Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Signs of the times in the Philippines

Am I a lousy supervisor or what? Last New Year’s eve, I lost Debbie to a call center company where she assumed a managerial post. Yesterday, on Valentines’ eve, Louise handed her resignation letter, telling me she is joining a market research firm next month. And the reasons? Both of them got 50-100 percent higher pay.

“Are you sure that’s [higher pay] really the reason why you are leaving?, I asked.

“Yes, sir,” she said. We have been friends for long and I see no reason why she should lie to me.

“That’s nice,” I said. “I’m happy for you. I don’t see why I should get in the way of people’s progress and happiness. Congratulations!”

“Thank you, sir!”

It’s unfortunate for me because her resignation would further disrupt some of our research projects. Overall, however, I’m happy because it means that job opportunities out there are increasing and young people like her are getting better options. In the past, some staff members resigned because they either hated me or got sick and tired of my face. They would rather go jobless or get lower pay somewhere just to stop seeing my shadow. Now, they resign because they have better offers. Isn’t that wonderful?

Signs of the times really and a nice one at that. In the last three to five years, the Philippine economy has been growing 5-6 percent and somehow this consistent albeit modest growth are slowly transforming into tangible gains like rising job opportunities. The growth of cyberservices, electronics, finance, telecommunications, and real estate as well as the continuing inflow of dollars from overseas workers (12-14 billion US dollars a year) are apparently generating lots of economic activities. It’s not yet The Promised Land, but things are moving forward.

Meantime, I need to get a replacement.

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