Day 17: Paper

What a day today. Sometimes it's certainly tough to be running the current shifting that I am running. Up last night working until 11:30PM, woke up today at 7AM. Work @ 8AM, worked until 6PM, went home - got food, and started working again with phone calls at 7:30PM. I had about 15-20 minutes to just sit and relax before jumping in again. It's a good thing that my hotel room is nice - it makes working in here much easier than the hotel I was at previously.

One of the major things that I've noticed in the Philippines is the copious lack of technology integration, and the usage of paper everywhere! Guards at each station they are posted at all carry a record book, and they're constantly writing in it. Every time that I use a credit card, I receive and have to sign four different receipts. 1 receipt for the bank processing the transaction, 1 receipt for the bank receiving the transaction, 1 receipt for the store themselves, and a final receipt that is reported to the Philippine Government. It's absolutely crazy. Paper is everywhere, and someone has to read all of this stuff. I'm trying to imagine the number of man-hours required in order to create/review all of this paper - the percentage of the paper that is just ignored out of preservation, how much fraud is hidden in this massive paper trail, and how much technology could simply optimize jobs. I also wonder how much of this waste is just allowed in order to maintain jobs for people.

The other thing that I've noticed a copious amount of is the uniform. Everywhere I look, someone is wearing a uniform. Naturally, I asked about it to try and understand. What I came out with is that the uniform is very much a desire from the culture to show that they belong to a system - an organization - a posse - any number of things all circled around belonging. This desire is so very strong - people take a large amount of pride in their uniforms, whether they are for a sanitation service, hotel staff, retail workers, etc.

This is in stark contrast to the American ideal of individualism versus collectivism. I have my own ideas, my own opinions, my own goals. If my goals happen to line up with that of a company/organization, then our paths may meet for a period of time until such time as one of our goals changes and we part ways. However, I am me, and I don't want to be like anyone else.

More work for me - Tomorrow: Balot!