I was approaching my 4th year, 2nd sem in BS Industrial Engineering when my late paternal grandfather conveyed my dad’s message “Di ka daw muna mapapag-aral sa susunod na sem. Uuwi na si daddy mo. Wala na siyang trabaho.” I was literally crying the moment I heard those words. We were at my Tita’s house that time. I knew it was hard for my dad to break the bad news straight up that’s why he asked his father to do it for him.
I didn’t say anything because I have seen how much my dad has struggled in the past months trying to make the ends meet to support my schooling. I had a choice to continue and self-support my needs but I opted not to. My family needed food and other necessities to survive. What I had in mind was “No hard feelings”. I can continue anytime I want, whenever I already can. I called my closest college friends and broke the bad news. They gladly took it the positive way which gave me hope not to continue as to how it was.
A few days later, I found myself in front of a British Employer, in a job interview. With guts, I applied the post of a Purchasing Assistant that our family friend had mentioned. I had my mom with me that day, she patiently waited in the lobby while I was being interviewed. The first question was “What do you think you can do for this Company?” And I honestly answered “Sir, I am an undergraduate of Engineering which is far different from the position I am applying for, I don’t know anything, to be honest, I don’t even know how to insert a floppy diskette in a computer but I am willing to learn. I just badly need a job.”
He didn’t throw further questions but said “Thanks for being honest. We will let you know if you got the job. Please wait for our call until this afternoon.”
As I walked away from his desk, it’s not that I already lost hope but I was kinda disappointed after I have realized what stupid answer I had given him. He didn’t want to know for sure what I do not know, but what I can do for their Company. To cut it short, I did not expect a return call.
From there, we went home straight. At 10 am, we were already home. It was already 7 pm when the phone rang. It was their Admin asking me to report for work the next day, and be at the pick-up point at exactly 7:30. Their office that time was in Cubi, and a pick-up time for all the Employees are set daily. I literally jumped for joy!
In between the time when I was already working, I reunited with my college friends. I was already okay. No more hiding from them. I remember one of them said “There’s no reason for you to avoid us. It’s not your fault why you had to stop. No one’s fault. You are luckier than us, do you know that? If you need money, you have it. You don’t need to ask your parents.” Yup, there was a time where I would avoid their calls and decline get-together invitations. I’ve always felt out of place whenever they talked about their school projects etc.
That was the start of everything. My guts had made me go on. I even had the chance to work abroad without the assurance what my life there would be and what it could offer me. I learned a lot. I also realized that “Diploma is not the key to success, hard work is. And guts perhaps!”
Image source here.