Day Two: Some experience required.
From yesterday I learned that visibility is key. The perimiter of the job fair could be used for wanted posters. Wait, that came out wrong. We could put up posters listing the job openings in our company. And that’s what I did first thing in the morning of the second day. One job opening to one A3 poster. At the end of the day I’ll find out if the whole exercise was effective. Exercise it was for me. Putting up 8 posters is no joke, 16 is not funny at all. I was sweating buckets when I was done (even when I had recruited Sam to help me before going off to work himself), and I had to take a few minutes to make myself un-scary before I took my place at Booth #13.
Quite a lot of call center types in the crowd, considering that more than thirty of the exhibitors are call centers. One of the few things I like about call centers is that it keeps our work force home, in the Philippines where they ought to be. Some might think that I should be grateful that call centers abound in the Philippines, because my son happens to be employed in one. I say the call centers should be grateful that they have my son, and thousands of other kids in headsets sitting in a cold room for 8 to 10 hours at night. Sometimes I think call centers are the new sweat shops. Of course call centers are cold and all, but the subzero temperature isn’t to keep them comfortable, it’s to keep the computers and used cisco equipment from heating up. And yes, maybe some of them do get paid a bit more than the usual, but the call center industry has engendered an entirely new vampire-like culture that wakes at night and goes to sleep in the morning, subsisting on caffeine and nicotine and fastfood.
Are you a recruitment agency? No, we are not a recruitment agency for work overseas. Some people seemed to think so, especially yesterday when our American Operations Director manned the booth with me. Some people still asked me that this morning, even while I manned the booth solo. Quite a lot of people want to find work abroad. That could even be an understatement. The company I work for does send network engineers to far and distant places in the Philippines like the mountains of Bakun, Ilocos Norte and the mountains of Zamboanga del Norte. One of our engineers, after finishing an installation in Albay on a Saturday afternoon, called the office to ask if it was ok for him to take the train back to Manila, as he’d never had a ride on it before and had never seen the Mayon Volcano except in his social studies books back in elementary school. We told him yes, it was ok. See your country before you go off and see the world.
There were more people on the second day than the first. Mainly because it was raining on the first day. On the second day the activity center was packed. I manned the boot alone for most of the day, but managed to take less than an hour’s break to eat, walk around and take pictures.