‘Many Thais make light work’

The title of this blog is very typical of Thailand. Thais believe in serving with the personal touch unlike in the west where machines seem to have replaced much of the work force. There seems to be a worker for every part of the working process.

Here are a few of the examples I have seen so far:

[b]The Petrol Station[/b]
At the Esso station the other day I counted eight workers on the forecourt filling up cars with petrol and cleaning windscreens and three more workers inside the shop serving. If you drive a car into a petrol station in Thailand you do not even have to get out of the car. This, of course, is a blessing as most of the time it is too hot to stand the heat outside for too long.

This is not the same scenario in the UK. We fill up our own petrol tanks and then go and pay for it in the kiosk, where there will be only one or two workers.

[b]The Car Wash[/b]
You can sit back and relax at this one. You are greeted by one or two workers . (Where are they in England?). You drive the car onto a conveyor belt, turn off the engine and wait for it to take you through the car wash. At the other end there are the same two workers waiting to rub your car down with a shammy leather. All for the grand price of one pound.

[b]The Road Sweeper[/b]
We are used to seeing the road sweeper lorry out and about in the UK’s town and city streets driven by one man. In Thailand, this again is entirely different. They have a lorry too, but the difference is that the whole process is carried out by about seven workers. There is the driver, then in front of the lorry is a man washing the road with a big hose and following on behind are five women sweeping the road with long brooms.

[b]The Multi-storey Car park[/b]
Numerous numbers are involved in looking after this car park in Thailand. On the way in you collect a ticket from one or two workers, (one in a booth and one outside it) and then on each level in the car park is what we would call parking attendants, who salute and help you back into a space. The ‘parking attendants’ have whistles which they blow to signal safety or danger and to let you know when to stop moving. I have yet to work out the differences between the whistles. It all seems the same to me.

It is not unusual to ‘double park’ in the car parks. The brakes of these cars are left off, whilst the owners shop. This is to enable the attendants to shunt the cars back and forth to free the blocked in cars when their owners return.

On the way out of the car park, you give your ticket to another worker and then quite often there is a another man with a whistle to help you turn onto the main road.

In England, we would probably only have one or two workers, who would wander around the car parks making sure we have bought a parking ticket.

[b]The Shops[/b]
Thai shops are just teeming with workers waiting to help and serve you. This feels a bit strange coming from the UK where it can take what seems hours to find someone to assist you.

In the bigger shops, you have to leave your bags at the door with attendants who will give you a tag and look after your bags whilst you shop.

In Supermarkets, your bags are packed for you and the cashier will start serving the next customer whilst waiting for you to pay for your food, thus saving time. There are also many more checkouts which leads to few queues.

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