The Phnom Pen on hired help…..

Up here in Cambodia there is an abundance of cheap labour. And I do mean CHEAP. Adam…you would love doing business here – your average construction worker earns $60 a month and that’s 6 days / 10 + hours a day. Casual rates for unskilled workers run at $1 an hour. With the Global Economic Melt Down forcing Cambodia’s garment sector into complete breakdown and mass sackings a daily event, there are now more Khmer women looking for work than ever and many of them will probably end up back in the provinces tending the fields or maybe with some luck they will get a domestic help job in a house with some pale skins.

And herein lies the topic of today’s rant.

What I don’t get here is the average expats desire to hire a fleet of help the moment they arrive. There seems to be this inherent “I have just moved to a third world country and I can now afford a bum wiper so I am not going to lift one of my fat greasy fingers to do a single thing that I would normally do back home” attitude. I don’t buy into the ” I am too busy” bullshit nor do I buy into the “I am supporting the local economy by hiring locals” crap or the “It’s part of my package” dross. Face it ; you are being lazy you fat whale. And I am not saying this out of envy..I can afford to hire staff but I was well trained by my parents to do my own chores.

Here in order, is my list of hired help wanker bingo terms;

Driver ; ” I will send my Driver around for you” . WANKER Rating 10 / 10. Only CEOs or billionaires have drivers. Having one here reeks of either being a wannabe or being too scared to tackle the Phnom Penh traffic yourself.

Cook; ” I must get home…our cook is whipping up some fusion Khmer“. WANKER Rating 10/10. Obviously you and your wife are shit house in the kitchen but why advertise it ? Do a course or practice in the kitchen together.Stay and have another beer you poof.

Guard; “I will have the guard open the gate for you and then wash your car if you like ?”. WANKER rating 8/10. granted, some areas of Phnom Penh are dodgy but the “guards” here are 17 year old kids who are either asleep or doing their homework. If a gun toting home invader rocks up and wants in – you are fucked so save the money.

Gardener – “Our gardener is outside cleaning the pool”. WANKER Rating 7/10.Ok…granted….I am jealous you have a pool but get out in the sunshine and scoop those leaves yourself you lazy bastard. Then go for a swim to cool down. I used to love doing the garden back home.

Nanny – “Our nanny(s) are taking the kids out to the Water Park this weekend”. WANKER rating 10/10 ( for more than one nanny) 7/10 ( for singular nanny ).Yeah…great..way to delegate parenting of your own child. Nannies are OK if you have multitudes of kids to deal with but if you have one kid….WANKER !

Cleaner – ” Our cleaner does all my skid marks” WANKER RATING ; neutral. For some, this staffing level is an absolute necessity and whilst we don’t have a cleaner and do it all ourselves, I am OK with this. Let’s face it…who wants to clean the bloody house – it is way too hot for that.

Laundry Maid – See above.

So there you have it. Contentious issue I bet but you know what I really hate ?

“I was showing the new Laundry Maid around the house yesterday and I caught my driver having it off with my gardener and I was horrified because I thought the Nanny and the Guard were the only staff ( apart from the cook and the cleaner ) who were getting up to no good.It is so hard to find good help…”

WANKER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wanker Bingo is usually played in a boardroom during a presentation and the rules are just like regular bingo, but instead of crossing out numbers, you cross out those annoying buzzwords and phrases that people use to sound important.

“By keeping our fingers on the pulse we can begin to interface and streamline the viable option scenario before marrying the synergies without reinventing the wheel” BINGO !!

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4 Responses to The Phnom Pen on hired help…..

  1. James says:

    Nothing wrong with having a driver.

    Mine is provided for me by my work because they are scared I would crash their car otherwise.

  2. Well…as long as he isn’t up to anything with your cook 😉

  3. Rob Carry says:

    Hahaha, brilliant!

  4. Ville says:

    Absolutely hilarious and well said 🙂

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