Paying It Forward
I don’t believe in luck or serendipity or anything, but I’m sometimes tempted to believe that omens and good fortune come in all the right places. If anything, I think that good karma won me my first job.
I can barely pick my way around Ortigas Center, so I decided that the shortest route to the office building would be the corporate headquarters of San Miguel Corporation. It turned out to be a bad idea, since I could have saved myself a few steps by not going there at all. It was 10 AM: I was getting a bit sweaty, and my boots took their toll on my feet. And I was damned nervous.
Then an old beggar woman approached me. “Sir, palimos naman po, pambili lang po ng bigas,” she begged. In this land of tall buildings and John Gokongwei, she stood in stark contrast to the Ortigas trend of business casual. If she looked that thin, I could only imagine the sight of her children.
For the few seconds that I dug around my pockets for spare change, I think we stood in stark contrast. There I was, dressed in the smartest way I could muster with blue jeans, trying to make a place for myself in this world. There she was in her faded blouse, her old skirt, and her tattered sandals that you might as well consider her barefoot. I was begging for a job, she was begging for spare change.
With the five bucks I gave her out of my way, I entered the office expecting a nightmare. As it turned out, I was only there to sign a contract: I’m employed.
I don’t know exactly what got me my job, but I do know of one thing. Fortune smiled upon me that day, and I’ll always remember that crosswalk near San Miguel Corporation… and that woman who got me my first job.