Matigas ang Ulo (Hard Headed)

I have extensive experience of multiple staff who are especially hard headed.

These are the people who intentionally try to circumvent the rules when they can, and pout when they cannot.

True Story # 1: 

My brother went on a family vacation and left me in charge. While he was gone, many of his staff went on sick leave without any medical certificate despite it being on the rules.


I was livid.

If you do not present a medical certificate, then you cannot come back to work,” I said. I will not force anyone who is unfit to work to come back to work.  If they are sick, then the medical certificate is an easy requirement to get.

Rumor has it that many people grumbled.

To get a medical certificate requires Php 450 to Php 650,” they said. “We have no money to get a medical certificate.”

No, it is only expensive if the sickness IS NOT true,” I answered. “If you are truly sick, then there is the barangay center which will treat you for free, provided that you arrive by 3:00pm that day.”

That is the problem: People who are NOT sick but are pretending to be sick to go hooky. And then, getting angry when they are reminded of the rules. No, I will not admit them back to work without any medical certificate.

True Story #2:

I have a staff who is always late.

miss late

Opening at 10:00am, closing at 12:00pm, and even when we invited her to a life improvement seminar, she was still late despite being housed on the same hotel.

We have given her a lot of verbal and written notices regarding her gross and habitual tardiness. She has written her apologies on every single one of them. We have warned her several times, and yet she is still constantly late.

This is a girl who has been with us for almost 3 years, and still haven’t improved. She has stayed in our company because she can moderately perform as a sales staff and at least shows up.

Who cares if she is 30 to 45 minutes late if she can ‘make up’ for it by selling well the entire day?” my husband asked.

It’s a problem — here is a staff who can perform and at least reliably shows up albeit super late. She knows there is a problem but refuses to change. No matter what we do, she is still almost always late.

When her supervisor left and was replaced with a tougher and stricter supervisor, the new supervisor tried to make her change. She made the staff promise not to be late, of which the staff did try for less than a week.

After a while she was back to her bad habit.

Can you stop being late?” my supervisor asked. “The rules state that you have to stop being late and you already have multiple warnings on this habit. We cannot tolerate it anymore because it’s not fair that we allow you to be late, but others cannot.”

I cannot stop being late,” she said. “I cannot help it. If you cannot accept it, I will just resign.”

So the supervisor accepted her resignation.

Despite her working for us for many years, in the end, it was her bad habit that did her in. She cannot correct it so she cannot stay and work for us.

A lot of staff are hard headed.

They’re not the easiest people to handle — They already know what the rules are but still do not obey the rules. They try their best to survive and stay despite knowing that they are disobeying the rules.

As their managers, we know what they are doing. In honest truth, I can more or less tell if the person is lying or not. When it comes to hard headed staff, most of the time, they are lying. They are not sick and actually they can change their bad habits.

But they refuse.

So we let them go.

Sayang ba?” you may ask. This translates to, “Do you think it’s a waste to let them go if they are still somewhat performing?”

To be honest, I am the saddest when I let someone like this go.

It’s really not easy to find staff who can perform. To find one good sales staff, we have to interview and orient 20 more. It’s a headache.

There is so much potential in them, and yet I have to let them go because they refuse to follow the rules. Given that we hire more than 20 staff, it’s important that the rules are followed because only then, the company can thrive and survive.

Don’t worry Ma’m,” my supervisor said. “We will just find someone better.”

It is easier for me to find and train a new one,” she said. “Than to keep this one person and risk the rest.”

I hope this is something we can learn for the new year.

Have a great week everyone!

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