Disappointed with the Philippine Workforce

While I am lucky to have a few good men, I couldn’t help but observe how disappointing the Philippine workforce can be. There are just a lot of headaches that occur here that would probably not happen in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

It’s true what they say: Only in the Philippines. 🙁

Honestly, I am still at a shock on how many things can happen here that wouldn’t happen anywhere else.

Case in point, the day before yesterday, one of my sales people told my area supervisor that she is taking a few days break because she was traumatized of something she experienced on the way home from work.

Muntik na daw siyang na-rape,” my area supervisor said. (She said, she was almost raped.)

What happened?” I asked. Experience has shown me to keep my calm and never be surprised about these things anymore.

Apparently, on her way home, there was a car who stopped beside her, and a man came out. He then asked her to take a ride with her, and they hailed a taxi,” my area supervisor retold the story.

Okaaaayyy….” I said. This is going to be good.

While in the taxi, he was hugging and kissing her, telling the taxi driver that she was his wife and they were on his way home.”

Did she scream?” I asked.

No, she said she was too confused and scared with what happened to scream,” my area supervisor replied.

Did he have a gun or a knife?” 

Well, she said he had a weapon…” she answered.

I asked her to go on.

After they hailed the taxi, they drove for almost an hour and came to Libertad, which is consequently, very near her house,” my area supervisor said. “There, they met a friend of hers, who was just there. Seeking him to save her, they both rode in a jeepney, and the weird guy followed them all the while saying that she was his wife.” 

Okay…. this story was becoming weirder in a minute.

When she was near her house, she and the friend went down the jeepney leaving the weirdo behind,” my area supervisor finished her little tale.

“So do you believe her?” I asked my area supervisor.

Well, weirder things have happened,” my area supervisor replied.

Okay, so you believe that she would board a taxi with a stranger and not make a sound?” I asked. “If it was me, I would be screaming from hell to kingdom come!”

Maybe she is afraid?” she asked.

And what are the chances of all the places that while the dude has practically kidnapped you, he will let you get down of a taxi at a place close to your house, and whaaaallllllaaaaa, your friend is there, COINCIDENTALLY, waiting for you?” I asked.

Well, she said she was surprised to see him there too,”  my area supervisor shared. “But at least she was glad that she was saved from a guy raping her…”

I think her story is complete bullshit,” I said. “There are too many holes for it to be plausible. Everything you said is not the real story. Go and talk to her and get the real story out from her.”

Two days later, she comes back to me with the REAL STORY.

And boy, people here can lie.

Apparently, she met the dude in another mall she was working on. He was the owner of the cafeteria that was operating in that department store.

She has arranged for him to pick her up and take her home, most likely for some hanky panky.

They got in the taxi and she did not even fight him. Then when they alighted at Libertad, she saw her boyfriend waiting for her in the jeepney stand and they were caught red-handed.

The trauma she experienced was due to her boyfriend probably beating the shit out from her.

That is the real reason why she couldn’t be at work the next day.

So that is one of the problems with the Philippine workforce: THEY LIE.

And while everybody lies, you have to give Fiipinos the credit of having a very active imagination.

I mean who else can come up with this sort of shit?!


My second example came today.

I recently hired a supervisor for our business.

We followed his 30-day notice, waited for him, and just yesterday, oriented and trained him.

Today, when I got to work, I was expecting to see him there, all set and ready.

Instead, he wasn’t there.

I texted him where he was. And this was his reply:

Mam sorry po. Di po kinaya ng katawan ko ung pagod mam eh di po ako nagising ng umaga. Cnsya na po sobrang sakit ng katawan ko po mam. Wala po kasi akong day off sa sportshouse. Mam eh cnsya na mam. Baka po di ako makapasok mam. Sori po.

Mam sori po baka po di na po ako mamakakatuloy sa inyo kasi po absent po ako ngayon. Mam nahihiya po ako sa inyo mam eh. Sori.”

Rough translation as follows:

Mam, I am sorry. My body couldn’t take it and I overslept. Apologies because my body hurts. I didn’t have a day-off from my last company so I hope you understand. Maybe I won’t be able to come to work. Sorry.

Mam, sorry but I don’t think I can no longer join your company because I was absent today. Mam, I am so embarassed. Sorry.”

Upon reading his text message, I was mad. How the hell is being absent one day related to not continuing to go to work? He was just looking an easy ass excuse NOT to work in our company anymore, and he was using his inability to get up to work as the reason for backing out.


And fucking unprofessional.

I texted him: “Come to work tomorrow and don’t quit. You should be more ashamed if you quit. We are counting on you.”

He then texted me that he will come to work at 11:30am.

Okay mam, thank you. I am already on my way but apologies but I will be late. But I will come in. Thanks for your consideration, thanks.”

My husband and I were off to lunch, and I asked him to wait.

Go to my secretary and apologize for being late. Then ask her what you can do to help. If you are embarrassed, then just don’t do it again.”

I am at the waiting area,” he texted back. “Thanks for your consideration.”

When husband and I got there, he was gone.

Where is he?” I asked.

He said he was going down,” my guy said. “Don’t know where he went.”

We waited and waited and waited.

The whole day, he didn’t freaking show up.

The guy waited, sweated in his pants and didn’t want to face us, and decided to simply walk away.

That’s it. He didn’t even have the galls to show up and apologize to our face.

He’s acting like everyone else!” my husband said. “He is not acting like a manager! I can imagine if he was a lowly employee but this is a middle ranked person!”

I am as well surprised. Never have I really experienced it. For me, word of honor is very important. You turn up when you say you will, and you do what you say. Never have I experienced anyone who simply don’t show up.

I’ve noticed this in many of my people, They are people pleasers, and are afraid of conflict. If they do something wrong, they will say a gazillion lies to cover it up. Usually if they have something else to do, they will simply not show up and say that they are sick or they have a family emergency. Most of them lies. How many times have a sibling/father/mother/grandmother/grandfather died in my workforce? Why can’t they just tell the freaking truth?!

The funny thing is, since they know they are wrong, they are afraid to face the consequences.

They avoid the penalty if they can.

That’s why, they hide. Back out. Simply not show up.

They will risk everything — even their reputation and word of honor — so as to escape the consequences of their wrong actions.

This goes beyond everything I’ve learned.

When I was young, when you do something wrong, expect a sermon from dad. It’s scary and nerve-wracking, but expect dad to sermon you the whole night. He will not mince words and you get no reprive.

But when you do something wrong, the sermon is valid. There has to be a consequence. You don’t escape it. Instead, you face it head on.

That’s how you learn.

The manager I had chose to run away from the consequence.

As a result, he lost far more than our trust, and our respect.

He has no word of honor.

His reputation with us broken.

And while these have no consequence in the real world here in the Philippines — in fact, many people get away with many things here — it still has consequence in the long-run.

I value my reputation. I guard it very well.

And I guess, herein lies my advantage in doing business in the Philippines.

Because so long as I know that I am conducting myself and my business in a fair manner, I know I will get ahead. I know I will treat my people right, and incidence like these will not break me.

People with integrity and with word of honor will get ahead.

And I plan to protect my integrity, word of honor and reputation at all costs.

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