available, you know that? just a phone call away.” KC advised as i catch a glimpse of his last warm smile.

“we ought to give our best shot, while we’re still standing.” as KC reminds me again on being professional in the workforce. with his encouragement, we did what we’re tasked. it was a lengthy one nevertheless with his presence around, it seemed short. perseverance brings fruit as it led to a victorious battle.

in the last battle, honor is mine to be leaded by him. a battle that was fought better than the days of Titans. never have i experience such great satisfaction during these years. given a chance, i’ll wish for this last battle to last with no end. “all good things must come to an end” i heard KC said. vaguely familiar line as i thought to myself, a citation by a Titan.

a good handshake followed by a hug may be ideal for the ending. “you do know that this isn’t the end right?” looking at me in wait for a response. i replied “yeah…” with a genuine warm smile that he deserves.

there lies bleakness and despair gone are the days,
through the passage wings of shelter you offered,
of chances for gold and authority i pursue not,
being heir of wisdom is what i seek,
round of battles we fought by side,
mentor to me you remain always,
steadfastness to you i pledge.

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