Adulting, Step 1 Complete!

Until now, Ive been living in apartments rented by the company. Today, I signed a lease for a Leopalace apartment under my name. I guess it’s my first real apartment.

Next, I need to contact the utility companies to move my accounts back over to Nagoya. I also have to get the moving paperwork in order, call the movers, get my new key (Leopalace did me a real solid and replaced the locks for free), and find a new job. Oh, and buy furnature. Not necessarily in that order.

The next couple of months are going to be interesting for many reasons. Among them are two farewell parties (more like leaving the company parties), one of which will be in Kyoto.

I just hope I can find a decent job somewhat quickly. I know my visa is still good for another 1.75 years, but I’ve heard that status can be changed due to unemployment. That is something I would rather not deal with.

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Taking Things Day by Day

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Much like last week, this week has been going by at a decent rate. I’ve already finished off two work days, with minimal headache, and am thinking about the weekend. I don’t remember things being so relaxed during my time as an ET. Most days I left early and came home late, which didn’t bother me so much at the time. However, having a ten minute commute is something that I might get too used to.

Parting Ways

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A lot of people from my initial training group are going back to their respective countries this weekend, including the first friend I made here in Japan. A year has come and gone, so now their contracts are up and it’s time to go home. However, I and a very small few are staying here to continue our lives in Japan, though many of them are moving to either Tokyo or Osaka. That means saying goodbye for now and that makes me a little sad.

The Not-Sorry Sorry

 

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For many years I worked various retails job and I thing I noticed was the avoidance of the word sorry. I don’t mean that it was never said, but it always seemed so carefully phrased to brush off any blame on the company’s part. At a few jobs, we were actively discouraged or outright told never to apologize to a customer, as it was seen as the company acknowledging a mistake. The only phrase that I clearly remember being solidly okay to say was something along the lines of, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but…”

That isn’t to say I never apologized to people, but I did get chewed out more than once for doing so. However, here in Japan, it is the total opposite. We are expected to say sorry a lot, actually.

What made me think of this is something a coworker said. She said that I spoke in a round about way, but hardly ever said the word “sorry”. She said I tended to say, “ok” instead. For example, if I was reprimanded for having done something incorrectly or not quickly enough, my answer would be “Ok, I’m on it,” or “Ok, I’ll do that next time,” when most people would expect me to say sorry.

I don’t think she meant it in a negative way, to be honest. I think she’s worried about my relationships with my coworkers, since these new coworkers I have may be the ones who decide what becomes of me in another three months.

So it got me thinking. I used to say sorry a ton to my friends and family, but it seems like in the business world, it has fallen out of my vocabulary. That said, I’m working on it.

Has anyone else noticed this trend in US corporate culture, especially in the retail segment? Maybe I just lucked out and worked for some black companies or something?

Winds of Change

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Big changes are coming in June. I will be moving again as well as starting a new work contract. This time, however, it will be at a branch school. As a kids’ teacher.

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It all happened so quickly. One moment I was trying to figure out where I was going to live this summer and how I was going to make the money in my bank account stretch, but now I’m trying to shove all my crap into boxes and clean up the place for the next person.

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I’m excited for my next big adventure.