Yesterday’s supposedly my last day of internship at Mariwasa. But since I still have a pending project with Sir AJ, I still have to get back to the company during my free days– basically Mondays. So technically, hindi pa tapos ang lahat-lahat. But it’s okay. At least, I would have the chance to settle down everything so I could get back to UP with all my business planned and finished.
Let me share to you how a day of mine went yesterday which made me realize that life is somehow unfair. I–together with my fellow interns, Camille and Gilmoore– made a ‘mini tour’ at the plant as we were transmitting a memorandum from CHR (Corporate Human Resource) pertaining to an employee who was asking for a financial assistance from all the employees of Mariwasa because he is admitted in the hospital and he had already withdrawn all his savings to cover up his hospital bills. We did not hesitate to go volunteering to transmit the memo to all the departments. We had to walk and feel the intense heat and dusts coming from the engines which definitely contributed to the tiresome we felt at the moment. And as we paved our way to the different departments, I saw how life is absolutely not fair to everyone.
In the industrial setting, I saw two different strata of people. Basically those who work at offices and those who do the manual labor. I saw how the two are differentiated in ways people would clearly see. Some employees work in an air-conditioned room as they perform their work and responsibilities. And some are working a minimum of eight long hours with the heat of the engines and the thick dust in the workplace.
Those working in the offices are doing all the paper works, the plans, and everything written in a paper. Encoding data in the software, computing for money and bills, signing papers, facing their computers, processing papers and letting it signed. These are the kinds of work we normally could see in the offices. ultimately driven by mental work and intellectual capacities.
On the other hand, there is the manual labor outside the four corners of every office. I had the chance to relatively witness the manual work in the pant when I and Sir Paj (Sir Jomar) went to the Renewable energy Department (Gasifier area) where the fuels are being burned to make the engines work. They are experiencing the intense heat around the workplace and the thick dust in the atmosphere may harm their health. Well, they have safety attires and prevention kits with them but still delicate and undeniably a difficult task/work for a laborer. Not even a day that these workers will not face the same delicate surrounding to generate money and feed their families. All the sweat, the fatigue, body ache– all for the love! Love of their families, love of themselves. I couldn’t even imagine how they’ve been doing their work day by day for 10 years… 15 years… 20 years… until they turn 55 and get retired. Wow! Just wow!
This could be the social stratification being discussed by my professors in class. And I get to see this in the outside world. People are not having the equal life chances and opportunities to elevate their social status. There will always be people who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. And some would have to perspire all that they can ever perspire just to earn a cent to sustain their living. Life chances do not always get to be equally distributed to all the sectors of the company and only a few would be fortunate enough to acquire such. Furthermore, the rewards one can get would not equalize the efforts that a person produces. Ironic as it may sound but sometimes, those who do less efforts would tend to have a higher reward than those who made more.
In the reality, employees are sometimes being exploited from the work that they do. Not to say that this hold true in ALL situations but this is what we could normally observe in the most setting. Deciphering its profound sense and seeing this in the industrial setting, I could say that Marx was correct. It is a world of bourgeoisie and proletariats. Workers would somehow feel exploitation since they are sometimes being paid less than what they deserve. But they still hold on to the kind of work they are used to. I think, the topmost reason why they do so is because of their families. They will not be thwarting opportunities like the job that they have for people who highly depend on them. They would even sacrifice and rather be exploited than to see their children and the rest of their family members suffer from malnutrition and neglect. Family is one of the best persons to keep in the Filipino culture. This is how I see social institutions connected to each one, using the sociological lenses.
If there is such an award to the most dedicated employees in the archipelago, the manual laborers definitely deserve it. As in! No matter how hard the kind of work that they have, no matter how toxic and delicate, they still put passion on it and do their work with all their heart. But take note, I am not saying that the people in the offices are not dedicated to the work they have and perform. Of course, they do! Let me just make it clear. What I am just pointing out is that, the manual laborers are exerting much for a salary that does not always equalize the kind of work that they have. They deserve more.
I understand that those working in high positions in the offices also worked hard in investing long years of education in themselves which made them attain what they have in the corporate world. So this goes at the bottom line. Education is trully a catalyst in elevating one’s status in the social realm. Education inches someone towards a better future and tackle a certain career.
But yes, this is life! F-to the effin’ yeah! Things are inevitable and we must be accustomed to changes. Sometimes, we’ll see this unfair and the favour will not always be in us. Whatever our job/occupation is, let’s just perform it well and with all our best. And eventually, all the good things that we do will pay back not only to the company itself; but also to our development as a person. What matters most is the way from which we accept things like such with optimism and a clear vision that there is always something to be thankful for in a stratified world of comparisons and inequalities.