The truth about living in Japan

Beyond the picturesque mountainscapes and vibrant red Tori gates lies a world of concrete skyscrapers and fashion victims.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

One bad day in Kansai

I bought Jeremy a 50cc scooter for his birthday that had to be delivered on Tuesday between 1-2pm. I tried to organise a different delivery time and date, but the dodgy second-hand bike-dealer was not willing to budge on the subject.

I thought Tuesday between 1-2pm would be ok because I always start work at 3:50pm on Tuesdays. However, when Tuesday rolled around it all fell to pieces.

Personnel called me on Monday night and asked me to start at 12:15 on Tuesday. I explained the situation and they found someone else to teach the shift.

Then on Tuesday morning they called me again and asked me to start work at 2:10. This was also impossible, and I explained again that I had to be home between 1-2pm. They didn't seem to understand, but eventually they agreed to let me start at 3:20pm.

I was on my way to work, aiming to be 20 minutes early for good measure, sitting on the train listening to mp3s with my head down. It's the same train I catch every week and I know the route well, so I couldn't believe it when I looked up and saw snow-capped mountains speeding towards me and Lake Biwa perched on the right-hand side of the train. It was supposed to be on the left-hand side and the mountains were supposed to be very far away. The route had changed!

I had to call personnel and tell them I was going to be late to my shift. I was nearly crying because I couldn't believe how terrible my day was. Personnel didn't understand why I couldn't start early and then I was 32 minutes late to my shift after all the drama.

The worst part is, I have an interview tomorrow at personnel, which is obviously going to be a complete waste of time. Up until yesterday I had never set a foot out of line, but just two days before my interview everything that could have gone wrong did.


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