Monday, March 4, 2013

I Am Still The Golden Child

     Sunday night, I called my superior to confirm if I'm needed for work the next day. I was told there won't be much work to do but I still had to show up, just in case.  Monday, I was called to do some errands.  Pretty much worked an hour for the whole day.  Late afternoon, my superior knocked on my door.

"If you have any plans on going out, take this chance now."
"Just be here by salary day (the 15th) to get your pay.  You do know about the salary deduction, don't you?"
"Yes, I understand the salary cut."  (refer to my past blog)
"Starting tomorrow, there won't be work.  I think this will be for the rest of the month, but you still have to show up on pay day, just in case."
"Wh-what?  No work for..."
"10 days starting tomorrow.  But... do you have a friend who might offer some temp job?  You do know the salary cut is huge, right?"
"I have not thought of getting a temp job 'cause I didn't think situation would be this bad.  I'll have to ask around."
"Well, I hope you get some and within this 10 days.  Boss called me to tell you this.  So are we clear?"
"Yes, we're clear."

     10 days within the month.  With the salary cut, I might as well pretend I got a 10-day unpaid vacation.  So last night (Monday), I was thinking of going to Busan.  Might as well take the chance to tour around places and do some photography.  But then, that's 10 days with having to spend money for my self.  It's a bit costly and my next pay will be substantially small.  So I was considering staying at home to save from spending too much.  Play games and what not.  At least I only got food to worry about, this way.

     Next day, 12 noon.  I was called by my boss to the office... again, a scary scary bad sign.  As I looked around, I see my boss's car, and my superior's (actually the company's) truck.  At the office, there's no one else but the three of us.  My boss, fidgeting a lot (not a good sign), my superior scrambling to make some coffee (not a good sign), me signaled to sit down in front of his desk (not a good sign).  At this moment, I knew I was gonna get fired.  My superior makes coffee to calm me down, my boss finding a way to tell me the bad news.

And now the talk...

     My boss blabbered a lot.  And I could only come up with some of what he's saying.  I was too nervous to understand them all.  But I'm getting the idea.

     Let me give a short story about what I learned some 8 to 10 years ago.According to some people who worked in Korea, there's an unwritten rule about employing the locals.  Understand that when foreigners work here, they're claimed to be "stealing the jobs of the citizens."  That happens in other countries as well.  The thing about the locals is they're on top priority.  As the unwritten rule implies:

  •  If a Korean applies for a job for a company that has foreigner employees, they have to take the Korean applicant.  It is a must.  
  • Should there be a reason to thin out the number of employees, the foreigners gets to be fired first.
     There are more but these two are the most related ones to my current situation.  I've heard many stories where this has happened, over the years.  More so back then than now.  But I never expected that I'd be involved in such.

     You see, at one point, the company had to fire a Korean while I was still around.  After some time, the same Korean was asked to work for us again, replacing a fellow Filipino worker (who quit).  Things went out smoothly until this year.  The company is really struggling.  And they have to let him go... again.

     My boss explained the situation.  To me, with this unwritten rule in mind, I do understand what this Korean dude feel.  He would definitely complain about my employment here, once he gets fired again.  I was actually surprised he didn't file a complain the first time.  I do not know if he was already fired before I was called to the office.  But I'm really glad that my boss still thought of me.  And now trying to save me from being jobless... or getting deported.

     As with the situation at hand, I am ordered to disappear from the company until payday.  I would have to pretend that I got fired myself.  I was told to move to another place and stay there until I'm called back for work.  But not to worry about my pay because I'll still get payed... along with the salary cut.  But now, 10% less than what was announced before.  This is just to avoid complains from the Korean dude about to get fired (or was already fired).

     I should be worried about myself.  I should worry about where to stay, how to manage my food and expenses, and what to do for the rest of the boring days to come.  I love working for my company.  But nothing can be done about that right now.  But I'd gladly throw all those worries behind me for now.  Right now, I'm very very glad that my boss is trying to save me.  Thank you, boss.

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