Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cultural consistency....

Okay. Today I have a situation which is putting my commitment to the Thai way of life to the test.

I do some work at home for a local guy. It's certainly not difficult or complicated work. I am a very fast typist so I do all of his typing. Part of the job is also editing. In other words, I correct his grammar and take all the apostrophes out of his plural words. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that he has five times the education I do and still makes such silly mistakes. Mai pen rai. Never mind. We all have our weaknesses and his happens to net me $400.00 a month or so extra ~ and I can use it. That is when he is reliable and brings the stuff to me. So be it.

The one problem I've had with this guy is getting him to remember that when I send an invoice for hours worked, it means "pay me". It doesn't mean "pay me two weeks from now" or "pay me next month". It doesn't mean "how ya doin'?" It means, "I sent the invoice. Pony up! Now!"

I see him fairly frequently, at least a few times a week, and he chats away like there's nothing hanging there between us, that he doesn't owe me money. He talks about everything else but that and then wanders off without saying a word. I am not a difficult person to get along with and am certainly not intimidating in any manner. He could just as easily say "I haven't had a chance to get to the bank but I'll get there in the next couple of days" or "I haven't forgotten that I owe you money. I will get it to you." I would accept that without argument. Instead, he ignores it. In order to allow him to save face, I don't confront him.

Yesterday, I gave considerable thought to this and decided to cut him off. He will not find any more files in his email until I see the money. (He was due to pay on 21 Sept) I may or may not choose to continue on with him afterward. This kind of work is too easy to find and dealing with flakes is not something I do well. (As previously mentioned, Thailand Gal has a temper!)

It seems the best way to handle it without confronting him directly and embarrassing him. By cutting off the work flow, he will put the pieces together for himself and do the right thing. I get my message across, he saves face, I learn a healthier method of dealing with things and we all get what we want.

Believe me, this is a challenge! My previous way would have been to be very cold and sniping, burning a hole in him with my words. My temper is the slow-burning, icy kind. I am not proud of it. It is truthfully the worst of my considerable character defects.

We'll see how this method works. Meanwhile, I am walking many, many miles lately because I'm just plain pissed off!


May all have a nothing-to-get-pissed-off-about day ~

Thailand Gal


Dogwalkmusings said...

I like your solution. No pay. No work. Period. If he asks about it that's about as direct an explanation one could make.

As my other half says, and I'm sure it's not in the Thai way of thinking, "Don't get mad; get even." No angry words. Just action.

Thailand Gal said...

That was the old me. LOL

Thailand Gal