How time flies and yet another week has passed by. Now its again time for me have a little break from my Thai Massage Room business routine here in Scotland, so that I can reflect on my early life back in Thailand.
You may recall that when I left off in Part 7, I had just been married and I was living in army accommodation with my husband Rung and my younger sister.
Well, eventually after we were marriage, I continued with my ironing and gardening work although I still felt that I had to do more to help to support us living in the Army accommodation.
After a few months I applied for a job in a large factory that made wigs and when I started there, I found that I was working alongside around 2,000 other female workers. The work in the factory was hard and the pay was not good but at least I felt that I was bringing in some extra regular income into the household.
I had been working there for some time when my entrepreneurial brain kicked in and I saw an opportunity as I was working alongside around 2,000 women who presumably, were as bored with their work as I was. I thought that as I have a captive female audience here of around 2,000 women; surely I must be able to sell them something!
I duly signed up as an agent for a cosmetic company, whose business was selling their products directly to the public through their Agents and this proved to be very popular with the ladies in the factory. I used to let them try the samples out and then collected their orders, which had to be paid for on payday at the end of each month.
My selling mostly took placed during my working hours and of course, probably not according to the normal employer/employee contractual arrangements!!! Every time I went to the loo, processions of ladies used to follow me so that they could try out some of my samples and give me their order
This way of selling and marketing went on for some time and my business was booming. I was probably earning as much from my cosmetic sales as I was for making wigs in the factory. Then!!! …....... one of the supervisors found out that I was operating a business selling to the employees and I was taken aside and warned about operating business in their working time.
Although I wasn’t sacked, the supervisor told me, that if I wanted to sell things that I should open a shop. I wasn’t so much concerned about having been warned; it was more like, 'Now that’s an idea'!!! J At that point my entrepreneurial brain kicked again and I thought, rather than working here in the factory, I could open a shop!!!
I continued working in the factory for a short period until I found out who owned the land directly opposite the factory and when I did, I negotiated renting the land from them and in time built a shop with a flat attached. Planning Permission and Building Control are far more relaxed in Thailand than they are here in Scotland!
I soon opened my shop and stocked many of the normal things such as milk and bread but also sold cosmetics and lots of other things. Because of my many friends and previous sales contacts in the factory, the shop became really popular and successful. I also became an agent for Tupperware and a Catalogue Sales Company and my entire business really took off although I had to work really long hours.
As a Tupperware Agent, similar to what used to be popular here in the UK, I arranged House Parties and sales events. I used to pack all of my samples into a large blue bag and loaded it on to my trusty motorcycle and travelled about from venue to venue selling the products. I turned out to be very successful at this and after a time, the company eventually made me a Supervisor and I ended up having around 20 Agents working for me.
At one point, my sales of cosmetics had become so successful and having sold more than 7,000 lipsticks in that year alone, as a bonus the company gave me flights, accommodation and spending money for a eleven-day holiday for me to travel to America.
I was absolutely delighted and really excited by this but unfortunately, the American Government (even before Trump’s day!) were not too keen at giving Thai nationals a Visa, so I couldn’t travel there. Thankfully, the cosmetic company agreed to change my holiday bonus to a 4-day holiday for 2 this time to Hong Kong instead so that meant that we were both able to go there.J
This was to be the first holiday that my husband Rung and I could have together and more importantly this was this first time that either of us had left the country or in fact had flown in a plane!
My shop continued to be a success and Rung and I eventually moved in to live in the flat attached to it while my younger sister stayed on in the Army accommodation until she left the High School and went to train as a teacher. Even although she eventually left us to go to her teacher training, I still continued to support her financially while she was there.
After many very successful years in the shop, unfortunately being married so young had its problems and Rung and I started to drift apart, partly due to the long and hard hours that I was working. At that time, Rung had 3 stripes (Sergeant) on his army uniform and I encouraged him to go back to college for more qualifications so that he could be promoted with a Star on his shoulder.
After he went back to college and I often saw group photographs with him in them and started to notice that in all of them, he was sitting next to the same girl….
Yes, you guessed it right!!!
I was aware that he was friendly with this girl and on one particular night, around 2am, I noticed that he still hadn’t come home. Despite being alone and it being in the early hours of the morning, I got on my motorcycle and drove across the town. I saw his car (the car that I had bought him, grrrr!!!!) parked outside and when I went in I found them both together!
Now I am a very understanding person but I was absolutely furious with him and because of that, I 'possibly' said the odd bad word or two about him (sorry!!!) and then returned home, probably at speed on my motorcycle and without him.
When I got back home, I immediately packed that was probably no more than a Supermarket size bag with some of my possessions and left the house with all of my money that I could find.
Before I left the house however, I did manage to ‘accidentally of course' smash every single glass, cup and plate in the house that I could find. How careless of me! J
Having reached the Railway Station with nowhere to go I had a decision to make was I to travel west and head for Bangkok or east and head for Ubon. I stayed in the station for many hours pondering my future when it came to me that I still had a business to run with its usual demands. I was also responsible for around 20 Tupperware Agents so that realisation made up my mind for me, I had to return home, despite the broken glasses, cups and plates that I had left there!
Well on that cheery note, I suppose that I should get ready for my next client at The Thai Massage Room & Spa. Just as well that it isn’t Rung though, as even after all of these years, it may not just be glasses, cups and plates that may get broken, accidents do happen you know!
Looking forward to seeing you again soon with Part 9.
Posted by Noi McIntyre on September 09, 2019