Thursday, September 30, 2004

SEPTEMBER 30, 2004 (THURSDAY)

Work Ethics, Please

*deep breath*

*rant button on*

I feel like a management agency. Not that I mind, of course, because I know that I’m part of the vast web of people who are always in need of extra writers or artists or musicians or people-who-just-need-to-carry-things-and-get-paid-for-it. And I don’t mind becoming the bridge to all these people – I always have friends who need the extra cash, or who will play for food, and there are always a lot of grown-ups willing to get good labor for cheap. (And yes, we do work for dirt cheap – we need money that bad.) And for the most part, my people come with very good credentials, and I’m always glad that they get to do work that they’re good at, or they enjoy, and for the most part they’re pretty professional and decent about the whole thing. And the clients are, for the most part, satisfied customers and retain these people as regulars. Everyone’s happy.

But sometimes (and here’s when Meia’s bad metaphor can come in now) you just get that one bad kernel in your cob of corn. That one flaky person that keeps on making excuses about not getting the work done, or who ends up not answering text messages or calls when you’re looking for them to ask why they still haven’t met their deadlines. And it’s not supposed to be an excuse that you forgot, or that you’re sick, or that you woke up late with the worst hangover in the history of Metro Manila. If the money isn’t enough pull for you, or pride, or some semblance of word of honor, then at least remember that you are connected to other people: other people whose jobs depend on you submitting on time, people who have placed faith and trust on you that you will deliver something on time – people who thought that you’d be professional about the job, never mind that it’s only freelance and it pays next to nothing.

And it’s irritating because, as the bridge, you get to be the one that the Powers That Be yell at when things go down the drain, and the one who receives the irritation and fury when submissions are late, or when your people decide to play the irresponsible bunny. Buti na lang sana kung nababayaran ka rin, o kung may cut ka sa perang binibigay dun sa mga nagtatrabaho. Pero wala naman. Ginagawa mo ito kasi gusto mong tumulong sa mga taong nangangailangan din kasi naalala mo nung dati, naka-depend ka rin sa recommendations ng ibang tao para makakuha ng trabaho sa pagsusulat. At ngayon na nasa posisyon ka na rin para tumulong sa iba, ginagawa mo ang lahat para naman yung mga kaibigan mo rin na alam mong kelangan ng pera ay pwede mong matulungan, kahit papaano.

And sometimes you wonder why the hell you bother helping people who can’t help themselves, who have to have everything given on a silver platter, or spoon-fed, na kulang na lang ilagay mo yung lapis sa kamay nila at ikaw yung gumalaw ng kanilang braso para lang matapos nila yung trabaho. And you wonder why these people start disappearing on you when the going gets tough, instead of facing the problem head-on and actually doing something, anything, to get the problem fixed instead of making everyone wait – everyone from me, to my contacts, to the Higher Ups, and the universe and beyond. And maybe your schedule’s flexible enough, but you’re throwing everyone else’s lives upside down by not submitting on time. Siguro okay pa na a day late, or so. That’s excusable. But for almost a week? Hello?

I suppose my point is (and I do have a point somewhere here), have a little consideration for the people who are working with you. Grow up, please, because I am treating you as a professional and so you’d better be deserving of that sort of treatment – this isn’t some school homework that you can beg off by fluttering your pretty eyelashes at the teacher. You’re being paid for your services. Follow through and be professional about it. Stop complaining and making excuses and get on with the program. Because if you can’t do that, then you might as well practice on being a bum the rest of your adult life, because even call centers impose a modicum of discipline on their employees.

*deep breath*

*rant button off*

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