Tag Archives: Work

Singing the Osaka Dialect Blues

Last night I dreamed I was sitting across a huge conference table from one of my company’s high-level executives. He was in the place of honor in the middle, of course, and I was one chair off from the middle … Continue reading

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I’ve hesitated to post this one, because I’m unsure how I feel about it. I wrote this three weeks ago. ~~~ Lunch is a quick affair in a big cafeteria a maze of hallways away. (It’s also company subsidized and … Continue reading

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Gomi (Garbage): Paralyzed by the Options

“This is one of the most difficult parts of living in Japan,” mutters a Japanese executive newly returned from expat life in the States. He scrunches a foil chocolate wrapper between thumb and forefinger, and his hand hovers over the … Continue reading

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Status Meeting

Every morning at 8:30, a gentle chime sounds over the intercom, and the company song plays. Everyone in the office, about fifteen of us, stands up and circles around. Our general manager, an erstwhile marathon runner, stretches and touches his … Continue reading

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Kando-san’s Assurances

I have a colleague in Japan, “Kando-san,” who is the most literal person I’ve ever met. No metaphor can penetrate, no comparison illuminate. He does not read between the lines. Being a person who operates most comfortably in the abstract, … Continue reading

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