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Off to Kuwait!

My sister-in-law Marjorie is off to work as a domestic helper in Kuwait. Hopefully, she will have a better experience there then she had in Jeddah.  She went to an employment office in Iloilo last Monday, February 1st,  and she is leaving for Kuwait as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) this coming February 18th. She has to report to Manila for training this coming Tuesday. That was quick!  I had been online trying to get Marjorie a job in Singapore, but did receive any responses after I sent out her resume to several agencies. DSC
Unfortunately at the age of 43 she is already ineligible to apply for more desirable locations such as Hong Kong. If there are any age discrimination laws in the Philippines as there are in the United States, I am not aware of them. Go into any SM Mall, and you will find the vast majority of the workers are younger employees. Don’t see any middle aged or older workers there like you do in a Walmart in the States.

She has been our maid in “The Compound” the past five months, and we have been paying her the above average wages for a maid here, about 60 USD a month,  but cannot pay her what she will earn in Kuwait which will be around 220 USD. Her daughter, Shina, and son, Sharwin, also live with us, but she is doing what she thinks is best for her children. Her husband has been AWOL for over ten years.
My mother-in-law, The Feared Giant Lizard Killer, has sold one of her “emergency cows” (cows she has at her cousin’s farm that are held in reserve for emergency cash situations) to help Marjorie get to Manila, and get a medical exam before she leaves for Kuwait. Fortunately, the agency that has hired my sister-in-law is not charging a placement fee because the need for domestic helpers in Kuwait, and the whole Middle Eastern region,  is so great. 
My twin nieces Michelle and April will be leaving in a couple of months to be with their Mom, and will attend college in Manila. So “The Compound” is losing three of its crew. Total people living here will now be 11. Only will be five people in our house. Tatay (Dad) is still in the back nipa hut collecting a bunch of tuba wine. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law, along with their three kids, are in the front bamboo nipa hut. Life goes on, but sometimes, for many, it is a hard life.

16 thoughts on “Off to Kuwait!

  1. Good Luck to Marjorie on her new job in Kuwait. Filipinos, like a lot of people in poor countries, will go anywhere to find better opportunities to support their families. Of course, this is not to say that people in rich countries don't do the same thing. It's just human nature to seek better life for yourself and your family. I can not imagine being an OFW. They go to an unfamiliar place and sometimes hostile environment and those concerns are set aside because these places have jobs. I remember when I was still living in the Philippines, I read about domestic helpers being abused by their Middle East employers and the Philippine government had to charter a plane to bring these workers back home. I pray that Marjorie will have a good employer and that everything will work out fine. Hats off to her and all the OFWs. Off topic, today is Superbowl day – Geaux Saints! Who dat say dey goin to beat dem Saints!

  2. Thanks Grace for the kind words for Marjorie. We worry about her going back to the Middle East since she did have big problems in Jeddah last fall. It's tough over there. Like you, we pray she will have a good employer.

    The Saints are in the Super Bowl? My gosh, I am so out of touch, I don't even know who is playing in it. Thanks for the comments, Grace, take care.

  3. Good luck to your sis-in-law in Kuwait. Regarding your observation about the age of SM workers,you're right.You can barely see middle-aged employees there except for those in the management level.SM and most companies here in the Phil set their own age requirements,giving low chances (or none at all) to those beyond 32.That's why I admire the call center industry, it's one of the few industries that don't discriminate age nor looks.In retail, even your skin tone,height, and overall physical appearance would matter.Even if you're good in customer service, sales, or what-have-you but if you don't pass their "physical" standards, you're helpless. Sucks right? Sad but true.

    I was a selling supervisor in one of the sm branches way back when.I also handled a number of branches of three other retail stores after I left SM.I've seen all this age issue a lot of times.Bitter pill to swallow.

  4. Hi Rochelle, Thanks for your insight. I am just amazed at the discrimination of the workers here. It is a glaring difference as to what employees face in America. Now there is discrimination against American workers but at least there are laws in place to try and help them.

    Well, I'm glad the call centers don't have the same restrictions as SM which you evidently have a lot of experience with having been a SM supervisor at one time. Rochelle, I always appreciate your comments. I always learn something new about the Philippines when you drop by. Salamat.

  5. Good luck to your sister in law, i hope that she finds good employers. You're right, there should be age discrimination laws here too, I'm not aware of any. In the papers if you look at the job openings they would include preferrably not over the age of 35!

  6. Hi Vera, thanks, we hope she finds some good employers, too.

    I know. I look at the help wanted ads in the paper here and can't believe it! Thank you for your comments, I appreciate it.

  7. Whoa! that was a fast turnout in Kuwait! Good luck to your sis in law. I like the age policy in Taiwan. I have been to Taipei many times and I saw that they hire senior citizen doing menial job in fast food joints like Mc Donald's etc. I learned from my DH, he is a Canadian citizen, that in Canada, you don't even put your picture in your resume. But here, it's different… ; ( xoxo

  8. I was not sure if my earlier post have been delivered because I got disconnected by my server… dang this PLDT!
    I would just want to say good luck to your sis in law! That's a fast and efficient agent she had! Hopefully she will be in good hands.
    Discrimination i work is rampant here. I remember my DH telling me that he didn't have to put any picture on his resume while applying for a job in Canada. I have been to Taiwan several times and was surprised to see senior citizens having menial jobs in fast food joints like Mc Donald's. I applaud the country for not discriminating elderly people. xoxo

  9. Ya I wish her good luck too.I think it's a brave move to make to work overseas and admire her for that.Employers should value experience.Perhaps non governmental organisation should take up this issue.I'm not familiar with Phillipines labour situation..just seems unfair.They must have their reasons for this..maybe.

  10. Hi dave this is salve just let you know that the saint won againts the colts, and the saint score 31,,and the colts 17.Pls say hi to melinda for me and goodluck to her sis.

  11. Hi MrsMartinez, thanks for the comment on my sister-in-law, yes, it was surprisingly quick, they really need help over there.

    In America, too, we have seniors working in McDonald's and big department stores. It is too bad there is so much job discrimination here. I did get your first comment, thanks.

    I have SmartBro and sometimes I am in the middle of my blog, and they interrupt what I am doing with a SmartBro message, drives me loco loco! And then I get all the brown outs! Oh, well. Thanks for all of your comments, I really appreciate it.

  12. Hi umihoney, from the comments I get from my Filipino blogger friends, there does not seem to be in laws in place to prevent this discrimination. Thanks for the comment about my sister-in-law, she is trying to help her family, and this is the best way she knows how. Thanks for the visit!

  13. What you said about the discrimination of age is so true in my country. I don't know why there is so much emphasis given to age when it comes to work. It's like out with the old and in with the new. but sometimes people with more maturity and experience is more beneficial to a company rather than having a pretty young thing with nothing in the head..

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