Riding in Tandem or Other Street Crimes Victim? Fight Tips for YOU!

It happened in June 2009 at around 3am. I was working in a call center located at Solaris building  dela Rosa St. Makati City. The schedule was from 4pm until 1am. My travel time was around 2 hours or less going home to Valenzuela. That was my normal route and time. I did not notice that some people were observing my travel pattern. Well, that is how they do their dirty secret plans.


Credit to owner

I usually do not take a trike going to our house because the road is well lit and I know the people in the area somehow. May be 300m – 400m walk won’t hurt. That was I thought. Until, when I was about to turn left at our very own street, I noticed a motorcycle few steps away from me with engine on and a man sitting seemed waiting for something/someone. Then, suddenly someone grabbed me, put his arms around my neck, (just like that in the image) and another man was pulling my bag trying to get everything from me. My lips were bleeding because that sudden grab with his arms around me made me bit my lips. I was shouting, “Waaaaaa… waaaaa”. The neighborhood started to turn their lights on. But the man grabbing my bag was very determined. I was quick to think that the other man behind me might stab me and kill me. I have a daughter, I still need to live. My only concern was, everything was there inside, from my money, work IDs, government ID, my ID from Ateneo (Masters), ATM cards, 3 mobile phones, keys, make-up kit and other stuff (whole bag remember?) Until, I let go. Then they ran away, the three of them. The light on the street was off/broken (not sure). It was mixed emotions. I walked myself home counting every step. I lost everything there except my life. I wonder if those guys are still in business. What could have happened if I knew at least 1 self defense measure? All I did was yell. I was so ignorant and weak to fight.

I reported to the police the incident and I got a police report so I can recover hopefully everything I lost, most important are the government IDs. To prevent the same incident from happening again, I requested a closer shift/schedule; 8pm-5am. So, it would be safe for me to travel home. But, I was denied given the narration and the police report. To the person who disapproved that request, (I know who you are) my message is. ‘F*CK YOU”! I hope you will encounter worse ‘than what I did. It was very inhumane of you. Muntik na akong namatay, may anak ako, breadwinner ako sa anak ko, tapos hindi mo inintindi ang sitwasyon ko? May police report naman ako. May mga pasa at putok na labi pa ako na katunayan ng insidente. It was about SAFETY after all. Deprived ka siguro. Hindi ka pa na Tokhang? Adik ka kase. Alam ko pa nga paano ka nakalusot sa random drug test ng company, pero quiet ako. Gusto ko gawin sayo ang self defense tips na alam ko. 

Oh well, what will you do if any unexpected incident come your way? And you do not have any knowledge about Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Karate or any martial arts to help you defend yourself? Let me share some tips which I found online.  Learn this by heart. (credit to the owner)

5 Self Defense Moves

How to Defend Against a Groin Kick/Knee

#1 Self Defense Technique

How to Fight: What To Do If You Get Jumped, Mugged, or Attacked

Teaching Cute Girls Self Defense Techniques

Best Womens Self-Defense Techniques

Attacked While Sitting Down: Self Defense Techniques

Kidnapping Self Defense & Escape Technique

How to Escape Duct Tape Handcuffs: Abduction Survival Tactics

Driver Attacked – Defense in a Car

6 Brutal Dirty Street Fight Techniques

How to Defend Against a Dog Attack


You have enough? Learn at least 1 of these videos. Be confident! Be vigilant!

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Call Center Employees – Misjudged

I was once a part of the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry for about 5 years. It was the industry which helped me through in providing for my family. The BPO is a huge dollar (foreign currency) earning industry in the country for the past years until at present. It can almost surpass the income being sent by our Bayaning Filipinos – OFW through remittance may it be US$, Euro€, Emirati Dirhams and other currencies.

Photo credit: www.thephilippinepride.com

Are the people still in the stereotype that the call center agents are Phone Operators Only? If yes, I beg to discontinue from the wrong connotation.  These people are not just “Thank you for calling…”. Just so you know, try to put yourself on these situations.

  • Sleepless nights : They sleep in the morning when everyone is wide awake. That is also the same time when loud noises are heard from vehicles, machineries, appliances, videoke and if lucky enough quarreling neighbors. “Mabuti nang walang tulog kesa walang gising”.
  • Less Family time : (Sometimes) They sacrifice the quality time with their loved ones such as spending birthdays, anniversaries, reunion, holidays and others. They have the privilege to file for a Leave, but in some cases, it won’t be approved, this happens. “Bawi na lang sa ibang araw, sagot ko”.
  • No Work Suspension (even on calamity) : We call them The Immortals. These people relentlessly go to work even if the roads are flooded. They would do all the possible ways just to get to work including riding a boat or tumawid sa lubid. “Male-late lang ng konti, on the way na po ako boss.”

Photo credit: www.callcenterfocus.com

Having said those, they are still under a scrutiny and more of an underrated judgment. I once read from Facebook post shared numerous times (grateful if someone can give me the link), he was riding a jeep and eavesdrop on a conversation between a public school teacher and her kumare. The kumare asked for the teacher’s children. And the teacher responded that she does not want her kids to work in a call center lang and other stuff that irritated the agent. Being heard by a call center agent, he was not able to hold of his feelings and butt in. I do not have the verbatim, but it goes something like this: Bakit po anong masama sa call center? Teacher po kayo? Ano pong tinuturo nyo sa mga estudyante nyo? Baka nga po yung anak nyo gusto mag trabaho sa call center. Hindi ko mahintay na makapagtrabaho sya sa call center dahil malaking sampal sa mukha nyo kung mangyayare yun.” The agent bordered rudeness yet we cannot blame him for expressing his emotions over a judgment of his decent job. My take: I want this in Tagalog para may #hugot. “Excuse me po mam, public school teacher po ba kayo? Edi sa tax po ng mga empleyado galing ang sweldo nyo kasama ang malalaking tax ng call center agents na inaalipusta nyo. Baka mismong mga anak nyo nahihiya sa sinabi nyo.” I’m sorry, just got carried away. #SorryNotSorry

Photo credit: www.glavo.biz

Can’t we respect them? I mean, they have a decent job which provides for their family and themselves. Aside from it is a high paying job compared to other industry in the Philippines they have great chances for promotion. Since the call center industry is heading its way up, yes up. Promotion means even a higher pay,  more help to the family and more tax for the Philippine government. I sometimes envy what these people are getting such as:

  • Higher than usual Basic pay
  • Medical insurance (health cards)
  • Transportation allowance
  • Meal allowance
  • Tenure allowance
  • Rice allowance
  • Clothing allowance
  • Over time pay and GC incentives
  • Loan qualification (salary, personal, car, housing etc.)
  • Monthly Performance incentive
  • Quarterly Performance incentive
  • Attendance incentive
  • FREE meals on certain occasions
  • Communication allowance (for TLs and up)
  • Sales Commission
  • FREE brand new handset every year (for TLs and up)
  • Other perks from the company (company give aways)
  • Gifts on birthdays, Mother’s day, Father’s day
  • Christmas package give aways
  • Referral incentives
  • Big discounts on partner companies such as realty developers, and other merchants
  • Career development (including personal and emotional)
  • FREE Certification and Training
  • Affiliation to interest groups
  • Travel incentives
  • Retirement package

Photo credit: www.spi-global.com

What else? As much as I want to think more, I can’t help but realize how blessed these people are. And yet they are being criticized for speaking the English language in public places (practice makes perfect), for being in Starbucks Coffee shop always (they can afford, please spare them), for having branded personal stuff (come on, they deserve to treat themselves after a hard work done) and many others that I observed.

Just like the carpenters, I respect them. They can build cabinets, houses, buildings and others. I cannot build such. They look dirty and all but I respect them.

I am a graduate of a 4 year course, has units in Masters, a licensed secondary educator and have taken several certification courses. Though I love the banking industry (previous job), if given a chance, I would work again in the BPO industry that has more room for career and personal development.

Try to be one. In that way, we would understand who they are and what they have to go through from initial interview, assessment, final interview, communication training, product training, fish bowling, until they reach the actual production floor. That’s a lot! Even more, they try their best to get regularized and maintain the status over a changing score card goals on a monthly basis. I can almost remember, I already exhausted my energy and resources to assist a caller but to her, its still NOTHING! Not easy…


Effective Call Center Interview Questions and Answers

Are you a newbie in the BPO industry or experienced, but trembles during the interview? Let me help you by sharing some of the possible Call Center Interview Questions and Answers.

  1. Tell me something about yourself

It looks simple, right? This question will set the mood of your conversation with the interviewer. DO NOT tell the interviewer what is on your Resume. If you do, why don’t you just tell her/him to read it. DO tell the interviewer about your hobbies, and your skills will be tackled along the way. If you tell the interviewer that you are into sports, (depends which one) it will show your competitiveness, being analytic, leadership and others. If you are a couch potato, you can talk about your family. Just add your favorite movies and television series. Just make sure what comes out of your mouth is really interesting.

  1. What is your idea of a call center?

You may say that people take in calls from different parts of the world, providing information needed with excellent customer service. Adaptability is one of the qualities required since people will have changes in schedule, mingle with different kinds of persons and different culture. This question is usually for the newbies in the industry. So, say something about how you perceive the background of the work, whether it is for a Sales Account, Technical Account, or Customer Service Account. DO NOT tremble. No answer is wrong, just speak your mind.

  1. Why did you apply in a call center?

You must have read the job posting to know who/what they are looking for. And that you have the skills required for the post. Tell the interviewer about your job from another industry or your experience in your practicum/OJT. You may have already experienced irate clients (whatever you call them) which required you to be more patient or be a good listener. The skills you have shown your previous job can also be applied in a call center, only with a higher pay and a chance to get promoted. DO NOT say that you want to improve your English communication skills or you need money to help your family or your kid. Tell the interviewer what you can contribute and not otherwise.

Lazada Philippines

  1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Some of the basic “strengths” that is needed in this industry are being patient, flexibility in schedule, has good communication skills, has good problem solving skills, analytical skills, multi-tasking and others. Answer with a very short example or story. The “weakness” part is the one that will surely make your interviewer write on the paper she is holding. Your weakness is, you work too much even beyond the shift. Overtime is something you are waiting for. DO NOT say any negative quality. What you have in mind  must turn into a positive one. If they insist on any other weakness, you can say that you are too friendly that people sometimes misunderstood you. Or it makes you upset to see colleagues who do not value their work. You get that?

  1. Why do you want to work in our company?

I suggest you to research a bit about the company you are applying for. If you are lazy to do such, you can say that you need a stable company to work for a long period. Maybe you can also say that they have morning shift. You want a normal life or close to it even if you work in a call center. You heard from a friend that the employees are satisfied with how the management run the company/account. In short, all those positive aspects of the company you are applying for. You may not compare them from your previous company. It is like having bad mouth. Leave that and look forward.

  1. What has been your greatest achievement?

Fresh graduate: Your college diploma (please include stories of any hardship and success)

Newbie/Job shifter: Your awards/recognition from previous jobs (please include stories of any hardship and success)

Experienced: Your awards/recognition from previous jobs (please include stories of any hardship and success)

You have to mention at least one. If none, you can say what you have learned from your personal/community/corporate experiences.

photo credit: www.pinterest.com

  1. Why did you leave your previous job/company?

DO NOT say anything bad about your previous company. Just like those being arrested, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” You can say about the workload, or more time was spent unproductively. Express that you learned from those experiences and move forward from any mishaps. Respect.

  1. Any issue with your previous supervisor? How did you handle it?

Again, respect. Although you wanted to strangle the Avaya’s cord to your previous supervisor’s neck, just keep it. The answer is NO. You  make sure that disagreements are handled at once, towards an adaptable solution.

  1. How do you handle pressure (environment/caller/superior)?

It is important that you know your priorities. First things first. Urgent projects/tasks are work on primarily. Make a calendar, use a planner or a diary to get organized. Express apology if any mistake is committed. Hear them out and start from there. Make sure both of you are towards one goal – solution.

Lazada Philippines

  1. How do you manage “change”?

Just so you know, the call center industry has “changes” once in a while. It is more on unexpected time. DO NOT include it on your issue list. It is given, you should know what you are trying to get into. May it be changes in schedule, change of team members or team supervisor, change of target /goals, etc. Besides, the CONSTANT thing in this life is CHANGE. Expect more changes in the call center industry. Give examples of specific issues/problems you faced and how you handled them in the past. Mostly, what you have learned from that situation. Demonstrate a positive attitude in dealing with change. 

  1. How do you keep yourself focused in achieving your goal?
  • Feel good to look good to do good
  • Live a healthy lifestyle
  • Keep in mind the benefits you can earn
  • Motivate others to stimulate a positive environment
  • Know our targets and break them down one by one to ensure success
  1. What to do when asked to do a role play?

Please make sure before you start the dialogue, know the guidelines and the goal of the conversation. Be confident and be precise with every information coming out of your mouth. DO ask questions if necessary.

Lazada Philippines
 DO’s and DON’Ts During the Interview

  • Dress nicely
  • Come in on-time
  • DO NOT speak in Tagalog, no matter what
  • Talk slowly if you have to watch your accent and grammar
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Sit upright, DO NOT slouch
  • Be confident and authentic
  • Own your answers by using the word “I”
  • Acknowledge mistakes (if any) and correct yourself (It is a plus point)
  • Ask questions to show that you are really into the job
  • Smile (even if you are having a bad day)

Do’s Before the Interview

  • Sleep early
  • Read English magazines/books
  • Watch English movies/series
  • Listen to English radio stations
  • Ask someone to converse in English with you
  • If no one is available, speak English to yourself as a practice
  • Record your practice conversation (if possible) so you can listen to yourself and know where to improve

After reading the tips above, you are now ready to face the interviewer with confidence. Do not forget to maintain eye contact. Above all, BE TRUE TO YOURSELF.

Now, please hit LIKE (Facebook) at the upper right corner of the screen to get more interesting blogs. And feel free to share the outcome of your interview. Have Faith!

Maling Relasyon sa Call Center, Laganap

Ang Pilipinas na yata ang isa sa mga bansang maraming call centers. Bukod sa malaki ang porsyento ng  magagaling sa Ingles na Pinoy, kayang kaya naten mag-adjust at mag-adapt sa kultura ng ibang bansa gaya ng Amerika, Australia at United Kingdom.  Ito ang industriya na nagpa sweldo sa akin para makabili ng gatas, diaper, gamot, pagkain, damit, bayad sa bahay, pampaaral at iba pang pangunahing pangangailangan. Dito rin ako nagkaroon ng mga bagong kakilala at kaibigan.  Kaaya-aya ang sweldo at benepisyo sa call center kaya kahit na gising sa gabi at tulog sa umaga ay tuloy lang ang trabaho. Tapos man ng kolehiyo o hindi ay walang diskriminasyon, lahat ay pantay-pantay. Tanggap din sa mundong ito ang mga taong nabibilang sa LBGT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual at Transgender). Ako mismo ay may mga kaibigan na gaya nila na hindi ko pansin ang kasarian dahil mabuti silang tao at masaya silang kasama.

photo credit:http://ceburealestate.com.ph/popular-bpo-sites-driving-philippine-property/

Masasabi kong nabilang ako sa tatlong (3) magagandang call centers sa bansa. (Hindi ko na babanggitin) Bukod sa may kaalaman na sa pananalitang Ingles ay nahasa pa ako ng mabuti. Bawat pagsasanay (training) ay panibagong kaalaman. Marami rin na mga incentives gaya ng mga appliances, gadgets, kabuhayan showcase, Sodexho gift certificates, Starbucks GC, libreng sine, libreng jacket, tumataginting na libo libong pera, libreng byahe o bakasyon sa Pilipinas man o sa ibang bansa  at iba pa. Benepisyo gaya ng health card para sa empleyado at sa kanyang pamilya, allowances, loan eligibility, buwanang hulog sa SSS, Philhealth at Pag-IBIG Fund, sick leave, vacation leave, emergency leave, paternity leave, maternity leave at iba pa. Kasama na ang oportunidad na ma-promote at umangat ang sweldo para sa mga karapat-dapat na mga empleyado na magagaling at may taglay ng mga katangian ng pagiging leader.

Sa aking mga nabanggit, yan ang maga dahilan kung bakit marami ang nagkaka interes magtrabaho sa call center; mataas na sweldo, maraming insentibo at mga benepisyo. Hindi ba ang gusto naten ay mabigyan ng maayos na pamumuhay ang ating pamilya? Gusto naten sila makita na masaya at malusog sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaroon ng masarap na mga pagkain, maayos na tirahan, maayos na edukasyon sa mga anak o mga kapatid, minsan maging mga pamangkin  at sana paminsan-minsan ay makapaglibang din naman.

photo credit: investmentopportunitiestoday.blogspot.com

May mga samahan na nabubuo na humahantong sa mabuting ugnayan. Isang dalaga, isang binata na nagkakilala, nagkamabutihan, ikinasal at nagkaroon ng pamilya. Ito mismo ay nangyari sa inyong lingkod. Galing sa S (Single) na status sa payslip ay naging M (Married).

photo credit: 7-themes.com

Ngunit bakit minsan may mga nakakalimot ng dahilan kung bakit nagbabanat tayo ng buto? Dahil sa mga bagong kakilala na kasabay ng tulog at gising, kasabay ng araw ng pasok at oras ng pahinga, kasabay sa Lunch (ang tawag sa oras ng kain kahit gabi) at sa break, kasabay sa yosihan, kainuman after shift, ka-over night sa team building, nahuhumaling ang mga tao sa bagong relasyon at nakakalimutan ang pamilya na naghihintay sa bahay.

Sa mga taong nasa mundo ng call center, alam na alam naten yan. Magka-“team”, pareho ng account, o taga ibang departamento o taga ibang call center ay nagkakaroon ng bawal na relasyon. May asawa at anak si babae-binata si lalake, may asawa at anak si lalake-dalaga si babae, may asawa si lalake-may asawa din si babae, ganyan ang mga uri ng bawal na relasyon ang makikita sa floor. May mga nakita na tayo na naghiwalay ang tunay na mag-asawa, kawawa naman ang mga anak na walang kamalay-malay sa nangyari. May mga iilan na nagkaoon ng tamang desisyon na mag-stick sa original. Parang kapag nasa call center, malaya na ang lahat. Tama lang na huwag makialam sa buhay ng ibang tao, pero kung may pamilya na maiiwan o nakakawawa, hindi na yata tama. HINDI LAHAT NG MASAYA AY TAMA. HINDI LAHAT NG GINAGAWA NG KARAMIHAN AY TAMA.

photo credit: olyeats.wordpress.com

Merong mga insidente na nagalit at nag eskandalo si asawang babae o si asawang lalake, naiintindihan naten sila. At syempre usap-usapan sa floor yan. Meron din naman mga tahimik lang at parang walang alam o baka nga wala silang alam. Kilalang-kilala na ang industriya ng call center na may mga nasirang pamilya, nasirang relasyon, nasirang tahanan.

Wala bang gagawin ang mga call center para kahit papaano ay mabawasan ang mga pamilyang Pilipino na nasisira? Business interest nga lang ba ang iniingatan? May parusa sa nag-release ng call, nag-transfer sa ibang department, absenteeism, bagsak sa score card, at iba pa. Wala yata ako nakita na nabigyan ng papel dahil nakipagrelasyon sa may asawa. Kung hindi pinagbabawal, ibig-sabihin legal? Ilang pamilya pa ang masisira dahil sa malaya at laganap na bawal na relasyon?