What is tardiness in the Philippines like?
Time for yet another moan. Well, that’s the beauty of being a writer on a site about the Philippines. In the West, we are taught that to be punctual and to be always on time for anything is professional and polite. Moreover, you are not wasting your time or the time of others. This is certainly important in work and service aspects of life.
So with that in our western brains, it is so difficult to switch to Filipino time. Filipino time is the expression used to say it is a cultural thing not to be on time and not to care. I think the Spanish influence is always blamed, but how many years has the Filipino been without the Spanish? Other countries seemed to have moved on. So, why not the Philippines?
Probably is that the lazy Filipino will always use this as an excuse not to get up on time or be anywhere on time. Even many people in work here adopt the same attitude. You may have a meeting scheduled and get there and the person you want is at dinner or out somewhere and no one has any idea when that person is coming back. So you sit there and of course texts and phone calls just get ignored. You know the excuse will be sorry ran out of load. Really!
The tardiness is only part of the issue why nothing really improves in the Philippines.
Yes, it is great to sit on a beach and watch locals. It is great to meet really nice people in the provinces and enjoy the simple life. Of course, time stands still in these places.
But, when you want to have hospital appointment or something legal and you find that the professional has not turned up for work because of a family party or gone to extended lunch despite CONFIRMING your meeting. This attitude just shines the unprofessionalism and the care free attitude to work and growth of tardiness in the Philippines.
From the lowly paid staff in stores who cannot answer simple questions to the people on call centers who read robot scripts of times a day. Why are they reading robotic scripts? Maybe one of the reason is the huge staff turnover as the call centers are more focused on time keeping. Those who are late continually get sacked and the next untrained arrive.
How does the Philippines deal with Tardiness going forward?