Girls wanted ...

Girls wanted... by expat. Well that's a pretty familiar theme in Thailand of course, but one apparently bewildered farang is in need of a whole bundle of Thai girls; at least according to this appeal he's placed on the internet:
"Could anybody give me any pointers of how to recruit Bar Staff from Isaan please....?

Got brand new Bar Beer in Walking Street, Pattaya but desperately need some Bar Girls, Go Go girls & cayote Dancers.. Bar very busy but just not enough ladies...

Many thanks"
Which kind of leads one to wondering how he ended up with a bar in the first place, if he didn't know how to recruit 'staff'!

Regular patrons of a certain kind of Thai bar will have a rough idea of the system involved. There's the grapevine of course, whereby a busy, well located bar with the right quality and quantity of customers will always act as a magnet for the girls. The word soon gets around. Also important is the boss, and the money. The basic retainer isn't much, but the bosses offering a stingy two or three thousand baht a month as a retainer will only get away with that if the bar is has a regular stream of generous customers. The boss needs to show respect for his girls - they're not tied to working for him by an official contract. They can, and do, leave on a whim. The tips are important - some bars offer as little as 20B a lady drink, ie 20%. (Seems counter-productive to me - after all, a customer in the know would rather give a girl a 100B tip than buy her five drinks for 500B so she can earn the same thing).

Then when times are hard, and the girls difficult to find, some owners will be out in the villages on a direct recruitment drive. Or at least their Thai partners will be. I've always wondered how that works... I mean, can you imagine the conversation? There must be an particularly Thai way of asking tactfully "Excuse me, we are looking for go-go dancers and bar girls, and are willing to pay families XXX if they'll sell them to us". Which is pretty much what it boils down to, after all.

As for the Thai partners, their attitude towards the girls is important too - firm but fair, in the traditional mamasan fashion. In Chiang Mai I've heard tales of one Thai part-owner helping herself to the tips from the jar on the bar when the farang husband's back was turned. Needless to say, it wasn't a happy establishment, and struggled along mostly making a loss.

So back to the novice Pattaya bar owner, and his desperate search for ladies. One wonders who his Thai partners are, assuming he has one or more that are active in the business. Has he found a bar girl himself as a companion, somewhat inexperienced in the business? Or did he first arrive with this kind of attitude, as posted on another website by a different farang?:
"I recently discovered your website which I found interesting.

I was particularly interested in the section regarding starting up a business in Thailand, and with the greatest respect I don't believe that you have a clue what you are talking about.

I am a UK citizen (British), recently retired, and although I have only been to Thailand a couple of times I really love the country.

I have no Thai wife/girlfriend/lover - whatever.

I plan to move to the country soon and start up my own business - deep sea fishing in Phuket, which is my passion.

And let me tell you something my friend(s). I will run MY business, on MY terms, MY way, and I will NOT allow ANY Thai, no matter how "well-connected" he may be, to f**k me around.
I will NOT pay any "tea money" to anyone. I will hire who I want, on my terms, and I will run my business in accordance with strict Western values.

I could not give a rat's arse who I p*** off - I will NOT be intimidated by some Asian upstart pr**k.
In short, these people will march to the sound of MY drum. If they don't like it - tough.

These people need to be put in their place, and your pusillanamous attitude - "oh, it's THEIR country, we have to let them do things THEIR way," p***es me off.

Well I will NOT do things THEIR way. I will do things MY way. I will run MY company for Western tourists, and I couldn't give a flying f**k what any Thai arsehole has to say about it.


name removed"
When I first saw this I thought it had to be a wind-up. After all, no one could be that naive, could they? But who knows, one comes across enough cocky Westerners who treat the Thais as if they are some kind of ignorant sub-species. They'll learn - and quite probably the hard way. So how long is this guy going to last in Thailand I wonder! Place your bets...

Some readers will recall my posting this blog a while back. It is 100 per cent accurate. How many naive Westerners lose their shirts, and more, thinking they can run a business in LOS in the same way as they would in the US or in Europe?


Mike said...

Pete nice to see you around. Great post which had me laughing.

My first thoughts were Thai Visa, don't know why :-)

The last part says it all really although I thought it might be a troll. God help us.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The LOS is fine, coolish, blue skies and not a bloody Christmas tree in sight!

JJ Beattie said...

Hmmm, that last example - he deserves everything he's going to get, no?

Bangkok Blogger said...

A good laugh for today ! :) How right you are about westerners coming here thinking they will make money the Western way.....

Their arrogance is amazing. But as you stated they get cut down to size and learn 'by experience'.

As for the new bar owner, I really can't believe it. It has to be a joke. If its not he will not last 1 month !!

As an aside,
I was aquainted with two westerners who were experts in their fields - management training and accountancy. They set up shop in Bangkok but after 16 months of marketing they had not got a single contract. They thought they could just walk in to a Thai business and their expertise would ensure a warm welcome.... a bit like George Bush going into Iraq !!

Glad to see you are blogging again - take care.

The FrogBlogger said...

Cheers Mike, it's 'coolish' where I am too right now! And wet. And windy :( No, not Thai Visa this time, both the bargirl hunter and the would-be Phuket expat were on two more obscure forums - ExpatBlog, in the Thailand/Isaan section (which made that one seem more genuine seeing as no one ever posts there unless they really don't want anyone to read their posts). The other one (rant) was on the Orient Expat forum, posted by a certain Laobali who claims to be in Laos, and that the rant originally appeared "on one of his websites". He later posted the same claim to the ExpatForum.

Merry Christmas to you too Mike, and all the best to the guys and gals posting from LOS.

JJ, have to agree, it may all be bluster, but if not he could well end up as one of the expat 'suicide' statistics that seem to happen at an extraordinary rate from balconies in Pattaya or Phuket.

BB - see above reply to Mike. I'm pretty sure it's genuine, given where he posted. If it was a joke, he would surely have tried it on in the bigger forums. He's posting from Dubai by the way - makes you wonder if he's not invested in a business on a whim during a holiday with some of his tax-free Gulf income, and is now beginning to appreciate the downside...

Not a bit surprised about the failure of the management trainer and accountant in Bangkok...

BLOGitse said...

I have to tell you this...
This morning I read your posting
and tweeted it.
After couple of hours Thailand TV followed me. Maybe they liked what they read here!

How somebody can be so stupid and write that kind of rubbish, 'MY, MY, ME, ME'!
As a foreigner in a country
you're a foreigner
and you should respect
their culture and traditions.
If you can't - leave. Simple as that.

Merry Christmas from Cairo, Egypt!

Smorg said...

As some wise dudes say; commonsense is anything but common! :o) My conservative flatmate is still ranting about Obama "showing weakness bowing to the Japanese Emperor" during his visit there... never mind that bowing is the Japanese's cultural mode of greeting (like the Thai's wai, I think). :o(

It's always a treat to drop in on your blog, bro. Keep up the good work and have a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday and Happy 2010, too!

Smorg :o)

Martyn said...

Pete I could have sworn I posted a comment on this when I was in Thailand. Obviously not.

The recruitment of bar girls. The man says the bar is busy. A busy bar doesn't necessarily mean it's a happy one. A happy busy bar would have no problem attracting girls especially with the lack of tourists right now. My guess would be a quiet bar with a tight owner who perhaps has a liking for fondling his girls. The bar girls grapevine is as quick as any broadband and if my scenario is anywhere near right then I can see he would have a recruitment problem.

The prospective Phuket deep sea fishing guy. It reads like a last will and testament, he just needs to add the family names of those who will benefit from his death. A deep sea fishermen heading for a watery grave in my book.

Nice post and best wishes to the three of you.

Britinbangkok said...

Too funny! I'm betting he'll be either shot by a rightfully-so pissed off Thai guy, or will go bankrupt and get kicked out in less than 6 months. Some people really should never leave their home countries :-)

And hey, Happy New Year to you!! (Better late than never). Hope you got your swimming pool problem sorted. Honestly, there really are morons all over the world :(

Boonsong said...

Very insightful post - and amusing too.
Thanks for this

Pattaya Girls said...

I can see his body getting washed up on the beaches of phuket some time soon. Hope he was a troll.

britinbangkok said...

Hey, when you coming back to Thailand and updating your blog. Miss reading your funny (and insightful) posts :)

Erich said...

I just spent 8 months on Phuket and if there is any business on that island run by cut throats and gangsters it's charter boats.

Lafemmet said...

HA! What a naive Ass! I would have guessed he was from the deep south. With that kind of disrespect where respect is so important will do him in! good riddance!

Natalie (EFT Tapping) said...

Amazing that people can actually be so self-centered and dense. Love to know how the fisherman's business worked out! Can't imagine he's a very happy guy.

nocturn said...

Not alot of hope this fella at all. not so much respect either.

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Jill said...

Our Thai friend owns a couple of bars off Soi Bangla in Patong Beach. Since we are often in Isan, he asked us if we could procure a steady supply of girls for him. We weren't interested, but, another friend of ours was.

The friend that owned the bars paid him 20,000-30,000 per girl and the girls had a contract to work off as well once they arrived.

The girls weren't forced into it - but it was all layed out for them - what the 'job' was. There were plenty of girls that went to work this way. :) JM