Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Stubborn Game

Games are very popular in Japan. Arcades can be found everywhere. Hell, I once stayed at a cheap love hotel which had a damn slot machine in the room! Yet, truth be told there is one game which it seems as if almost everyone in these parts love to play; The Stubborn Game. If you don`t know this crazy ass game then you don`t live in Japan. The rules are pretty simple. Basically, when someone wants or needs something you place unreasonable demands  on them and refuse to listen to anything they have to say until they do everything you want first. If the other person will not `cooperate` you attack them without end until they are emotionally and mentally raped. Many folks find this to be a very fun game worth countless hours attempting to win. Although, those of us who are sane know this is pure bullshit which drags people down to a very low level of thinking.The shit pisses me off and I am sure it pisses you off as well.

The problem is that `the stubborn game` is played so often by a hell of a lot of people it can be rather hard to avoid it. As for me I usually try to dismiss people when they try this shit with me. Let me give yall a real good example of how I attempt to deal with this often played game in the grand city of Tokyo. This example is simple but just goes to show the daily level of stubbornness that is the Tokyo lifestyle. I was in Takadanobaba a bit early before work so I decided to grab a quick cup of coffee. There is a coffee shop in the area that looked nice so I went inside. There is this lady who greets me and says gives me a table, which I thought was a bit odd for a damn coffee shop. I told her all I wanted was a cup of coffee. She gives a odd look and goes away. A few minutes later she brings me a coffee. Well, my work place calls me and needs me to go ahead and come to the branch. I asked the women to give me a to-go cup because I need to leave suddenly. She tells me that is not allowed and I will have to buy a to-go coffee. I tell her I already ordered a cup of coffee, and I want to get a take out cup for the coffee I just ordered. She says, `Sorry. Cannot do that. Must order another` in the best English she could muster. In response I say,`I am busy. Please help me. Give me a to-go cup for my coffee` in the best Japanese I could muster. She gets angry and demands I pay for the coffee I ordered. Well, I politely said no and left. I did not actually get any coffee in my belly.

The above example was a small one but this kind of thing goes down all the fucking time. The Stubborn game is so common I almost expect some stupid shit to go down  every time I need something from someone. It can really be a drag to depend on anyone in Tokyo. I am willing to bend a lot for people at times. Dammit when people start that `No. My Rules or you get nothing` shit it really makes it hard for me to be nice. I tried real hard to bend for this women. I was willing to pay for the coffee if would have simply gave me a to-go cup. Hell, I was planning on buying a little sandwich to take with me. The bitch just had to be stubborn as hell and place unreasonable demands on the situation. She was hell bent on milking the situation for all it was worth. She was not going to give me an inch. I could also be an unreasonable asshole all the time but I try really hard not to be. Yet, these days I got a much more well defined line and I just cannot let people cross me so damn much.   


Chris said...

I get this shit sometimes. I tell them all to go fuck themselves and then palm my brass knucks to make sure they don't develop an unhealthy tone. Women over 35 with kids seen to not care about anything since their man is probably cheating with someone and they are to. Their life sucks and i know it just by lookin at them. If trying to make a stud like me stress gets them off....They can try but I just look at them from head to toe and laugh.

I pretty much had the same type of coffee incident that you did once.

I am THE FUCKING customer in this equazion...how about some FUCKING SERVICE...BASIC FUCKING CUSTOMER SERVICE?

The image of Japan and the reality are so fucking different sometimes.

Orchid64 said...

I agree completely that this is annoying, and it certainly does fly in the face of "good service" in Japan (which is not all bows, fake smiles and irrashaimase).

That being said, this isn't about being stubborn. This is about fear of taking responsibility for making a decision. The people who work everywhere in Japan are told what to do and they do it, no more, no less. They will not deviate from what they are told because they do not want to be responsible for the outcome. As long as they're good little robots dotting the "i's" and crossing the "t's" that they are told to do, that is all that matters.

This is just rigid following of rules in a culture where personal responsibility is emphasized to an extent a reasonable person from a Western culture would not expect. Essentially, they won't go out on a limb to do anything for anyone, and the limb they have is pretty short.

I don't like it either, but I think that attributing it to stubbornness personalizes it and misconstrues the intention. The intention is to cover one's ass even when it is hardly exposed at all, not to engage in a battle of wills with you.

TheGhost said...

It is sad to say but most people in Tokyo have no balls what so ever. I have actually met some cool people in this city. Although, most of the time what I run into is a gang of pussy whipped, backstabbing spineless, selfish turds. This kind of thing is not limited to just the Japanese.