Why Every Minute Is Important
In this side of the world, every minute is important. Especially when you heavily rely on public transportation coming to and from work, your day must be planned and your schedule must be followed on the dot. Coming from a job with flexible hours, to a stay-at-home mom role, to being on a strict, 8-hour schedule was something I had to adjust with. Here, a delay of one minute means being able to skip the train that would take you 10 minutes earlier on your place of work. With trains almost having an efficient departure and arrival schedule, you could actually plan your day like clock work. Alternatively, leaving your desk 5 minutes later than the end of your shift may cause you to miss your bus that will take you to your train that will bring you to your scheduled childcare pick-up. You know what happens when you're late on your 6PM childcare pickup? You have to pay a dollar per minute you are late. (I had to pay 16 dollars when I got stuck in traffic before! Mahal grabe!)
Now, I finally understand why time and schedule is very much valued here. From a workplace culture where staying late at work to finish tasks is expected and going home on time (early) is completely out of the norm - leaving my desk on time is something I still find new and refreshing. I am still surprised whenever my manager asks me to leave the office every time he sees me working on my desk 5 minutes after the end of my shift. Staying back means two things here - either you are not efficient with your time or you're a show-off.
When it's time for lunch, it is time for lunch. When it's time to go, it's time to go. Minsan nakakashock parin. There was even a time when my manager needed to discuss something with me 10 minutes before the end of my shift but decided to just postpone it for the next day cause she saw the time. Nakakapanibago diba? In my company, overtimes must be planned and approved. Then when I offered to stay back to cover for my co-worker's absence, the whole management were so grateful. They did not want or force me to stay but when I volunteered and insisted, muntik na nila ako mahalikan. Haha. But really, tayong mga pinoys very dedicated naman talaga tayo sa trabaho, diba?
In reality, the reason why time is regarded here is because of the set-up in the households. Since we live here independently and rely on nothing but ourselves, we have to go home as fast and as early as we can so we can do our chores. For parents like us, we had to be home before 6PM cause the childcare closes at 6 and we have to pick-up our son. When you advise your manager that you are in-charge for pick-up, they would understand and work on the best schedule for you. Also, going home early means having time to cook dinner, bond with the family or do other chores. Dito, walang katulong, walang labandera, walang plantsadora - ikaw lahat ng gagawa. Kaya dapat, very smart ka sa pag manage ng time at pag schedule ng chores para hindi ka mapagod.
Hence, we try to spend every minute of our free time bonding as a family. Now, bonding does not only mean eating out and going to parks. For us, bonding means being able to spend time together physically. With Leon sleeping earlier now, Paolo and I bond through chores - him washing the dishes, me ironing the clothes while we watch TV. We always find ways to make sure that we all feel each other's presence, may it be a weekday or a workday.
Disclaimer: I am speaking based on my experience with the company I am working for. I am not sure if there are companies here that have a different practice but generally, most of the companies here really regard the working hours, unless your role or your set-up says otherwise.)
PS: I shared with you the photos we took last Sunday when we went to Barangaroo and took the ferry to Circular Quay! We never realized how visually appealing that ferry ride was! We were able to see the Opera House, Luna Park, Harbor Bridge up close! We also had a great walk at the Museum of Contemporary Arts and filled our tummies at Belle (in Barangaroo) and at St. Rock's Cafe (at the Rocks)
Next on my blog: Our everyday household hacks. Hope you liked this post!
xx, The Mommy Roves