By Raoul Suarez

Rogelio has been working in the company for 5 months now. He will be a regular employee soon. Another month to go and he will be signing that contract. No attendance issues. All metrics passed month-on-month. No call outs. No escalations. Well-deserved.

This was his first BPO. He was able to make it after a grueling chain of tests and interviews. He passed. He aced training and was able to survive weeks of nesting. He was eventually moved to the operations floor to take on live calls with an 8-hour staffed time requirement. Impressive. High potential. Diligent. Promising.

He used to work as a waiter for a restaurant chain that sold chicken barbecue and unlimited rice. A job that can pay the bills and get him fed. Not enough but better than nothing. Minimum wage. Comes with a uniform. A friend of his told him to try and apply for a job in the call center but he was hesitant at first; unsure of himself and laden with doubts. It was a different industry and he would need to work at night. The pay was good and it came with a sign-in bonus. Very appealing. He decided to take his chances and was eventually able to make it.

Rogelio had dreams of finishing school. He was already in his 2nd year in college but had to stop due to poverty. They lived a very hard life. He had 3 other siblings who were currently in high school and only their mother had a job. Their father passed away a long time ago so they were left to fend for themselves. Getting that job in the call center had somewhat eased the financial burdens that they were facing.

Regularization would mean he would get additional perks and an HMO card that would enable him to add dependents. His mother would become a beneficiary and they would not have to worry much about the hospital bills as it would be covered by the healthcare provider. With the incentives he was receiving, he would be able to save up for school while helping his siblings with their fees. One more month to go. 22 working days to be exact. He will be entitled to additional benefits that employees from the company would normally enjoy. His life would soon change for the better.

It was a busy day at work today. The calls kept coming in one after the other. No time to rest in-between calls. The queue was long and they had to clear it. Rogelio took his lunchbreak but decided not to eat. He already ate before reporting to work anyway. He went to the sleeping quarters instead. He needed some shut-eye. He needed to rest; just a nice long nap that would help to re-energize him for the next half of the shift. He set an alarm on his brick phone and timed it for 30 minutes, then he proceeded to take his power nap. Lunchbreak was good for an hour anyway. Half an hour would be enough.

He was used to taking short power naps but always made sure that he didn’t oversleep by setting an alarm. It was a good countermeasure just in case he wasn’t able to wake up on time due to fatigue. Rogelio woke up before the alarm on his brick phone went blaring. He fumbled for a few things and hurriedly went out of the sleeping quarters with his hoodie on. He gently closed the door as a courtesy to the person sleeping inside the room and slowly walked out without a sound. He went to the bathroom to freshen up and got himself ready for the next half of the shift.

Rogelio was already taking in calls for an hour when his cellphone rang. The security guards were able to pinpoint where the sound was coming from and they hurriedly went to where he was situated. He must have accidentally brought it to the operations floor and was not able to deposit it in his locker. He was flagged and advised to log out so he could remove the item from his person and deposit the phone where it is supposed to be kept. Customer Service Representatives were not allowed to bring their phones in the operations floor. It has been a long-standing rule and Rogelio has been following it religiously; up until today.

Rogelio logged out and went with the security guards. A ticket will be issued to him for violating the rule. It will be just a first written warning. His first escalation. Not very impacting. Just a log for the violation with commitments done in writing. He would just need to write it there and sign it, then it’s done. There’s a progression for the sanction anyway. It will not hurt much. It will not affect his employment. He proceeded to the locker room but was stopped by the security guards and was told to proceed to the conference room. He obliged.

At the conference room, Rogelio was met by his supervisor, the Compliance Officer, and a person in a black jacket who looked familiar to him but he did not know the name of. They started asking questions. Rogelio was told to put his phone on the table. He pulled his brick phone out of his pocket and complied. He was then told to put the other phone on the table. He was a little shocked at the remark. He claimed that he only had one phone. A security guard dialed something on his phone and there was a ring coming from Rogelio’s jacket pocket. The vibration can also be heard. He pulled out the ringing phone and put it on top of the table. It was the latest iPhone release. The person in the black jacket took the phone, and then unlocked it using his fingerprint.

In the sleeping quarters, an hour or so ago, Rogelio woke up before the alarm went blaring, he fumbled for a few things, and decided to take the phone right next to the person sleeping in the other bed. He then hurriedly went out and put his hoodie on so his face would not be recognized by the security cameras. There were only 2 people who used the sleeping quarters during that hour. Rogelio and the person who was with him in the conference room; the guy in the black jacket who was also sleeping there and complained to the company security guards that his phone was stolen when he woke up.

Rogelio forgot that the sleeping quarters had a logbook, and the entrance and exits were heavily monitored by security cameras. He was not able to put the phone on silent mode because he didn’t know how and he was in a rush to finish the last half of the shift so he could take it home with him. He was accused of theft and had to explain himself. He was not able to give a logical explanation. He only claimed that he lost his smart phone a couple of weeks ago in the same sleeping quarters and had to buy a brick phone because he had no money. Today, an iPhone was on the bed next to someone and he thanked God for sending him a replacement for the phone that was stolen from him. That’s what he wrote. That’s how he explained it. It did not work. The company has a Zero Tolerance Policy against crimes like Theft. People who are found guilty are usually terminated and put in the blacklist; never to be hired again.

Rogelio has been working in the company for 5 months now. He will be a regular employee soon. Another month to go and he will be signing that contract. No attendance issues. All metrics passed month-on-month. No call outs. No escalations. Regularization would mean he would get additional perks and an HMO card that would enable him to add dependents. Some of his dreams would come to fruition. Today, those dreams were no more. Today, those dreams would have to be put on standby. Rogelio was found guilty of theft. He is no longer a Probationary Employee. He gained a new title. Rogelio is now a Job Hunter.