Former employees of Skew, accused of "organized crime," have a few fighting words of their own

Rage, befuddlement, shock and a man who one poster described as a "total and complete loon." If you've read the fifty comments following my post earlier this week in which I interviewed Ton Phairatphibon, the owner of Skew, which closed abruptly last Sunday night in the wake of what Phairatphibon describes as "organized crime" -- his catchphrase for employee theft -- then you know that several of those comments came from the very same employees who Phairatphibon insists are responsible for Skew's downfall. And many came from Phairatphibon himself, who wrote, among other things, that he's a "loon on a mission to give hope to businesses that are moral."

Two days ago, I contacted one of Skew's former employees, Rebecca Dooley, who said that she and her fellow coworkers would be gathering for a meeting (a much tamer meeting than what apparently transpired Sunday night, according to some commenters) to discuss the situation, and what, if anything, they planned to do about it.

The group's unedited response to Phairatphibon's accusations -- interestingly, he's never mentioned by name -- is on the following page.

In the meantime, I've been contacted by Phairatphibon, both by phone and e-mail, and he tells me that he's currently in the "coo coo hospital," where, he reveals, "they are saying that I'm a danger to society because of my passion." My phone just rang; he's still there. Get well soon.

Recently, the newly opened restaurant, Skew, was forced to close after only a month of business. Unfortunately, this unexpected closure left the Skew employees without jobs. More unfortunate was the negative light under which we were portrayed in recent news articles.

In an effort to rectify the defamation of those employed at Skew, several issues must come to light. The first of these issues involves a statement declaring that all of Skew's employees are addicts and/or parolees. In reality, the employees of Skew are just like the employees of any other restaurant. The Skew employees are intelligent, hardworking individuals who care a great deal about their work place and those with whom they work.

Implications have arisen suggesting that Skew's closure is the result of untrustworthy employees. Anyone who has entered Skew would immediately realize the falseness of this suggestion. More than just coworkers, we are a family. In only one month's time we have become close friends who support each other in and out of the work place. Even during this trying time, we have all continued to inspire each other and assist each other to find new jobs.

Skew's closure was an ill-fated event, but the employees involved were victims, and nothing more. Fortunately, the good people who make up the former staff and customers will move on carrying with them the good memories of the brief but enjoyable time spent at Skew.

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