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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tolerance and Mediocrity

I had the same problem as Sassy. After that endless downpour two nights ago, I woke up yesterday morning with a downed PLDT dsl. I am in dial-up hell!

First, I had to inquire if my difficulty was peculiar to my modem. I called up two of my high school batch mates to inquire if their dsl was working. One experienced a similar problem. So, I presumed it was a network problem and since misery loves company, I was consoled with the fact that I was not alone.

Then, my other batch mate texted me and said that his dsl was working. But having experienced a downed dsl not once, not twice but so many times, he suggested a class suit against PLDT.

I do not know much about telecommunications law. That is a field of expertise of Atty. J J Disini and Prof. Punzi but certainly, consumer protection laws and complaining to the National Telecommunications Commission might offer me some wee solace.

For someone who has tried calling up the PLDT tech support number, 172375, one will experience déjà vu or I submit, his reincarnated past. You will be thrown back to an era where rotary phones were still in vogue, where waiting for a dial tone takes longer than the time you talk to the other party, or where the Pony Express would seem to be a faster mode of communication. This may be hyperbole but waiting for tech support is terribly longer than waiting for Godot.

Which brings to mind the Filipino tolerance for mediocrity and the lack of outrage for poor service.

Certainly with some exceptions, we, Filipinos, are generally tolerant of other people’s mediocrity when they render service. We justify the tolerance because (1) we are a religious lot and patience is a virtue; (2) these people providing the service are not well paid; (3) we are centuries behind the concept of customer support and should learn to accept it; or (4) let’s not complain or else, these poor people, who can hardly get by, may be terminated by their employers. I am sure that there are a couple of other reasons why we are largely tolerant.

I wonder if the same justification can be invoked by a government, especially, their leaders and I wonder if we should offer them the same leeway that we give to the poor, huddled masses yearning just to get by every day.

Arguably no.

We cannot sit by while the government and its leaders pillage and plunder the national treasury for pork barrel or discretionary funds and then tell us to brace for higher gas prices or value added tax on goods and services.

We cannot sit by while some Rasputins in government do a pseudo-James Madison on our Constitution by hiring foreign mercenaries for a princely sum and then barter away our economic rights

We cannot sit by while a moral crisis of leadership is taking place at the highest levels of government, rationalizing that the successor is a dunce and then, insinuate that the economy will be better off with a proven leader though questionable moral values than a successor with untested leadership values.

If we cannot feel outrage on the simplest, basic service that we are entitled to and demand rectification for such lousy service, how can we succeed in demanding justice on a larger scale?

Admittedly, that is a non-sequitur. But it reflects a strong sense of apathy and a lack of justified outrage pervasive in most Filipinos. That where it matters most, we rationalize and we “pragmatize” in order to avoid a moral and legal resolution to a problem.

But I digress.

All I want for now is to get back my dsl connection and demand a rebate on this billing cycle. And if my brothers in the bar will take up the cudgels for internet users like me who are constantly preyed upon by lousy service, I am willing to stand up and be counted.

Or better yet, for our country’s sake, let us all take a stand and learn not to count the cost.

2 Comments:

Blogger Glenn OMANIO said...

This post reminds me of the play "Waiting for Godot" that I watched in Wash., D.C. few months ago.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous dawin said...

Glenn,

Dont know the last time they featured the play here. Wished they did.

Was in D. C too last April. But never had the chance to catch any play. Smithsonian alone took a lot of our time. Buti ka pa!

1:58 PM  

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