Monday, March 28, 2011

A tale of 4 motorcycle taxi drivers and a Stranger in Bangkok

The Stranger in Bangkok is happy to announce that this blog has officially come back to life! After a couple of lethargic months, this is my 4th post this month, and my mind is still bursting with topics to share with everyone.

Anyway, I am quite sick today. Woke up with a sore throat and spent the entire afternoon in bed, not a very nice thing to do alone here, but oh well, looking back at last night, I guess it's all worth it.
I was the victim of this freshly-cut BBQ pork
Last night, my company organised a BBQ to celebrate 3 of my staff's birthdays together. It was, as expected, a very enjoyable evening. Watching them having fun brings so much joy and satisfaction to my heart. These past 18 months has been the ride of my life, and despite the many downs, I am still amazed when I look at the small team I have built. Aside of Nim, my accountant (who had been selling home-made doughnuts to coffeeshops for half a year before I offered her the job), ALL my 4 male employees are motorcycle taxi drivers!
Motorcycle taxi driver 1: Rit, who will soon evolve from warehouse supervisor to sales manager

Motorcycle taxi drivers 2 & 3, from left: Mit, my trustworthy delivery man and Keng, my warehouse manager
I don't have a special love for motorcycle taxi drivers, it just happened this way. Actually, Rit and Keng were full-time bellboys at a hotel when they were recruited by me, but till today, both of them are still moonlighting as motorcycle taxi drivers to earn some extra cash during their free time. I tried many ways to recruit employees, including the common tried-and-trusted way of using established recruitment websites, and in the end? Aside of the fact that I only managed to interview 5 of the 11 candidates who promised to come for interviews (welcome to Thailand), the two I eventually employed (1 with a track record of 3000SGD of sales commission per month in his previous job) failed miserably for various reasons. At the end of the day, I found out that what I needed was not credentials nor experience, but a humble learning attitude and excellent working integrity. As long as he/she is honest and willing to learn, even if he is a motorcycle taxi driver, I will use my heart and soul to train him till he realises his potential. Special mention now needs to go to my latest motorcycle-taxi-driver recruit..
Uncle 29, real name Somsuk, warehouse employee and back-up delivery man
He just turned 49 today (happy birthday!). Despite his age, he's a tireless workhorse who gives our company loads of energy whenever he's around. When we're drained at 10pm looking at the tonnes of goods still to be unloaded from the container, he will be the one still singing songs to boost everyone's morale.
Last night, he showed us that he can dance as well!
Uncle 29 really enjoyed himself tremendously at the BBQ and our pub-visit following it, even climbing onto the bench to dance at one point, only to receive a stern warning from pub management. But oh well, as he worked overtime in the afternoon to deliver goods with Mit, everything went downhill for them shortly after this picture was taken.
They were unconscious! And it wasn't even midnight.
What can a Stranger in Bangkok and a gang of 4 motorcycle taxi drivers achieve?
If you are talking about building nuclear reactors or constructing fighter jets, the answer will be: Close to nothing.

However, for a trading company like mine which does not involve rocket science, I am confident enough to say that, given time, we will be able to achieve much more than anyone can ever imagine. Our unique story will continue to unfold, watch this space!

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