Casually Changing the Subject to the Philippines

I’ve undertaken many job interviews in the past several months. Only one job truly appealed to me from a creative aspect with the others winning due to their location and strict anti-slavery stance.

One of the more recent interviews I attended involved speaking with a man who, by my best judgement, was a Filipino. Naturally, I worked my marriage into the conversation in the most calculative way possible.

“What’s something you’ve accomplished professionally or otherwise that you’re proud of?”

“I was in a long distance relationship with my current wife for three years while she was living in the Philippines.”


And suddenly, the topic of the Philippines continues to come up again.

alaska cold
Speaking of hard things: my nipples in this picture. 

I’m not afraid to use whatever experience I have to my advantage. If I’m near a Filipino, you damn well bet I will say something in Visayan even if it’s far from perfect.

Probably about a year ago, I was on the phone with customer service for Quickbooks. I know that sentence sounds entirely too lame for you to ever respect me again. Just bear with me for a moment, please.

Immediately, I recognized the accent. On the other end of the phone was a Filipino. What many Americans don’t realize is that the Philippines is full of call center jobs. Those tasks aren’t only outsourced to to India. The Philippines gets plenty of your nasty phone calls, too.

I think we enjoy having a connection with others by any means necessary. That’s why when I mention my Filipino wife to Filipinos, they get a little more excited. They can relate to me better. We’ve tasted similar foods and have forgotten to purchase a pasalubong for a loved one after a trip. Pasalubong, if you didn’t know, is the Filipino noun for items bought while on vacation to earn affection from others who were not invited along.

Jenny with her Pasalubong from Alaska: her moose earrings. Try to take them and she’ll smash your head in with this baseball bat.

Is it wrong to bring up a part of my personal life to a near-stranger if I think it benefits me? I don’t think so. All is fair in love, war, and getting hired. Which, in case you’re curious, worked for me. Amazingly enough, I now work with a lot of Filipinos. There is now no escaping the smell of shrimp paste.

Someday in the future, I hope Jenny interviews at her dream job. If the manager happens to be smelly, I would hope she mentions me.

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