Wednesday, June 16, 2010


'You're fired!'—I'm used to hearing the line in films and also in The Apprentice. I wonder how I’d feel if someone said it to my face? I’ve never got that line from anyone. Not even yesterday. Yes, I was fired yesterday.

Not all of you know that last week I was hired as an online sales specialist by a multi-national BPO.  Sadly, last night I got fired because they thought I was not able to meet their expected qualifications. Worst of all, they did not have the guts to tell it to my face— instead they sent a text message.

Earlier, they’ve already told us that they were only going to hire five of us—the pioneers—the guinea pigs for the new account.  The company is outsourcing the account from another outsourcer and they have not signed any contract yet. If ‘The Big Five’ performs well in the next three months, that’s when the companies sign a deal. Still, we hoped that the company will instead hire the whole batch.

Originally, there were 9 trainees—me being the only guy in the batch. Half-way around the week-long training, one girl quit so there were only eight of us left.  The one-week training ended the other day. After careful consideration, I and two other girls—two other friends—got booted out.

I still went to work yesterday. There were six of us who showed up. The other two girls did not show up since they were able to read the text message—sent by the HCD, telling us not to come to work.  I always come to work two hours earlier than my shift—I was not able to read their text message yesterday. I do not bring my phone to work since I dislike submitting it to the security personnel. I was only able to read the message at around 2 AM today.  The text was sent around 6 PM yesterday but I was already at the site at around 5:30 PM.

Back to the events yesterday, one of the two-girls-who-did-not-show-up texted that three people got kicked out of the program. Six of us showed up—one is bound to be laughed at and sent home.  I was hoping that one of the remaining five girls—they are going to kill me if they read this—will be sent home but inside I was uneasy.

Finally, it was our call time. The big asses were already inside the training room when we came in. They invited the six of us to come in—they did not want to embarrass the ‘outsider’ by stopping him/her at the door. They were more pleasant than usual. I found the events in the next two hours fraught of insincerity and nonsense. No one of the big assess talked mentioned a word about who among the six will be axed. I don’t know how my colleagues felt in those hours.  Me, I was very uneasy but still I tried to be hopeful.

The account was to be launched after two hours.

Around 30 minutes before launch, my boss, the Argentinean guy, came up to me and said, ‘Carl, I need to talk to you.’ That’s when I realized that I was the odd one out. The Latino told me that I did not make the cut and that they really want to keep me and I would be joining another group of trainees for another account.

10 P.M.  Time for the ‘Big Five’ to hit the floor. Poor me, I was sent home—unwanted and uninvited to the launch party.

While the team was partying, I had my own party. I was in McDonald’s.  I ordered a Big Mac meal with large fries and Coke. Plus, an extra apple pie and Coke float.  I tried to drown the woe with pleasure eating. For someone so forlorn and miserable, I had an appetite. I pigged out.

The pleasure the food gave me was short-lived.  For a few minutes I was able to forget the sadness and then I snapped back to reality. When I was done with the binge eating, I decided to go home.

There were a lot of things going on inside my mind that night. Why was I the one booted out? How do I tell my parents? Should I lie and pretend to go to work until the month is up to save face? I was very distracted; I even forgot some of my notes from training.

Around half-past 12, jeepneys were no where to be found. The cabs were all occupied. The habal-habals, passenger motorcycles, were the only ones available. Riding a motorcycle scares the hell out of me. My only option was to hike from the IT Park going to the high way. I thought, perhaps, when I reach the main road I could get a jeepney or a taxi.

I’ve walked a few meters away from the parked habal-habals when a motorcycle pulled over on my left side. The middle-aged driver, on his way home to Consolacion, offered to give me a ride home for twenty pesos. It struck like a deal and the man was also the insistent and persistent.  Though I was afraid to take the ride, I agreed to the offer but reminded the driver to drive slowly and carefully.

I don’t know if the driver forgot about my request or he deliberately chose to ignore my request. He was running almost on top speed. Initially I was scared but I tried to enjoy the wind and the rush. I realized it wasn’t very scary after all. It even struck my mind that it was OK for me to die at that time—then I wasn’t really ready to die.   I also went, ‘Look ma no hands!’ and threw away the rest of my notes. Papers flew in the air.

I got off in the sidewalk, by the highway, across the Coca-Cola compound.  Paid the biker and thanked him for the ride then I walked going to the compound where I lived. I got home around 2 AM and that’s when I read the text. I was already very tired at that time. I went to meet Hypnos and the Oneiroi.

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