"Ingat Ka Sa Mga Pilipino"

I haven't written in a while. It's not because of the lack of something to say. In fact, it's the opposite. Too many things are happening that I could have written here three times a day and still wouldn't be able to get get it all out.

It has been a balance of good and bad but it was never short of lessons. However, most of the bad comes with with good and I've learned that it is always better to shut up when the things I want to say could damage other people's reputation and also mine. After all, it will be my words and my point of view. Most of the time, what people say about other people is the reflection of the character of the person talking not the person being talked about.

So, I shut up.

However, I am finally in that stage when I am able to practice some self restraint. I am also able to use my brain enough for me to know the consequences of what I will say.

One thing I want to get out is my experience with my first job. Coming here, I knew I had to start all over again. As great as my achievement are in the Philippines, nobody really gives a damn about it here. It's a new country, with different culture and different standards.

My first job was in a small company. In fact, it was essentially just the owner of the company and me. She is a Filipina by heritage and American by nationality. Like me, she graduated in the Philippines, worked and then packed her bags to risk it all in the US. She's doing fine by Filipino standards. She is runs a business and a single parent to her kids. The father is present in the kids' life but not in hers.

I thought I hit jackpot with her. She promised to help me get into the school where I want to study in for a Master's degree. She promised other things. I should have gotten a clue that there is something wrong in my first full day with her.

The First Clue

She gave me detailed guides on how to answer the phones, how to respond, what to say, how to arrange my tables and other things. I didn't see it as a big deal, after all, she is not the first OCD boss in the face of the Earth.

Then, a phone call came in while she was in another call. Any decent human being will tell the current caller that the person he wants to speak with is still in another call and she will call back when she's done. My boss got pissed when she heard me say that asked to put people on hold while she's on the phone. She said, she can "multi task".

I almost laughed. People can multitask but only on selected tasks. For example, it is impossible to talk with two people at the same time. The brain is not programmed to take in two simultaneous information through the ears. It's just how we are built.

Second, it's rude and impolite. Why put people on hold? Call them back when you're free.

Horrible Customer Service

She takes in orders and promises to deliver the order but 90 percent of those fall out. Yes, 90 percent of the people that call us to purchase our products never get served. She does not tell them we will not be able to deliver the product, she just doesn't.

Holding Me Responsible for Something I Disapprove

I came in as an office assistant but when she learned that I do marketing, she had me create a marketing plan for the business. she said she has been planning on doing a facelift.

I presented a marketing plant that addresses the major problem of the company: 1) Customer Service Every customer should be entertained and if they can't be accommodated, they have ot be informed. Each customer needs to get a response within 24 hours. Customer inquiries that may not be about "buying" the product must still be entertained. 2) Redesigning the website to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for and submit orders. 3) Fixing the email list so that each subscriber gets offers they are already interested in.

She turned it down. She said that customer service is not my problem and she wants to do marketing efforts she has been doing in the past which consisted of events and ads. I told her that's not marketing but she wins, of course. Then she said I am responsible for the results. I told her the problems is that no matter how hard I try (and I did), it will fail. The even bigger problem is that she will hold it against me.

Other Violations

  1. Late Salary - Then, she never showed me how she computed my salary. I always get, at least, $100 short of what I was supposed to get. It was constantly delayed and she also ended up owing me money and it's not just because she didn't pay me but she literally took my money and didn't return it
  2. Inconsiderate - More than once, I was sick and she wouldn't let me go home because she needed someone to answer the phone
  3. Abusive - She'd text me on weekends, at night, when I am on leave and when I am on break
  4. Time Abuse - She never let me go home on time and she doesn't allow me to go out for breaks.
  5. She yelled at me - I took a step back and thought hard. There are a lot of things I'd do to make living here work but I worked hard in order to learn how to value myself. So, I gave her a warning. I told her that if she yells at me again, I was out of there. She did it again. I walked out.

She Has Issues

Yeah, she has issues. I've come to know that. I learned that:

  1. an employee already sued her for the same things she was doing to me. She lost that one
  2. her bank is taking her house back because she can't pay
  3. she constantly gets summons from IRS because she's not paying her taxes


My cousin who has been here for almost a decade told me to be careful with Filipinos. Yeah, I know it sounds racist and it's a shame that he is saying it against our own but yes, it's true. Not ever Filipino is a cheater and takes advantage of people but they are a plenty. I know that the Filipino friends I have here are good people and they have proven that time again. This one (my former boss) is just one of those on the other side of the spectrum.

There is also that old adage, never compromise your self respect. Make that your guiding principle, the anchor of your decisions. When you truly respect yourself, you will respect other people too and will know when you say enough is enough.

The eight months I was with her were too much. I know that now. I did what I thought I had to do but now that I know better, I can do better.


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