Frustrations when talking to Thai people
There are dumb people in every country and lets face it most the time you meet an idiot it's typically not out of choice but because you have to interact with the person in order to buy a certain good or service. Thailand is no exception and most of the customer service people in Thailand are beyond stupid. Their on a whole other level of stupidity. Take for example asking simple questions about prices of things. You ask a question and they give you an answer to a question you didn't ask or they come back to you with another question. Stop wasting my time and answer the damn question. Here's some conversations I've had recently with people in Thailand.
I've translated the conversations into English but the conversations are 100% in Thai language and there is never any confusion about my Thai language.
1. Asking about prices at a Karaoke house
Chris: How much is the room?
Girl: Come in and sit down.
Chris: But how much is the room first.
Girl: It's not expensive.
Chris: Can you answer my first question?
Girl: The menu is inside.
So I walk inside to look at the menu.
Chris: This seems expensive but the menu doesn't have the price of the room, what's the price of the room.
Girl: I don't know i'll ask my friend.
So she asks her friend and comes back.
Girl: 200 baht an hour.
Chris: So how much is the Mamason charge.
Girl: It's not expensive.
Oh my god I give up.
Chris: Can I talk to the Mamason.
So she calls out to the Mamason and asks the price mamason yells back 450 baht. I decide to leave as I was only inquiring about the price. The whole time the mamason is sitting there watching my fumble with this chick then doesn't even bother to come over to talk to me yet still wants to charge me 450 baht, for what? Dumb.
2. Conversation with the guy at the internet cafe
Chris: How come I can't load programs on the computer anymore?
Guy: Let me take a look.
Chris: (the message is written in English) See I can't load the program.
Guy: They changed things 3 days ago
Chris: Well can you change it back i've been coming here 2 years and now can't load my program
Guy: That must be annoying.
OMG shit yeah it's annoying, I know this guy is an idiot so I figure I'd wait a day see if he does anything about it.
I come back the next day.
Chris: So can I load programs on the computer yet?
Guy: You want to load programs?
Chris: Yes remember we spoke yesterday about it.
Chris: So I can load programs now?
Guy: You want to load programs?
Chris: When does the other guy come back, he knows how to fix it.
Guy: He just left.
Chris: Yeah but when does he come back.
Guy: He left 5 minutes ago.
Chris: Ok, but I'd like to talk to him so what time does he come back?
I'm doing my head in at this point so I just leave it never going to get anywhere with this guy.
3. Conversation with a 7 eleven girl
Chris: Do you sell scissors?
Girl: What do you want to use them for?
Chris: Does it matter? I want to buy a pair of scissors.
Girl: How big do you want them?
Chris: Can you just show me where the scissors are?
Girl: We don't sell scissors
So does this happen to you guys as well? Got any stupid conversions you've had with customer service in Thailand would love to hear let me know in the comments below.
I judge an entire society by the number of people who have a muffler burn on their ankle. ‘Nuff said…
Um, I have one :-p
Got one myself. Someone parks as close as possible to my bike. Couldn’t hardly get it out. Sucker was hot as f%^&! Left a light hardly noticeable scar though.
That last one about the scissors is classic, had me on the floor laughing 🙂
omg thats hilarious man, hope i will hv no such problem when i visit CM next 2 mths. lol
dont know how to speak with em after how long?
you were in the states too long, you sound american when read.
I don’t understand the question?
When reading yours posts i hear an american accent.I would,nt have believed you were an aussie until you referred to one of the stingy guys as a cunt 55555+.That gave it away.A heavy touch of seppo ignorance comes across in some blogs.not a criticism merely my observation.A bit harsh on the girl with the scissors for making friendly small talk.It might help if you use the word cunt more often.
I did spend too much time in the US and most of my mates are american so I get that. The girl with the scissors well she was a Tom and you know I loathe Toms!
Never paid for the Mamasan at any karaoke place. Only one time gave her/him a drink.
I doubt that very much. If you’ve been to a karaoke in Chiang Mai and didn’t pay a service fee then please tell me where? Only place I know is Lee Lah and i’ve been to every place in Chiang Mai!
Lee Lah would be a start , but why would i give the names of other places like Lee Lah ? You even let people pay for your info. The places i know are nice because no others foreigners come there. i was a regular of Happy Night for many years until you wrote about it, now the place is closed.
The whole reason I made the VIP area was so too many people were finding out about the best spots in Chiang Mai. I’m not the cause of happy nights closing either dude. There are places like Lee Lah without a charge but I doubt 1% of my members would feel comfortable going in there without me as well as it isn’t exactly “foreign” friendly. The bigger places that are foreign friendly do have a charge (for thai’s and farang) are much nicer and all have a service charge.
How many times do you ask a question and just get a “Happy” answer ,
not an answer to what you wanted , since probably they do not know and are afraid to ask the boss because then they look stupid , so the “Happy” answer makes it look like they are doing their job and being helpful , even if the answer points you in the wrong direction……
they are stupid period.even if u ask for anything, if they dont know they call over 2,3 people to help you.thats 20 mins and you still dont have what you want.and dont even get me started on directions. and whats with them walking? penguins walk faster then them,their always cutting you off, walk infront of you and stop. wtf..
i pull the forest gump on them….. are you crazy or just plain stupid.?. hahaha..and there driving is the same damm thing.
LOL the 7 11 is priceless funniest thing I have read in weeks I will try to remember some conversations when I get back 🙂
I think maybe when you ask the question as you are a farang they are trying to work out how to rreply in English even if you ask in thai
I recall this as a conversation I had with a songtel driver in Khon Kaen at the University I had a gf there and I went to get a songtel into KK city to pass the time Anyway where I was going was the shopping centre Fairy Plaza So I said to the driver Do you go to Fairy Plaza
Driver Huh ?
Me Do you go to Fairy Plaza ?
Driver . Puzzled Fairy humm where ?
Me Fairy Plaza pointing in the general direction Shopping ?
Driver Fairy uhmmm ahhh uhmm
Then I thought ok I will say in the same tone as the Thais
Me Fair EEEeeeeeeeee
Driver Ah Fair Eeeeeeeeeeee ………..yes ok ok
For me the difference in Fairy and Fairee is not a huge leap but must be
I went in to a Tesco Express and asked for “Dtac THB500”
The girl had a phone to her ear but wasn’t talking she said “1 minute”
Can you just get me “Dtac THB500” was my direct reply, she nodded and waved someone over to help me a guy.
I asked him the same “Dtac THB500”
His response was to ask the same girl right in front of me with the phone to her ear who still wasn’t talking, who just said again wait 1 minute to him.
I then loudly said to the girl “why cant you just serve me”
To which she responded without looking for Dtac and replied I’m sorry we have run out of Dtac.
But still the best one is when I drove in to a car park and the attendant asked me what I wanted to do.
I have too many to list. But here’s a good one: I stumbled into a bar in Pattaya late one morning with a shocking hangover. I wanted a bloody mary. A bigger, more upmarket bar would have been able to do it easily, but this was just a basic little beer shack right next to the hotel. I guessed they wouldn’t understand ‘bloody mary,’ so the conversation with the girl went like this:
“You have vodka?’
“Have (actually, when Thais say lemon, they nearly always mean lime, but never mind).”
I spotted she had a bottle of tabasco and Lea & Perrins behind the bar, so I told her to mix it all up in a big glass with lots of ice and put some of that in as well. She was doing all this and looking quite intrigued and tickled by the process, so while she was doing it I tell her, “it’s called a bloody mary.”
She suddenly stopped stirring and looked worried.
“Bloody mary? No have.”
Guess this belongs here and it really illustrates the difficulty in the same way as the shop example in the blog.
I was approached by a Thai lady on Tagged saying she was looking for English teachers in Nakhon is Thammarat province.
I did some research on the areas that were mentioned and told them that the Sichon area looked like a possibility as it’s close to the sea and Samui etc.
The package sounded OK, visa, work permit, bike free accomodation, food internet etc and 20k spending money.
So I arranged to go and meet them after a wedding I went to in Korat, get to Bangkok and fly down to Nakhon is Thammarat, we were picked up and taken to a low cost hotel and arranged to be picked up in the morning to see the college at 7 am which I agreed to somewhat begrudgingly as I hate getting up that early unless it’s to dive etc.
So, next morning I make an effort have a shower put on long trousers socks and a long sleeved shirt with collar ( I have one set of this and some jeans here) and we head off.
Get to the school introduced to the principle and a couple of teachers then taken up to the classroom which in session.
Right so I’m chatting with the students to get an idea of what’s involved and they show me the books they use. Straight away I spotted bad grammer mistakes, not from the student,s in the printed book!
Then they say OK you can start now!
I start umming and ahhing and then tell them that was not my understanding as I had come to see the college, accomodation and the area at which point the teacher goes outside with this lady, they talk a while then she says to me OK let’s go.
We got in the car and she said to me I’m not sure you want to teach. So I explain again that I need to see what I would be getting into and she tells me that the teacher had told her that I looked like a tourist and smelt of alcohol at 8 am in the morning?
Guess what I said.
OK I thought let’s look around here and we moved to a much nicer hotel. Stayed a few days and then told the lady we would love to go see the temple there but then go up to the East coast on the way to Samui and Phangnan.
OK she says and off we go. On the way up to Khanom, she stops at the colle that I first said and we go in and meet the principle and his daughter. very nice I think, they even offered me more money.
Me: “OK can we see the very nice accomodation that you described in your father’s resort please?”
Daughter: “Oh that’s not possible as my father has had to go and do something and he has the key, when can you start?”
Me: “I’ll let you know my decision”
We then went had a look at the town and the beach then buggered off to Khanom for three days right on the beach and had a great time as the lady stayed with her friend there and knew the place like the back of her hand as she used to live there.
I made it extremely clear in every conversation that I need to go back to Phuket even if I said yes as my house belongins and bikes were here.
I lost count of how many times they asked me “So, can you start tomorrow?”
We get back home and I am plagued with calls like “When can you start, you can come tomorrow?”
I left it alone after a while the out of the blue I get a call offering me another position.
Here is the e-mail conversation that followed (needs to be read from the bottom):-
I have got your B/A ,but I have not get your picture and passort yet.
When can you come to Thung Song?
The college waitting for you.
Subject: RE: English
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 15:07:28 +0700
I have not been well the last two days and it is actually at least 4.5 hours from where I live to get there.
I will contact you when I am better.
Sent: 13 October 2012 18:39
To: Max Jone
Subject: RE: English
Good Evening MAX,
I would like to offer you an apartment to stay in Thung Song. So How is your desition? When can you come to meet me?
The college will be start on 16 of October.
waiting fou your reply.
Subject: RE: English
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2012 18:15:00 +0700
Thung Song is not so near to the sea, I cannot even find much info on what it is like there.
Can you tell me what type of accommodation it would be there please.
CV, reference and certificate attached. Also you can see my Linkedin profile from the link below.
Sent: 13 October 2012 14:42
Subject: RE: English
Good Afternoon MAX,
How are you? Where are you? Regarding to our discussion before, I would like to offer you a job in Thung song District under Nakorn Si Thammarat Province.
English Teacher at Thung Song Technical college ( check on website ) . I would like to invite you to come over to Thung Song to see the place to stay and teach.
Pls. let me know if you still willing to be a teacher and work with us.
Have a nice day,
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 21:16:27 +0700
I have said many times that I need to see where I would stay.
I cannot just jump on a plane and go there.
I am going to KL for a few days, if you can get some photos that would be good.
Now I have a massive headache!!!!!
Oops just re-read my previuos post and can’t edit it! Bad advertising for an English teacher. 🙂
I don’t want to say that all Thais are stupid, but I can honestly say that here I’ve met a lot more idiots than in my country or in Europe.
However, in their defense (those sales people) I must say that (I think) it is a cultural thing not to admit when you don’t know something. It happened to me a lot, too, and the last I remember now is the air condition:
– How loud is this AC? (me)
– How big is the room? (guy)
– Doesn’t matter, I want this 9000BTU right here. So, how loud is it? (me)
– How big is the room? (guy)
– Can you just start it so I can try it out? (me)
– How big is your room? (guy)
… and, of course, I gave up.
Conclusion: I think they just can’t admit this “I have no f#$%ng idea” and they try to change the subject not to look dumb, especially in situations like this when they know that they should know the answer to your questions.
Its called face and thai will handle the situation grengjai. They understand the guy doesnt know the answer. Will smile. And avoid unpleasant situation. People here on this site are tourists or mongers and dont understand thainess. Not saying thainess is good but neither are arrogant farlangs…
Living here for many years, this is pretty much typical of all conversations.
I am happy to know, they are not just being stupid with me 🙂
Intelligence is a subjective thing.
It is unintelligent to judge a group of people on limited experiences.
I do however suggest that Thai’s would do very well by improving their listening skills.
“Their on a whole other level of stupidity”
That would be, “They are on a whole other level of stupidity”.
Stupid people in glass houses…………….
Stupid people in glass houses…??? You mean people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? If so by publishing this comment I obviously can 😉
(The correct answer is a.)
Another example of the pot calling the kettle black.
Oh my gosh, I can totally relate to this. I’m a teacher in Thailand and nothing ever seems to surprise me anymore.
My assistant: Teacher Cliff, here is the final schedule
Me: okay, is this the for sure (it says English final 10:10am)
My assistant: yes
I show up to the final at 10:02 to set up and everyone is already say down and dead quiet staring at me akwardly including my assistant. It got changed to 10:00 and I was the last one to find out apparently.
I have spent 8 hours trying to figure out how to use the cash I get paid in to buy my ticket home. I had to open 2 bank accounts with the help of my girlfriend who is Thai and we’re still at square 1. I even requested we went to the bank with her to do it in front of them, I couldn’t understand the language but the bankers body language showed complete confusion. I’ve albiet given up, I’m going to wire a friend back home the money and have them buy it with a non-thai credit card. I invariably get multiple answers from 1 question from every thai person I’ve met including my girlfriend. It’s enough to make you want to run across into oncoming traffic.
They bother me a lot with the non sense questions, and none of their business what i want to do with things i am buying. Even worst i were at the HOME PRO looking for DVD PLAYER.
Me: i want DVD PLAYER withAV OUTLET KINDA OLD FASHIONS BUT I HAVE A REASONS.
Clerk: yes we have it here , this one.
Me: oh i want pioneer brand do you have it.
Clerk: but this one AJ is better .
Me : but do u have pioneer,
Clerk: what system you have
I look around it all AJ AND FEW SAMSUNG
ME: dont have pioneer hur.
Clerk: gigleling no we dont
Anonther day at lotus looking to buy TV LED I FOUND what i like it toshiba.
Me: i want this one
Clerk: this one better digital ready.
Me: but i want this one
Clerk: but this one are 0%payment
Me: fuck it i dont want to buy it here anymore So i just give him the mad look and walk a way what a dumb ass motherfucker .
And there plenty more i just ignored other why i probably gone crazy with this people
Sums up their third world in two words: Brain dead.
so true i don’t know why they are too stupid