July 17, 2017 1:14 pm JST

The 'best job in Thailand'

Disabled student lands dream role in country hooked on social media

MARIMI KISHIMOTO, Nikkei staff writer

Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, a 21-year-old university student, won the best job in Thailand.

BANGKOK -- When a hospital just north of Bangkok advertised the "best job in Thailand" recently, it was easy why they felt they could make such a bold claim.

You might wonder what could be so appealing about checking on patients and updating a Facebook page, but the "best" part of the job -- 1 million baht ($29,300) a month for six months -- would leave you in little doubt.

After being inundated with video clips from understandably eager applicants, the hospital chose Nitcharee Peneakchanasak, a 21-year-old university student who had lost both legs in a train accident six years ago. Despite all she had been through, Nitcharee remained cheerful, which apparently played a big role in landing her the job.

The insanely generous offer came from the World Medical Hospital in Nonthaburi Province. The purpose was, the hospital explained, to let other hospitals and society know what patients really need and how the hospital is responding.

Thais are world famous for their love of social media. So much so that a group of Chinese men was arrested in the country in mid-June for allegedly using hundreds of mobile phones and over 300,000 SIM cards just to "like" specific items on Facebook over and over again -- a scheme later exposed as a "click farm."

In a country like Thailand, it is imperative for companies to get their names trending. The final stage of the selection process for the "best job" was broadcast on TV and the hospital's Facebook page received over 13,000 likes.

Yet because social media wields such enormous influence, fake information can quickly turn people off.  Something creative and original that pushes all the right buttons are desired.

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