Brovic- Blogging Since 1903
KHUK KHAK, Thailand - Just wanted to let you know we got the shower caddy operation back up and running, which in and of itself is remarkable, since I located the former crew manager, Li An Song Su Ky, and she magically reassembled the remnants of the Myanmar tag team, the crew, on conditions.
After lunch they, Li An and the four girls, were there at the table working on the caddies, and I was thinking, 'Now, that would be a good shot, photo, with their faces all painted in powder, their colorful sarongs, and everything.' AND it would actually provide actual proof that I'm not bullshitting you here on this one.
Had the coconuts, the wire, the prototypes and the tools and everything right there, but they wouldn't consent to being photographed, and became downright hostile when they caught me all smiles trying to surreptitiously obtain a shot. Quit working, all of 'em, angrily slamming the tools and coconuts on the table, and just sat there glaring at me, rattling off some shit back and forth to one another and casting dagger glances at me.
I was thinking, just then, 'Heyyy! Easy on the angle grinder!' but my thought got cut short by...you know how it is when you can tell a foreigner is talki...actually, I'm the foreigner here...they're the locals......how when you're in somebody's country and they're talking about you, not behind your back, but right in front of you, in their own lingo, spitting some vile shit about you and your kind, thinking you can't understand what they're saying, which you don't, but you can tell anyway?
That's the way it was with those girls. I could understand a little bit of what they were saying, and it wasn't good...I could make out the words, 'liar', and 'cheap', but mostly I was reading their expressions and body language, and that wasn't good, either. Hostile. Openly hostile.
Li An got up in my face and told me they SAID they didn't want their pictures taken, and I was backing away, telling her, 'I know I know I know, sorry, sorry, tell 'em I'm sorry,' hoping she could patch things up by telling them somehow 'no' got lost in the translation with this ignorant foreigner, and so they wouldn't walk off the job again the way they did with the airplanes.
What is it? What is it ABOUT these people?
The conditions. Right. The conditions. Those girls wouldn't work hourly or by the day. They demanded to be paid 'piece work', or per unit, which we didn't determine just yet, because I wanted to get up and running right away already, and they wouldn't negotiate individually, but demanded to be represented collectively with Li An, who hates me, as their spokesperson. Plus lunches.
So, why, you may wonder, would you hang out, or work for or with someone who despises you, inside? People do it all the time. It's about the money. It's about the money and the mutual co-dependent nature of the relationship. For Li An and the tag team, it's about the money and just how far they can squeeze me until I snap, and for me, I need an interpreter.
I need an interpreter, and I need a crew. It's the only way we can get these caddies out there. Already told you, the demand's there.
I'm not giving up. I'm not giving up. I can get you your picture. Gotta use a different approach. Gotta tell 'em I'll pay them...pay them to model with the caddies. Yes. That's it! Pay them to model with the caddies. That'll work.
That should work.
Uh...wai...there's going to be a problem. Problem is, they're going to ask me what I'm going to do with the pictures, and when I say they're going to be published they're going to want to know where and who's going to see them, and that's going to be hard to explain, maybe impossible, and then they're either going to want a large sum of money, or return to being too shy and just say no.
I'm going to have to get back with you on this; this photo business.
Anyway, the caddies are up and running. I thought you'd appreciate being among the first to know.