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There’s always a Side B (Light at tunnel’s end)

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - Last Updated on July 21, 2015
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GenX can readily identify with Side B. It brings warm memories of the CD and DVD’s predecessors called 33’s or long playing albums or the smaller 45’s version which were played in phonographs. This was also common in the good old analog cassette tapes.

But Side B can be more than the flip side of some old vinyl records. It can be pretty useful when applied in real life. Television production people learn this early on in their profession.

When doing an outside shoot, there is always Plan B or the Contingency Plan, that is, another indoor location especially for interview in anticipation of things like a sudden downpour, uncontrollable crowd or too much ambient sounds while taping.

During live coverage, there is the familiar phrase, “play by ear”. Although there is a sequence guide, the team should be flexible enough because anything and everything can happen. The host should be alert for any sudden change and adapt easily. It helps to be well researched on the event or topic to be able to stretch his spiels on-cam while the off-cam staff and crew trouble shoot on the side.

When on assignment in a far-flung area, always have reserve resources aside from the common load- extra batteries for the microphones, tapes (now memory cards), back-up camera (or at least know where to get one when the assigned unit bogs down), because more often than not, you won’t get that in the local stores. Extra clothes would help, too, especially when the trip extends.

There is even a running joke among TV colleagues that when one gets trapped in a remote area, side B of undies could always be used. Yes, it sounds gross but life is all about side B’s.
You never know when life gives a big blow so expect the unexpected so always be ready for a detour.

The Side B mentality does not only give a sense of readiness. It also helps develop a more positive point of view when things go wrong.

The Side B mindset went through acid test for 10 union officers who were initially placed on preventive suspension and eventually dismissed on the basis of some fabricated stories. All of them faced the same circumstance but they all reacted differently.
In his book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” Dr. Spencer Johnson defined four different character types when faced with change. According to businessbooksummary.blogspot.com, “Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, or spiritual peace of mind.” People have different tendencies when the things they strive for are taken away.

The 10 dismissed officers roughly fall under these categories. Sniff, the mouse, could sniff out changes early on and anticipates it with a kind of readiness. His mouse friend, Scurry, does not over analyze and just gets things done.

Having a side B psychology makes anticipation and adaptation to change easier like Sniff and Scurry, The dismissed union officers may have faced the daunting reality of losing their major income source to support their families but most of them stood their ground until they were finally proven innocent and reinstated to their posts. They moved on and found ways to surf through the tide.

Despite the trying times, they realized that the Side B life had so much in store than the Side A comfort zone they got so used to. Borgy, studio lightman for 15 years, discovered he had a knack for business and got into rice dealership with the help of his sister’s financing. Arwin, a director of 5 years, accepted projects from other networks. Ada, a programming clerk, went back to her old job as speed sewer and got projects by the bulk. Annie, a producer for 12 years, decided it was the right time to share her talent to the young generation so she took up teaching assignments in a nearby university. Jam, a scriptwriter of 20 years, explored online work.

Dr. Johnson also presents the two little men in his book. Haw, who learns to adapt after quite a while when he sees something better and Hem who wants to work in a place that is safe and where the changes make sense to him. He gets easily attached to his comfort zone and fears the unknown.

In like manner, Sonny, a microwave man for 8 years, initially got into depression over the loss of his sick mother. She had heart failure upon discovering her son’s termination. Eventually, he picked himself up and started contract-out services as utility and technical person.

Things turned out quite differently for two officers who like Hem was paralyzed by panic. While on “forced vacation,” Dante hardly did anything as he tried to hold on to the memory of his old work and relied on loans for him to survive and support his dependents.

The worse version of Hem does not only get extinct out of terror, even his sense of principle vanishes into thin air just to retain his status quo. At the first sign of trouble, Darwin immediately dropped his loyalty to the cause of the employees association. Dreading the loss of his job, he took the advice of a drinking buddy from management and apologized to the big boss for whatever wrong he may have committed. Unfortunately, he was not absolved of the phantom crime and was still penalized with an additional 6-month suspension.

In the end, those who easily accepted the temporal termination and moved on to better things prevailed. After almost a year of the slow grind of justice, the dismissed officers were reinstated and given all their back wages and benefits. When asked how they survived, they only have one answer. They stuck to the biggest Side B of life: the belief that God is in control and that he has bigger and better plans for them no matter what.

Photo: from www//crackberry.com/

Jasmine Barrios (56 Posts)


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