Monday, June 16, 2008

Reflection on Work (Both Past and Present)

The other day, I was talking to Joyce about support work. I was telling her a lot of stuff that I did not like about support work and how America is controlling poor countries like the Philippines. Here are some of my reflections on the two subjects: Support Work and America.

- Support Work
After working for HP as service management (SM) for 14 months, here are some of my insights regarding service management work. To be honest, when I entered HP, I did not know what service management meant. I just thought, "Wow! I'm going to work in HP and it's my dream company! I'm really excited!" Though my dad did not really approve that I work in HP, he still gave me his approval to work in HP because he knew that I wanted to work in HP. To be real honest, I did not really like support work. Firstly, it was because of the weird times that we were required to work. Since WOM is a global application, we work on shifts (Asia shift, EMEA shift, and NA shift). It ruins your body clock, especially NA shift. I really, really hate NA shift. You can't really have a good decent sleep if your on NA shift. Because the whole Philippines is awake and you're the only one sleeping. (Poor people working in call centers.) Even though the compensation for working on shifts is good, but your health would still deteriorate. Would you give up your health just to work on shifts? Well, that the question is really up to you to answer. Secondly, if you're working as SM and a page comes along, you would have to cut short your lunch. That really sucks! You really deserve a break time to sit down and eat dinner. But you couldn't because you got work to do. Yeah, people would tell me, you can still have your break later on. But what if you're eating out with your friends and you're the Duty Manager (DM) for that shift? You would have to tell your friends that you have to go because you have work to do. And the incident depends on the impact or level of the incident. Lastly, service management seldomly offers opportunities for travel. One of the main reasons that I chose HP to work to is because of the opportunity to travel. Sadly, for WOM, there was only one travel for the year 2007. Just imagine, only 1! I really envy my other batchmates in other teams that they got the opportunity to go to other countries for work. I really love travelling, and it really sucks that I did not get the chance to travel to another country. Well, that's life.. :)

- America
My point of view on America is really on the negative side. I don't know if I became anti-American nowadays or what. But these are just the things that I noticed about them. During meetings, they would often schedule a meeting that is convenient for them. Let's say, they would schedule it 8 am or 9 am in the morning. For them, they're already sacrificing because they have to come to office one hour earlier just for the meeting. But come to think of it, what about people in Asia? It's night time already here in Asia! Didn't they think that some people have been working since 9 am in the morning and they would still schedule the meeting 8 pm or 9 pm Asia time? That's really inconsiderate of them. Just like what Joyce told me that other day. She was in the office since 9 am and she has to stay until 3 am in the morning just for a conference call. Wow! Talk about being considerate! More or less, you stayed in the office already for 24 hours! That's tripled that work time required for people right? Shouldn't work be 8 hours a day only? In addition to that, those people in America are just there sitting pretty. When it comes to conference calls, they just talk and talk. They don't really do the work. Poor countries do the work for them (outsourcing). They just talk and tell people what they want to be done or want to achieve. They don't really do any work. Well, there are really many factors behind that. Such as colonial mentality, low labour costs, etc. Back in grade school and high school, you would really read in books that America is a great country. Especially in the Philippine history area which talks about the Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese. Guess who among the three, according to the book, gave so much contribution to the Philippines. Yup! You are right! The Americans. Also, the cost of living in the Philippines is relatively low. Just imagine, the salary of a CEO in the Philippines is just equivalent to a white collared or a blue collared regular employee in the Philippines. That's how low the salary of a non-American in a poor country is. Talk about discrimination!

Finally, when I was interviewing for a job here in Hong Kong, when asked, "What work did you do in HP?" I could find the words to describe my work. When I tell them service management work. They would ask me, what is service management work? I told them I do support work, meaning post-production work, and we have clients all over the world. They would tell me, so it's like a call center. I told them, something like that. To be honest, there are only a few differences between service management work and a call center work. In service management, you don't really get to talk to clients directly. That's the main diffence. Otherwise, its almost basically the same. Also, I remember what my cousin told me. What your work is right now would really impact on what you do in the future. For example, if you're currently a security guard, the next job that you will find would still be a security guard because that has been your experience, and you already know the ropes, the not-to's, etc. of being a security guard. In other words, no matter what kind of job you do, you'll basically do the same kind of job again in the future. Unless, you would choose another career path, which would basically mean starting again from scratch.

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