From the Midwest redneck author of "The Rooster Crows at 4am!," "Lizard Poop!," and "The Philippines Expat Advisor"
Jumping Through Hoops for Job Requirements in the Philippines
My 19-year-old niece, April, had just been locked out of the National Bureau of Investigation, NBI, office in Iloilo City. She needed an employment clearance as part of the job requirements she needed for employment at SM City. It was Friday. She had until Monday at 2 pm to turn her paperwork in. The office was closed on Saturday and Sunday.
I had considered going with April to the NBI office to see if I could "expedite" the process. As anyone living or visiting the Philippines knows, a "rich" foreigner attracts attention. The "expediter's" and "fixer's" will flock to you faster than Filipinos fleeing to a jeepney during a monsoon downpour.
So I advised my niece to get up early on Monday and arrive at the office before it's opening if necessary. She needed to get her clearance in time for her visit to SM City that afternoon. She left our house at 6am. The NBI office is about an hour away.
I had some errands to run myself at SM City that day and after I had wolfed down a Big Mac up-sized combo at McDonald's, I went to the National Bookstore to buy my Dad a card for his 80th birthday. With all the extra expenses we've had with our three nieces and nephew living with us, I hadn't been able to buy a plane ticket to Vegas to see my Dad. At least I would be able to send him a card. Haven't seen him in three years now.
As I was leaving the checkout counter I heard someone call out "Hi, Dad!" It was my niece, April, along with a classmate that was going to the HR department along with April that afternoon. They both had been at the NBI applying for their employment clearance.
The girls had waited in line for five hours. But at least they had the clearances they needed. It was 1 pm, They had one hour until their appointment and were buying a folder to put their required paperwork in.
I told my niece to not be late as I headed out the door to catch a jeepney back home. I didn't reach the exits before I heard another "Hi, Dad!" This time it was April's twin sister, Michelle. She had stopped at SM City after her computer class had ended. She's been taking a month-long computer class to hone her call center skills. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and I headed home.
My asawa was getting frequent text message updates from April. Seems she had to wait for the SM company nurse to give all the job applicants a company physical even though she had just had one a couple of days earlier per the SM pre-employment requests.
Since the nurse was examining current employees first, April was in for a long wait. Finally after four hours she reached the nurse. My niece was the last in line. She arrived home shortly after eight. It had been a long day but it was back to SM tomorrow to turn in her requirements.
Because of the long wait for her physical, my niece was instructed to return the next day to turn in her requirements. She would have had extra day to get everything to get done if she had known that, but at least everything was cared for. Or so she thought.
The next day, when April returned to give her paperwork to the Human Resources Manager, she was instructed to now get a health card from the local health department. At least she had until August 31 to get that. But you can bet I made sure she obtained that ASAP. I gave her a day of rest but she was out the door the following day and made the trip across town to get the health card.
Now we think she might have all the necessary paperwork the company wants, but who knows what her first day of orientation will bring? I guarantee you my niece has a LOT more patience than me. A lot more.