The other day our 23 year old nephew informed us that he had quit his job and was moving up to Bataan Province to live with his Auntie and family. After high school, he previously spent a short while there working at one of the local factories in Marivelles. Since returning home to Calbayog City (just before we settled here), he has held two different jobs, the most recent at the biggest and most upscale hotel in Calbayog City, the Ciriaco Hotel and Resort. With a ‘formal’ education in Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM), the Ciriaco was his second employment stint in his trained field which found him again doing housekeeping work. Previous to his delving into the hotel business, his formal education landed him his first job at Jollibee’s busing tables. The HRM field seems to be a popular choice for many college goers, foremost because it is an easy curriculum and second, it mostly guarantees them a job (any job) after completing the course. After nearly three years since his graduation, he has come to the realization that while you might get a job in the hotel or restaurant industry, the potential for upward mobility is pretty much nil.
When I questioned him about his future and all, I asked him if he turned in his notice at the resort and he said “No, I just quit.” I know I’ve had the same conversation with him before about terminating with his previous employer – about how important it is to give the employer at least a two weeks notice before you tell them to “take this job and …..”, but apparently, it doesn’t work quite that way in the Philippines…not at this level of employment I guess. I suppose he figures since he has already been guaranteed employment as his Aunt/Uncles’s driver in Bataan, he didn’t see the need to keep his resume well polished.
After my 20 questions surrounding his life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (and his future), he informed us that he was leaving the next day for Manila…by bus. Now, I’ve been this route before and I know transiting the San Bernardino Strait this time of year with an active NE Monsoon can be a hit or miss adventure (ferries are sometimes refused permission from the Coast Guard to make the crossing due to rough seas), sometimes waiting for days to get across. I asked him if he would be interested in upgrading his travel plans…to an airplane versus the bus. The look on his face was priceless. He went from a look of being generally uncertain about life’s adventures to the look of one Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones, Jr. getting ready to launch his first adventure. After explaining the details of how I could easily book him on the first available flight to Manila, he readily accepted. All the while after his acceptance of his itinerary change, he seemed quiet and somewhat reserved. I suspected and even asked him if he might be a little nervous about flying for the first time and he responded “No uncle, when you told me I could go on the airplane, I was speechless!” Then I knew he was just so overcome with excitement that he couldn’t think straight. This was in fact going to be his very first flight. I could see him getting off the plane in Manila and heading straight out the door without collecting his luggage. It has happened before!
So, I gave him a crash course in airport etiquette, along with some do’s and don’ts, and to especially never, ever utter those “certain” words in any conversation in any airport that might get you held for questioning. I explained as best I could everything a first-time flyer and airport goer needed to know. I certainly made it real clear to him that he should not forget to collect his checked baggage upon arrival.
Before we headed to the airport this morning, my wife took it upon herself to “inspect” his carry-on bag and after removing the knife and a gallon bottle of vinegar, gave him clearance and a thumbs up for travel. And when he asked me if I had any special advice, I took him under my wing and softly told him a closely guarded flying secret…”if you wink at the good-looking stewardess’ a lot, they will treat you special and give you free drinks!” He seemed much more relaxed after I gave him my “special” travel tips. I just had to do it. After all, he is a “cherry boy!”
I’m sure he will thank me again later! lol