"I went to go to the toilet and I took a bottle of water when my foreman saw me and he said 'you can't bring the water in there'," Mr Bernabe said.
"I asked why and he said it wasn't good but I said it's our way and he followed me into the toilet.
"I said it's my personal hygiene. I didn't break any law, I didn't break any rules of the company, why can't I do this, and he said he would report me to the manager."
So, does it sound like Mr. Bernabe was just randomly picked on by management? According to the paper, he has been with the company since April 2008. Surely, if there were any problems between him and the other employees, he would have been kicked out in six months. So I really dunno what happened here. Baka napag-initan lang sya talaga, and I may have been quick to judge him. Sorry.
I think there is another story here that's not being disclosed. There really could be some bad blood between Mr. Bernabe and the foreman, even before this happened. Or maybe the foreman was new, and pinag-tripan lang sya? If Mr. Bernabe was having problems w/ the foreman, why didn't the union help him talk to higher management? If there were legitimate complaints from other staff about his toilet habits, were these in writing or sabi-sabi lang? Because it's easy to manufacture complaints when you're just targetting someone just 'cos you don't like his face. Was Mr. Bernabe really leaving a mess everytime he used the toilet cubicle? Because if he did, then he should've cleaned up, out of respect for the next one who'll use it.
After reading the Jan. 24 edition, my friend Mr. Poet says, he still can't understand why Mr. Bernabe just didn't use the TP? It appears the Australian way is to just use TP. Period. No washing. (Aussies, pls. confirm.) And I perfectly understand why Mr. Bernabe was revolted by the idea. But if I were in his place kasi, and there were legitimate written complaints about how my habit was offending co-workers, and that it was putting their health at risk, then I would've probably just brought baby wipes to work.
As someone who's worked abroad, I know it sometimes takes awhile to get used to a new culture and environment. You kinda have to feel everything and everyone out first. It's all pakikisama until you finally become confident enough to plant your feet firmly. Eventually, most Pinoys adjust accordingly, that's why foreigners love to employ us. I hope Mr. Bernabe's story will have a happy ending.
MEANWHILE, I stumbled upon a few interesting web sites about the history of toilet paper, after reading about Mr. Bernabe's case.
Did you know that the Chinese were the first ones who invented toilet paper? Yup, back in AD 1391. Check out the Toilet Paper Encyclopedia. Also a witty take on the TP here.