imperial america

a friend of mine arranged for a meeting last night to discuss some labor issues that resulted from the decision of her american company to let her go. according to her, the meeting she had with her HR director and an expat was very short, and the words of her american manager were these: "i'll cut to the chase. your position is no longer needed. you don't need to report for work. return your badge, your blackberry, and your laptop."

my friend works in a call center, and i could hear train in my head when i reviewed the separation package being offered her. i couldn't believe at first how terribly high these filipino middle managers are earning in these cube farms. my next surprise was how callous these americans were. we all know that the world is experiencing an economic slowdown, led by US fears of recession. as a consequence, my friend and several other high-earning filipinos who have made lucrative careers jumping ship from one call center to the other, are being let go, and offered severance packages in the guise of redundancy. it's already a pretty generous offer, and my friend was somehow enlightened when she decided to accept it. but what disgusts me is that these americans have absolutely no regard for our local laws. they must think we are still a colony.

they think that they can just come to this country with their cutthroat american employment ideas and tell filipinos to pack up and go home without regard for due process and the law. it reminds me of elimination at ANTM, but at least tyra is a little less harsh when she informs an aspiring top model that her photo is not in her hands. i have never been a fan of the united states of america, and i think that they are to blame for much of what is wrong with philippine society. they bring business to the philippines and think that we should all be happy for the work, when they aren't here to give filipinos jobs, but primarily because labor is so much cheaper here. it's all about profit, and there are no lofty ideals about providing jobs to filipinos.

having said that, my friend will have a windfall by the end of next month. she will probably find another job, as the call center industry isn't really slowing down, at least not in the way that other industries are portrayed. more than half the ads on paper are openings at call centers. i just cannot imagine myself working in a small cubicle, surrounded by other people no farther than 5 feet away, not having windows to see whether the sun is still out. it's pretty interesting. and it's an english-speaking zone , with people speaking in all these strange accents i couldn't place. and to think that there was one time that i actually considered working at a call center.
Hey, what do you expect from a nation where some people would actually kill their relatives for money? It's their culture dude. And of course, you have to factor in their perceived entitlement to almost anything.

Labor is still easy to source out here. And that makes it easy for foreign companies to just toss people around. Running a business can be brutal, but hey, there's karma.

keep the call center industry rolling. Alman, they are laying off people here and they are so worried about skyrocketing gas prices (and I have a feeling, food will come in next). Sa loob ko lang: "oy, umayos kayo, kiliti pa lang yan compared sa Pinas". hahahahaha

haha. i think these americans are just really worried about their diminished purchasing power and unpaid mortgages on their homes. sub-prime ba? parang may alam ako dun. pretty soon, there would be so many new homes up for auctions from banks. maka-invest nga dyan ng condo unit, haha! in my dreams!
yeah a lot of sub prime mortgages. and now, they're having foreclosures even in the wealth side of the fence. This is one country where you can actually live on utang.

actually, with a stronger peso (or a weaker dollar), you can scavenge for cheap houses here :)