See Every Cent In Your Work

John Sowell assumed his current post only last August. Among his most important previous positions was Manager of Del Monte International's Hongkong Branch and PPC's Financial Planning and Analysis Division. Five big departments fall under his present responsibility: General Accounting - Billing, Payables and Collections; General Accounting Accounting, Budget and Property Tax; Auditing; and, Banking and Insurance.

He says himself as “rather bashful,” but a colleague who knows him well describes John as “nice and easy to approach though he's not likely to open immediately or instantly give life to a conversation.

He's one guy around who has a real concern for his people.” John's Secretary, Susan Lonzame, likewise takes note of her boss as “a nice and quiet type of a man.”

Like his wife, Linda Marie, John is also from California. He was recently questioned for all our employees to get some glimpses of the key men from our Makati Office. Excerpts:

QUESTION: May we know the general nature of your job?

JOHN: Well, it’s generally about taking proper accounts. My work involves a lot of decision-making, and I'm also acting as a sounding board of ideas.

Q: What's your initial impression of your new assignment?

A: I enjoy it. I'm also happy with the cooperation I get from the people who work with me.

Q: What's your concept on an “enjoyable job?”

A: Essential jobs - those which you can see what you accomplish. It's a good job and a good thing to do when you see every cent and peso in your work. Otherwise, you wouldn't feel its value.

Q: What's your general attitude towards your work?

A: Always to do it well, and to have the willingness to put in all the time there is.

Q: Towards your people?

A: I particularly like the honest and intelligent.

Q: Please elaborate.

A: Everybody makes mistakes. Honest people don't assume they know all; otherwise, things end up in a mess. Not arguing with the boss, intelligent people do their jobs to the best of their abilities and are able to meet the requirements fast. (A phone call interrupts, and John promptly answers, as he jots down something. He writes with his left hand and gestures with it. He puts down the phone and smiles to mean he's ready with more questions}.

Q: Are you particular about being fast?

A: Of course, and accurate. But certainly, everybody needs to wind down for rest.

Q: In your four years with PPC, what impressed you most about its employees?

A: Their loyalty and devotion to the Company. It's very good. I'm impressed by the long years of service of many employees.

Q: Kindly tell us how you generally find the Filipino people.

A: Filipinos are very friendly people. I can feel it even among the ordinary people in the street. Adoption to your ways is relatively easy, although I still have to learn a lot.

Q: Do you engage in other concerns aside from your job here?

A: No; after work, I usually spend my time with my family.

Q: How do you spend your off-work time?

A: Hobbies, you mean?

Q: Yes, and your social activities.

A: I play all types of games, especially chess - oh, I like to play chess till nobody else will! Socials - I don't usually go into these. I'm rather bashful. I only have a couple of friends and besides, I'm not a great conversation-maker.

Just Like One Of You People

Here are some interesting, new facts we've found out in our interview with Arturo “Popoy” K. Libria, Jr.

QUESTION: You've been quite an object of admiration with your recent promotion as Manager after only five years with the Company. May we know how you've made it?

POPOY: I really don't know. Arid there's no secret at all about it. As far as I'm concerned, the company has been good to me and the rule I follow is to always do things in the best way. My people pushed me up!

Q. How do you particularly feel now?

A. Naturally, I'm happy that I've made it. I haven't changed, except that my outlook has now become broader. My habits are still the same; although, in the office I'm a bit formal. But outside, I'm like one of you people.

Q. Your designation looks very technical to us. If we could compare the company’s operation to a small store business, where do you come in?

A. (With a hearty smile) Oh, it's more, more complex than that. Anyway, let me see … Maybe, it's in the pricing of the products, determining how much profit would be derived, deciding whether to buy now in bulk or in few quantities . . . but ours is really more complex. We work on an operating budget. Our output is used in management decisions; it's one of the tools of Management for decision-making. In addition, the Legal Department is under me.

Q. How do you size up the people working under you?

A. They're a professional group, CPA's and lawyers. They get the work done and are very efficient and competent. We hardly work any overtime, and I'm proud of them. As I've said, they pushed me up.

Q. You are particular about happiness. May we know your concepts of it?

A. Yes, and as I've said, my endeavors in life are geared towards happiness. I'm happy with my job, my family and friends. If you're successful, you're happy. Most people equate happiness with material success. Which is not and should not be. Each man can be happy in his own way, like in having raised a good family. Any success is happiness.

Q. How do you look at life in general?

A. Since marriage, which has been the turning point of my life, I have become more determined to succeed in life. My education is my only resources, and hence, I put it in full use. I had a hard life, you see.

Q. So you did not come from a rich family?

A. No. My father is a physician and was Assistant Professor in UP. He's retired. Through his guidance, I've accomplished a lot. My mother is a Katigbak; but if there are rich Katigbak's, there are also poor ones and she is one of them. My wife is working; she attends to our little business. And I haven't been abroad, see?

Q. What made you rejoin the Company?

A. I was enticed to come back and work with a Fred, a friend. I had been impressed with the company and with Fred - he's very systematic and logical.

Q. Do you have some words of advice to our employees?

A. Oh (he smiles, as if amused by the question, and hesitatingly answers), well, you're here to work so do it in the best way you can, Don't do things for the sake of doing; put your heart into it.

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