Monday, October 22, 2007

Waiting on Tables: A Day in the life of a Filipino Bachelor

I have been waiting for the "hefe", a hard-nosed businessman who is my current employer. It has been a really long wait, almost 4 hours now.

Right after eating lunch, my boss immediately sent me to Eastwood, Libis to wait for the hefe. I was chosen because I conceptualized the advertising and promotional plan for the Eastwood branch.

Frankly, I don't feel lucky because the task given is very challenging with a low probability of success. It is as if I am being set-up to fall flat on my face.

To start with, the branch has been opened because the property is being leased at 200Php per sqm. It is considered a good deal because current rent in the area is above 500Php per sqm.

The only problem is how to exploit the "good deal."

The solution was to accrue the leasehold to two affiliated companies owned by the hefe.

One, a domestic recruitment agency catering to call centers and the other, an institute that specializes in call center training.

I have conceptualized a marketing program based on very meager resources, having to resort to on-the-job-trainees to help implement the program.

Another employee tasked to ensure ROI is already complaining that she can't do it by herself, having been the only one assigned on a full-time basis.

As for me, I have to continue reporting to Makati half of the week, the other half, to conduct and lead the awareness campaign for the Eastwood branch.

I have discussed the whole matter with my immediate superior, telling her of my concern for stretching our manpower pool thinly to cover all the bases.

I have in fact asked her to abandon the project.

But it is just not possible anymore, the hefe having gotten a two-year lease on the property.

This is really an interesting situation.

The branch is located in Eastwood which has pretensions of being a high-end location. On-site marketing is strictly prohibited.

The building administrator disallows outdoor signages since it will "destroy" the facade of the building.

The employees can not do leafleting within the compound unless space is rented in the the restaurant area. Streamers that will indicate the existence of the institute have also been disallowed.

To be accurate, I can do all the above as long as it is not within Eastwood.

My boss slashed the allocated budget for the banners intended for posting within the residential areas near Eastwood.

I am in deep-shit.

The main advertising medium used is print ads. It is not effective considering the costs involved and the inquiries generated from it.

The planned advertising campaign mainly uses below-the-line tools.

I have proposed an off-line and online advertising campaign.

The thing with the online campaign is that the institute's database is hardcopy.

The previous employee tasked to encode only did 10% of his job while getting 100% of his salary. I was pretty much amazed that he lasted a whole year, his reason being that his previous superiors were not strict with his deliverables.

There's some negligence here, obviously.

Good thing is that he is not with the institute anymore, although he transferred to the recruitment affiliate.

The hefe, it seems, has a high tolerance for incompetence.

This is not really a bad thing, especially considering my situation. But I think he has verbalized that he will close the institute if it continues to lose money which makes me return to my topic.

Initial activity has something to do with coming up with a database, fast.

This is easy since Eastwood hosts a lot of call centers and one call center alone processes about a hundred applicants on a BAD day!

Hiring rate is between 2-5 per hundred applicants, so, there's lot of fish to catch!

I just have to catch them in the right place at the right time.

Please tag me if you were positively or negatively affected while reading this post. . Thanks!

I am a management consultant for technical, vocational education and training (TVET). I started The Legally-Recycled Bachelor blog as part of product research on search engine optimization and search engine marketing. I am a Filipino bachelor with two children. My wonderful children reside in the USA with their mother.

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