Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The many morality issues

Some 40 to 50 years ago, the Philippines had many morality issues that are not being accepted by its society.  One real issue during those times are married men having an affair with another or other women.  If it happens, it is almost certain that his neighborhood, community or even the entire township will condemn a married man in an illicit affair.  Very few men get away with it and usually end up a broken family.  It is a thing with married but it is worst when it is a married woman who goes into such an affair.  The simple reason is a married woman can get pregnant by the man she is in the affair with.  Even if the family is kept intact, it will be hard to live under one roof knowing that one was not sired by the father of the family.

That kind of morality is now, to many, a thing that has valid reasons and accepted if justifiable.  There are now bigger numbers of broken families and the society is more tolerant.  Finances are often the culprit when it comes to getting into an illicit affair.  Having too much money to spare spur married men and the lack of it can be reason enough for a married woman.  Is this where money becomes the root of all evil?  It is immoral when too much money gets one into such an affair.  Now, what about if the affair is to provide for the survival and existence of ones family?

The morality issue of the above is debatable.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Call Center Services in the Philippines

The Philippines is known to have a respectable command of the English language.  In addition to that, literacy rate of 92.6%.  Call Center services in the Philippines, I believe, have already outdone India, if not equaled.  Having been with two of the top BPO companies, India is admittedly better when it comes to technical support but definitely not in the league with Filipinos when it comes to accent.

A good example is the last company I was with that had two offices.  The first one was in India and their second BPO in the Philippines.  Customer service was focused in the Philippines while the company made the more experienced India outfit as our supervisors we escalate to.  When we escalate the calls to them, almost all of the time callers will request to give back the call to us.  Why?  Callers complain that the supervisor we had escalated them to was hard to understand and could also hardly understand their issue!

Call center services has improved a lot especially with the agents.  Almost all have honed their conversation, listening and resolving skills.  Tight knit teams have agents helping out each other when it comes to customer issues.  Teams that are kept intact for at least 8 months to a year always perform better compared to those that are reshuffled frequently.  I should know it because in both companies, I've been with teams at least that long and other teams too with much shorter time than that.  It is the bond and camaraderie of a team that is kept intact for longer periods.

As agents get better, call center services to them are on a decline.  Benefits and incentives are no longer as good when I started with the first company.  Even if an agent could no longer talk and losing his/her voice, the company clinic just let them rest for an hour or two then sent back to take calls!  I know because it happened to me!  They always suspect that agents are feigning illness always!  There was even an incident when an agent died because of failure to be given the proper medical attention!  She was a young single mother who was just coming from or had just come out of training.  Reports on how it happened are sketchy and we were practically kept in the dark.

The Department of Labor should look into how agents are treated.  The Personnel or Human Resources Department (HRD) of the companies can hardly do anything because they have to follow HRD guidelines of their clients.  Call center services HRD seem to be just for hiring and firing, and implementing social security and other government required processes.

N.B.  This article has no intention belittling the accent of India-based call center agents, as some Filipinos would also have some heavy accents.

Update:  The Philippines bests India as BPO - is now No. 1!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Manny Pacquiao vs Antonio Margarito

This blog was posted quite later than it should have been.  The reason - Manny Pacquiao training in Baguio City is to master the way of pinik-pikan.  This is the art of what has been termed as "killing-me-softly" for a chicken in preparing the recipe, original and unique only in the Cordilleras.  Maybe the Pacman has slowed down a bit in the same way that Muhammad Ali slowed down while aging.  But in the process of aging, wisdom improves and that is in general for most people.  With this, many tactics and strategies come about that are least expected by opponents or foes.

The preparation of Manny Pacquiao against his opponent Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13, 2010 might not be as intense in his previous trainings.  One real reason is his now being a Congressman representing Sarangani, Mindanao.  In his training in Baguio last 2009, he also did some time off to help victims of  Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng.  Coordinating help and assistance for victims of catastrophes is not an easy task.  His recent camp in Baguio was not really that much in the news because of privacy and security concerns.  Tightened security might have deprived some to actually see and observe his training.

Going back to Manny Pacquiao for his upcoming fight, Margarito will have a problem which part of him to cover.  Standing upright covering his face will be offering the Pacman to practice the art of pinikpikan on his body.  Bending over to protect his abdomen (typo: badomen) will be an opportunity for Manny give killer hooks to side of his head.  This will be the first time the art of pinik-pikan will be used starting with the head.  Pinik-pikan was intentionally not described in full here because some it might find it be too gross and get the attention of the SPCA (lol).  Please note that I am not referring to Margarito as animal.

By the way, some humor was added in this article.  Trying to help Manny Pacquiao on some strategy here, as trainers of Margarito might come across this and be confused.  

Link to Manny Pacquiao Interview at CBS - 60 Minutes

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

P-Noy Aquino

This article was prompted by what seems to be a better job being done by P-Noy Aquino compared to his immediate predecessors.  During the campaign, naysayers were very particular with his lack of experience.  They could be correct on some mistakes of his administration

His lack of experience and lack of laws passed in the Senate might not necessarily what a good President needs.  What good are laws if they do not understand the people it is being imposed upon?  His ban of "wang-wang" (siren) has shamed those who were abusive of it.  Even his VP Jejomar Binay who violated traffic and was demanding Vice-Presidential residence had suddenly gone quiet.

It is sincerely hoped that the P-Noy cabinet  aides and other lieutenants follow his example.  He is a simple person not fond of extravagance of what usually rich kids were raised on.  He needs to clean out other bureaus and government agencies that are a nest for corruption.

It is difficult enough to raise an ideal family and the task of trying to come up with governing a nation even to just average good is difficult.  Critics should look at themselves first and see if they were able bring up their clan or family the ideal way they want a president to govern a country.  If they do, come up with portfolio and show it to the people.  If they don't, just try to help P-Noy and the government instead.

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