(Updated 10 February 2018)
- 0.1 What’s So Different About Working in the Philippines?
- 0.2 So A Great Opportunity for Foreigner Jobs?
- 0.3 Well, Not Quite
- 0.4 Crew Members:
- 0.5 Mangers:
- 0.6 They Can’t Do That! That’s Illegal!
- 0.7 And Overtime Pay? What’s That?
- 0.8 Now, Could You Even Do the Job?
- 0.9 The answer might be, much harder than you would think.
- 0.10 What About You, Do You Know Right Off The Bat What They Are Looking For?
- 0.11 Seemed Simple Enough? After All She Was Already “College Level” So She Must Know What It Meant.
- 0.12 Nose Bleeds Are Very Common
- 0.13 Just Because YOU Know English And THEY Know English Doesn’t Mean Any Understanding Takes Place
- 0.14 And An Answer Came
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Readers who viewed this page, also viewed:
- 3 Share this Article:
Can I Just Get a Job Flipping Burgers in the Philippines?
I get a lot of questions from folks wanting to move here to the Philippines about jobs here in the Philippines.
Although I am very much opposed to the idea of most foreigners working hare … it’s really a losing proposition see: 10 Reasons You Don’t Want A Job In The Philippines and for more explanation: 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job
None the less I try to help when I can. I know that many of you have been brainwashed by parents and especially I initiative-destroying educational system to accept the bogus notion that “having a job” is the only way you can put food in your mouth.
So for those of you still insistent on the idea that you must find a job here in the Philippines, here are some thoughts.
What’s So Different About Working in the Philippines?
The best way to explain this might be a story. A 100% true personal experience.
A few days ago I had to make a trip north on the North Luzon Expressway, so I stopped off at what is now the closest Burger King franchise to my home here outside the Metro Manila area.
We used to have several Burger King franchises nearby, but they have all closed and/or switched over to other lines of business.
As I pulled into the burger place in a rest area in Balagtas Bulacan, I noted large display banners in the window.
They weren’t advertising hamburgers or some other food item, instead they were looking in no uncertain terms, for “burger flippers” (crew members) and managers. Big, bold 8 foot by 6 foot banners taking up all the front windows of the restaurant.
Hey, flipping burgers. ANYONE can do that, right?
So A Great Opportunity for Foreigner Jobs?
Geez I thought, I’m sure the pay isn’t much, (for those who really want to know,it works out to roughly 1/6 th the going US rates) but this would be a good job for those guys who write me all the time and say, “I’m desperate for a job, any job, and I really don’t have any skills.”
After all, for many of our US high schools grads (and even some college grads these days), flipping burgers is an entry-level job that almost anyone can get.
After all, these readers are continually telling me that:
A., they have no real skills and
B., they will take any job at all just to be able to earn here in the Philippines.
Also, in today’s economy, the fast food industry is a refuge for older folks who have lost their jobs and have to find something to supplement the pittance they get from Social Security.
Or people who retired and then found out the the crooked US “Banksters” have decimated the 401K or IRA they had been relying upon to finance their retirement.
If it comes down to desperation, all of these folks mentioned and more can be saved from starvation by a job “flipping burgers”.
So wouldn’t the same thing be applicable here in the Philippines?
Well, Not Quite
Here is a summary of the requirements for the jobs. Draw your own conclusions:
- 18 to 24 years old
- In Good health
- Able to work all hours, all shifts
- Pleasing Appearance
- College Level
- 25 to 40 years old
- In good health
- Able to pass Police background check
- Able to work all hours, all shifts
- Graduate of 4 year business or accounting course
How about that? Are you qualified?
At least managers don’t have to present a pleasing appearance, but they can’t be over 40, and they have to have a business degree.
And there’s no starting at the bottom for a man or woman over 40.
Over 40, you’re essentially “finished” when it comes to most Philippine jobs.
And this Burger King is on a rest stop on the toll road. It’s open 14/7, 365 days a year. So when they say willing to work all hours, all shifts, guess who gets to manage the place on Christmas Eve?
If you have to work Christmas I think you get to wear a silly Santa hat.
They Can’t Do That! That’s Illegal!
All these requirements are 100% legal in the Philippines.
Even though I often hear cries of “discrimination” from fellow Americans, this is just a perfect illustration of the fact that the Philippines is NOT some little branch of America.
It’s perfectly constitutional in the Philippines to discriminate on age, appearance, weight, even gender or race or national origin.
When you look for a job here you have to remember you are not in Kansas any more.
It’s completely legal also, for example, to fire an unmarried woman who shows up pregnant, or refuse to give time off for family related issues, etc. It’s just the way it is.
And Overtime Pay? What’s That?
The vast majority of Filipinos, those who are lucky enough to have a job, that is, work 10 or more hours a day, at least 6 days a week.
9 to 5 jobs are rare indeed.
Dolly Parton would be lucky indeed to have the 9 to 5 job she wrote her song of protest about.
But no worries, she’s certainly too old for it, anyway.
Now, Could You Even Do the Job?
And a significant question to ask yourself after all these other issues is, do you really think you could do the job, even if you got in?
English is very common, especially here in the Metro Manila outskirts, so you might figure, “Hey, how tough could flipping burgers be in English”?
They have English-speaking trainers and supervisors, I’ll just do as I am told and work hard, piece of cake.
The answer might be, much harder than you would think.
See. when I read those big “Help Wanted” signs I was confused by the crew member requirement for “college level”.
I didn’t know if that meant must have a degree, or “some college”, or be enrolled in a college, or what.
What About You, Do You Know Right Off The Bat What They Are Looking For?
Yep, neither did I. So since I was going to write about this job fact finding trip I decided to check the facats.
After the attractive, under 25 yo old single lady (I knew she was single because the sign said she couldn’t be married, right? ;-)) at the counter took my order, (in nearly perfect English, of course) I looked around and the place was still pretty empty (it was before the lunch time rush), so I asked permission to ask her a question.
“Yes sir”, she replied.
“What does that requirement mean, College Level? Do you need a college degree, or just some college courses.?
Seemed Simple Enough? After All She Was Already “College Level” So She Must Know What It Meant.
Wrong! Wrong big time!
Total terror in her eyes.
The eyes of Bambi just before the eighteen wheeler squashed her into venison pancakes.
“Sir, for a while. I’ll run and get the manager.”
Oh shit, thinks I.
Getting the employee involved with a manager is always a bad, bad thing, even if the employee did nothing wrong.
And what if the manager doesn’t understand my question and he gets embarrassed too.?
Causing a person to lose ‘hiya” or “face” is a thing you really, really don’t want to do here.
“No, no, no miss” I remonstrated.
“Please don’t call the manager. Just forget it, I was only making conversation. Please, just forget I asked anything.”
The poor thing just stood there, still obviously scared.
Then she saw that I was smiling, smiled back, and covered her nose with her hand, mumbling , “Oh sir, you made my nose bleed.”
Nose Bleeds Are Very Common
No, her nose wasn’t bleeding. But “nose bleed” is the standard Filipino slang for how one feels when faced with things one can’t understand.
Like the teacher calling on you to solve an math equation you don’t comprehend.
Or a wacky foreigner asking a strange question about your college degree.
Just Because YOU Know English And THEY Know English Doesn’t Mean Any Understanding Takes Place
Are you sure you can work effectively, side by side, with people who “know English” but very often “know” the words with different meanings than you do?
you even know how, for example, how “for a while” is used in normal conversation?
Bottom line is, you just aren’t as smart as you think you are, even in the burger flipping world.
And An Answer Came
The answer to the college requirement question, furnished by another girl on the crew, is, no you don’t need a degree to work the counter.
You have to be a college student with at least two years completed.
Or able to convince management that you will be able to complete your second year of college during your “probationary period” of employment … which lasts a full year at most companies.
No job security, no personal days off, no paid vacation, no sick days, no maternity leave and no bonuses and 13 month pay for that whole first year.
Thanks for clearing that up, miss.
So that’s what I have to say today about Can I Just Get a Job Flipping Burgers in the Philippines.