Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Nu-Nova Teacher

So, for the past few weeks I have been getting used to working in Japan. It has been a interesting experience so far. I have learned very quickly that I have so many bosses that I am pretty much owned by everyone. The layers of BS one has to go though to get an answer can cause a person to stop asking questions all together. There seems to be a system for everything in this country! Even if a detailed system is not needed the Japanese tend to set up a complex way to achieve even the most simple task. This useless way of getting anything done would drive me crazy in the states but I try my best to humor the Japanese and their cultural differences. With that said I am one of the few, the brave, the Nu-Nova teacher.

I must admit that I had my doubts when first accepting a position with a company with had a complete meltdown due to one greedy bastard. As the old saying saying goes `shit flows down hill` and greed can infect an entire company from top to bottom. As the dust settles and a new company, G-Com, is attempting to revive Nova from the mess it got itself into I find myself coming into a company which to learning how to walk again. G-Com has been in a mad rush to get the company back up and running. This mad rush has caused a lot of confusion within the company as a whole. I usually have to ask at least three people before I get a straight answer about anything. There seems to be a feeling that Nova wants all teacher to just, `trust us and do what we say. Everything is gonna be ok.` I expected this kind of attitude from a Japanese company. It was explained to me by several people that in Japan the workers are not to complain or even ask questions. Loyalty is the name of the game and I have never been loyal to any company in my life. I know better than to trust someone who tells me they are my boss.

As for the job itself I do not mind it at all. It is actually fun in someways. It does feel good to be working a steady job again. Although, wearing a suite and tie and playing it straight all day is a bore for me. I have to deal with a lot of squares on my way to work, but they usually do not brother me. We are all just in a hurry to get to a place none of us want to be. My first two weeks I taught way out in B.F.E. at a place called Sagamihara. It is all the way past Yokohama. I had a tough two hour train ride to and from work for the past two weeks. It is a real bitch but I did it. I have been moved to Oji which is much closer to Adachi-ku. Actually, for the time being, I will be at Oji three days a week and another place called Nerima two days a week. Off days are Tuesdays and Fridays. The off days are a real drag but I can get used to it over time.

The students have proven themselves to be very nice. They actually took a good liking to me. The Japanese tend to be easy to teach, at least at a private English school. Some are shy while others are very talkative They do tend to want to keep their head in the book too much. It is a challenge to get them to focus on listening and speaking English rather than looking at the book the entire time. The lower level English speakers are real sweet and break my heart at times. They try so hard to speak English but due to their lack of experience with the language they struggle so much. I avoid saying they are doing a bad job because I want them to enjoy the lesson and being taught by a native-speaker. The Japanese can be real sensitive and up-tight at times so I have to walk on egg shells with some of the students.

Overall the experience is ok for the most part. It will take me some time to get used to, although I will never like it, daily working life in Japan. I did want adventure and a new direction in my life so now I have it for what it is worth.


Jordan said...

Two hour train rides are killer. I've had my fair share of them so I can relate. Hang in there, it will get easier!

billywest said...

At least you can take the Chuo rapid back home from Nerima.