Expats Running a Business in the Philippines

Moody expats running a business in the PhilippinesSomething I have noticed here is that many stressed out western business owners treat their staff very badly.

They pay them terrible wages and then get mad and yell at them over small things, and often threaten them with their jobs.

Actually I’ve seen this in both Cambo and Phils.

Grumpy westerners in Cambodia

When I lived in Sihanoukville there was a girl who worked at my hotel Smile Guesthouse who also worked nights at the ice cream shop.  During slow season there were few customers and her entire job duty at that time consisted of waiting for customers.

I would walk by all the time and see her sitting and playing games on her phone.  This was how she spent the 5 hours a night that earned her $2.  One time I decided to go in and say hi, she asked me to sit and chat so I did.

The owner walks through and looks at me but doesn’t say anything.  5 minutes later he comes back by and asks me to leave saying I am not letting his staff do her job.

I don’t want to cause problems for the girl so don’t make a scene, but his business had no customers so she had nothing to do.

An hour later I walk by and she is sitting by herself on her phone looking bored.   The next day she tells me that he said if she was ever having friends to her workplace she would be fired.

Westerners running a business in the Philippines

In Phils there was a restaurant that I would go to from time to time.  One of the girls who worked there was very pretty and I would jokingly flirt with her, I say jokingly because she had a serious boyfriend.

One time she was doing some paperwork and I came in and talked to her for about 2 minutes.  The owner came by and gave me an evil look.  The next time I came in she said that if he sees her talking to customers for too long again she will be fired.  It was two minutes.

I sort of thought that maybe she didn’t want to talk to me anymore and that is why she said that.  I avoided the place for a long time.

Then after leaving that city and coming back I went in again and she was very chatty.  We would talk from time to time but I always kept it short.

Then one day her co-worker tells me how bad her boss is and asks me to trash him on a site that he always goes to.  I ask what site and she writes it out, it is a popular Philippines sexpat forum.   There were already some other posts on the site trashing his business.

These are just two of the ones that I witnessed most closely, but I have also seen western business owners being dicks in other ways.  They are paying slave wages and expecting perfection.  If you come here thinking of running a business in the Philippines or Cambo don’t be like that please. You may end up like these guys.

Give me the digital nomad lifestyle anyday.

8 Responses

  1. jspill jspill says:

    lol brick and mortar businesses

  2. kick2dante kick2dante says:

    kinda explains why they are so grumpy

  3. Skins says:

    Haha you guys are right… They can have the B&M businesses! In their defense though, I’d rather stick a needle in my eyeball then manage a staff of uneducated farm girls willing to work for $200 per month… I’m sure it would make any man grumpy after a few years.

  4. the boss says:

    Come on now. You got to share who the grumpy old foreigner is now. At least the business name, I mean how can I avoid him????

  5. kick2dante kick2dante says:

    sorry boss i dont want him to read this and fire his staff

  6. eamon kelly says:

    looking for cheap aptment in Cebu no deposit just by monthly thanks eamon love the site

  7. kick2dante kick2dante says:

    thanks for the kind words, you could try airbnb, $25 off link – http://nomadphilippines.com/airbnb i would suggest getting a small room in Laguardia flats 1 which will be your best combo of ‘cheap’ and in a nice location, but it wont be super cheap… for that you are gonna need to be pretty far from the center of the city

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