Tom had recently been promoted to a middle manager at a widget manufacturer when the news came that the company was going to be outsourcing 50% of its positions to Thailand. The employees whose jobs were at stake were notified and given the choice between losing their jobs or relocating overseas. Tom’s position was one of those positions. Due to loose regulations and differing business practices, Tom’s company could only guarantee his continued employment, nothing more; he might be subjected to reduced wages, unpredictable hours, and who knew what else. But this job had taken Tom several years to get – he wasn’t about to quit and start over somewhere else. He agreed to the relocation and any changes they demanded and signed a contract to that effect. Shortly thereafter he was shipped out to Lampang – and had no idea what awaited him there.
Tom didn’t speak Thai, and what appeared to be a routine physical turned out to be something much more severe when he awoke in the Thai hospital room as an anatomical female from head to toe. The bastards apparently reserved the right to make any physical changes to Tom as well, and did so, providing a secretary for one of their regional managers. He was instructed that he would start Monday and that the changes they had made were irreversible. Baffling depression, Tom (now named Taeng) came to work every morning in the skirt and heels that were required of her. Unable to read Thai, her tasks were color-coded and earned her 45 Baht a day, nearly $1.50. She wasn’t allowed to use any of the phones, and even if she was, she wouldn’t understand any of the numerical characters. She was trapped here now, possibly forever, leaving her with plenty of time to think about why she didn’t just quit.