Philippine Job Insanity. Are You Insane?
I guess it falls under the general heading of that famous saying attributed to Albert Einstein … the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I have tried to make it clear here on PhilFAQS, where I try to tell you the truth about what low-level jobs in the Philippines are like … start with this article if you haven’t yet read it …
But still the requests flow in. “Please tell me how I can get a job there in the Philippines. I love my girlfriend so much I just have to live and work there. I don’t care about low pay, I can live on very little.” (About the only difference between one helpless blunderer and the next is that a great many people never even say please.)
Just how little do you people think of yourselves, anyway. I really think I should start a new website/service designed to teach people self-respect, as it is obvious that a great many of my readers/job requestors just don’t have any. Sad.
Here’s one recent comment which tells it as it is. it was contributed by long-time reader Fred, a fellow foreigner who lives here in the Philippines, and unlike the guys who are looking at the world through rose colored glasses, will not mince words and hide the truth to try to make you think it is like “living in paradise” here. It is not.
Reader Fred recently sent in this comment.
(Truth is, many of you out there who say you want a job won’t work as hard as Fred’s step-son does. One of the things I have learned in my 67 years of being associated with workers in the US is that today people are far, far lazier than, say my father and his peers. What passes for ‘hard work” today often equates more to just staying awake until quitting time. Hoeing weeds is hard work. Digging ditches is hard work. Pulling calves in a February blizzard is hard work. Staring at a computer screen and being bored? Not so much)
Anyway, my editorial comments aside, here’s what Fred has to say:
You seem to get a lot of letters about working in the Philippines from non-Filipinos, I thought I would give you a shout out about how a Filipino is treated.
When my step-son leaves to go to work, he is neatly dressed, no flip-flops, no muscle t-shirt. Looks very presentable.
He goes to where the store is, opens up the store an closes it at night. He has the KEYS. He is generally there from 0900 till 1800 6 days a week. Sometimes 7 days.
The store sells Motors and small appliances. He sets up the display, takes them down at night. Keeps the place as clean as he can, as the store sits beside a very dusty road. Most of the time he is the only person there.
Sometimes he takes money from customers making payments. He does not like to, but a lot of times the collector has not come to receive payments. He figures that it is best to get the money when the customer has it, than trying to chase them down later.
He sells Motors an the appliances, when the sale is approved in the office and all of the paperwork has been processed, he releases the item from the store. He also briefs the customer on how to take care of the item.
For this he gets 150P a day, they call it an allowance. Nothing in the way of BENEFITS, gets no commission or anything on what he sells.
For the typically math challenged reader, this comes out to less than $4 USD per day. And foreigner or Filipino, you still want a job in the Philippines?
Read this excerpt from Dave DeWall’s ongoing saga of the job adventures/miss-adventures of his two bright, well-educated nieces here in the Philippines:
… Our 19-year-old niece, April, finished up her four month contract wits SM Department Store in Iloilo City this past December 31st. She was classified as an “out right” employee for the biggest department store chain in the Philippines and did not work for an outside employment agency. If she had been hired as a five month contractual worker with an outside firm, she would have had the option to renew her contract immediately.
As it is, April has to wait three months before applying to Shoe Mart, SM, again. She made an extra 10 pesos a day as an “out right” employee versus an employee that works for an outside agency. I estimate that the extra ten pesos a day amounts to about P1,040, around 25.59 US Dollars (she worked six days a week at a salary of P277 a day.) Doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out the outside agency sales clerks who can renew their contracts automatically come out way ahead.
The fact that our niece cannot collect her last paycheck until 30 days after her last day of work also irks me. She was getting paid on the 5th and 20th of each month and I can’t figure out why SM holds the employee’s last check. But all in all, it was a good work experience for her and something she can add to her resume.
April is now enrolled in call center classes at the Philippine Call Center Institute (PCCI). Her twin sister, Michelle, took the free month long course, but unfortunately it did not help her land a job. I’ve strongly suggested to Michelle that she focus on another line of work. She has plans to apply at SM City. If she could get hired, it would at least give her some job experience and extra spending money. She keeps busy with all of the household chores such as cleaning the house and helping with the laundry. … Even better, read the whole article, he makes a lot of other well-thought-out points about what jobs in the Philippines REALLY are. …
P 277 a day, after years of schooling and months of wading through the thicket of job applications and the rest of the selection process … to be offered a temporary-only job at about $6.50 US per day?
Frank (not his real name) is a relative by marriage of mine. He is in his mid-forties and is quite proficient in English as well as most business subjects. However, Frank never completed a college degree, therefore. he isn’t even qualified for most call center work, or even a security guard job in many cases.
When I first came to the Philippines he was working as the manager of a “water shop”. For those who are always asking about a business they can start in the Philippines, a water shop … a filtered, bottled water delivery service … is a great candidate. You can make money with one of these. As long as you pay starvation wages and treat your employees like shit, you can go far.
Frank was getting paid a whopping P250 a day (about $6.25 USD). His duties included driving a delivery truck
and tank trailer to the shop’s wholesale water source every morning, getting the shop open by 7am, getting and keeping all the deliveries on the road, keeping the machinery functioning, developing new customers, counting and re-counting all the 5 gallon water bottles and jugs, cleaning repairing jugs, etc.
Oh, one thing I forgot. In order to earn that whopping $6 a day, Frank had to make the shop gross at least P1000 a day in sales. Slow day for sales? No pay for Frank. Bang-up day in sales, way more than the P1000 quota? No extra for Frank. What a win-win situation for the owner. For the employees? Not so much.
Can you imagine in your current job, opening your pay statement one day and finding you got paid zero, because the company didn’t make it’s sales goals for the day before? That would be especially distressing if you weren’t in sales and had no control over the company’s net revenues. In the Philippines? Deals like this are very common.
Frank left that job and now works 6 days week for an expat couple as a driver, handyman, dog walker, assistant cook and general “Man Friday”. He feels on top of the world because he’s earning almost $8 USD per day, and he seldom has to work the 12 or 14 hours days that were common in the water shop.
(Oh, and for those who wonder what happened when Frank left the water shop position? A replacement was hired the very same day … there were plenty applicants lined up to take his place.)
Question For My Readers?
Tell me again how cheapo you can live and why you are looking for a “Job in the Philippines”. It’s insanity folks, it really is.