Good Morning Hard Working People!

Since 2002, I was one of the last hold-out of the “Friendster” mania that gripped our shopfloor employees in my former Japanese manufacturing company employer. Workers kept laughing at pictures, conversations and any information for all to see. Being old fashioned that I’ve always been and an HR practitioner to boot, I figured this is a fad and that the good old face to face conversation is the only way to communicate, socialize, gain new friends and acquaintances. Workers, supervisors and even managers were all jumping into the bandwagon – except stubborn me.

Then in late 2004, there was a steady shift in interest to a more interactive, participative platform known as Facebook had our employees and colleagues abuzz creating their FB accounts. Again, I tried to hold out but in November 23, 2012, I finally set up my Facebook Account with the intent just to be “in touch” with the latest craze or to be at least familiar with things our employees were going gaga about. It was the same reason that I had to force myself to watch Starstruck or Meteor Garden in the early 2000s.
Though my account had already been created almost a month ago, my very first post was when I was tagged by one of our managers (Eric M) on pictures he took during our company Christmas Party (December 21, 2012). My real posting happened on Christmas Day, showing off the gifts I received from my family and in laws.

Before the year 2012, while the factory was closed, I had the luxury of time to explore and learn how to use my freshly minted account.

What really took my attention was how some “friends” would just cut and paste pictures quotations. With a blank stare, I thought, why not interpret and expound a little about the pictures. Immediately I interpreted these snips of famous sayings based on how they would apply well in life, particularly for an employee like me.

I began looking for appropriately worded quotes that would align to my intention or situation I would like to address. To motivate, challenge and appreciate the working class, the hands that toil and the minds that run our systems.

Soon enough, starting in 2013, I religiously posted in my FB account every Monday mornings, so as long as physically possible and connection enabled. In most cases, right after feeding our “feeling may lahi” aspin dogs (Pilo & Pilang), while sipping thru my brewed coffee (kapeng gugulisak – barako) I’ll snip quotations then interpret them by making it relatable and similar to actual scenarios, situations or challenges that my FB friends might have experienced or faced. Knowing the well documented habit of checking FB feed before anything else, I wanted them to (hopefully) read while they prepare for their daily toil, able to remind them of the dignity of their jobs, the value of their work and contributions and helping set the proper mindset on how to navigate through very difficult times. Amidst all the negativity, I wanted my fellow workers not only to appreciate their jobs and source of income but also love their work by always giving their level best. Thus, wanting to give them a good head start and feel good about themselves, I always end my post with “Good Morning Hardworking People”.

Soon my weekly posts got many likes and comments. I get nice comments and words of encouragement, appreciation and sometimes funny comments as well. It motivated me to search for better quotes and leveraged the platform for timely messaging and even simplifying my grammar for better understanding.
Many times I received personal messages saying they never miss reading my posts just to motivate them to go to work, hold on to their dreams, be able to see the silver lining of difficult situations they are in and always go for the things that they truly want. Workers really work very hard, both physically and mentally just to cope and achieve their set goals, targets and KPIs. Thus the “Hardworking People” salutation.

Once a childhood friend and high school classmate, now based in San Diego, California, introduced himself as the Production Manager for a big Defense Contractor. Some teased him how he did it and how he was able to communicate with his American direct reports/subordinates knowing he struggled with our academics. He said, “Aside from being the most hardworking in the plant, I just printed the “Good Morning Hardworking People” Monday postings, distribute them to my department and discuss it among ourselves then winked at me”.

On very rare moments, I missed posting but in general I was always on it. Was even a helpful tool I used in reminding people on the health and safety protocols during the pandemic, trying to help educate others about COVID 19 and keeping the spirit of everybody uplifted.

I will continue on with this advocacy and will surely labor to find the appropriate quotation and ample interpretation. It will be a struggle given my busy schedule. ChatGPT or any similar AI app can easily make my work easier. But that will be less fulfilling. I’d like to write and continue to express things based on actual experience, real people and scenarios and circumstances and events that makes all “Good Morning Hardworking People” post real personal, heartfelt and honest feedback.

Having outlasted Friendster, am still on it. Real glad that iOrbit News gave me the opportunity to write for them and continue with my advocacy.

For comments & suggestions, you may email author [email protected]

About the Author

Herrie Raymond Rivera has a 30-year experience as HR practitioner, motivational speaker, writer, social entrepreneur, community leader, University of the Philippines Alumni Governor and fraternity elder, fondly called “Ninong ng Bayan,” respectful workplace advocate, author of “Good Morning Hardworking People” in Facebook.

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