Saturday, March 28, 2009

It Is Not All Good Times and Screwing Off

People come to live in Japan for many different reasons. Actually, they come for just about any reason a person can think of these days. There are people who come for a short vacation or just to check out Japan for a few days. Some people come for a few months or even a year or two just to live in a different country. Whatever a person`s reason for coming to Japan I must make one thing very clear: if you are going to work in Japan please take the shit serious!

I have noticed that there are many people who come to work in Japan and treat it like a damn summer camp or something. They tend to not take their job very serious at all. What they forget it that the company they work for is trying to turn a profit and maintain a successful business. When people treat their job like a fucking summer camp get-a-away, all they are doing is getting in the way of some very serious business. While, this does not apply to everyone, there seems to be a large number of lazy jerk-offs who make very little attempt to do their job well. Why would a person come all the way to Japan to work and treat their job like a damn day at a candy store?

From within my own company I am half-tempted to burn some people a new ass for this kind of shit. It is going to become necessary very quickly to weed out the fuck-offs. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I am quickly realizing that maybe some of them do not deserve to be given any wiggle room. What is so hard about coming to work everyday and trying to do your best? Is this really a struggle for some people? There seems to be something about Japan which makes some of my fellow gaijin not give a damn about their job.

So far, I have used the method of leading by example. I come to work and play the role of `model instructor.` I do things which many instructors may not know they should be doing. As I do it, I ask them questions like, `Do you know about...` or `Have you been doing...` If they tell me, `I had/have no idea about that,` I show them what I am doing as well as explaining how it can help them. They are responding pretty well; although there will always be a few jerks who will never listen to anything. It still surprises me how so many people working in Japan lack any motivation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March 2009 Japan Blog Matsuri: Fast Times In Japan

Okay so this is coming a day late and a dollar short but I am getting it up for the world to enjoy. It has been a busy yet fast week for me. A lot of things going down both professionally and personally. When living life in the fast lane some things must be put on the B-list. So, here we go with this months Japan Blog Matsuri.

This month the topic is fast times in Japan. We have got a few articles from people how have decided to bare all for you enjoyment.

Billy at Tune In Tokyo offers up a interesting tale of being mistaken for trying to smuggle a little pot into the land of the raising sun.

Shane at The Nihon Sun shares a slightly painful experience of trying to talk a Japanese taxi driver into stopping at the right place.

Loco at Loco In Yokohama reveals an experience on the train involving some dirty pervert and a school girl.

McAlpine from the Soul of Japan shares with us all his love of being a bully to just about anyone. Even if they did nothing to him at all.

Nick over at the long countdown offers up a collection of off beat experiences he has had over the years in Japan.

John Turningpin at Mad Tokyo shares the oddity of a night out on the bar scene.

And just because I am such I nice guy(LOL) here is one final late entry to the March Matsuri.

Kanmuri from Turning Iwatean had the pleasure of being asked `Does this ramen have human flesh in it?`

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hayfever Battle and The Helpful Japanese

I never had a problem with Hayfever until I started living in Japan. I do not know exactly why, but I am suffering pretty bad. There must be some tree or flower which does not grow in America which is beating the crap out of my immune system. It all started a few days ago when I woke up with a sore throat. I did not pay it much mind and on with my day. Well, after a enjoyable evening of drinking in Asakusa I woke up the next morning feeling as if I was going to kill over. I knew it was not a hangover. A hangover does not cause blockage of the noise and mass itching of the teeth,eyes, and mouth. Yeah, I got a case of hayfever pretty bad.

No matter if I feel like crap or not, I still have to go to work. This is hard when I feel run down. I made myself go to work despite my condition. My plan was to pick up some hayfever meds from the local drug store. Well, due to the fact I leave for work damn early on the weekends, the fucking drug store had not opened yet. I suffered until I got to my current base school. I went around the corner to the drug store, and as luck would have it, the damn place was actually open. I paid for some over priced meds and made my way to work.

The office lady noticed that I was struggling right away. As usual she just rolled her eyes and assumed I was hung over or something. I explained to her that I was suffering from Hayfever. Her attitude towards me quickly became much lighter. I took the meds and prepared for the days work. Well, on Sundays there is this one student who usually takes the early morning class. He shows up early for his lesson and we usually chat a bit. He also noticed that I was having a hard time. He said to me, `You must be suffering from the Hayfever. I feel sorry for you dear teacher.` He is a stern but gentle man. He even showed me how to correctly take the meds I had bought. He knows that I hate socialized medical care. Despite this knowledge he says, `I know you no want to go but hospital can help you. You pay too much for medication. Drug store no good I think.`

Anyway, on Sunday`s he returns in the evenings with his kids so they can have lessons. Yeah, I have to teach both regular and kids lessons. To my surprise, he says that he says a little gift for me. He introduces his gift in a joking manner by saying, `Ryan-san I went to commie hospital and got something for you.` He laughs as he says this as a way of getting me to accept the gift. He goes on to explain that he got the meds for free(on my and everyone else`s dime of course). He said that his son also suffers from Hayfever; so he understands my pain. He gave me two types of meds. One type is to make my immune system stronger while the second type is for the constant itching. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I found myself at a lose for words. I could only keep saying, `How nice of you` and `Thank you so much.` I made sure to give his kids extra good lessons as a way to show how thankful I was for his kind gesture.

I will really miss the students at my current base school when I am reassigned in the middle of April. I have only told a few students the sad news. Some have said they will transfer to my new base school if they are able. Dammit, it is really hard to not like the Japanese sometimes. They can be stubborn, uptight, racist bastards sometimes, yet there is a gentle caring nature about them which must be noted as a rare value in this twisted post modern world.

As a side note: Hayfever is so bad this year that even the god damn monkeys are having a hard time. Read about the suffering of the Japanese monkeys here