Three contractors are bidding to fix the White House fence. One is from the Philippines, another from Mexico and an American. They go with a White House official to examine the fence. The American contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says. "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."
Mexican contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do $700: $300 for
materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."
The Filipino contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers: "$2,700."
The official, incredulous, says, "What? You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"
"Easy," the Pinoy explains, "$1,000 for you, $1,000 for me and we hire the guy from Mexico."
Did you have a good laugh? I'm sure you did. Pinoys are so smart, right? Wa-is, as we like to say. Wa-is to take the shortcut. Wa-is to take advantage of someone else. Wa-is to bank on relationships. Wa-is in the payoff. And wa-is to shrug off and laugh about the whole thing.
In other news: we're the most corrupt country in the region.
Be careful what you pretend to be, because you are what you pretend to be.
--Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night