A Call Center Christmas

You know, I never really appreciated just how special Noche Buena was, until I worked as a call center agent. Just like soldiers, doctors and nurses, call center people don’t have the luxury of a choice when it comes to spending this special occasion with their families. And while I understand the reason why soldiers and medical practitioners have to be on duty, I find it hard to comprehend why contact centers don’t get to enjoy Christmas Eve. Okay, I get the whole 24/7 concept, but come on, aren’t there other contact centers around the world who could receive these calls while we celebrate this most important meal for Pinoys?

Apparently “Intraday,” or that department that handles work schedules, think that the millions of Americans (or any other clients)—who never call the entire year, will choose Christmas (or New Year) to call about their bills, ask about credit cards or seek technical assistance— so much so that the other Christmas-less centers in other parts of the planet wouldn’t be able to get through the day without us.
Well, at least you get paid double for spending Noche Buena on a different day—plus an excuse to hide from those extra “inaanaks.”

I left the call center world a day before Christmas Eve; and although the chance to experience working through the holiday at least once was quite tempting, I didn’t want to face the fury of my mother who spends two days preparing all her specialties for our Christmas meal.

So to my wave mates Oscar Brioso, Karina Quismundo, Jona Liza Sol, Neil Umali, Von Salazar, Shine Sardea, Anton Reverente, Mady Matalang, Sheryll del Rosario, Franz Alcid, Jayvee Agbayani, Philip Sibayan, Rey Teves, Ryan Soriano, Annie Carbonel, Tristan Codamon, Mimi Mendoza, Keziah Mariquit, Abel Dom Francisco, Rochelle Acuavera, Patrick de Villa, Robert Paragas, Elvie Bautista, Rose Anuran, Dave Candole,
TMs Jericho Seraspi, Chris, Audrey, Kristine, Jay David, Mafi and Jack, as well as the nameless anime girl and death metal chick from Sirius that I never got to meet, and the rest of the people at Stream Global Services—thanks for letting me in your world and giving me a lot of memories to blog about. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Play crazy kart, date Gaby

While playing videogames may not be the best way to shed off those holiday pounds, it may be the only way to get a date with hottie Gaby de la Merced.

CK2RBO, the latest evolution of the highly successful Crazy Kart online racing game, goes full throttle with higher difficulty levels, faster karts and exciting new game features. To pump up the race experience, Level Up! Games is upping the ante with an in-game promo that gives players a chance to win a race date with top female racer and CK2RBO endorser Gaby de la Merced plus a brand new Neo laptop.

A much sought after personality for her forays in racing, modeling and television, del la Merced is known as one of the few Filipinas to dominate the Asian Formula 3 circuit. “It’s exciting to be part of CK2RBO, not only because I love racing but because I’m a gamer myself. “

“Win a Race Date with Gaby” is an in-game raffle for players of CK2RBO. To qualify, players need to reach level 40 before January 15. The game is free to download at http://crazykart2.levelupgames.ph/download.php. Upon download, simply register an account and start playing to reach level 40.

CK2RBO treats players to more hair-raising twists and turns in more challenging maps, a boss/chase battle, more game features like the race team formation system, quest system and even a marriage system.


Runes of Magic achieves the biggest single-day free-play event
Runes of Magic, e-Games newest game, recently held the biggest single-day free play event in December 11 holding a nationwide simultaneous freeplay event. A large host of players flocked the selected key Internet cafés located strategically around Metro Manila, with other vital locations in Bulacan, Cebu and Davao.

Besides increasing the already brimming awareness on Runes of Magic, the free-play event also served as a test phase for the servers that will house the upcoming open beta testing (OBT) and commercial periods.
This is the way for IP e-Game Ventures Inc. to ensure its players will receive the utmost game experience and satisfaction. The event also made it possible for e-Games know from the players themselves their suggestions and expectations from the game.

“Players who have come to participate in the free-play event really liked the Runes of Magic because it provides one of the most unique gaming experiences ever,” IP e-Games vice president for MMORPG group, Heidi Mendita-Garayblas, said. She added that the players enjoyed ROM because it provided them with a refreshing gameplay, the most noteworthy of which is the dual-class system.

ROM’s Dual-class character system is just one of among the exciting game features it offers. The other cool game highlights include the guild castle creation, instance dungeons, in-game housing and server-versus-server player-versus-player.

Gamers who participated in the Runes of Magic Nationwide freeplay event received exclusive ROM merchandise and they will each receive cool in-game items in the open beta testing period.

Mendita-Garayblas added that there would be more free-play events during the OBT period, which will happen on January 8. The Runes of Magic open beta testing will feature new maps, better item shop selections, and a level 35 cap. Fresh maps and a level 50 cap will soon follow the OBT week.

This latest accomplishment adds to the already glittery collection of awards and achievements that Runes of Magic had obtained internationally. Recently, the game garnered the Best International PC Game for 2009 in the German Game Developer Awards. Currently, there are over 2.5 million registered Runes of Magic players around the world.

For more information, go to www.runesofmagic.com.ph.

Surgeons train with Wii