Reporting for work physically amid the current pandemic is a tough and heroic act Essential Workers do everyday. Their cast iron determination combined with a sunny disposition in performing their crucial tasks have made them extremely important in any organization. In the telecoms sector, two women – Teisha Marie Peroy and Mary Ann Galos – exemplify these remarkable people who have been going out to work to help their families and serve other people’s needs, despite the risks which they do their best to mitigate.
Establishing connections amid the pandemic
Teisha is undaunted. The threat of Covid-19, and now its more transmissible variants, does not deter her from going out to work everyday to serve people’s connectivity needs. “I’m a huge believer in the saying ‘my faith is greater than my fear.’ Covid cannot stop me from doing the things I love to do, of course with many precautions. I make sure that I am protected by wearing a mask, face shield and keeping myself healthy. Most importantly, I pray for protection not just for myself but for all the employees as well,” says the junior manager of Smart Communications’ retail operations in Misamis Occidental.
Work, for her, is invigorating, finding it “very challenging yet satisfying.” Assigned to manage a Smart store located in a mall, Teish supervises and validates reports, sales activities, aftersales services and store merchandising. Before the pandemic, her routine included going out to do office-to-office selling and conducting sales activities in different establishments as well as other cities or municipalities within Misamis Occidental. She also travelled for meetings and trainings.
With the pandemic still around, Teish and her team are now mostly confined to the store. She says her biggest challenge is meeting their sales target continuously in this current situation. But her strong will and determination take center stage, especially in times like these. She pointed out that, “I am very fortunate to be part of this aggressive team who has managed to embrace challenges in a positive way. Having a positive attitude despite all the negative things happening around us is the best mindset we can have. At the end of the day, it’s all about the right attitude and passion for your job. Performing your task with a heart makes a big difference because it’s not just a responsibility but a commitment.”
A people-person by nature with an engaging personality, Teish doesn’t have difficulties leading her team in the Smart store. “I have been with them for quite some time already. We know each other well, so I don’t have any difficulty supervising them. However, I am very particular with time management and implementation of business process. Strict, as they say, but it benefits them and the entire store.” Her enthusiasm and passion for work has inspired her team. “I can say that I have influenced them with my courage in facing the pandemic. So far, they were able to adapt to the current situation and learned to live with it. They managed to embrace the great change.”
Teish could have been a healthcare worker, having earned a B.S. Nursing degree from Misamis University, but after a short stint as a volunteer in a government hospital, she decided to pursue an office career instead, applying in Smart as a customer care assistant in 1997. “I learned to love my job. So, until this very moment I’m still here, helping to establish connections among people which is a necessity especially in this pandemic,” she relates.
Her supportive husband, Christian, also works in sales so he understands the nature of her job. “He is currently working from home with very minimal travels due to the pandemic so he can drive me to and from work. Christian is a very patient and cool guy,” Teish says of her husband. They have three kids – a girl and two boys – and a three-year-old nephew whom Teish considers as one of her own. Like their Mom, they are very independent, with 18-year-old Sophia taking care of her younger siblings when both their parents are at work. Teish’s mother, who stays with them, also looks after the children.
Love and loyalty are important parts of her DNA. She was born and raised in Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental, studied there, working there, and is raising her own family there as well. “Ozamiz is a small place and less populated. It’s just like living in a big compound or subdivision where you know almost everyone. Here, we still have fresh air and traffic doesn’t exist. Although there are lesser opportunities in terms of job, technology and shopping, I still prefer my ‘probinsya’ life here. It’s not that I don’t want to explore other places, I love to travel. But at the end of the day, there’s really no place like home. And this is my home,” Teish enthuses.
Serving others and making a difference
A year after she was hired in PLDT, the Covid-19 pandemic turned up in the country, disrupting people’s routines and sending them home to work, but Mary Ann needed to stay behind at her workplace to supervise the cleaning, disinfection, and the urgent Covid-related set-up of PLDT RC Building’s facilities.
For Ann, it was a new experience to live and work at the PLDT headquarters in Makati RC Building, with some of her colleagues, for seven months during the strict lockdown in 2020. According to her, “At that time, they really needed the workforce from Facilities Management so we responded to the call. We value the importance of service and the need to facilitate the implementation of Safe Work Practices for the returning employees.” Since November last year, she has returned to her apartment but still continues to go out to work everyday.
As a building maintenance engineer, Ann’s duties include managing the Disinfection Team that performs the housekeeping chores for both RC and MGO buildings. “In managing the team, I set the pace for them to follow through and ensure that they finish well. Our work is agile and results-driven so we need to work together to deliver an ‘Excellent Result’ through our concerted efforts as a team,” she explains.
“Challenges arise, especially when there is a Covid probable case which entails a level 3 disinfection or a UV disinfection. The pandemic has tested our strength of mind and spirit, but we really have to be resilient and move forward with faith in God,” reflects Ann.
Her profound faith has been her constant companion in her life’s journey. And she has travelled far – from Bulusan, Sorsogon where she was born, brought up, and attended elementary and secondary schools, to the Bicol University in Legazpi City where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, to Bonifacio Global City in Taguig where she worked initially, and to her current job in Makati. She is now setting her sights on doing something that will make a difference in the lives of other people. “I believe I can accomplish this by serving others. Perhaps I can be the salt and light in my workplace or wherever God sends me.”