‘Mura ng mura’ monster
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - August 14, 2020 - 12:00am

Several people have been asking me for advice regarding their plans of resigning from their jobs primarily because their workplace environment has become so toxic, because managers or owners, who are fear driven, have turned into quota and profit driven monsters who use curses, cuss words and temperamental outbursts as motivational tools on their workers.

Given the reality of COVID-19 and the fact that so many of us are only so thankful that we actually have jobs and earn a living, I can only guess what a terrible or horrible work environment these people find themselves in. Imagine seriously considering quitting your job in the time of COVID-19? That alone confirms that these people work for or are employed not by mere jerks or immature individuals but real life selfish monsters who still think that cussing out or “Pag mura” of employees is perfectly normal and legal. In case these ignorant trolls don’t realize it, it’s not.

In fact in a recent interview of Assistant Secretary Nikki Tutay of the Department of Labor, I learned that part of the new guidelines crafted by DOLE and DTI is the section on enhancing “Psycho-Social” balance and motivation in the work place. The section fully recognizes that Filipino workers or employees are all undergoing extraordinarily stressful conditions in and outside their work place. As such employers and human resource managers must make an effort to insure the mental and emotional well-being of their people. Managers or team leaders have never had the legal right to “Make mura” or cuss out their employees. You can get sued for a host of things for mental torture, defamation, unjust vexation, gender related discrimination, etc. All it takes is one determined complainant and one good lawyer, and social media to settle the matter as well as get the DOLE’s attention.

Aside from the risks of legal action, it does not earn respect but instead generates more disrespect from others of their level or leadership. Mature and experienced leaders and bosses know that someone who uses his tongue to lash out at people below them are judged as immature, insecure and high risk. You may draw fear but you will never earn respect. You will be remembered and talked about for all the wrong reasons. You may arrogantly say it doesn’t matter, but trust me, as you mature in years it will matter to you most and not to other people because you have to live with your record of rights and wrongs. “I know from whence I speak” for I have committed those sins in the past and have repented most gravely in my latter years.

Given how people are dying left and right from COVID-19, given how bad the economy will go in spite of all human intervention and given that COVID-19 will be around for a long while, squeezing blood out of a turnip by screaming and threatening employees will not generate the desired or intended results. The fact that several people are seriously considering leaving their jobs will only result in vacancies. The period of hiring, the learning curve, the adjustment to the environment will also add to a lowered performance or profit that could have been avoided.

One analogy I love to use is a true story I experienced many times. Back in the days when my wife Karen and I were renting our homes, we were regularly confronted with the standard annual 10 percent increase in rent. Whenever we left, it would take the owner 3 to 6 months to find new tenants. If you add up the total loss of rent compared to potential increase, the owners always lost money. A bird in hand is better than two in the bush!

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Whenever a TV show or event features an activity that is considered risky or could result in serious injury, the standard warning provided by such programs or events is: The activities featured were done by “trained professionals.” Do not attempt to do this at home or without proper supervision.

After seeing how 1,000 to 6,000 LSIs and OFWs crowded the Rizal Memorial Complex and the NAIA-2 Departure area, I now have to call out Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go and the officials of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and OWWA to please hire “Trained Professionals” to handle the registration, gathering, coordination and transport of the LSIs and OFWs. In fact, now would be an opportune time for Senator Go and the PMS to hire people from the Tourism industry, particularly tour organizers because they know each and every step of moving people, safely and professionally. In doing so, Bong Go and the PMS would be hitting two birds with one stone; giving temporary employment and business to tour organizers and professionals while sending home LSIs like tourists and not treat them like refugees. It’s unfair to the PMS to do work they are not professionally trained for as well. It is unfair to the NAIA management and system to burden them with a sea of “refugees,” increasing risk factors at airport terminals and making the NAIA look like an extension office of the DSWD.

The return of LSIs and OFWs to their respective hometowns is a noble idea but it is something that should be done by trained professionals, not forced upon people who already have too much work and responsibilities. It must also be said that LSIs and OFWs should be processed through a separate corridor and not herded like cattle into a stadium or pre-departure facility of the NAIA. At the very least they could have been processed at Villamor Airbase then bused to the tarmac area where they could board their assigned aircraft. Given the rate of exposure among LSIs and OFWs, somebody should have thought about this risk factor. As a result, because trained professionals were not called upon, there is now a huge chance that these returnees will be bringing home COVID as a pasalubong!

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

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