Clean Slate


Dec 21, 2015 - 0 Comments - Under: Writings


Let me tell you a story.

Five years ago, I was anxiously sitting in front of two American guys inside an office—one, the son of a dental items distributor with modest sales in the US; the other, his right hand person and outsourcing manager based in Manila. I was interviewing for a Lead Manager position to oversee their Customer Service and Web Designing team who has had a few problems with demotivation that year due to various leadership turnovers, and I have been answering all their questions for running more than an hour then; they must have asked about maybe 30 and no signs of stopping.

I understood the need for it—they wanted to scrutinize the next person to come on board. It wasn’t easy, yes, although I have been doing and have executed what they were hoping to do and it was simply a matter of pointing out what went right. I was, however, not entirely prepared for the next question:

“So. Your website. Your blog. It’s interesting.”

Gulp.

“How would you feel if your subordinates stumble across it one day and they read about all the swear words you have mixed in the writings?”

Double gulp.

See, I have designed a relevant CV for the job: placed in the skills, the needed experience. The role gave an overview of handling the Web Team, so despite how much careless and unmindful it seemed, I decided to put in the link just to show that I knew html. HOW WAS I TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ THESE THINGS?

(of course, later in life, I would realize that yes, people actually do read these things and more even if you don’t put it on your resume but you’re on Google)

I (think) answered (not very) confidently that people can be very different outside of work some times, but leadership does not get damped by swear words in a blog. We would move on to various other leadership scenarios, and would eventually ask this question:

“What have you learned in your mistakes?”

In all my awkwardness, I answered: “That I shouldn’t put my blog address on my resume?”

They laughed.

They also offered me the role, however I would decline the offer to join a start up and start a career from scratch. I would then learn about the same industry that, three years later, would bring me to Singapore. It was, to say the least, a juxtaposition of the most awkward yet mildly surprising and pleasant moment of my life.

I am telling you this story, to bring you this point: my blog has been deleted.

Two weeks ago while I was going around Hong Kong for a business trip, I found out that my blog’s SQL database has been erased. I was presumably hacked (which I get almost every year, I have no idea why) and my blog database was erased. It could have been easier if it were just the files, but the blog database was targeted (although research points out that it may have been a server error—I don’t want to delve on it because I have no proof, and I don’t want to get angry over a baseless accusation) and my server did not have a backup of my site this time.

I don’t know what to feel. On one hand, I have logged 12+ years’ worth of my life online—all my memories, feelings, write ups, photos, and interactions. It created a map of my psychological being, and perhaps even presented me a better understanding of how my mind works. I blogged emotions—most of them while in an extreme and perhaps even immature state, and it panned 12 years of my development. I look back every once in a while and surprise myself with how I see things then contrasted to how I see things now.

But on the other hand, I have a clean slate. I have the opportunity to build a new reputation online as all the Google logs will now point to empty and obsolete URLs. I now have the option to take down ALL remaining traceable trails and put them into archives that I alone can reach.

I now have the option to not feel worried about having to explain myself every time someone sees old posts of how I was. I now have the option to not feel anxiety when someone Googles my name.

On one hand, I feel angry that a huge part of my life was erased. On another, I feel relieved that a huge part of my life was erased.

I’m moving on.

For the past days, I have been trying to salvage bits and pieces of blogs that I am keen to save. I will repost them and try to save their dates, so please don’t be surprised if I have posts dating back to maybe 2014 or 2013. The scavenger hunt should last two weeks at the most—something to pan out over the holidays. By 2016, I should be back, and ready for new things to share to you.

I hope you’re welcoming the holidays with a smile in your heart!

Yours,
Jayce

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