An Open Letter to our Incoming President

Dear Mr. President,

This letter has surely no way to reach you. There are only a few workplace friends and family members who recognize this blog. Among my workplace friends, those who are aware of this page have moved to other companies. They left the institution because of better career opportunities. That’s what most of them mentioned during their exit interviews. Truth is, my friends who left lost faith in the company. I will not deny my real sentiments. I’m one with my friends who have gradually lost hope, faith and trust to our second beloved home.

I hope you have  noticed my preference of calling the institution as home. Cliche as it may sound, we have considered the company as our home.  As Catholics, we love that we can exercise our religion without restrictions. The perks of being hired in Catholic institution! At the same time, we learned to love the institution for its openness to accept non-Catholic students and employees. All the more our company deserves to be called home. Our company imbibes the real essence of Catholicism. Welcome and respect your brothers and sisters, regardless of their beliefs and preferred religions. We also love that we have the annual spiritual retreat. Most of our Catholic friends, relatives and family members only experienced the spiritual retreat during their last year in High School or College. In our case, we are blessed to experience it once every school year. Added to this, we love that we are not forced to report for work whenever Manila is about to be hit by a disastrous typhoon. On December, we have a prolonged Christmas break. How many companies will allow a two-week paid break during the Christmas season? As compared to other organizations, we believe that our home offers a relatively relaxed working environment. Those who cannot beat deadlines are not punished but understood. 🙂 We always exercise the virtue of patience and compromise. When a colleague loses a family member, we love the efforts extended by your brothers, our dearest priests. Priests are taking time to say the Holy Mass to the bereaved family member, even though it meant reaching the farthest provinces in Luzon. We may not have the best compensation and benefit packages. We are however compensated with a relatively relaxed working environment.

Unfortunately, these blessings and conveniences lost its luster and appreciation among my colleagues. As proof to this, there was a sudden increase in the number of resignations over the past months. A portion of these casualties include my lone best friend and other colleagues who have turned to become great friends. My opinion might sound too biased but really, the colleagues who decided to leave form the few best assets of our second home. It would take years before another set of valuable employees will be sufficient to replace them.

A few weeks ago I heard pieces of information about upcoming changes. The biggest income generating sector of the company is having a new head. You were also bringing in a chief consultant who was once a powerful department head. I was one of the few persons who appreciated this move because the chief consultant has sufficient knowledge and experience about the systems and culture in the organization. The consultant knew the real story and struggles happening in our second home. This was way better than the move of the previous administration. People from the “superior” sister company were brought in only to fix things that were not really broken.

Tomorrow, will be your big day. I assume. The most awaited formal appointment ceremonies will be held tomorrow. I have colleagues who were tapped to assist in the programme and ceremonies. While me? Let me tell you something… I have been an idle being for the past weeks. I’ve been reporting for work for nothing. My workplan is empty. It’s good as, I’m paid to do nothing. Lucky problems for some of my colleagues. In my case however, this adds up to my quarter life crisis, dwindling self-esteem and other personal struggles. I’ve relayed my condition to my superior but as of date, he has nothing for me. Oh well, this is another story to begin with.

Speaking of my superior, I learned that you had initial talks with him. I assume you’ve given him instructions to produce several documents for your review. My superior requested me to generate one of the documents. I finished everything in one day… After this task, I’m left hanging in the tree of uncertainty.

My letter is getting longer but I haven’t reached even the tip of my sentiments. I intend to relate the real condition of the workplace, at least in the point of view of a staff who has been there for the past decade.

You are about to embrace a home that was once blissful. It used to be a home for my colleagues who left. They say that home is where the heart is. True even for my colleagues and friends who left. They don’t hate the institution. Who could ever hate the home where they grew up? Unfortunately, the home they treasure has been broken by different forces. One of which is the presence of some leaders who failed to lead. We had our own share of leaders who were more interested with the position, than the responsibility. This gradually devastated what was once we considered home. Little by little, the damage has been felt. And for my friends and colleagues who left, it felt like they are bound to fix something that is totally broken. It’s better to leave things broken than hurting yourself trying to fix it. In my case, I never imagined how my second home would eventually make me self destructive.

There are a lot of things that needed to be fixed and HEALED. Placing everything in the right place is not a walk in the park. You will be inheriting problems. Unfortunately, problems are not designed to diminish or at the very least, remain constant over time. There will be more to come. One of which is this government legislation that is bound to lessen the revenue of the company in the next four years. So much can happen in the next four years! I can imagine how many more good employees are about to leave. And for those were left, their spirits are dampened especially when the management is leaning to downsizing. Those who leave are no longer replaced. There are lesser clients but the work load remains the same. The diminishing revenue further deprives employees of their much needed salary increase, rewards and the little things that can relieve their hardwork.

The employees are fully aware that the company is not at its best now. The others that feel alarmed and who can still afford to transfer are moving out. Those who are left accept the miserable fate of the organization. Leaving them dissatisfied and simply working for payday.

Much is expected from you Dear President. The previous administration was quite lucky to inherit a relatively systematized and orderly systems and procedures. In your case, you are inheriting a problematic environment. Worst of the worst, the problematic system is coupled with diminishing profit over the next four years.

Despite of all the negativities, I’m wishing you all the best in your leadership and administration. You have a big shoes to fill in. There’s a long, winding, rough and uncertain road ahead. What’s only certain now, people are praying and wishing for a better and brighter life ahead.

P.S. : Of my more than a decade of working for the institution, I never had the chance to witness any installation ceremony. When I first arrived in the institution, the current President was about to end his term. During the installation of the succeeding President (who is now crippled by Parkinsons disease), I filed for a vacation leave. It wasn’t intentional though. I filed for the leave months before the ceremony was scheduled. With his leadership, everyone even the rank and file employees were invited.

On your installation ceremony, only a few colleagues were given the chance to attend. The managers were all required to attend. My colleagues who are also rank and file employees were required to attend to serve as usher and usherettes. I’m not trying to insinuate something. I’m just too observant about everything. 🙂

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