Interesting day yesterday…
I’m in the video store picking out something to watch. I get a call from the guy whose internet shop I go to often.
He says he doesn’t like some things I wrote about him on my web site.
I’m confused, because I don’t remember writing anything about him (yet), but I knew it was something I really wanted to make time for since the place was an incredible find for me – I get fast internet, air con, comfortable place, always music playing… and the guy is a business genius. We talk about a lot of topics… I was beginning to think that we’d be friends for a long time…
But, he’s telling me he doesn’t like something that was written – he is telling me the link he followed off my home page to get to the page…
He tells me that there are two things on my site that are not good for his business… I’m struggling in my mind to think – what the hell did I write about this guy? Honestly, I remembered NOTHING that I wrote about him or his business.
He tells me that I said I don’t like the coffee…
Hmm, wait a second – yeah, that’s true – how the hell does he know that? I MUST HAVE written something.
Now I’m afraid of what the hell I wrote because when I write and post to my blog or create a web page I’m doing it on the fly. It might take me 20 minutes to create a page and post it to the blog or site. I’ve written 1100 pages on www.thaipulse.com. I’ve posted 300 times at this blog. I’ve got other blogs that I’ve posted over 200 more blog entries at. I typically write a couple to a few thousand words per day. I’ve had a few instances now where I’ve forgotten something that I’ve written.
Writing everyday on different topics has that effect.
This was one of those times – and I was regretting having written anything since I must have written about him and his business when I didn’t know him at all. Likely, the first day I met him back on August 11th or 12th. That was 60-70 days ago.
Now, usually I remember things I’ve written – at least that I have written something at all. This time I didn’t remember as he’s telling me what else he didn’t like about what I wrote…
He said, you tell people that they may be able to get free WIFI from my coffee shop if they stay at the hotel next door on the 2nd floor.
Yes… now I’m starting to remember that I wrote something about this place.
Yeah, I wrote that… I don’t have any problem with saying that. It’s not negative about his store. It’s not going to affect him. If it’s 5 pm to 9am you might be able to get free internet… because he’s not OPEN. That was my point… but, sure anyone can get free WIFI anywhere there’s an open network – and I write about those places since we as visitors are constantly searching for a good internet connection and especially free WIFI.
If a shop owner doesn’t want someone to have free WIFI – restrict the network… and cut off the WIFI at night when the store isn’t open.
So, I don’t think that was such a big deal to him… not sure.
The other thing was, he was ordering lunch from next door at the hotel. They brought it over…I ordered kow pad moo – fried rice. In Krabi the price for fried rice is 30-35 baht. I stayed at that hotel before and I had room service… they charged me 30 or 35 baht – I forget which.
When I got it at his shop from this hotel he told me the price was 60 baht. I stopped for a second, going to ask WHY? But, I shut up and ate it. Making mental notes that I wouldn’t be eating anything from there again. I’d rather walk 5 meters to the hotel and get it for 30 baht.
As he’s telling me about this – he tells me that the hotel charged that much, he didn’t add anything onto it.
Oh, my mistake.
I thought I distinctly heard in Thai that the woman said 35 baht. They spoke back and forth quickly between them and then he said, “60 baht”.
So – I figured, of course, that he added the extra as a commission for eating it at his inet cafe.
I guess I was wrong… (and I shouldn’t have written it)
I still hadn’t the slightest idea what all I’d written. I was embarrassed that I had forgotten that I wrote about his shop and I was anxious to see what I’d written…
First stop after the vide place was a travel agency where my g/f and I were to drop off some vietnamese rolls that she made for the girl there. As we’re sitting there she gets a call from…. YOU GUESSED IT… This guy was calling her because he found her on my site. He was asking all kinds of questions about me, where I work, where I came from (live?), how does she know me… etc.
Then as she gets off the phone to tell us what happened she tells us that he tried to call my girlfriend’s work place! We called there later that night and found out that he did call and try to find out more information!
She also tells us that the guy is going to meet with the owner of another internet cafe in town that I wrote a negative review of… did they know each other before? I don’t know – but they know each other now.
The other inet cafe gave me some horrible service one day… I wrote up exactly what happened in a blog post, you may have seen it here… The owners were rude to me and they tried to add on a huge extra payment after I had bought the wifi ticket, having neither told me about the extra charge or having it written on their sign for WIFI. Anyway, that’s another story.
I went home and pulled it up on my site…
I did write a BIG page of information…
The entire page was filled with good information about the place, the owner as the ultimate Thai businessman… the fast, consistent uploads and downloads. The awesome atmosphere. The guy’s accomplishments as web host business, coffee / inet shop owner, drummer, drum instructor, band member… etc.
I counted 19 POSITIVE THINGS versus the 2 negative things… I didn’t like the coffee, and the charge for the rice was way high.
Well, I’ve since changed the page to be ‘nicer’, but I’m not sure he’ll be happy with it as it is. Hopefully he’ll answer my email, SMS, or phone call today.
When I write something about a business in Thailand I’m writing to help other visitors. It helps them to know about free WIFI. It helps them to know, the service sucked at a place or the owners were rude, or they tried to tack on extra charges AFTER you already buy something that requires the extras… If visitors to Thailand shared information about the places they stayed, ate, visited, etc – we’d all have a much better experience in Thailand. That’s my idea…
I know it’s right from my perspective, but from a Thai person owning a business perspective?
Anyway – so, that was my yesterday.
Be careful if you have a site where you’re critical of Thai people or businesses. I keep thinking I understand the concept of “face” but you know what, I STILL don’t get it. I still don’t understand the MAJOR importance it has in Thais’ minds.
I don’t think I’m ever really going to understand.
It may well be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in a Thai person’s life… be very careful about stepping on it, even if it’s softly…
My sincere apologies to my friend…
I’ll seriously consider everything I write that may affect someone’s business in a negative way in the future and I’ll tone it down as much as possible while still giving good information to those traveling to Thailand on vacation.