I was a quality specialist for almost nine years in one of the best BPO or call center companies in the Philippines. Working in the night shift is no joke. Getting stuck in traffic or a malfunctioning train is not new to me. Walking the long stretch of Buendia from the LRT Buendia station to Ayala Avenue was easy as pie.
All those nights when I took a bus, jeepney or taxi ride to work made me a more prayerful person because I’d ask the Lord to keep me safe from hold-up and rape. Once, a drunk man who mistook me for a call girl despite my oversized windbreaker approached me.
The dangers aren’t only confined in the streets. I can still recall taking live calls even while our office building shook from a strong earthquake. All I could do was hold on to my workstation, keep talking to my customer with my accent intact, and pray in my mind. There was also a time when we were locked up inside the building because of a coup d’état that unfolded a few blocks away. And of course, we had work even if there was typhoon signal number 4.
These hazards — plus the office politics, stressful workload, and the negative vibes in the office — tell me my compensation is no longer worth it. I knew I had to find another way to earn and learn more. I got tired of being an employee and I realized that I have other more important things to do in life.
One day, I read an email from Bo Sanchez on how his maids earn in the stock market, with an invitation to his Truly Rich Seminar. This led me to the Truly Rich Financial Coaching Program where I met Jomar Hilario.
He discussed how to earn money on the Internet and that it’s possible for people like me to work at home. What struck me most during his presentation were his family photos. These made me reflect about my lifestyle, my future and my time.
It was the turning point of my life.
It wasn’t easy. I wasn’t ready to give up a lot of things — medical benefits, 13th month pay, paid leaves and quarterly bonuses. But my dad had a stroke, became paralyzed and bedridden. That was the deciding factor. I had to give more time at home to take care of my dad and help my then 61-year-old mother to manage the household. So I joined The Online Mentoring Club, and soon after, attended the VA Seminar.
Three months after the VA seminar, I happily resigned from my call center job and I never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Doing so gave me more time that my father needed. I was able to take care of him in all ways possible.
My dad was an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) for over 20 years, so my resignation gave us the chance to eat meals and watch TV together, to make up for lost time. TV programs such as boxing or UFC matches, action movies, cooking shows and cockfights were part of our daily fare. Some of the most memorable moments I had with him were to sing to him while giving him a bath, joke around with him, pray over him and cry with him when he had trouble defecating.
My physical struggles and emotional stress were always there, but working at home gave me enough energy to keep going. I never doubted my decision because I was there when my parents needed me most. When my dad accidentally fell from his bed, I was there to pick him up from the bloody floor and had the presence of mind to seek help. When the dog bit my mom, I was there to attend to her immediately.
When Dad got weaker and sicker, and Mom needed more moral support, I was present to give them my touch of love and words of comfort. And when the Lord took Dad home one day in May, I held his hands and embraced him until his last breath.
Working at home provided me a significant and life- changing benefit that I can never get from a regular employer. I can’t compare the precious time that I shared with my family to all the material things I could have bought from the quarterly and 13th month bonuses I gave up. Never for a day did I regret the decision to work at home… and I’m still reaping all its benefits.
This story appears in VIRTUAL CAREERS: Earn Dollars Online, Eliminate Daily Stress, Embrace Your Family More!, The First Book by Jomar Hilario. Get the Book in JomarHilario.com or National Bookstores or ShepherdsVoice.com.ph.