Japanese Culture 101.

Or just stuff I picked up from the awesome Maiko. I used to be more attentive with my mannerisms, and I thought I could easily burst through the communication barrier if I tried really hard but that obviously did not happen. I got sick of pretending to be someone else and nice all the time so I gave up for a pretty long while.

Let’s call it my Dark Ages at MetLife.

But then suddenly this awesome lady appeared whom I feel like I can be myself completely around. So now going back into it.

I think the stuff below are important things I should remember to do. Just for maintaining the harmony and peace with people. I’m not accustomed to Japanese culture and on a subconscious level I generally act like an American.

  1. Drinking Party. Just walk outside. If you receive a call, tell your coworker you left already.

2. Say お疲れ様です when you pass by Ayaba-san.

3. Say おはようございますwhen you pass by Ayaba-san’s seat in the morning.

4. Say お先に失礼します to you coworkers before you leave the office everyday.

5. Make sure you are always on top of your emails. Check every single one. You could really get screwed over (like get a color slip if you miss an important deadline or don’t respond to your company doctor).

Since Maiko made her appearance, I’m finally being treated like a human and not being talked down on all the time. The reason for that is because we speak in English all the time so they finally realize now two years later. I’m an native English speaker.

I may look Asian, but I’m really not Asian. At the same time, I talk and act white person, but I’m really not a white person all the time. Adding to that, I’m born a female, but I’m not really one.

I’m only just as human as any other human. Be it the USA or Japan or Germany, I feel that no matter where I go, this is forever an eternal struggle.

So might as well pick a language and get really good at it, and one day I just know things will get better. My gut tells me I am on it this time.