Gloria left for the US in the fall of 2006. She began searching for a job in the city of Louisville, Kentucky as soon as she received her green card. At first she worried that she might not find one because she had no documentation to support whatever was in her resume. In the Philippines one has to present a diploma or curriculum vitae, reference letters, etc. None of the companies in America she applied to asked for any. The management called to verify her most recent job, GA Manila.
She was hired as Administrative Assistant by a small real estate company that managed condominium home owners’ associations (HOA). It was an all women company, and all white women to be exact. It was a good break-in experience for her. She felt comfortable with the ladies, half of whom were her age and the other half were younger. Unfortunately America was at the threshold of the Mortgage Crisis which went full blown by 2008. The earliest hit businesses were those in real estate. The company she worked for had to close. She was there for barely a year.
Her second job was Executive Assistant for a bank which has foot prints in 12 mid-west states. Her boss was the Retail Executive managing 60 branches divided under four Regional Managers, each was handling Branch Managers. Gloria was surprised to get hired by the prestigious bank when in Manila it would take an arm and a leg for her to get that position. Although she did pass the on-line tests and the bank management called her former boss at GA Manila. There was a dress code that she loved. She had to come to work Mondays to Thursdays in a suit. Casual Friday meant she can come in slacks and a top with the bank logo embroidered in front.
Her new workstation was huge. She had her own telephone extension, her business card was ordered for her by HR. She was given a corporate credit card with an impressive credit limit. She was to use the credit card for company purposes only. Still it was an amazing turn. She was the only Asian on the seventh floor, actually the only Asian in the whole building of 12 floors. She thought nothing of that at first. It was a big city. Maybe the Asians were on the other end. Later she realized there were almost no Asian in corporate offices in that whole city. She was almost proud that she got her foot on that door.
Her new officemates were not used to dealing with an Asian and a Filipina at that. Gloria spoke English with very thin accent, however, for people who are not used to hearing the language spoken by a non-American no accent was fine. She waked in on them in the break room while they were bashing her for wearing pink in winter. (Filipinos wore any color anytime or season.)
After two years, Doris, an employee from the mailroom was retiring after serving the bank for 35 years. The bank announced there will be a sendoff for her on the second floor at lunch break. Gloria assumed the company will serve lunch for the party. Instead she found cupcakes and soda for everyone. The party broke exactly at 1:00 pm for everyone to go back to work.
“You know, if Doris had worked for GA Manila and retired after 35 years, we would be dancing all night at Hard Rock, dinner and drinks on the company.” Gloria proudly told her American colleagues.
|GA Manila batch 2000|