Stickman Readers' Submissions April 16th, 2013

Do All Bargirls Hate Their Jobs?

A while ago Stickman responded to a readers sub saying that when you speak Thai, and the bargirl knows that you're not going to barfine – then the truth comes out. And all the bargirls without fail say the exact same thing: they hate their jobs and would rather do something else. They do it to support their family. They do it to support their lifestyle. They're only doing it until something else comes up. While I have no doubt all of that is true…

I've just finished a stint up in the mines in western Australia and I hate to say it but I've noticed some disturbing similarities with what most of the workers up there say and with what Stickman's been hearing from the bargirls on his rounds…

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I'm from the UK and am an overseas worker in Australia. Times are hard back home and people would kill for a position like the one I have in the mines. "Money for jam" is what most people say here. The conditions are extreme – heat up to the mid 40s most of the year and 10 hour stints are the norm. This is offset by the fact that the mining companies have a tendency to over employ to make up for people going home on leave and also for safety issues. No one's allowed to do anything risky or bad for your health. It's been said by many that the work up there is 10 times easier than the work you would do in the city, and I'd have to agree. Of course no one gives you AUS $150K per year for nothing. You must spend 4 to 6 weeks up in the middle of nowhere, away from civilization, living in a camp away from normal society. I've done it for 3 years and it does definitely take a psychological toll on you. I'm not moaning or giving out because of the humongous amount of money to be earned up there. Nothing in life is free. Ever. Anyways, I've already clarified that the money is huge, and that there must be a sacrifice made for this money. So where are the similarities with the bargirls?

Everyone up there hates their jobs. Every single man (there's very few women – and they love it up there because of all the attention) bar none says that they would rather be at home with their family. The amount of moaning and negativity that goes on up there has to be seen to be believed. This is coming from people with little qualifications getting AUS$150K per year. For picking up crap off a building site. A lot of the guys up there get trapped and end up supporting a lifestyle that means they are relying on that income. Big cars and swimming pools etc. A lot of them are supporting family. A lot of them work up there for years and have nothing to show for it… am I drawing any parallels here?

The clincher for me is that with all the easy money the attitudes of some of these workers is truly deplorable. Have you heard that they went on strike because they didn't want to have to change their rooms when they came back from R & R? (which would have resulted in more room for more workers getting the same benefits as they did). They went on strike and caused a lot of money to the mining companies (I'm not going to cry on a load of billionaires losing money). It's a well known fact among the overseas contingent on the WA mines (which is growing all the time) that the guys who are up there for years become so used to the nature of work up there, that they wouldn't survive working in the city – where it is a lot more demanding. What I'm saying is: when you give people lots of money and expect little in exchange they become spoiled lazy brats. Now I'm not painting all the workers on WA mines as spoilt lazy brats BUT I do have first hand experience up there and I have to call it like I see it. There is a huge percentage of the workers up there that I could qualify as being spoilt lazy brats. Sorry to say it but it's true. I'm not saying they are in a majority but it's pretty close. I'm about to leave that life and I can honestly say that I won't ever go back.

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Now I'm not for one second saying that the Thai bargirls have an easy life. They clearly don't. However I do find it an interesting comparison to two workplaces that, although not connected, bear striking similarities.

I have first-hand experience of one of the workplaces and ZERO experience of being a Thai prostitute. So if anyone out there accuses me of being overly harsh or critical – you better be a bargirl. I honestly don't know of the difficulties these girls must put up with but I'm pretty sure they are significant.

But if it wasn't worth it – would they be doing it? I really don't have an answer to that however it is an interesting question. How much do you need to support a child in Thailand? Is buying an Iphone part of the plan on using bar work to raise your standard of living? Or is it a reward to yourself for all the crap you put up with? I really don't know. I only know that you can't eat IPhones.

I recently saw a couple of documentaries on Thailand and in one of them the bargirl claims to have earned $4 a day working 7 days a week as a lowly factory worker. Maybe Stickman knows for sure, but this sounds pretty low to me? <Those numbers *were* plausbile but wages have jumped in recent years and 300 baht ($10) a day is supposed to be the minumum todayStick> I know for a fact that factory workers in electronics firms in some parts of SE Asia get 3 times that, which is still pretty bad – but they can live on it. Anyway, the girl in the documentary
claims that she had to spend 80$ per month on her keep and sent the rest back for the upkeep of her child. No wonder she started sleeping with older foreign men for money. She eventually scored big time by attracting a hapless idiot who sold everything
in the UK and bought her a pig farm. I'm sure you've all read similar stories.

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Anyways, I've pretty much said all that I want to say. I guess you could say the point of my piece is that, yes, the bargirls hate their jobs. But who the fxxk enjoys going to work? The decline in "service" in the bars has been well documented on this site in recent years. I don't really care for it as I think it's a pretty depressing situation for both the men and women involved but don't start with the "I hate my job" business. The money these girls can earn is pretty big. Especially considering the cost of living over there. That may sound hard hearted and it is. If these girls had access to free education and opportunities like we did in the west I honestly don't believe there would be as many available women for bar work. And that in itself speaks for itself. Poverty has a nasty habit of bringing out the worst in people.

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