A Story of Empathy

I had followed up on a construction company job that I should’ve gotten after my teaching profile was sent there. I was waiting for a while and finally I messaged the lady who had interviewed me just weeks before. 

“Hey, just wanted to know about the construction company?”

…”oh, they chose another teacher.”

Hmmmm….ok. 

I get it. You sent multiple profiles, and considering it was just 2018, I didn’t have the monster resumé I do today. However, why didn’t they send just one and say “this is your trainer?”

So I took it with a grain of salt. (no big deal)

However, it happened again just a year later. 

It wasn’t just one company, either. It was four. 

“Arsenio, you free Tuesday? You free Wednesday? You free this time?”

Locations were given and I was excited, but then the whole “disappearing act” happened. 

I FINALLY asked, after the fourth company, “why do you just disappear?”

Response: “oh, the company chose another teacher.”

Considering that I’ve trained at the biggest company in all of Thailand, this didn’t make any sense. 

So, you put a brown face and four other white faces on a table at a company — IN THAILAND. What do you think is going to happen?

Lack of Empathy: “it’s business. We want them to have choices.”

Empathy: “oh, Arsenio…I get it. Maybe we should give them just one choice, you, and then they can see your four cores of credibility rather than just choosing a trainer based on color.”

Since then, I withdrew my name from the pot and they could absolutely never ask me again because I’m not someone’s experiment. I put myself first and they know I’m the #1, yet if you give Thai companies the ability to act based on skin color, they absolutely will. 

Empathy is absolutely essential in the workplace, and if you don’t lead by example, you ultimately lose trainers, and the best of them.

I’ll leave you with this: I showed up with a friend at the biggest bank in Thailand. We did a presentation, she presented me as the trainer, and the top of HR absolutely loved me. You see, she didn’t put four pieces of paper on a table, she knew that I was the number one, and since then I’ve done four workshops at that bank. 

Do you understand now?

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