Monday, October 25, 2010

A Brief Explanation

A lot of people are wondering what happened to cause this "sudden" shift in my employment situation, and are also wondering whether or not my writing on the internet had anything to do with it... whether there was some animosity on the part of my company in all of this.

What happened was this: My company has half of its operations in India, and half in the United States. My company originally asked its client hospitals whether or not it would be okay to send their records overseas to be worked on. Some of them said yes... and their records are now sent to India. Some of them said no... and their records remain in America.

As an American living outside of America, I posed a conundrum to my company: Could they allow me to work on the records of hospitals who had (now) specifically stated that they wanted their records to remain in America? "No" is what they eventually decided, and created a new policy stating that American employees must be working in America. It's not an unfair decision: I'm just one person and I could be jeopardizing million-dollar contracts just by dint of my work location.

My company did offer me an option that would have allowed me to continue working in The Philippines: They offered to change me over to the status of an overseas worker to work on the Indian accounts. Unfortunately this meant also getting paid an overseas (Indian) salary. I didn't ask precisely how much that would be before turning it down, but obviously it would have been a fraction of what I am currently earning. Since what I am currently earning is already a fraction of what I was originally earning a few years ago... there was no sense in cutting a fraction into a further fraction.

So, did my blog have anything to do with this? No. Does my company even know about my blog? I don't think so. "Jil Wrinkle" is a moniker that does not appear on my passport, paychecks, or work e-mails. But, if people at my company were interested enough, and actually looked on the internet to see if there was any American doing medical transcription in The Philippines and writing about the experience, they would easily put two and two together.

And that doesn't worry me: The simple fact is that everything that I say about my job (and to some extent, my life) here on the blog I also freely mention to my coworkers and supervisors — at least those supervisors and coworkers with whom I have a long working relationship and with whom I get along well. So, there is nothing that I write here (both positive and negative) that I have not mentioned, do not mention, or would not mention to anybody at my company who asked. And: Those things that I would not say to people at my company... they are not written about here either.

My company has generally been very cool and we've had a good relationship. The dramatic drop in pay that I have seen over the last couple of years was industry wide, and is not my company's fault. My move to Asia, when I did it 8 years ago, was not something that my company knew about when I did it, and I know for a fact that they would have said no if I had asked permission. Yet, overall they accommodated my location and provided me a lucrative overnight slot to work in so that I could work days in Asia. They shipped materials and parts to Asia instead of my home in New York, saving me the cost of forwarding them. They allowed me to skip company calls because of the cost of dialing in. When the questions mentioned above first cropped up a year ago, there were people who stood up for me and vouched for me.

The only way in which my company let me down was the suddenness of this decision: I was warned that it was a possibility on a Monday evening, and then told to pack my bags on a Friday morning. I actually had to ask for a week more work before leaving (although they did offer me 3 weeks — one paid, two not paid — to make the move, but I only took one week). I honestly expected that when this decision came around, that I would have a month or more to get ready to make the move.

Anyway, I hope this clears things up.


Tom N said...

Hi Jil,

I have some thoughts on ways that you can make money. They involve work, but it looks like you have the requisite skills. Send me an email if you are interested through my website.


Jungle Jil said...

What is your website, Tom?

Anonymous said...

That Company knew what they did was going to be ruining your personal life and did it anyway.
It just SUCKS that :you had the guts to go to S E A and live as a stranger.You put up with all the BS nonsense that all ex-pats put up with.To have it all end because of a company decision,just seems wrong.
Pull out that American ingenuity and give staying your best shot.keep enuff for a plane ticket back to the states and if you fail and have to go back at least you know you went down fighting.

Jungle Jil said...


Yes, it does suck. But companies everywhere ruin peoples' lives every day. I personally think my company had a valid reason. Naturally, I wish they had decided differently.

My American ingenuity says that I need to keep the money flowing first and foremost. I have plans to get back to The Philippines and I'll be working on them while I am back in the U.S. But, I can say with all certainty that being here in The Philippines with no source of income... and just a plane ticket home: I would be using that plane ticket home quite quickly anyway.

Tom N said...

Sorry. Thought you would see it in my sig.