Half a million Filipino call center workers are on American time

500,000 Filipinos live on American time! Their bodies are still in the Philippines, but could be said to be emotionally in the United States. They work and sleep on an American time zone. Additionally, they take their vacations when America is on vacation. Imagine celebrating the 4th of July in the Philippines! It sounds dreadful. Next, if disaster hits in a part of America, they become more involved with that snowstorm, power outage, or mud-slide than they would be if a tsunami or hurricane hit their motherland.

There is some sort of an emotional divorce that happens between the call center workers in the Philippines and “regular” folks. They just can’t relate to each other the same way after getting their call center job.

I have personal experience with this type of life. I sometimes will be on the phone with India all night for weeks in a row. I lived in India a few times before as well. But, this didn’t divorce me from our locals here in Los Angeles. I still relate to them the same way I did before. I relate to individuals — or not!

But, I think there is some truth to the fact that the first time in your life that you become immersed in a 2nd culture, a gap is created between you and your countrymen. There is just too much that you become familiar with that they know nothing about. It creates a huge division.

But, there is relief to having what I call a “bicultural gap.” In the Philippines they solve the problem by drinking beer, hard alcohol and consuming vast quantities of fried chicken! Maybe it is not the most healthy way, but they will figure that out when they get into their late thirties and forties!

(1) 500,000 Filipinos live, eat, sleep, and work on American time
(2) Their bodies are in Manila, but emotionally they are in the US #callcenterworkers

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