What are you thinking…… Really!!

Let me give you a little insight to the way Vietnamese people thing by giving you an example of what happened to me about 6 months ago. I was in the process of remodeling and renovating and had decided on how things would be done. There was a wall that was painted in a very bright green color. Those of you who have been here know how the Vietnamese love their greens and blues. Well, I do not share that love and wanted a wall painted beige. I went through the color catalog and selected the perfect shade. I had to go away for a few days to Saigon so I had them repeat all of my instructions so everything was crystal clear. Yes, This is the color, yes, this is the wall, and yes it will be finished in 2 days. Great!! Off to Saigon I went without a worry in the world.  I sat on my favorite corner in Saigon sipping on a large Tiger, and watching a young man do a fire show when I thought I had better check to make sure everything is going OK. After all, this is Vietnam and things can have a tendency to go in a totally different direction than planned. I was told yes, yes, everything was OK and the paint was being delivered as we spoke. The painting would be done on schedule. Ahhhhh no headaches I thought and continued to clear up a little business the next day. Again wondering if everything is going well, I call and am told, no problem, everything will be finished by the time I get home and that they were doing an excellent job spending a lot of time on detail. I have to agree that they worked very hard and did their best to please me….. so much that this is where the problem lies.

I came back to find a wall painted in bright blue. What!!?!?!?!? I had made sure that they understood the color I wanted. They had indeed understood, however, the company was out of stock. Knowing I wanted the job done and wanting to please me, the selected another color. They did not want to bother me by phoning in Saigon and the color they chose was a very nice blue that everybody else in the country uses. They worked very hard to make the wall the best blue they could and were proudly ready to show it off when I returned.

Well I did return and was absolutely dumfounded by what I saw. There before me was a wall that looked almost exactly as ugly as when I left except it was blue. What happened?? Of course I got angry I started asking how they could have been so stupid that they would paint it in a totally different color than what I chose. Now I am offending them. What? Stupid? No….. They answer that the color I wanted was not in stock and they knew the job had to be done so they used blue instead. “Why did you not tell me when I called”? I asked. The answer was they did not want to bother me, but look at the great job they did. I do not care how good the job is…. I want beige!! The say… but they are out of stock and blue is better. No!!! Come back tomorrow and bring beige paint. Now I get OK….no problem…. Please pay xxxxxx. And tomorrow we will start for you. Huh?? The job is not finished. I want a different color. In their minds the job was finished ant it was also done very well. Just because I did not like blue was not reason enough to cause grief and not pay them, after all, the job was done and the color looked good to them. AAAAGGGGGRRRRRRHHHHH!!!!!!! I have encountered this kind of thought time and time again. The latest is with my brand new Plasma TV. IT went into the shop because it would not switch on. Not a big problem, however, It came back with a totally different problem and I suspected it was not even my TV. We called the Company and told them that the TV had been returned with bad problems and we thought thre may have been some kind of mistake with the unit. I had spent a lot of time trying to center the picture but It could not be done. The next day a tech person came out and did the exact same thing I did. After no luck he called the store, and we were told another tech would be out to fix it the next day. The next day arrived and the licensed tech did the exact same thing as the apprentice who had done the exact same thing as I, and now we have been told that another tech will be here tomorrow. I have a funny feeling that my TV will go back to the shop and I will not see it for a while AGAIN!! Perhaps I will get a TV returned painted Blue!!

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Tour designer and Guide specializing in off the beaten track tours of Vietnam

5 thoughts on “What are you thinking…… Really!!

  1. Ouch Owee ! Dont remind me.Anyway Happy 134th Canada Day.Say hello to dear Quien,gosh i miss her smile,and those egg rolls,sugar cane juice,fresh soya milk,prawns,fish ladies,haircuts,s**t stop it!

  2. Sounds like a dose of “The Blues” mate,actually,the beige is lovely!Like the fans as well.Say hello to Quien,miss her huge smile.Dont know what all the fuss is about Hoi An.I enjoyed Nha Trang so much.I am sure one would love Nha Trang,even if one didnt like seafood.How are the lovely fishwives?

  3. Owen,

    I experience a similiar issue when the hotel guy trying to tune in the no-connection internet in our room, i told him not to waste anytime as i trusted my husband’s judgment more than his. It annoyed me that everyone trying to be an expert without admitting of knowing nothing. Maybe labour is cheap and it is no harm to try!

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