ALMOST got a heart attack last week.

That's what usually ail people like me who label themselves journalists.

It's neither the Coors nor the pork sisig at Dinoy's, an exclusive enclave for the Quezon City-based enlightened spender. My heart flutters when I sense I may have gotten a story wrong.

The source of the palpitation was a message from a press relations executive I've known since my stint with the Manila Times.

I am rarely honored by getting this executive's attention so I was taken aback when he cited a story I wrote about a business process outsourcing (BPO) company's lackluster third quarter (Q3) performance.

The message said I should've compared revenue on a year-over-year (YOY) basis, and not quarter-on-quarter (QOQ) since the BPO's Q3 2009 resulted better than in Q3 2008.

While my hunch was the story is correct, fair, and accurate, I felt gravel roll on my innards.

My spider senses told me to acquire wisdom through the lofty ritual a select bunch of people called journalists engage in: beer drinking.

My hand was wringing a second bottle when I popped the message to these two esteemed members of the press.

"Yup, you were sorta' wrong there," the newspaperman from Palawan said in between bites of chicken adobo-sa-gata, which he became gastronomically enamored with that balmy night.

I turned my gaze to the reporter from the Kalookan Republic hoping to get a second opinion. But he agreed with the adodo-man.

Traitor, I almost blurted out, but he was also paying for our liquid diet that night.

"Usually, QOQ data is applied to macroeconomic stories, to show how healthy or frail the economy is. We don't usually do that for companies." The now-Sampaloc resident Palawe├▒o added that a QOQ data would present trends of a company's performance.

After realizing I'm reluctant to go Dutch after two rounds, the two wise men of Manila relented and saw the wisdom of my story.

Both realized that comparing a company's quarterly performance is okay if it's in the BPO industry.

The adobo-lover said that a BPO's revenue source is relatively stable than other firms because this is presumed to be within a contract.

He added that a QOQ story is okay because we are living in extraordinary times, e.g., a US economy requiring enema.

I wizened up and presented my case to these wise men of the ink-stained realm.

I said my story stemmed from the BPO chief executive's candor to admit Q3 revenue was nearly a million-dollar short to match Q2 because of its client's faltering business.

I argued that the closure of the client's facility had a major impact on the revenue of the BPO servicing the principal.

Finally, realizing the liquidity of our wallets hobbled our ability to order a third bucket, we agreed that a BPO company's performance in Q3 2009 is important as the US economic recovery level remains in a stupor since recession kicked in in Q3 2008.

Having chucked out our lunch money as donation to a small business, the wise men assured me I got the story right and plopped me on a cab.

But my wife nearly had a heart attack when she realized it's breaking near dawn when I arrived home.

Disclaimer: Mentioning a specific brand of beer or establishment here doesn't preclude an endorsement. The blogger also neither benefited from nor received any material privilege from the owners of the brands cited in this blog entry.

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