IDC Guide

Adventures of a Dive instructor part 2

Email updates with Dive center owner, this updates shows that during ‘low’ season in Phuket its tough to just ‘find’ divers / students and also you need a good accountant and shouldnt work without a work permit when working as a Dive Instructor.

Dive Community Weekly Update Monday, May 08, 2006
Monday – Picked up a free sample U/W Camera from Dive Supply, retail price 980 and now on display in shop.

Phoned Lawyer , No work permits yet

Rent for house paid (10000 Baht) [at the time this was a bargain  about £140 or $220 rend per month for a nice two bedroom bungalow] Gardner paid (300 Baht)
Tuesday – For my work permit I booked flights to KL for the 10th (return 12th), they cost THB 6,970 Chris came in for chat / invoice, said he may be able to put work my way (again 🙂 ) he has a lady and baby now !!!! instant family 🙂 Says he cancelled the IDC this month as he needed a break, got his truck back (8 weeks to fix !). Took cheque to shop landlady

Wednesday – Chris arrived very early and asked me if i want to do some work on his website (lots of little / minor changes) and do some admin (emailing etc) for him, i agreed and already have updated his site with some amendments, as well as exchanging links between both our websites which will be good for both the websites, using the  ‘diving links’ pages.

Website Updates: Do we have any better image files of the Dive community logo ? I tried playing around with the ones we have and converted the best gif to a jpg but still doenst look perfect

The shop rent woman came in (wanting a stamp on the cheque) and got another phone bill, so 400 baht needed for reconnection and outstanding bill which she kindly offered to pay for us, I gave her the money and she said she would return the bills / receipts

Arron send a customer to us intrested in a Similan Trip and gave him details, hope he comes back:) he wanted a trip to Koh Bon / SImilans for the 9th which I quoted him for after confirming with South Siam, chatted with him for a while and offered him my spare computer for the trip if he booked thru us as his had been stolen, Normally what forms do you get the liveaboard divers to sign?

Cleaner eventually came in today and before I had time to say we dont want her anymore she gave me a note saying he has another job and is busy ! she wants 1500 baht (does she normally get 2500baht ?) if so that sounds fair

Called for work permits, told to call tomorrow ! again !!!

Thursday – Discover Scuba enquiry by a couple, the pouring rain doesnt help the sales process. Confirmation of inclusion onto another dive website for the PADI IDC.

Called Lawyer for work permits (please phone back in 1 hour !!)
After phoning back they said phone tomorrow !!! this is getting stupid but I think you told me the Thai’s aren’t the most efficient !

It rained pretty hard today, will get the sandbags in the equipment room ready for the downpours of monsoon season

Was here late hoping someone would come in and the place suddently got invaded by big flies and just when i thought I had got them all out a massive frog came into the office ! strange times !!

Neither of this weeks customers that made inquiries have came back! starting to get a bit annoyed off with this, I want something to do (other than updating ours and Chris’ websites !!)

Enquiry about the beginner to pro course ( I met the bloke on the boat Diving when I first went out on it) and he remembered me from my card I gave him when we met.
Friday – Day started very well (0930) as the DSD couple came back as we were not going to open water we agreed a price of 4200 baht for both and then got them to fill out the dsd foms, the guy had 4 ‘yes’ answers to the medical questions so we had to go to the doctors to get a certificate, then went on to the Kata Big Rock pool, where I done a fantastic dsd, the couple were very happy and very pleased and kept saying they want to do the open water course but were going home tomorrow 🙁

When we were moving the kit to the van the police appeared and asked me if I had a work permit, I gave them the lawyers details / phone number, they phoned him and then wanted me to go to the police station with my passport and company details. Took the customers back to shop, cleaned gear and put it up to try and then went to Lawyers office to see Somjet (he told me the work permit is in the Government Permits office and would be with me on Monday) Then went to Police Station to await my fate ……………………..

To cut a long story short, I tried to convince them that I have a work permit but not with me as it was in the government / lawyers office. I spent 5 hours in the police station and eventually they gave me the charge sheet (working without a Work permit) despite my assurances and the lawyers assurances that it would be with them on Monday (as this friday is a public holiday here and the government agency is closed) They suggested Somjet came to the police station which he did (eventually) and after lots of negotiation it appeared that they wanted to charge me or else I could pay (bribe !) them, the police guy, somjet and myself then went to the coffee shop and they spent ages talking, eventually the guy left and Somjet said it would be 30,000 baht ! i said that was a joke and the maximum fine was 5000 THB and I wouldnt pay it, the police guy came back and after a while the fine / bribe / bung was to be 10,000 I said thats double the maximum fine and I have a work permit so shouldnt even get the full fine. Somjet told me that I would go to prison for the weekend and I agreed to that and was happy to go, even though he said ‘they would make me cry in the prison and beat me , with no showers and lots of mosquitos !’ I said I was happy to go. Police guy came back chatted with somjet. left his card and then left, somjet made loads of phone calls and then the fine was then 5000, I said I wasnt happy paying the maximum and somjet told me it was the best offer I would get so he paid 3000 and I paid 2000 so we owe him 3000 baht ! so a wasted and expensive day. I am even more annoyed about it as have been calling their office about the work permit all week ! [this turned out to be an ongoing problem using an incompetent and as it turned out ‘Corrupt’ Accountant]

Back in the Dive centre now (1900) and annoyed as you can imagine. The good news is that they said i could work until I get the work permit so on my day off (Sunday) I will work for Sea Bees as luckily they rang me today 🙂

Saturday – Boring day nothing going on, Have been chatting with a few guys who all seem to have had bad experiences with Somjet, it appears he is lazy and incompetant and has been guilty of taking money and not even applying for work permits. Have since spoken to some guys that were in the same situation as myself (Work permit pending from Somjet) but havent physically got it in their hands and have been told by somjet its ok to work, which is so clearly isnt when the police catch up with you. At least 4 people I have now spoke with have all started their business / work permit applications with Somjet (Nick and James from bar and Henrik from Scandinavian Boat, as some you might know) and have been forced to move to other lawyers / accountants due to his incompetence. All have only massive praise for the efficiency and speed of their new lawyers / accountants and all suggested we move from Somjet straight away.

Sunday – Working for Sea Bees (1 Open water students on last day)

Spoke to the guy that came in in the week about the Similan trip, he told me he was offered a much better trip / boat at a very very cheap price 4 days / 4 nights for 18900 baht including all gear and computers. It certainly looks a nice boat and the prices seem very keen and reasonable.

Monday (so far ………..) – Went to Somjet to get work permit (suprise suprise he hasnt got it yet) he wanted copies of my passport (again !!!!!) got them for him and he says he will phone this afternoon. Was told to look at the Phuket gazette by some of Somjets ex clients and it tells (on the front page) of the new work permit procedure by the work / employment agency in Phuket where renewals are done in 15 minutes !!! and new applications take no longer than 1 week, with only 1 visit to the agency required and this procedure has been in place for 4 weeks already. Have chatted to a guy that done his Work permit himself in 4 days with only 1 visit to the agency.

Somjet told me the tax demand was for the building owners so will give that to them today.

Dive center floor covered with little flies took about 1 hour to sweep them all up.

Did I tell you South Siam phoned and think wanted some money (they mentioned 9000 baht) I told them we have paid and as I was busy to phone back, they havent phoned back but im sure we dont owe them anything as I havent used them since you left and you paid them before you left.

Have been keeping track of everything spend (paid out) and received (not much !)

Current Funds
Cash 13580
Bank 13000 (roughly)

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