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Why do Filipinos have mirrors on their desks?
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Being married to a foreigner opens up your eyes to things you never even noticed about your country or fellowmen.
For instance, Jeroen wanted to know why almost everyone at his office has a mirror on his/her desk.
Well, as soon as I moved into my new office more than a year ago, I also had this urge to put a mirror on my desk and I have no idea why.
When I first put a mirror there, I found myself looking at myself too often, so I moved it to the shelf.
The mirror is now there for when I have to go somewhere after office and reapply makeup.

mine

So why do Filipinos put mirrors on their office tables? I don’t mean inside their kikay kits or drawers. The mirror is usually placed below the computer monitor.
To prove his point, I asked Jeroen to take pictures of all the mirrors in his office and here’s what he got:

Benmark Benmark
Benmark Benmark
Benmark Benmark
Benmark Benmark

Amazing isn’t it? I also asked my Twitter followers if they had mirrors on their desks. Here’s what I got:

andy virrey graceylou
L-R: Andy, Gracey Lou

'owi
Owi

berl corpuz
Berl

paul
Paul

Toni Quimbo
Toni

Hannah, a receptionist at my office, said she needs to check in the mirror, particularly if there is a visitor. But as the person who answers the phone, Hannah has a more practical use for the mirror.
“Whenever I answer the phone, I look at it to make sure I am smiling. When I am smiling, my voice is livelier,” said Hannah.

Hannah

Another girl in the office, Grace, also uses her mirror to check her face when answering the phone.
“It’s a matter of habit,” she said. “I used to work at SM Hypermart with the accounting department and I needed to answer calls from suppliers. I would look in the mirror to check my face because my expression would reflect on my tone. I needed to be friendly and professional.”

Grace

Finally, I googled “Why do Filipinas have mirrors on their office tables?” and learned that some BPOs or call centers require their agents to talk to customers with smiles on their faces, so a mirror is very helpful.
So tell me, do you have a mirror on your desk and why? Feel free to post pics in the comments section.

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Corporate Warrior

For some, its for them to know if there is someone peeping at their computer screen. *Boss on cue hehe

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Mopz

I never really had a mirror placed on my commonly used desk at home. But since seeing an article about Disney animators of old having a mirror in their desk to check for facial reaction references I now had one close by (I do draw as a major hobby), albeit not facing me at all times.

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MPC

I’m in Singapore and I find that most employees would also put a mirror on their desk. So I asked one of them why. She said it has something to do with a Chinese belief that the mirror helps bounce back negative vibes or bad luck in your career.

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CVS Reply:

interesting

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Marie

When I’m so absorbed in my work sometimes I get startled when someone suddenly appears behind me. So I put a mirror reflecting towards my blind spot so I would now if someone is approaching; Think of it like a side mirrors in a vehicle. [Reply]Jem DC Reply:March 15th, 2015 at 8:53 PMI also do the same thing since i’m facing away from the corridor. I always have my headphones on so i can’t hear if anyone is behind me. I have these 2 sidemirror thingies placed on either side of my monitor. Also helps with the occasional preening, as… Read more »

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Jem DC

I also do the same thing since i’m facing away from the corridor. I always have my headphones on so i can’t hear if anyone is behind me. I have these 2 sidemirror thingies placed on either side of my monitor. Also helps with the occasional preening, as well as spying on my cube mates on slow days 😀

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Anna Marquez

Great post! And yes I have a mirror on my desk so that I can check my face during the day. I never thought of it as a Filipino thing.

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jo

Hahaha same thing for my colleagues! A couple even bought those tiny circular ones that are usually attached to the side mirrors of cars

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Guest

Here’s a different reason to have a mirror on your desk: My uncle, whose desk is in front of a wall with a door, has a mirror for feng shui purposes. Apparently, having that door on a wall behind you means you are not privy to what’s going on behind the scenes at your workplace. The mirror is there (I think it’s positioned at an angle facing the door) so that you can metaphorically see what people are doing behind your back.

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Guest

~ I check my appearance once in while to see if i look haggarda na while working 😛 its never an excuse to look disheveled even if you have gabundok of work on your desk, especially in offices 🙂 and it helps to smile once in a while at yourself and think how lucky you are to be working 🙂

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CVS Reply:

that’s nice of you

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Ana

I work here in the states, and yes I have a mirror on my desk! LOL. A lot of people would stop by my desk and ask me why, and I just shrug. I don’t know why…

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MissH

I have an extremely oily face so I have a mirror on my desk (next to the computer monitor) to check from time to time whether my face is getting shiny. In our old office layout, the door was to my right and I would turn my head every time the door opened. So I had a small mirror positioned in such a way that I could see the door and the person coming in without turning.

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njmanang

That is new to me. Interesting. I have a mirror but in a drawer. I worked on an interior for a Swedish shipping company and the office rule was nothing personal on the desk, no pictures no plants no abubut. Very clean, spartan and professional. Kinda extreme but when you walk around with prospective clients maayos nga naman tignan.

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CVS Reply:

good idea 🙂

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Guest

Some people i know just want to check if the boss is on their way – para ma press agad ang ALT + TAB before getting caught doing non-work related things.

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Guest

I have one. Before shifting careers to the BPO industry though, I didn’t have a mirror on my desk . At call center production floors, mirrors are encouraged so agents can smile and project a welcoming attitude when they talk on the phone.

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doet

It’s a rear view mirror! Notice that those who have mirrors are usually located in an area where people can pass behind them. Anti-boss-sneaking-up-on-you device! haha

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Grace

So that you can check on the mirror immediately before talking to someone and see if you have something in between your teeth or if your face is too oily. Also a reminder if you’re getting fat and thus you have to go on a diet. Least priority is to know the person approaching you (from behind). Hahaha.

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Justine

I work in UAE and my Thai officemate has a mirror on her desk too. So it is not limited to Filipinos only. 🙂

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CVS Reply:

good to know. thanks :))

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Miel

I thought it was because we snack a lot and have to check if we’re amos? Although baka ako lang yon because I have braces. And mine’s in a drawer 🙂

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Grace

Because we are very conscious of how we look, as simple as that!

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PJ

I know ladies who have mirrors on their desks. My admin assistant has a mirror by her desk. Filipinas are conscious of how they look.

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Jojo Santos

I’ve never had one, but all along my theory is, people who have it on their desks use it to let them see if someone else is passing or approaching them from behind so that they can switch the screens on their computers from Facebook to whatever it is they’re supposed to be doing! 😀

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Topaz Horizon Reply:

This is my same reason. But when I worked from home na, wala na akong mirror. Wala na kasi akong boss heehee

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Guest

This is my same reason. But when I worked from home na, wala na akong mirror. Wala na kasi akong boss heehee

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paulovesmom

thanks for the feature.. 😉

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CVS Reply:

thank you 🙂

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Ana Maria Zamora

Ate, this is a LOL :-)) Now I want to go back to my old office and see if anyone had a mirror on their table din =))

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SensiblePR Reply:

THET has. Hiiii Anaaa, guess who!

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Ana Maria Zamora Reply:

Is this Cristi? :-))

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SensiblePR Reply:

These are the four raisins speaking

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SensiblePR

THET has. Hiiii Anaaa, guess who!

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Ana Maria Zamora

Is this Cristi? :-))

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SensiblePR

These are the four raisins speaking

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