I worked in manufacturing for eight years with better salary, health benefits, bonuses, and paid vacation. Within those eight years, I held five different positions through promotions. But everything ended when our company was badly hit by global recession last 2007 and I had no choice but to look for another job after the company closed indefinitely.
Most of the manufacturing companies out there suffered the same fate so I decided to try my luck in BPO. I was hired by a call center in Batangas and although the offer was lower than what I previously earned in my manufacturing job, I did not let it slide.
In the first few months as a call center agent, every day was a torture. There were 27 people in my batch but after 3 months, we were down to 16. After another 5 months, we were down to 12, and before I resigned after 3 years, only three of us were left.
I can honestly tell how difficult, stressful, and how pressured we were during our stint. In three years, I handled HP, Verizon, and Dell accounts as technical support. The experience was just awful so I promised myself I will never ever work in a call center again.
It was July 2008 when I received a call from Mr. Jones asking for help setting-up a wireless connection on his laptop. Because his laptop had obsolete software, the call took about an hour and we had a very good conversation. He promised me that he is going to help me work in the US and I became hopeful.
After almost a week, for some unexplained reason, I received a call from him again. This time, he needed help in setting-up his outlook email. He was surprised when he learned that I am the same agent who helped him a week ago. This time, he gave me his personal contact email (although it is strictly prohibited, I managed to keep it).
Right after I arrived home that day, I sent him an email which he responded within four hours. He told me that he will be in Manila by September to do a final interview with four nurses whom the agency has selected. Mr. Jones was working in the HRD department of Washington State Hospital and he said that it was his 3rd time going to the Philippines. He asked me to email my resume in advance and he will talk to his immigration lawyer about me.
I sent him two follow-up emails until the first week of September but I did not receive any response. With that, I became hopeless until the day he arrived.
That morning, I received an email from the US. It was his daughter telling me to call a certain number (a hotel in Manila), and that his father was waiting. I immediately dialed the number and the hotel information officer told me that Mr. Jones transferred to another hotel for some reason. I got the hotel’s phone number and I finally got a chance to talk to him.
Right there and then, I filed leave of absence and rushed to his hotel. He was very glad to met me. He said he lost contact through email because his computer was corrupted so he had to ask his daughter back in the US to check his webmail for my contact details.
Our conversation lasted half a day while I was trying to reformat his laptop. He asked me to return tomorrow to assist him in his interview with the four nurses. And so, I did.
After our final meeting that day, he told me that he is going to Davao to meet his girlfriend whom he was planning to marry. He also told me that there’s a high possibility of me going to the US together with his girlfriend because our papers were submitted and processed by his lawyer at the same time. I was extremely hopeful.
After a two-week stay in the Philippines, Mr. Jones returned to the US, but he told me to wait for further details from him.