I have noticed from my trips to the Philippines, that there is one thing that the majority of Filipinos lack. It’s long term thinking. Whether it is planning, finances, goals. They can’t seem to wrap their heads around it. Which is weird because they seem so patient. Pinoys can sit around for hours starring at nothing, Just watching traffic go by. But one good example is my GF. Now she is smarter than the average Filipina most of the time. She now has a good job with one of the best paying call centers in the Philippines, but that’s only because I wouldn’t let her quit.
This is the perfect example. She wanted to quit because the training was taking so long. She was getting paid to be trained, and basically being paid to gain more fluency in English. But she wasn’t getting paid as much as she could have been if she gave up and went to another call center. If I wasn’t physically there, I bet she would have. I had to keep telling her that eventually all the work is going to pay off in the end. The thing was is she couldn’t see the end benefit coming.
A lot of the people who applied, got accepted, and were in training, ended up leaving for jobs in other call centers because they weren’t getting paid a good wage at the time. they had no patients to keep going because the immediate need for money was to great. It wasn’t even acceptable immediate needs. it was for things they wanted, but figure they needed. like being able to go out and party, buying clothes, ect.
Now, finally after 4 months of training, my GF is so freaking happy because she is for one, at the top of her training group and got a crazy bonus for it. On top of that, she got her first pay check and the performance bonuses. Which let me say, for two weeks it is what most get paid in a month. She is so happy that when I talked to her a week ago, she said she can’t even remember why she wanted to quit in the first place. That got me thinking. I don’t think Filipinos have long term thinking. I’m not sure what it is, but it might be because they are so used to day to day subsistence living.
One example is in the outdoor market. I eat a lot of fruit. I eat probably 2 apples a day and will use that as part of this example. I would rather buy my fruit from small business. That’s just what I like to do. But the thing is, you got to argue to get it down to an actual reasonable price before you can even start negotiating. It’s so taxing.
I tried to explain it to a vendor one time, that I buy a lot of fruit, and if you just give me your best price, I will come back and buy more. I eat 2 apples a day and that equals to 56 apples a month roughly. Green apples in Cebu city at the grocery were 35 peso for 3. This one vendor wanted 50p for 1 apple. That’s not going to happen. I tried to get them to drop the price to 20p, and that’s still expensive. They wouldn’t do it. So I told them, I eat 56 apples a month, so that would be 1120p. Even if they went to the store and got the apples it would be 653.33 a month in profits. That’s just on apples. They had other fruit there and if they were giving me the best price in the market, I would be buying it there. Most likely they would have been making a couple thousand peso off me a month. Which seems reasonable to someone with long term business sense. Just because if you can do that with one fruit addicted foreigner, who is there for 6 months, then it might draw in more to buy from you. Just because of word of mouth. So it would actually turn into not that bad of a business.
So what happens, maybe you have guessed it, didn’t budge on the price because this vendor thought I was rich and that they could get away with that price. Do you know what I ended up doing. Just bought them at the grocery store with all my other fruit. I couldn’t believe it though. that someone,after it being explained to them, still wouldn’t budge on price. I wonder still if this same vendor curses the grocery stores in the malls for drawing in foreigners to buy their food.
I always here from Filipinos that it’s so hard to make money or get a job in the Philippines. I don’t think it is actually that hard. It’s hard when you just sit around doing nothing, for sure it is. But it is also hard when you can’t see the long term advantage in a business either. Even when someone comes right out and says to them, ” look, you could just go to the mall, pick up fruit there, and you would still be making a profit from me”. how dumb is that?
I have many more examples but this post will be too long. Maybe some people can share their own experiences with the lack of long term thinking,planning, goal setting conundrum.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post everyone. This is just something I find very odd.Published in