Tag Archives: work

The Inscrutable Thais

I have been living in Thailand for around a month now. I have visited here many times before, but this is the first time I am actually living here. As such, my interaction with Thais has been quite different from other times and for most part, I have found them to be inscrutable. However some aspects of their (unique) character has struck me, which I would describe below:

Thai People, PC: mythaland.blog
  1. Most Thais have their main social circle at work. Unlike people who come to office just to work and then go home, most Thais are actually pretty good friends with their colleagues. They even spend extended hours at work (even if it is not needed) just to be close to their colleagues/friends. I found this very weird for the first few days; people at work well past dinner, but then I realized it is more of a “social” thing rather than an “overwork” thing.
  2. Thais love ice in everything. All their drinks are 70% ice. Even some of their desserts are full of ice. Whatever ice is left after enjoying the drink/dessert, they happily eat.
  3. Thais are extremely polite. Most Thais (especially in the service industry) will go out of their way to be courteous. On top of that, they are also very non-confrontational which means you will hardly see fights or arguments on the streets.
  4. For some reason, most of Bangkok malls are full of banks. Most malls have branches of all the major banks and they are open for extended hours and over the weekend. Strangely, the main branches elsewhere have short hours on weekdays and are closed on weekends.
  5. Thais don’t seem to be very fond of wearing jewelry. Also, jewelry stores are not very common in markets or malls (Unlike India) and can only be found in some specific areas.
  6. Thais love the colour pink. Unlike other countries, where the colour Pink would be considered overtly feminine, in Thailand, pink is common everywhere. You will find things like pink clothes (common among both genders), pink cars, pink branding, pink bikes, pink buildings everywhere.
  7. Thais love air conditioning. Be it offices, restaurants, malls, taxis, air conditioning is typically dialed down to an insanely low temperature. Most people from other countries would find indoors too chilly.
  8. Out of all the countries I have been to, Thailand easily has the highest ratio of women in the workforce. Almost everyone in the service industry is a woman, in the tech industry, the ratio is much higher than other countries & women are present at all levels. In fact 15-20% of taxi drivers I get here are also women, which, frankly, I have never seen anywhere else.

Looking forward to getting to know them even better over the next few years.

Obsession & Burnout-2

Obsession & Burnout are back to haunt me. I have blogged about it before, but this time, things are a bit worse.

So, the background is, that after months of doing very light-level work, I have been handed a challenging project. Not an impossible project, not an easy one, moderately challenging. Others would be excited for this opportunity (actually were). However, I have already started obsessing about it all the time. My free time everyday, weekends and sleep time has been taken over by obsessively thinking about this project.

Some of this thinking is productive; that is I do accomplish some positive outcome, but most of it is irrational fear. Haven’t slept much last few nights.

I believe the reasons for this are

  1. Lack of useful distractions away from work because of the lockdown (more apparent during the weekend). Examples of this includes going out to spend time with family, friends & family friends. I have not much to look forward to, all week.
  2. Lack of physical boundaries between work and leisure. Earlier, work happened in the office (mostly) and leisure happened elsewhere. Now there’s only one place for both (home), so it has become difficult to switch off from work mode when the day or week is over.
  3. My usual hang ups about obsession, that were always a part of me.
  4. Uncertainty about future events, some of which are beyond my control.
  5. Fear of failure, which is more or less irrational.
  6. Hectic schedule with both parents working and trying to handle a kid.
  7. Guilt of not spending enough time with family, forcing that to happen and being absent emotionally even then and not doing work either.
  8. Thinking about all the above amplifies the condition.

I plan to follow the steps below to deal with this situation

  1. Practice mindfulness everyday, and make it a part of daily life and log mood daily.
  2. Use organisation hacks like making lists for everything, tracking all To Dos etc.
  3. Writing down things that cross my mind at the end of the work day and when not working and can be done later.
  4. Establish chronological boundaries when it comes to work.
  5. Establish physical boundaries within the house when it comes to work (This might prove a bit difficult)
  6. Finding an engaging hobby (TV generally doesn’t help) to take my mind off such thoughts during leisure time.
  7. Wait for this to blow over, as such phases don’t last more than a few weeks.

For now, I just want one night of good sleep, to recharge my health and sanity, for which I will use a friend’s help.