on closure and looking back.


One of the saddest chapters in the book of my life can finally be closed. Today, 13 May 2011, marks the day of my freedom.

Freedom from what, you ask?

For over a year, I have been bondage-d (is there such a word?) and haunted by such and unjust and unfair act done by my previous company. I could no longer count how many times I have relayed the story.

We have been laid off from work on 23 April 2010. The reason, I still do not know until now, and frankly, I don't give a damn anymore. All I knew then, and until now, is that we didn't deserve to lose our jobs just like that.

What was "like that" like?

Well, for one last time, let me recount the most awful night of 2010:

I can remember it clearly. I just came back from a long vacation then - one week sick leave and then a few days of vacation-cum-surfing in Baler. The past few weeks leading that frightful day found me agonizing over whether to leave the company or stay.

March and April have been one of the hardest months for most of us in the training team. We were informed that we needed to cut down training costs which means cutting down on people, too. Our trainers were on the phones half the time, and were "on call" in case the queue spikes. Aside from that, we had to revise training modules to fit the campaign's needs. We also ran two trainings - Empathy and TVP Workshops for the two LOBs we were handling. And not to forget, we had to work on weekends. All these courtesy of our new training manager.

Ken and I were also tasked to complete our trainers' score cards -- low scores mean going back to the phones. Full time. I had five trainers under me, and I had to retain only two. We had a lot of things going for us. We have been going bonkers just to complete all our deliverables.

And then lo and behold, a day after I got back to work, and just a few hours after completing a Versant report, I was called to the small meeting room. I really didn't know what was in store for me, but I had a  feeling it was going to be bad. In the room were my manager, the Ops Director, and the newly hired HR Director. They told me bluntly that --

"We are downsizing and we have decided to place you on a 6-month temporary layoff... blah blah blah."

I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say. I had a lot of questions but I didn't have the strength to ask.

Why me? I have been a very diligent employee. In my entire stay at Transcom, I didn't have any "unexcused/unexplained" absences. I went to work religiously. I loved my job.

Over the course of one year, we filed a case against the company, I was jobless for 4 months, got a job and went back to square one -- I am not a trainer or a supervisor in my current company, went to hearings at the National Labor Relations Commission, was issued a return to work order but ignored it, agonized over what the decision would be, and waited for a looooong time for the decision to be issued.

Finally it was here -- reinstatement within 10 days of receipt of the decision or pay severance pay. I have been praying that it would be the latter. I didn't want to go back to Transcom.

A week after we received the copy of the decision, we were requested to go to Transcom and meet the HR Director.

We went there tonight, unsure of what was in store for us. It felt surreal, awkward, and exciting. Exciting because I saw a lot of friendly and familiar faces. I saw a lot of my former trainees, and for a moment I wished I was back in training. Surreal and awkward because I haven't been there for over a year. A lot has changed, but it was still the same.

The HR Manager, Ian, met us. And upon seeing the envelope he was holding (and what was inside), I felt giddy. We were being issued a check! Oh yes, severance pay it is. The NLRC ruling was "1 month's pay for every year of service, a fraction of six months is considered one year."

With that in mind, I was expecting around Php 60,000.00. Guess how much I got?


Oh yeah. Good Lord, thank You so much.

I cannot contain the happiness right now. It's not about the money, really, it's more about justice being served. Some may think it's not enough payment for everything we've gone through, but it's not bad at all. Php 80,000.00 is still Php 80,000.00. I wouldn't get that anywhere, would I?

That's enough for me to pay my credit card dues, 3 months' rent, my Mom, and the attorney's fees; keep a few thousand for savings, and spoil myself a little.

For someone who waited a year, it's more than enough.

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