27 November 2006

when roni met ronny

the 21st of november marked the day when roni met ronny. after a month of preparation, i was ready to welcome our guest of honor, Ronny Chiu, Pharm.D. of Walgreens California. sending out hundreds of e-mails and text messages was only the first step, handling the event was a totally different story...

accepting the job as project coordinator was a no-brainer. i had no work, the job offer was home-based, and the pay was good. i was scheduled to report in the office 3 times a week but i only reported whenever i felt like it. the job was perfect for me.

so then november 21 came. i was an hour and a half early, doing last minute preparations and setting up the venue. i was waiting for a Ronny Chiu whom i haven't met yet nor have seen even in pictures. one by one, people were starting to fill up the room. everyone was anxious to find out who exactly is this Ronny Chiu. A man then entered the room, and looked for Ron. that's me! it was him, and a firm handshake started things off.

Ronny just went through his business. he had a presentation about the Walgreens Company, and then interviewed qualified applicants to be hired as pharmacy interns in the US. i was in charge of his schedule and i was with him in the most part of the day. and in between interviews we would talk about things from the state of pharmacy in the philippines to the traffic situation in manila.

after a couple of days of presentation and interviews, a huge problem reared its ugly head. apparently, the pharmacists were having issues with the POEA. applicants were no longer allowed to be hired directly by Walgreens since they have exceeded their quota. and unless Walgreens ties up with an agency in the philippines, something the company opposes, all aspiring Walgreens employees will have to look for other opportunities.

fortunately, someone managed to set-up a meeting between Ronny and the POEA deputy administrator. and with Ronny not familiar on how to get to the POEA office, i was there to accompany him.

it was a good thing i was wearing formal wear that week. we went to the POEA office and the deputy administrator welcomed us to his office, all the while thinking i was someone important. i think the necktie did the trick. i was even asking Ronny if i should just be waiting outside and not be part of the meeting. he said it was okay.

so they started talking while i was intently listening. from time to time i would nod my head to make them feel that i was indeed part of that meeting. i think i was able to squeeze a couple of words in. good enough for me. the meeting ended in a stalemate. Ronny gave out his calling card and so did the deputy administrator. he also gave me one but i could only give him a "thank you" and a handshake for i don't have a calling card.

it was really cool hanging out with Ronny. i got to meet all kinds of people and i learned a lot from him. he cares for the filipino pharmacists, even going out of his way just to give them a chance to work at a great company. he is down-to-earth that you won't even think that he's raking in hundreds of thousand of dollars from the way he handles himself in a crowd. hopefully we cross paths again and maybe he could put in a good word for me so i could get rich myself! just kidding. or maybe not.

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