Dubai: Two Filipino staff of a coffee shop in Dubai were recognised for their honesty on Monday night after they returned a bag containing the travel documents, mobile phones and some cash left behind by a visiting Philippine senator last weekend.
Arnel Merto and Julman Chavez, both supervisor-trainees at Second Cup café, Mall of the Emirates, received an appreciation letter and a reward of Dh1,000 and $200 (Dh734.40) each from Senator Antonio Trillanes on Monday night in recognition of their act.
Labour Attache Delmer Cruz handed over the reward on behalf of the re-electionist senator who came to Dubai with his wife for a four-day holiday.
Merto 29, found a blue sling bag at one of the tables at around 2am on November 3. “I chased after them [customers], but I didn’t find them,” Merto told Gulf News.
Merto together with Chavez recorded the incident in the café’s register and, 15 minutes later, a couple came to the café looking for a blue bag. Chavez, who had earlier served a latte and a cake to the couple, handed over the bag to them.
“The customer didn’t introduce himself then. He just signed the logbook,” Chavez, 30, said, adding that the man looked familiar but he couldn’t make out who he was at that time.
“The following morning, somebody called us to say that we have an award today. It’s a great honour for me to be awarded,” Chavez said.
“I’m very happy as it is my first time to find an item and first time to be recognised and appreciated by a senator,” Merto said.
“It’s part of the contract, training, and standard operating procedure. There is zero tolerance towards any ambiguity when it comes to lost and found items,” George Kunnappally, Franchise Operations and Development General Manager of Bin Hendi Group, told Gulf News.
While the policy of honesty is being strictly implemented in the cafe, being honest at work is still a personal choice. “If you found a ring and nobody saw you and if you’re tempted to do bad things then you’ll never surrender it. But their act is still an amazing thing,” Homer Barrios, operations and training manager, said.
“They are two of my reliable staff here in Second Cup. They are persons of integrity. They come on time, they’re hard-working, dedicated to the job. Even before this, they were already training to become supervisors. They started as a barista. It just proves that we made the right decision.” Barrios added.
10 days before the incident, Labour Attache Cruz said another Filipino named Gina Hupa, a volunteer ward at the labour office in Al Ghusais, was recognised for returning an envelope she found containing Dh29,000.