Good guys trying to help
often get burned
First of all, I must state the fact that I know several guys who have former bargirls as wives, and the ladies are exceptionally good wives. They cook, they clean meticulously, they serve their husband, and they put out an equitable effort to help their husbands in day to day life. They go to school to improve their English, and they complete their coursework for their level at a reasonable rate. They are full partners in a relationship.
However, these are the exceptions to the rule. Far more commonly, a nice guy puts out all the effort, and money, and gets burned in the end by an ungrateful and lazy bum of a lady who carelessly does things to piss off their husband/boyfriend (e.g., neglectful of his needs and/or blows money despite budget arguments and/or is unfaithful). When it comes time to part ways, she takes all she can get and makes his life miserable, in a most ungrateful manner.
When you're a guy in Thailand who starts talking with prostitutes, you find a few who say clearly that they do not want to do what they are doing, but they have no money, no skill, and few alternatives. You want to help, feeling that they've just had bad luck in life.
Many of these ladies are quite pleasant and calm. Others have a lot of energy and hustle at what they do. Some even have considerable education, e.g., are attending the university and supporting themselves by "working" on men at discos.
I'm an entrepreneur with 16 years of continuous self-employment and hiring people. I can always find something profitable for people to do in order to sustain themselves in society, including Thais from top to bottom. However, after several attempts at hiring university level ladies who asked me to hire them out of prostitution, and other freelancer down the skills scale, for anything from running messenger errands around town (low education), to answering the phone and making simple phone calls (medium education), to simple computer tasks (university level), I now must agree with my predecessors in this regard -- you will almost surely get burned.
The following describes some of my experiences. I have had 0% success with hiring ladies of the night who ask for and agree to a job, though admittedly it's a sample of less than 10, and I gave up a long time ago in view of alternative sources of hiring such as word of mouth in my Thai communities. However, I know a lot of good guys who have tried the same thing. The success of my associates is also pretty close to zero.
We always offer them more money than what other Thais are eager to work for, wage levels and job descriptions that many self-disciplined Thais would consider fortunate to get. However, the freelance prostitutes fail to be nearly as reliable or do acceptable quality of service. Fortunately, we usually don't even have to fire them. They just don't show up for work after awhile ... that is, they don't show up at the office, but they do show up at the discos again.
In considering "saving" a prostitute, guys lower their expectations for the lady's standard of work and professionality, and dramatically up the salary and fringe benefits.
I am sure that there are some prostitutes out there who would do a good job if given an opportunity, and be very appreciative. However, they are a very small percent, and I haven't met them in all my years here.
(If you want to know why the go-go bars are so strict and "cruel" by deducting a baht per minute for late ladies, and strict in enforcing that rule, this is why. As bar owners have told me, it's the only way to get them to work on time. Some companies have adopted this policy for professional employees, too.)
First, they usually don't show up for work on time, if at all. Secondly, if they do show up, then they aren't as good a worker as others, and often do careless work. You care for them, but they don't care much for your business and your clients. Why should you care any more?
In the end:
- You have wasted effort, money and precious time
- Your employees are laughing at you, the boss, for being a stupid farang (but some of them also admittedly learned to be less foolhearty themselves)
- Some things you expected to get done in your business did not
Fortunately, thanks to some of my predecessors sharing their wisdom with me, as I am sharing my experiences with you, I myself did not lose heavily. However, I know guys who tried to set up their former prostitute girlfriend in a business of their own and lost a LOT of money. Some have been successful, but they are just a very small percentage -- the exceptions to the rule. Far more commonly, the lady neglects to do what she says, spends the money irresponsibly "like there's no tomorrow", and sometimes outright scams the guy.
LISTEN TO THESE GUYS. Make up your own mind, but do listen, and look for the warning signs.
Hearing many of their stories, I quickly see their mistakes from the start, and excuse them for being new to Thailand. On the other hand, I learned some painful lessons several times over in my 9 years here. Each time, I raised my threshold for helping people.
I really don't like to be negative, and I hope that my experience was unlucky, but let me share with you my experiences.
First of all, unlike some other foreigners, I don't tell ladies what they should do, or lead ladies too much. I don't do that with anyone. For example, when I interview people for a job, I must see initiative from them, and I hire only those who express initiative.
I am guilty of lowering my standards when it comes to helping a lady get off the street. I have also been wrong to believe that they would appreciate it and try to help me back. The same goes for some of my friends.
Let's go thru some of our experiences.
I've changed the names to protect the not-so-innocent.
Noot was intelligent, street-smart and had a lot of energy. She could speak English well, and could read and write it fairly well, too. She could do email. Noot hung out at the open air beer bars but I never saw her flirting with men. She talked more with other women, a joker, and just watched people coming and going, with no interaction with men. She was a friend who was somewhat interesting to talk with, but not someone to have a sexual relationship with, and I made it clear that I did not have sexual interest in her. (She is quite pretty, nonetheless, but just not my type.) She expressed that she didn't like going with men, but she could not do get a job to make enough money to support herself, her son (foreign father long gone and she hated him) and crippled father.
She asked about me, and I explained my business with her. She expressed interest in helping me, including stating some solutions to some problems I had. I was fairly impressed. She seemed perfect for a particular role. I just had street errands for her to do for starters, as her first test, but she was happy with that, as she needed a financial break.
She had sold her mobile for needed cash but had an active SIM card, so I gave her an old mobile handphone of mine, and since she had only 78 baht credit, I also got a 300 baht recharge card, and gave her a little bit of cash to eat and general expenses for several days. (I figured it would take just one day to test her.) I told her to wait for my calls.
I immediately sent her an SMS on the way home that night with a concrete task for the next day. That next day, at the end of the day when I had some time, I called her to find out how she'd done. She hadn't done the task, and didn't want to talk about the SMS. She just wanted to meet with me to talk more about the possibility of her working for me. What DID she do that day? She didn't have anything to report, and pressing the matter I found that she had just sat around at home.
I sensed that she wanted to meet just to pressure me face-to-face for more money. I've heard this before. Nonetheless, I had already invested too much of my own time thinking about her, and wanted some answers to some questions about her past. I'd jotted them down on a pad, preparing for an interview. I had nothing to lose, and if the interview went bad and she just asked for money then I'd get my phone back.
I decided to meet at a quiet place outside the bars, and stated a specific place halfway, careful to pick a place where numerous air conditioned buses go and there were nice coffee shops. It would be a 30 minute ride for her in traffic.
However, then she complained about meeting me halfway. It was a cheap bus ride on a main route from her home, yet she complained about the taxi fare, and in a tone like she was seeking excuses not to go. She wanted me to come all the way to her. Then, while I was talking, she just started yelling at someone else, not giving me her undivided attention. I felt disrespected, and in response my tone got more disciplinarian, stating to her that if she wanted to work with me then she would need to be more professional. She lost her self-control and started yelling at ME about how I was letting her down and screamed "f*** you!" twice in the phone and hung up. (Ten minutes later, she called me but I had moved back to working with my other employees and didn't bother to answer.)
Maybe her explosiveness is why her farang boyfriend left her for friend (and now ex-friend).
I still feel sorry for her, but she had her chance with me and she blew it. There are a lot of other people in this world who I can give a chance to, and they are more sustainable, profitable and mutually beneficial.
Ae was proper and strove to run her own business selling nice clothes, with the ultimate ambition of exporting clothes and other labor intensive things. She had nice styles herself, clearly an artistic sort. She also had a full high school education and had started at a university but dropped out shortly thereafter. Her stated reason was lack of money.
I had a client who was upgrading their CAD computers and had an idle stack of Pentium I's and 14 inch monitors. (This was MANY years ago.)
Ae had expressed interest in improving her computer/Windows/business software skills, so I bought one from the client for cheap, spent time reformatting and setting it up for her with good software, bought books for her, delivered it all and helped her get started with some personal lessons. However, when I was gone, she did nothing more than writing emails to guys. She made no progress whatsoever on our strategy. Whenever I'd stop by with cheerful expectations, I'd be disappointed to find her just sitting around watch trash TV. Checking the computer, she had only done emails, visited on-line games, and other trash things. The only questions asked was how we could get the computer to play 3D video games.
I discussed my issues gently, but she was just quiet and pleasant, always accomodating and made plans for the next day, but never executed them. After a few weeks of that, I just dumped that "project". Shortly after that, she was back into the discos without money.
Jae was similar to Ae in stated aspirations. A friend of mine sent her to BCC (Business and Computers). Unfortunately, he had to push her out the door to get there on time, as she didn't watch the clock. When he wasn't there, she skipped class.
Guys out of town get stories from the ladies that they are attending classes, but having a private investigator check up on them reveals that many do not. In fact, some go back and get a partial refund of their tuition.
Pim did more damage than any other Thai prostitute, as regards my willingness to try to help. Same story, about how she felt very bad about what she had done and was doing, but needed the money.
Pim was studying a difficult subject in a university, was studious (as I observed repeatedly), was oh-so-close to graduation, and some checking revealed that her grades were fairly good. She was in fact a good student. I thought that if there was any prostitute who I could help get out of the business, then Pim was her.
I went and paid her tuition for her, gave her some cash to get her by for awhile, and by email gave her a list of phone calls to make to get information, which she could do at her own schedule.
Unfortunately, the calls didn't get made. She would call ME very sweetly when she needed more money, and the money seemed to go too quickly. I knew other students who stretched their money much further. Pim was just months from graduation if she just past her last (and most difficult) courses, and with her degree and grades she could immediately get a good paying job. With some excuses, I gave her a second chance. However, round two of this got a couple of business calls made but then slacked off, not caring about my business.
She was just another lady who was good at pleading for help, but was not willing to help me in return. Big talk, no implementation. Talk is easy...
The next time Pim called, I specifically raised these principles with her. She said she was sorry, but I said I'm sorry, too, and no "salary" until she does her work. I gave her another chance -- when the work is completed satisfactorily, then the salary is waiting. Her response? A pleading but increasingly aggressive "please don't do this to me, I have no money, what will I do now, boo-hoo-hoo, please not right now, the worst possible time, I have just 45 baht now and I was depending on you, I must finish my classes, ..." bit.
Just a few hours before her call, a customer had called me to pay me 2500 baht which he owed me, but wanted me to go pick it up and sign a receipt with his accountant. I wasn't going to spend the time making a special trip, so I had made a "someday when I'm in the area" kind of arrangement. However, I called back and he agreed that this lady could go pick up the money and sign for it.
The office was right along an air conditioned bus route from her Ramkamhaeng apartment, maybe a 30 minute trip and 14 baht each way. I called her and told her that if she went to pick up the 2500 baht, then she could keep it all, and she'd have enough money to get by a while longer until she could complete the other tasks I'd given her. She said OK, though not as happily as I expected. A few hours later I called the client but he reported no sign of her. So I called her back. She hadn't gone, sounded lazy, and at that point she asked me to go get the money and bring it to her!
The difference between these ladies and the people I normally hire is literally like night and day.
With normal people, no up front money to pay their apartment, food, etc. They take the bus habitually with no complaints, not taxis. I get the feeling that they have normal communities and "credit" among family members and friends, and are trusted by others in their community. They are more reasonable and composed.
I am careful about who I hire. For example, after receiving a referral from someone, I'll call them. In the telephone interview, if their first question is "how much is the salary" then the interview is over. If it is about the job description, then the interview continues on to the next levels, including the salary.
So, what are prostitutes planning?
Usually, they have no plan, except to find a rich foreign guy willing to support them. They live day to day. They don't make much effort to think proactively. They just follow and react to others in their environment, passive.
If they have a plan, then it is to sit at home and watch TV all day, gossip with their friends, and go shopping.
If you expect them to cook special food for you or do other considerate things -- for them to put out the same level of effort for you that you put out for them -- then you're usually setting yourself up for disappointment. In fact, you will be lucky if they can even manage the maid and gain the respect of one for long.
That said, I must say that there are exceptions, as I know guys who have wives and girlfriends who are appreciative, diligent and more than earn their keep. (Sometimes I wonder if the guy deserves the lady!)
However, the good situations are far outweighed in sheer numbers by the negligent ladies.
Over time, a guy becomes more and more skeptical about ladies who express a willingness to develop a career alternative to prostitution. Is it just easy talk, "at the moment"? That is the issue to resolve.
For awhile, I gave them credit for having the courage to venture out into farangland in order to expand their horizons. However, more often than not, it's just to find someone to support their lazy, ultra laid back lifestyle, and take them away for some exciting and free (indeed, profitable for them) vacation adventures.
You can put in a lot of effort, time and money to help them, but when you need it in return, will they give you a significant amount of time and effort to help you?
Don't try to make them into something they are not. They are professional pleasers, and they will please your need to try to help them, but most of them won't help you back. When the time comes, after they've sucked you dry, they will just spit you out, often dramatically ... more often than not.
If misery loves company, the let it be known that I've known guys who have lost millions of baht ($25,000+), some their entire life savings, all hard earned and saved. Beyond people I've known, I've also heard of guys who have lost TENS of millions of baht. One guy married the lady and bought a life insurance policy, assigning her as the beneficiary. Her family hacked him to death (not very cleverly, either) in order to claim the money. Thus, he lost not just his money, but literally lost his life.
If you have invested a lot of money into a lady and have been ripped off, then be careful about trying to get any of it back, considering the possible dangers of this pursuit.
Be thankful for what you've got, and your own options in life.
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