Is it unfair to stifle a person’s right to freedom of speech given that he is a public figure? What is really their responsibility to the society knowing that they can influence (or offend) other people on some of their views? Is it too much to pass judgement on a famous person simply because he spoke his mind?
It was a normal Thursday night at work, I was about to go on a break and get me some milk tea when I bumped into a celebrity – Piolo Pascual. Piolo or some call him Papa P, Aiko Melendez and some staff went into the lift from Burgundy Corporate Tower’s (BCT) helipad. Apparently, they just finished filming and I was lucky (or so I thought, at that time) to have the elevator ride with him that some people are just dying for. He does look good with his spiky well-gelled hair and white polo. They were all in high spirits, even Aiko was too friendly asking me to join their “the boat is sinking” game. It must’ve been some sort of an inside joke to which I only answered with a bashful smile. With the camera phone in my hand, my mind was busy contemplating on how to ask for a photograph with Piolo.
Few seconds after, Aiko and Piolo were talking about their kids and their hobbies. Aiko mentioned that her child is always in front of the computer. Papa P retorted, “Mahilig magcomputer, masama yan ha. Bagsak nya dyan call center.” I didn’t hear or see what was Aiko’s reaction, all I knew is I got massively offended.
Some people are always quick to judge the call center populace solely relying on how little do they know about the industry. Oh yes, we answer phone calls and sometimes email or chat with customers. Our employers require us to be computer literate and master the English language. But those are just the few basic things we do and need in the BPO industry. What Piolo didn’t know is that we analyze data, too – just like the regular Wall Street Analyst; we study trends so we can stay competitive in the business and keep our Clients happy; we teach personality profiling and behaviour matching to provide the right service to the people we talk to day in and day out. Does Piolo have any idea what Root-Cause, SPI or maybe regression analysis are? Or maybe he can shed light on how can we do correlation between customer satisfaction and agent efficiency and/or knowledge? I bet he’ll whack his brains trying to figure out the right study to solve these quandaries.
It’s a sad thought that Piolo, a well-loved movie personality, was quick to pass judgement on a certain job or business based on his perception of it. Was it too much to ask for a screen idol to stop and think first before he opens his mouth? When he signed up to be a movie star, it should’ve been written in black and white that he also has a responsibility to the society and it includes speaking accordingly.
After hearing those offensive words, I hid my camera phone and recognized that I lost my respect for him as a person. It wouldn’t hurt his career much, I say, but he lost a fan in me.
It pays to have tact.