Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Thought I would share one of the lastest topics Junshi and I discussed during our Japanese/English tutoring session.

We normally start each session with any random questions we might have.

This week Junshi brought up a question: “I want to talk with my American colleagues about something, but I don’t know how to talk about this topic with them…”

Before I continue – let me give a little back-story for those of you who aren’t so familiar with the Japanese culture. I’ve never been there, but from what I can sense so far is that the Japanese are INSANELY hard workers. By that I mean once they start working for a corporation they STAY with that corporation normally until they retire. In addition to being loyal to one company they also work insane hours. Junshi for example goes into work around7:30am. We have our tutoring session from 6:30-9pm (he comes straight from work) and after we finish he goes straight back to the office!!! Not only that but he works every Sunday evening so he can do conference calls with Tokyo and I’ve even caught him working on Saturday. OK… I know some Americans also do this – but the difference is that Junshi and the other Japanese people I’ve talked to are content and perfectly happy doing this!!! OK… I think you get my point… back to my story…

“OK Junshi, what would you like to tell them?” I asked.

“Well… I’ve noticed Americans do not like working hard on Fridays.”

Hahahah… I think he’s got a point… “Well, um, I don’t think this is something you should tell your American colleagues. They might get upset.” I mean – he does have a point – I don’t know any American in their right mind who enjoys working on a Friday! But Junshi’s company was trying to hold meetings on Friday afternoons at 5pm. I told him honestly that if he wants full concentration and participation without rush from his American counterparts then he should think about switching the meeting to earlier in the week and at a different time. Hahahah...

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