What To Do When A Category 5 Typhoon Interrupts Proving Yourself In Your First Job

Clare Anderson
20th May 2021
 < 1 min read

Marc - Network Planner (Fiber Optics Network Design).

I’ve grown up with typhoons and the havoc they wreck to people, property and the environment. Category 5 Typhoon Goni was a whole different story though - and couldn’t have come at a worse time! Like the pandemic wasn’t enough, this Super Typhoon decided it was going to be the strongest to hit the Philippines in 2020 - just as I was doing my level best to pass my probationary period in my first job. I can laugh about it now but, trust me, it wasn’t funny at the time. 

Just for good measure, it turned out that we were in for a sequence of three typhoons in three consecutive weeks! The first wasn’t too bad and lasted only a few days. We knew the biggie was on its way though - so I dug deep and started planning to the best of my ability. We weren’t sure where and when Goni was going to make landfall as it kept changing its path. I monitored the news constantly and let my team know that power and the internet were going down for me soon. Being new, I had no leave days to take so I worked overtime to make up for my impending timeout as best I could. Whilst I wasn’t pressured in any way, I desperately wanted to finish the project I was working on. My team was grateful and trusted me to do my best in the circumstances. 

By the time Typhoon Goni arrived, my conscience was clear that I was doing everything I could to honour my responsibilities. It was extremely powerful - raging through our province and leaving a trail of damaged city buildings, flooded streets and no power or internet behind it. I was determined to carry on working so got on the road to friends and family who still had an internet connection, letting my co-workers know where I’d be, and when. I wasn’t always able to work during my standard shifts but I made sure I worked wherever and whenever was possible, during the night if needs be. 

The support and understanding my colleagues gave me was stupendous. They assuaged my stress and embarrassment in feeling so unreliable, even though it wasn’t something I could control. They even provided a substitute to step in and carry out my role when I really couldn’t make any kind of plan. Most of all they had genuine concern for my welfare. I feel truly blessed to be part of a company that pulls together to ‘make a plan’ and makes a bad situation as easy as possible. By the time the third in the series of Typhoons hit us, I knew all was going to be ok - I was part of a circle of genuine trust, understanding and caring - when the going gets tough, there’s always an alternative solution!



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