Asian work athic

Not so long time ago I got a graphic design project. One of the popular Thai hotels open branch in Siem Reap, and I am doing signage and wallpaper design for them. I love hotel architecture and idea in general. I think this place will be an absolute killer after they finish. But this post is not about the hotel, or design, or architecture. This post about work ethics in Asian countries. Problem is that I understand all of this more than I want to.

If you are from a normal country and have never ever experienced working with ex-USSR or Asian countries, you probably will not expect any of this. Unfortunately, I am from an ex-USSR Asian country, with the only difference we already had been taught some simple rules, at least if you are working for a big company.

So, my favorite topic. Lack of communication. I think I figured out how it works. If Asian employee doesn’t have anything important to tell you, positively important for them, they will not reply to your email, ever. For example, I made a concept design, I sent a presentation, and I didn’t get any reply for three days until I actually sent a request for feedback. My personal opinion this is a fault of coordinator, who stays between me and project manager. She is a perfect example of how not to become an employee of the month. I am happy to meet, and talk, with project manager and CEO of the company, but this girl… oh… give me a gun… Unpolite, unresponsive, and completely incompetent.

Yesterday’s morning I have sent another design and ask for a reply with comments asap, today’s morning I have sent wallpaper design with a request for feedback (again) for previous work, a couple of hours later she told me that file doesn’t work and she cannot discuss it with managers. 24 hours – this is the time she was needed to let me know that file doesn’t work!

Okay, let think that she is busy, and has other priorities apart this project. Companies where I used to work always reply for all e-mails, even if it will be “Thanks, got it. Will be in touch”. Asian companies – never. They just never reply. Doesn’t matter what topic is. Do you apply for a job, do you want to buy from them, do you offer your services….  It doesn’t matter, they just simply don’t think it is necessary to reply. If you are lucky enough, and you want to buy something from them, then possibly, maybe in some point of their life (it could be up to a year) they will reply. Applying for a job, they never give you feedback, or “thanks for a CV”, or “unfortunately you are not a right candidate”, or anything else. Even if you got an interview, if they not going to hire you, they will not send you any e-mail.

Real estate agents. It is a generally different system from UK, AU or NZ, and I know this system because it is same in Kazakhstan, but for Martin, it is something super weird and senseless. Once, about two years ago, when we first planned to move in Siem Reap we sent a request to RE agent about a house that we liked, he replied, one year and three moths after, saying that house occupied, but he has another one.

Anyway, I have about 500 different signs that I need to design, produce, and install before the end of June. I need people become more communicative and I have no idea how to do this. I try to organize a personal meeting here in Siem Reap between me and Thai managers and discuss every single detail in person. Otherwise, I don’t think we will finish in time. Wish me luck and fingers crossed.



One thought on “Asian work athic

  1. what the pandan? says:

    e-mail is a tricky beast in asia i have found. Everyone gets way too many emails because the world is CC’ed in every single email, and thats why people end up with mailboxes of 10,000 unread emails :O Thats maybe part of the reason why they are slow to reply to your (or my) emails!


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