By Apolinario Villalobos
Though success is gauged by contentment in what one is doing, at retirement, during reunions batches of schoolmates would compare how they fare as they are already at the threshold of their life, so to speak. So much is expected of classmates who consistently graduate with honors in high school and college. Their batchmates expected them to become physicians, engineers, scientists, architects, accountants, and lawyers. The rest were expected to take up business related courses and those that led to teaching jobs. The honor graduates were expected to open their own clinics, law offices or at least be partners of reputable lawyers then become politicians. The others were expected to work in big engineering and architectural firms. Still others were expected to open their own accountancy office.
In our own batch, practically everybody has succeeded in becoming businessmen, farmers, lay ministers, office managers. A lanky classmate who seemed to have been sickly was thought to fail in his endeavor, despite his persistent effort to finish high school and college. When he joined the police academy, many of us were surprised, but nobody just asked how he did it. During the time that he joined the police force, such profession was among those that were desisted because of low pay and ill repute. Fortunately with the initiative of some lawmakers, the situation of these peacekeepers was improved a lot, especially, on the aspect of their retirement benefits.
During reunions, our batchmate maintains a low profile as he was still harboring some kind of inferiority complex. What most of us did not know is that, among us, he has got the highest retirement pension. He did not divulge this information but I came to know about the information on the pension of retired policemen from a friend who is also a police retiree and who receives a pension equivalent to the wage of a current manager. This could be the reason, why practically, all sons and a daughter of our batchmate joined the police force. He shares his blessings today by spending a considerable amount for his own kind of electronic evangelism via text.
This is being shared because nowadays, students prefer to take courses that promise jobs in airconditioned offices – the white collar jobs. It is very unfortunate because while they wish for jobs after graduation, their courses just do not fit the available vacancies. Becoming a policeman is just one of the possibilities that has become attractive because of the promising retirement benefits. There are others especially, in the field of technology but which most students do not like because for them, they are “vocational” courses. Unfortunately, these disgruntled jobless/fresh graduates blame the government for their predicament. But how can BS Tourism graduates work in shops that fabricate electronic chips? How can AB Management graduates work in shops that manufacture spare parts for home appliances? How can Airline Management graduates work in shops that are involved in exporting bananas?
Perhaps, partly to blame are the schools that keep on coming up with different “courses” that look attractive and promising, aside from parents who want to see their sons and daughter in dapper attire when they go to work as office clerks.