Friday. Today's the big day. After passing a "uniform inspection" on Wednesday, which involved questions about whether my niece April was using a make-up foundation or not, my niece reports for work today, Friday, as a Sales Associate for SM Department Stores. She'll have an initial five month contract.
She had a scare last week when she reported to SM City in Iloilo to receive her first work schedule. One manager was worried that my niece's arms were too dark and recommended lightening them up with papaya. A recent trip to the beach in Guimaras had deepened her tan.
"SM's china porcelain dolls" is what my American expat friend, the "Tom Cat," would say about the female workforce in the SM Department Store section of the mall. And he's right. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone employed in the department store area itself that had any dark skin tones.
I asked April when she had to report for work. "Before nine," she said. I asked her if that meant she could go in at 6 am or 7 am or what. I should have been more specific and asked her what hours she had to work. I did. The answer: "From nine to six." OK, I got that.
I'm sure she'll be nervous that first day. Weren't all of us when we had to endure our initial day on the job? She will be making P265 a day, 6.30 US Dollars. And yes, that's per day. Approximately 160 US Dollars a month before the deductions. April will be working six days a week.
But after her income tax and Social Security deductions are taken out, it will be interesting to see how much she will actually clear. But anything she earns is more than what she is earning now which is "zero."
Michelle, April's twin sister, had another job interview at SPI Global this past Monday, She passed another interview and an I.Q. test and was told she would be called in sometime for her final interview. And yes, she changed out of her purple slippers before her interview.
Michelle would start out at 5,000 pesos per month working as a domestic call center agent. Once she gains more experience she has the opportunity to get promoted to the international side of the house and earn P14,000 a month, 285 USD, a substantial salary in the Philippines.
I'm happy for both of my nieces who call me "Dad" and I'm extremely proud of them. They work around the house and do chores without being asked. I'm sure they both will be an assest to any company they work for.