Friday, November 23, 2007


Khun Krissana sounded like she was ready to kill me. What about the students! We were good to you! We have a contract! I’m feeling very negative! Then she hung up on me. I have to e-mail her instructions in how to really be angry in English.

Than Pitak: I was anguished, not an act really, I like the guy, I love the school, now a burnt bridge, I do, did, hate to tell them so suddenly, I’m not comfortable with naked self-interest. I knelt at his desk like a student and prayed to him with my eyes closed. “I’m sorry! I could not say no! Faculty of Law! Money! Travel! I apologize! It’s so impolite! What could I do! I couldn’t say no!” He’d do the same, he knows it. The money alone would do it for a Thai man.

He too acted like I was asking: “we’ll have a meeting on Monday,” like to decide if they’ll let me go, like a summons. I’ll go on Monday, but only out of a misplaced, guilt-driven good-heartedness. He should only know what a contract with a lawyer is worth . . . we study hard about breaking those things . . . a California lawyer no less! Contracts in California aren’t worth the cost of the copies.

Anyway, try to enforce a service contract, I thought, no remaining court on earth would or could force me to work out the contract. I remember Contracts One, from law school, I remember the example case: forcing the work would be akin to slavery. The remedies are enjoining the work of the former employee for a competitor, and maybe, maybe damages. I’m going to a new world, get over it. Fight it out in court for what? With no chance of success against the biggest law faculty in Thailand. And where’s the down side for me? The worst that could happen is I lose my work permit and visa and I have to go home. Like Thailand was the only show in town. I could return immediately to Lao, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, shit, I could return immediately to Thailand . . . I have options. Besides, people don’t go to court when they know it can’t possibly give them what they want, like a teacher to come back. Yesterday’s gone.

I’m not comfortable with it, I signed the contract, but it was really just a formality to: 1) get me a work permit and visa; and 2) guarantee me a job for one year. What a laugh, like if they ran out of budget it wouldn’t be, sorry Charlie, goodbye. So, sorry Charlie, goodbye, but I do feel bad about my students, the fifteen or so who really profited from my teaching, out of like seven hundred and fifty.


Anonymous said...

So excited about your new position and in BKK! The change will do you good. I can't wait to hear the details.

Yours forever,

Ann of babyland

Anonymous said...

Hi, Fred. Knowing your integrity, this was a harder decision than you let on. Perhaps you might share some of that new additional wage with the old school for a while, so that could attract a teacher to fill your slot or pay the other teacher more to take up the slack until you are replaced. Just a thought. I hope you really are well. John J.