Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Am Blessed

So, that's it. I'm saying goodbye to the office for about 76 days (although I'll be working from home for the second half of my maternity "leave"). It's a daunting thought. I have never been away from work for that long--in nearly ten years of my professional life, the longest I've gone on leave is about two weeks. I've been feeling very anxious, but there's one indisputable fact that helps me sleep at night: I'm leaving behind the most amazing team.

Every day, I thank my lucky stars that each and every one of the members of the GH staff is hardworking, talented, and extremely pleasant to work with. I've heard that editors tend to hire people who are like themselves--if that's true, then yay me! Haha. Allow me to introduce you to them, because I am just so proud of this bunch and so blessed to be given the chance to spend my everydays with them:

The GH team: Me, Elaine, Niña, Roselle, Kara, Pia, and Lola, with our Official Food Supplier, Jaykee

Niña is our bunso. She's the first employee I ever promoted--just this month, in fact! From editorial assistant, she is now our assistant fashion editor. She has such a great sense of style, and the best part is, the stuff she wears are usually P500 and below! What I love about her is that she doesn't get frazzled, no matter what you throw at her. Nins, can you give a talk in my place on Sunday? "Sure!" Can you write the cover story? Oh, and it's due tomorrow morning. "OK!" Can you pull out items for our gift list from 14 different stores? "Kakayanin." I have never heard her say, "I don't think I can do that." What a trooper! Which is why I was so eager to promote her. HR and I had a bit of a dilemma though, because Niña can go on so many different paths--she has the potential to be a staff writer, a managing editor, a fashion editor...But things worked out in such a way that she'll be given the chance to pursue fashion, which is really at the top of her list of interests.

Kara is our art director. She's always full of energy--when we had a dog around at our shoot, the dog just suddenly perked up because she was feeding off Kara's hyper-ness. I also love her sense of style: classic and polished and feminine and fun. It's reflected in her outfits, her home, and her design aesthetic. She and I seem to have the same vision for the mag; it's funny how she pitches a layout sometimes, and it's exactly what I had in mind. She comes in early, works late, works on weekends, and never, ever complains. (At least not to my face!) She seems to really love her job. I don't want her to burn out though (and I want her to be able to spend more time with her two-year-old), so we've been looking for an assistant for her. Really hope we find someone soon.

Pia. Oh, Pia. She is our beloved beauty and fashion editor. I call her our happy working elf, because she has the most positive vibe. Whenever Pia's around, there is the sound of laughter. (And a supply of food. Har.) She also really knows her stuff--years of working in beauty have made her a walking encyclopedia of anything related to skin care. Her fashion pages are also getting better and better. Sometimes I get all giddy when I see the results of her latest shoot!

Lola is our managing editor. She always, always has a smile on her face. She's soft-spoken and kind of demure, and has a way of coating stuff in honey, even when she's breathing down your neck about a deadline. She is loyal and efficient and very eager to learn. And, like the rest of the staff, extremely dedicated to her work--I can count the number of times that she went home before I did. It's like she won't leave until she knows I absolutely don't need anything anymore!

The one whom I believe has the best job among all of us is our associate food editor Roselle. As the girl in charge of our food section, she spends her days either at restaurant openings or at home in her kitchen testing recipes! Her love of food is palpable. When we were at Spiral for the reopening press conference, she was practically skipping around, all starry-eyed, giddily saying things like, "THEY HAVE A HAM AND CHEESE ROOM!!!" She has both a journalism and a culinary background (she's a legit chef), so it's the perfect mix for the job. Our US bosses were quite surprised when they met her because she manages to remain skinny despite the perks (pitfalls?) of her job. 

Our latest addition is Elaine, formerly of OK! Magazine. We've only been officially working with her for a couple of weeks, but already she's showing the kind of sipag, positivity, and passion that I love. Before it was even officially her first day, she already set up her cubicle so everything would be ready come Monday, cleaning up and posting a photo of a shirtless Zac Efron. (A photo of her fiance soon followed.) Her previous boss, Frances, gave her a perfect 100 (!) in her last couple of evaluations--I have never given, nor gotten, a 100 in my life. Like she once told Frances, she told me that she would like to be an editor in chief in the future. That's a big reason I hired her--I can finally retire. (Kidding.)   

Melody and me at Central Park, NYC

My mom used to say that she and I were "partners in prayer and sanity." Melody, our associate publisher, is kind of my office version of that. She keeps me from going nuts, offers support, and plays a huge part in making sure that GH stays the number one family and home magazine! Even when her plate is full, she can't help but ask if other people need help. I don't know how she does it--she's so incredibly busy with all her responsibilities, she's a mom to a teenager, she finds time to work out, she's constantly traveling...she is truly living a full life. (P.S. Melody certainly lives up to her name--she's got a beautiful voice.)

And as proof that I really am working with a stellar team, we actually made it onto the company president's annual honor roll! Each year, she gives a speech at the office Christmas party, where she commends outstanding departments and individuals. Shock of my life (and kilig to death) when she mentioned Good Housekeeping! She said that our magazine and Smart Parenting have "made mommy magazines sexy, fresh, and sale-able." She even mentioned my name. And just that afternoon, I was telling everyone how in seven years with the company, my magazine had never made it to the honor roll. While others said it didn't matter because it didn't come with monetary rewards or anything, I joked, "But I thrive on praise. Compliments are my sunshine!" I was kidding, of course, but having my magazine and my fantastic team recognized--it really felt like sunshine.

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