Soaked during floods

Just a bit about myself so you get some perspective. I worked in Thailand for two years during the mid 2000's. I was at a school in Bangkok. I'd come to Thailand for a change having worked 4 solid years in South Korea. I quickly noticed the differences in how I was treated by school's administrative staff from both countries. In short, South Koreans were efficient and knew what they were doing most of the time. Thailand was the "Wild South East." No housing, low pay, long hours and the school wanted me to punch in on a clock like some factory worker every morning before smiling to parents and children. Luckily, I loved teaching enough to put up with the hoops and obstacles put before me. I stayed two years and left.

I am not surprised some teachers are being told by Thai schools that they will not receive money for the time they didn't work during the floods. The safety net is for the Thais, not the falang. If you've been there long enough, you should know the pecking order by now. You're at the bottom of it, mate, pure and simple. I've read some comments about Acts of God in the contract. Thai contracts (insert long laugh here) I actually saved my first contract with a Thai school as a memento. It was on legal paper, about five pages long with a lot of clauses. I keep it in a file the way a tourist might keep a keychain purchased on Khao Sarn Road. It's merely a trinket. I'm going to add fuel to the fire for the moaners and whiners by saying they should argue that the floods were not acts of God, but several little acts of demi-gods, namely the Thaksin family. But I digress. If a man destroys a "big bag" that was holding back water, does it become an act of God? I'll let the lawyers sort that one out.

This next point is going to be a bit tricky, but here goes. If you are working in Thailand as a teacher, you're not really a teacher are you. I mean, you wake up and put on a shirt and tie and you may even have a university degree, but you're just there because you like the sun, the cheap beer and entertainment. Tell me I'm wrong and I'll listen. Mother Nature threw you a curveball this year and now suddenly your meager salary can't afford you the lifestyle you expected. Or you had to piss it away on hotels and travel because your school and/or house was inundated. I feel your pain. I really do. I hope you had a backup plan and cash to help you through your lean months, (it was only a few months, right?) a plan that didn't include stomping and sloshing your feet all the way to Suvanabumi saying, "Oh, I'll show you! China will be better!"

I suspect during this time of flooding in Bangkok, school administrators switched off their mobiles and hid. What sweet Thai woman who has done her time at the institution wants to address angry falang? Tell me how many miscommunications from your school you had to deal with, wrong dates for return, general misinformation. Again, I feel your pain. Well, it's up to you to decide whether you'll fight or take flight. I wish you the best.

Jimmy


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