One thing I’ve noticed here… people really like to work. Or at least, they expect to work for every cent they make. For instance, I’ve been talking to a phone company (low-level) customer service representative over the past few days and she has emailed and called me at all hours of the day, even in her free time and from her home and personal phone, to try and fix my problem.

Another example was that today, I asked my students to design the “perfect job” for them. I was surprised that many to most of the students mentioned working really long hours (10-11 hours, 6-7 days a week!) as part of their “perfect” job. When I asked them why, they said it was so that they could make more money. It seemed that it hadn’t even occurred to them to increase the salary while still doing the same amount of work (or less). Even in a “perfect” job world, they couldn’t imagine being paid more than they deserved.

And finally, looking through work contracts that I’ve been offered, they state that you work for about 9 hours a day but are pretty much on call for anything else the school needs you for. Now, that may just be bad schools trying to take advantage of stupid foreigners, or it could be another clue to the working culture in Thailand. The bottom line is that from what I’ve seen, I’m going to have my work cut out for me as a Thai employee…


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