Within the last two weeks, I was in a flurry of emotions due to issues at work. I just started in a new job and I’m currently in training and I was torn whether I should continue working in the company because I feared for my safety.
Backtrack to my interview, I was informed by the hiring managers that they are building the Asia team which meant the the work hours are in the morning. Of course, they did not set it on stone and they said it will still depend on the business need. I told them that I’m flexible to take the Amers/US/graveyard shift or Asia and requested not to be put on midshift as it is hard to go home late. But my preference is definitely Asia, since I’ve already worked night during the last five years and it was a welcome change. They did say it’s where I’m going to be assigned.
My former manager was inviting me to go back instead but I informed him that since it’s a day shift job, I’d want to try it out. Even when I signed up, the HR representative who provided the job offer noted that I was promised that I’ll be working regular day shift hours. Since day one, I have informed my trainers that I prefer to work for the Asia shift.
During the training, they said that we will either be going to the Asia or MENA (Middle East and Africa) teams. There was a colleague who came before me. She was profiled to the same line of business and the same team as I. She was previously slated to be on the MENA shift but shortly before the announcement she was assigned to the Asia team.
I have never worked mid shift. But during my advance training I was put on the mid-shift because that’s where our mentors our and that’s when the resource to train us are available. I was only on my second week of working mid-shift when one of the managers and one of the trainers asked me what my preference was, I said it was Asia. They told me that they’ll look into it but there’s a possibility that I’ll be assigned to the MENA shift since having two new guys is not really going to be sound business decision. That’s when it dawned on me. I was angry at first because why couldn’t they just wait for me. She was just two weeks ahead of me. Were they really factoring in our preference?
There’s a lot of things I didn’t like working on a mid-shift.
- It’s hard to get to work. There’s already the excess traffic and you usually travel in the heat of the sun. I’m just a commuter and I don’t own a car yet. Before you reach your office, you’ll be drenched in so much sweat and your make-up would’ve melted. I’ve experienced this even August is one of the rainy colder months of the year here in the Philippines.
- You’re going to be accident prone. On my second week in advanced training just a day or two after they told me that I might be on a mid-shift, I was in an accident while I was on my way home. One of the buses hit the jeepney that I was on. They even hit the side where I was sitting on. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. We were on a halt that time when the bus hit is but the impact is still great and the jeepney was even pushed to the planter on the side of the street. There was also a great damage to the side of the bus as well as the jeepney. Because there’s no traffic most drivers drive too fast. Some of them might also be sleepy or drunk.
- It’s not that safe to travel alone especially for a woman. I had a close encounter with two men the following week after the accident happened. Due to an accident between a cab and a truck, it was so hard to get a ride thus I boarded a jeepney even if it will not travel all the way home. I had to take another ride to get home. On the last stop, there were only two males left, another female and I. In the beginning the men were three feet away from the left side of the other female who was with me. I was standing on her right. The men knew each other because they were talking. The jeepneys were scarce because it was already past one in the morning. Suddenly, the two walked closer to us and started to ask the other female where she was going. She didn’t answer. Then they moved to my right. I was so scared. Good thing, there was two jeepneys that came just a couple of minutes later. The other female and I were able to board them. Too bad that the men boarded in the same jeepney as I so I made sure that the jeepney was gone before I walked home so they wouldn’t find out where I lived.
- There’s a high change of getting robbed. This is what my boyfriend told me to watch out for. That reminds me I need to buy a cheaper phone. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet and hopefully I won’t have to encounter it.
I’ve had enough. My anxiety started to grow. I told myself this was not what I signed up for. I had to talk to the management. I did even against the advice of my colleague who was the one who was placed on the Asia shift. She said to wait for the decision before I talk to management. I told her that I couldn’t. It would look bad if I waited. I had to talk to them so they can factor in my inputs when they make the decision. I also told her that I will be resigning if they told me that they will be placing me in the mid-shift. I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I have to fear for my safety everyday when I go home.
After I spoke to my immediate manager, one of our senior resource who’s a best friend of my colleague made a hurtful comment. She said, “Nakakainis ang mga maaarte. Wala pa ngang napapatunayan ang arte arte na. (I hate fussy people. She hasn’t proven anything yet but she’s already being finicky.)” Another senior resource pulled me to the side and said that I’m getting a bad reputation in the office. People are starting to think I’m too demanding and I was threatening to resign. She also told me that I have a problem with my batchmates. She said, “walang sulutan ng shift dito. (nobody is taking away your shift). There’s still no decision. Just focus on your training and exam.” I just can’t help but cry. Hearing the other make nasty comments and finding out that my colleague who was giving me all the insider information was even thinking that I was mad at her for “stealing” my shift. This same colleague told me that if they give me the Asia shift, I should resign because I’m marked and people will start making my life hell here.
It was just too much. I don’t know what to believe anymore.
My immediate manager has arranged a meeting with the area manager who’s one of the people who interviewed me and hired me. I told them all those that I told you and shed a tear or two when I told them that it took a lot for me to talk to them but I had to even at the risk of sounding demanding. It was a hard choice. It’s either a battle between the security of my finances and my safety. My future in the company was also on the line.
The area manager listened. He told me that they usually listen to input of employees and find the sweet spot where both the company and the employee will be happy. He said he has a wife and kids too and he understands. He told me in confidence the plan to have the Asia and MENA shift merged thus there will be two months of Asia shift and one month MENA shift.
And so I stayed.
There’s a lot of issues we are facing with the company because our previous companies has better benefits. In our previous employers, we had more leave credits, our health card was available on day one, we have retirement benefits, we have no issues with getting our salary on time and many others. But I like a management who listens to employee inputs and for that I’m staying.
I don’t know what the future holds here but I’m definitely going to work really hard to prove that I’m worth it and worth more. I want to prove to them that they were right in hiring me. As for the people who’s bad mouthing me, I still could work civilly with them and I’m definitely going to be careful in dealing with them.