XLIBRIS AND THE KNIFE WOUND IN MY CHEST

*The title has been liberally borrowed from Todd Allen's essay "Xlibris and the Knife Wound in My Back".

SUPPORT IN MY CAMPAIGN SO FAR:

     The Executive branch, through the Department of Labor and Employment, through the National Labor Relations Commission. Letters of the Office of the President and the DOLE are available upon request.

FORMER XLIBRIS EMPLOYEES:

     43 and counting.  5 NLRC cases are filed in the NLRC regional office, and several are being prepared.

ARTICLES HERE

+ Xlibris and the Knife Wound in my Chest

+ From Printing Press to Publishing House: Foreign Oppression on Philippine Soil 

+ The Filipino is worth Dying For

+ Shame on You Filipino Collaborators 

+ The Filipino Manifesto

+ Senate Petition vs. XLIBRIS

 

CONTACT ME

Last October of 2005 several members of the Cebu Sales Team in Xlibris Publishing were terminated, or forced to resign, for a variety of flimsy reasons. 

 

For most of us who were left, things were a little shaky at first but everything went back to normal.  Most of us thought that the worst was over and life as we knew it in Xlibris would resume.  How wrong we were.

 

I have been working for Xlibris Philippines for almost two years now.  I started without any actual position because the company did not yet have an idea which department to put me in.  That should have opened my eyes to the realities that would soon beset me, but, the pay was good and the job related to something I was and still am passionate about.  Writing and books. 

 

My first job in the company was as a Production Workflow Specialist under Borders, a special project of Xlibris.  Within my first month there three of Borders’ employees in Cebu, my own teammates, resigned.  Then, one after the other, our own American counterparts also tendered their resignation.  I was later to find out that these people who have labored for years in the company were also asked to resign because the company was streamlining its employees in the States due to lack of funds.  Well, as they say, business is business.  It came to a point that on my second payday we all received cash for our salary, and not through out ATM accounts.  That should have been a third warning, but I still held on to my job,

 

By May, my second month, our manager informed me and the remaining 2 people in our department that Xlibris was scrapping the Borders project.  We were shocked and fearful for our jobs, but were told that we could apply anywhere in the other departments.  And thus I began my career as a Publishing Sales Consultant by June 2005.  For me, at least, things became normal once more.  Plus, my pay just increased to almost double my previous salary, so I was happy.

 

By August, however, our manager implemented a one week work policy where we were forced – yup, forced! - to work from Monday to Sunday because the company was in dire need of cash.  So all of us just forced our tired bodies to get up for work and report to the office because we were told that we had no business complaining because that was part of our contract etc. ad nauseaum ad infinitum.  This went on for two or three more weeks, then we went back to the normal 5-day work schedule. 

 

When the revenues in September 2005 went all time low, several people were axed by the next month for a variety of reasons.  We were all shaken and fearful for the next few weeks, but by then the storm seemed to have abated and I was even promoted to Supervisor. 

 

By then I made it my resolve to make sure I did my best and helped the company in every way I could.  I made sales.  I made a support site meant to help the entire sales team.  I even made a statistical analysis of Xlibris’ market and sold authors.  I made training modules from scratch because the inept people in the company barely knew what to teach their new hires with.  In short I did so many things for the company that should have been handled by other people, except that other people were not as brilliant as myself.

 

The entire year 2006 I concentrated on making sure that Xlibris would have nothing bad to say about me or my team’s performance.  And all my effort paid off.  By December 2006 I was the undisputed highest earner in terms of Sales made.  From January to December 2006, I made $160,000 plus, with more than a hundred new authors signing up with the company.  My team – Team Whippersnappers – collectively made more than $900,000 for 2006.  In our local currency that would translate to about P45,000,000! 

 

My effort earned me the Sales Person of the Year award, with a $700 travel brochure to any destination of my choice.  So, who was I to complain?  The money was great, and I was basking in the glory of being the best salesperson and the best supervisor, modesty all thrown out of the window.  But there was still that nagging feeling in me that I wanted something more.  Something better.

 

Throughout my entire career in Xlibris I applied again and again for the position of Trainer.  Not once.  Not twice.  But four times.  And each time I tried either it has been given to someone else or that they could not give me a much higher salary.  The last time I tried my manager said he could not let me go since he needed what I brought in to the company in terms of revenue.    So last February 2007 I asked for the last time to be considered for the position of trainer, but once more I was informed that they could not give me more than what I was earning as a basic salary.  I was so confused and indignant.  They hired a new trainer, from outside the company, and paid her the same salary that I was earning, yet she had zero experience with our business.  Yet here I was, armed with two years worth of product knowledge and skills, plus my many more unbelievable talents I’ve always had, and they could not even bother to give me a slightly higher salary?

 

So I did what any normal person in my situation would do.  I searched for other opportunities.  And I got wind of a major job fair in Singapore, which I immediately decided to attend.  I admit my leave request was 4 days late than the minimum 2-weeks required by the company for vacation leaves.  Obviously it was denied, but I told my manager I would still go ahead since this is one opportunity I cannot let go.  By the end of February 2007 he asked me and another Supervisor who was also bent on finding greener pasture in Singapore to a meeting together with our Assistant Managers.  In that meeting he asked us if we were decided with what we planned on, and we told him yes.

 

We told him the handbook says announced but disapproved leaves merited only a light penalty.  He flatly told us, and this is recorded in my handy recorder:

 

“I KNOW WHAT THE HANDBOOK SAYS.  AND I DON’T AGREE WITH IT.  THAT’S WHY I AM ASKING YOU BOTH TO TENDER YOUR RESIGNATION.”

 

I was too shocked by his callousness and his ingratitude that I decided to do that.  He left me and the other supervisor no choice.  Either we stayed and missed the Job Fair, or we go and lose our job.  So we resigned.  Under duress. 

 

Early Thursday morning, right around after 12 midnight, our CEO and HR Manager went into the Sales room and the CEO shouted my name and asked me to go to his office.  I went up, and there I saw our Finance Director, our HR Director, our Executive Services Manager, and my own Sales Manager.  Plus the CEO.

 

Without preamble my CEO asked me to take a seat by his desk and he asked me what the emails I have been sending to my personal email were for:

 

TRANSCRIPT:

 

JF:  What the fuck are these?  This is company information, this is stealing from the company!

 

Me:  No, those are my files.  I just sent myself my own files.  Including a list of my sold authors.

 

JF:  They’re not your sold authors, they’re my sold authors.  (silence).  Are you sending this to somebody?  To Jerry Valencia (he was terminated by the company for allegedly putting up his own publishing company and stealing authors from Xlibris), perhaps?

 

Me:  He and I are not even friends.  Besides, I am not stupid enough to be caught red-handed the same way he was caught.  I knew you people were reading our emails.  I knew we had no privacy.  I wanted you to catch me sending these things to myself.

 

JF:  That was stupid, Todd.  What the fuck were you thinking?  Did you want to be terminated? Is that it?  Because you succeeded.  You’re FIRED!

 

Me:  Ok….

 

.....

 

JF:  "If I hear your name, if I hear anything about Xlibris that's connected to you...I will get you! I will hunt you down and give you hell even if you're in Bahrain, Singapore, or anywhere else..."

 

That was yesterday early morning.  Then, last night, I found out that the other supervisor I was in Singapore with was asked not to report to work anymore.  And another supervisor, who has zero involvement in my or the second supervisor’s plans or moves, was also asked to resign or else lose his position as Supervisor if he stayed on.

 

I have always believed that not all white people were unfair and stupid.  But after what happened to us in the past few days I don’t know what to think anymore.  The reason why these white people came to the Philippines is because they are unable to afford operating full time in the United States, and that they are here to make use of the skills and talents of our equally talented and skillfull AND cheap labor force.  And after all we have done for them, after all I have brought in to the company, they treat me like this? 

 

I am bitching because I never did the company harm.  In fact, I was loyal to that freaking company for far too long. 

 

Not even when our air-conditioning system in our previous office broke down repeatedly and we had to inhale Freon while we were at work.  Several times.

 

Not when there was a bomb threat and all the white people in the company had to conveniently go home while we hapless Filipinos were left to continue with out work.  

 

Not even when it was out friends who were fired or asked to resign, because we were all just looking after our own hides. 

 

But no more.  This has gone too far.  I did not graduate from the University of the Philippines for nothing.  If there is one thing I should have learned from my history classes, it’s that no matter what happens, you can only trust your own color.  I definitely don’t trust Caucasians at this time.  I am proud to be a Filipino at this time.  It makes me realize that the leftist groups have not been wrong all the time. 

 

I will sleep now, but tomorrow I shall continue with my fight.

(March 9, 2007)
Last October of 2005 several members of the Cebu Sales Team in Xlibris Publishing were terminated, or forced to resign, for a variety of flimsy reasons. 

 

For most of us who were left, things were a little shaky at first but everything went back to normal.  Most of us thought that the worst was over and life as we knew it in Xlibris would resume.  How wrong we were.

 

I have been working for Xlibris Philippines for almost two years now.  I started without any actual position because the company did not yet have an idea which department to put me in.  That should have opened my eyes to the realities that would soon beset me, but, the pay was good and the job related to something I was and still am passionate about.  Writing and books. 

 

My first job in the company was as a Production Workflow Specialist under Borders, a special project of Xlibris.  Within my first month there three of Borders’ employees in Cebu, my own teammates, resigned.  Then, one after the other, our own American counterparts also tendered their resignation.  I was later to find out that these people who have labored for years in the company were also asked to resign because the company was streamlining its employees in the States due to lack of funds.  Well, as they say, business is business.  It came to a point that on my second payday we all received cash for our salary, and not through out ATM accounts.  That should have been a third warning, but I still held on to my job,

 

By May, my second month, our manager informed me and the remaining 2 people in our department that Xlibris was scrapping the Borders project.  We were shocked and fearful for our jobs, but were told that we could apply anywhere in the other departments.  And thus I began my career as a Publishing Sales Consultant by June 2005.  For me, at least, things became normal once more.  Plus, my pay just increased to almost double my previous salary, so I was happy.

 

By August, however, our manager implemented a one week work policy where we were forced – yup, forced! - to work from Monday to Sunday because the company was in dire need of cash.  So all of us just forced our tired bodies to get up for work and report to the office because we were told that we had no business complaining because that was part of our contract etc. ad nauseaum ad infinitum.  This went on for two or three more weeks, then we went back to the normal 5-day work schedule. 

 

When the revenues in September 2005 went all time low, several people were axed by the next month for a variety of reasons.  We were all shaken and fearful for the next few weeks, but by then the storm seemed to have abated and I was even promoted to Supervisor. 

 

By then I made it my resolve to make sure I did my best and helped the company in every way I could.  I made sales.  I made a support site meant to help the entire sales team.  I even made a statistical analysis of Xlibris’ market and sold authors.  I made training modules from scratch because the inept people in the company barely knew what to teach their new hires with.  In short I did so many things for the company that should have been handled by other people, except that other people were not as brilliant as myself.

 

The entire year 2006 I concentrated on making sure that Xlibris would have nothing bad to say about me or my team’s performance.  And all my effort paid off.  By December 2006 I was the undisputed highest earner in terms of Sales made.  From January to December 2006, I made $160,000 plus, with more than a hundred new authors signing up with the company.  My team – Team Whippersnappers – collectively made more than $900,000 for 2006.  In our local currency that would translate to about P45,000,000! 

 

My effort earned me the Sales Person of the Year award, with a $700 travel brochure to any destination of my choice.  So, who was I to complain?  The money was great, and I was basking in the glory of being the best salesperson and the best supervisor, modesty all thrown out of the window.  But there was still that nagging feeling in me that I wanted something more.  Something better.

 

Throughout my entire career in Xlibris I applied again and again for the position of Trainer.  Not once.  Not twice.  But four times.  And each time I tried either it has been given to someone else or that they could not give me a much higher salary.  The last time I tried my manager said he could not let me go since he needed what I brought in to the company in terms of revenue.    So last February 2007 I asked for the last time to be considered for the position of trainer, but once more I was informed that they could not give me more than what I was earning as a basic salary.  I was so confused and indignant.  They hired a new trainer, from outside the company, and paid her the same salary that I was earning, yet she had zero experience with our business.  Yet here I was, armed with two years worth of product knowledge and skills, plus my many more unbelievable talents I’ve always had, and they could not even bother to give me a slightly higher salary?

 

So I did what any normal person in my situation would do.  I searched for other opportunities.  And I got wind of a major job fair in Singapore, which I immediately decided to attend.  I admit my leave request was 4 days late than the minimum 2-weeks required by the company for vacation leaves.  Obviously it was denied, but I told my manager I would still go ahead since this is one opportunity I cannot let go.  By the end of February 2007 he asked me and another Supervisor who was also bent on finding greener pasture in Singapore to a meeting together with our Assistant Managers.  In that meeting he asked us if we were decided with what we planned on, and we told him yes.

 

We told him the handbook says announced but disapproved leaves merited only a light penalty.  He flatly told us, and this is recorded in my handy recorder:

 

“I KNOW WHAT THE HANDBOOK SAYS.  AND I DON’T AGREE WITH IT.  THAT’S WHY I AM ASKING YOU BOTH TO TENDER YOUR RESIGNATION.”

 

I was too shocked by his callousness and his ingratitude that I decided to do that.  He left me and the other supervisor no choice.  Either we stayed and missed the Job Fair, or we go and lose our job.  So we resigned.  Under duress. 

 

Early Thursday morning, right around after 12 midnight, our CEO and HR Manager went into the Sales room and the CEO shouted my name and asked me to go to his office.  I went up, and there I saw our Finance Director, our HR Director, our Executive Services Manager, and my own Sales Manager.  Plus the CEO.

 

Without preamble my CEO asked me to take a seat by his desk and he asked me what the emails I have been sending to my personal email were for:

 

TRANSCRIPT:

 

JF:  What the fuck are these?  This is company information, this is stealing from the company!

 

Me:  No, those are my files.  I just sent myself my own files.  Including a list of my sold authors.

 

JF:  They’re not your sold authors, they’re my sold authors.  (silence).  Are you sending this to somebody?  To Jerry Valencia (he was terminated by the company for allegedly putting up his own publishing company and stealing authors from Xlibris), perhaps?

 

Me:  He and I are not even friends.  Besides, I am not stupid enough to be caught red-handed the same way he was caught.  I knew you people were reading our emails.  I knew we had no privacy.  I wanted you to catch me sending these things to myself.

 

JF:  That was stupid, Todd.  What the fuck were you thinking?  Did you want to be terminated? Is that it?  Because you succeeded.  You’re FIRED!

 

Me:  Ok….

 

.....

 

JF:  "If I hear your name, if I hear anything about Xlibris that's connected to you...I will get you! I will hunt you down and give you hell even if you're in Bahrain, Singapore, or anywhere else..."

 

That was yesterday early morning.  Then, last night, I found out that the other supervisor I was in Singapore with was asked not to report to work anymore.  And another supervisor, who has zero involvement in my or the second supervisor’s plans or moves, was also asked to resign or else lose his position as Supervisor if he stayed on.

 

I have always believed that not all white people were unfair and stupid.  But after what happened to us in the past few days I don’t know what to think anymore.  The reason why these white people came to the Philippines is because they are unable to afford operating full time in the United States, and that they are here to make use of the skills and talents of our equally talented and skillfull AND cheap labor force.  And after all we have done for them, after all I have brought in to the company, they treat me like this? 

 

I am bitching because I never did the company harm.  In fact, I was loyal to that freaking company for far too long. 

 

Not even when our air-conditioning system in our previous office broke down repeatedly and we had to inhale Freon while we were at work.  Several times.

 

Not when there was a bomb threat and all the white people in the company had to conveniently go home while we hapless Filipinos were left to continue with out work.  

 

Not even when it was out friends who were fired or asked to resign, because we were all just looking after our own hides. 

 

But no more.  This has gone too far.  I did not graduate from the University of the Philippines for nothing.  If there is one thing I should have learned from my history classes, it’s that no matter what happens, you can only trust your own color.  I definitely don’t trust Caucasians at this time.  I am proud to be a Filipino at this time.  It makes me realize that the leftist groups have not been wrong all the time. 

 

I will sleep now, but tomorrow I shall continue with my fight.

(March 9, 2007)