Episode 3 – Have At You, Unnecessary Veneration!

Sir Arthur

This is not mine own real name but what past younger colleagues hath used to calleth me.

Sorry, I’ve been having too much fun with this online English to Shakespearean translator recently. Nevertheless, the above is a fitting example of how work relations can feel strangely formal or old-school in companies here in Manila.

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Your company is a hamster! Your boss smelt like elderberries!

Anyone who’s held a job in the Philippines has experienced either being called sir or ma’am or having had to refer to their higher-ups as such. Above, I mentioned being called Sir Arthur not by people who work under me but by my contemporaries. As much as it is a sign of respect, it has in turn, become a barrier between a boss and his employees or even among peers. I’ll rant about the “Mamsir!” tragedy another day. Continue reading

Episode 2 – Culture Shock, Culture Chic

The very first job I held was at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia and no, I did not work with the wonderful animals.  I did deal with dead ones however, mainly of the beef variety. I was a kitchen hand in the numerous food establishments scattered around the zoo. Dead animals, beef, hamburgers, geddit? Expectedly, I had very little say on what I could wear to work. We wore an all black ensemble as our uniform and this trend carried on to my 2 next jobs; I was a fry cook and supervisor at Nando’s Australia and a team member and store manager at Sanity Music. It wasn’t until I left the service industry where I go to stretch my fashion legs, if you will, getting to wear jeans, sneakers, and whatever kids were wearing those days.

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again, not my workmates. sad face.

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Episode 1 – The Age of Enthusiasm

I was born in 1978. Let’s get that out of the way. At the time of writing, I turn 39 in less than 2 months and at my current job, the mean age of my colleagues is probably 24, so yes, this gen-x’er is surrounded by millennials.

Millenials
not my workmates

I can already hear the collective groan from those in my age group who are reading this but allow me to explain why, so far, working with these guys has produced the following epiphanies…

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