cheap ba ako? na-chi-cheapan ka ba sa akin?
-- alma moreno in “the rape of virginia p.
yesterday, we had some visitors in the office. the executive director showed them around and talked about the kind of work we did. while he was in our area, he explained that we (meaning us) reported to people based abroad. he emphasized the global scope of our work, whether it was marketing, professional support, web communications, etc. then the visitor asked, “why do they hire in manila?” i would’ve said, why not? anyway, the question was really why would they offshore services and opt instead to invest so much in a telecommunications infrastructure to eliminate the oceans that separate us from our bosses. well, the executive director very nonchalantly responded that the baker guys hire in manila because “we are cheap.” and he emphasized this in that short conversation more than 3 times. we are cheap. cheap. cheap. it’s true, actually, but i would’ve appreciated it if he resorted instead to a euphemism. in the minutes of the meetings of the global steering committee that i report to, they referred to the manila hire -- me -- as cost-effective. low-cost but extremely qualified. high-quality work for a fraction of the expense if they hired elsewhere in the world. come to think of it, yeah, i am cheap.