Hey everyone. I need your thoughts on a situation and what I should/shouldn’t do. Yes, I know I’m normally the one dispensing advice…but I could use some different eyes on this one. The story goes like this:
After several unsuccessful job attempts here (I could go on for hours about that), I finally landed (what I thought would be) the perfect job. It was as a training consultant at a call center, specializing in teaching Filipinos how to actually have conversations with customers, rather than just read a script. The job paid well (for here), I was told I was at “the executive level” directly under the CEO (who is an American, btw), that I could set my own hours (and even work from home), and could develop and design my own program. It was even talked about that I would work a blog for the company and handle the twitter and Facebook pages as well. I thought this was perfect, took the job, and started right away.
In the first week, the CEO said I needed a work laptop and a work cellphone. They didn’t have any spares there, so I came up with the idea of letting me purchase what I wanted to use, the company would pay for it, and I would pay it back out of my check over six months. The CEO was perfectly fine with it After finding the items and dealing with the slow process of getting them to pay for it, I got myself a new macbook air and a Sony Z2 phone. I figured that if I’m buying them, I’d want them to be good.
Well, let’s add in some more story here. Since day one, I told the CEO that I needed an AEP (Alien Employment Permit). Every foreigner here, no matter of the status of their visa, has to have one of these. It’s a 10,000 peso fine per year of working if you don’t have one. The CEO is one of those guys that wants everything to be legit, and so he agreed to it, but was unsure of the details. So he put his HR girl on it, and I went about attending board meetings and teaching classes.
But then the CEO started changing things. At first, it was to put my position under that of the Training Supervisor “for organizational reasons only”. Then he made the Training Supervisor in charge of my performance reviews. The Training Supervisor, by the way, is a Filipino who’s married to one of the Operations Managers. Then the CEO decided that he wanted me actually in the office at a desk every day. At the same time, he tells me that the only reason I’ve worked so far was because I wanted to. Because I wasn’t formalized yet, I didn’t have to work.
Have I mentioned that they hadn’t even written my contract up yet? Not for the employment, not for the laptop or cell phone. To date, there is NO contract for anything.
Then the CEO drops the bombshell. According to him, he’s “very concerned” that the company might get raided and found to have hired a foreigner without a permit. He also said that he heard a report that I had said I didn’t have a work permit at one of my classes. I of course, never said this (why would I?), but the CEO uses it as a reason to suspend the employment until I have a permit. He gave me a week to get it, at which point I’d have to turn in the laptop and phone (I told him I needed time to clear my personal information from them). He agrees the company will still front the 8,000 pesos needed for the permit, and that we “just need the facts first”. I make arrangements with the HR lady to start on it the following Tuesday (as they’re not open on Mondays).
Well, Tuesday rolls around, and the HR lady is gone all day. Wednesday comes and she says they’re waiting for the copy of the Mayor’s permit (a required document) from the other location (a ten minute drive away). It takes all day to arrive. Thursday, I’m on coding. But that’s when the CEO drops the other bomb. He has decided that I need to front the 8,000 pesos and the company will pay me back. Keep in mind, this is a day before his deadline.
At this point, I tell the HR lady that I’m going to step back and talk to DOLE, BI, and a lawyer to make sure my ass is covered in all of this. Well, NOW the CEO steps in and starts messaging me asking me if I’m going to just keep the stuff. I divert the topic to why this is all happening, and why he changed his mind on the 8k, and he keeps asking about the items. Then he starts acting like the items don’t matter…even says I could walk away with them and he’ll write it off, lesson learned. Then he starts agreeing to reverse the suspension in my pay and also will pay the 8k fee. I ask for one more thing…to not be under the Training Supervisor. He has to think about that one, and that he would get back to me that night.
Now, the reason I asked for that last one is that I STRONGLY suspect that the Training Supervisor, a Filipino, doesn’t like Americans. So he made up this story about me talking about my permit in class to scare the CEO into thinking that it’s going to cause a raid. Everything points to that. So naturally I don’t want to be under that guy. You should NEVER EVER EVER put a Filipino in charge of an American. It never works out. They can’t handle it.
So the CEO gets back to me later that evening, and suddenly he’s changed his mind AGAIN. He says he’s going to order my back pay to be paid. I remind him that that’s the equivalent of ending the employment. He seems fine with it. I did confirm that he ordered my back pay, but I have no idea if it’s the correct amount, and won’t know until payday.
And so my big question!
There never was any contracts signed (because they dragged their feet on it. I actually reminded them several times to get it done). I have a brand new macbook air and Sony Z2. The receipts were signed by me. They have bank checks showing they paid the vendors, but that’s it. I’m thinking that, without contracts to show that I was going to pay for these items, I could just say they were gifts and move on. Personally, I think it would serve the fuckers right.
What do you think?Published in