Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Week Of Working Life

"As you are seating here, with every second that passes, 
you are paid by your company." 

Mr Higurashi, 
Uchida Human Development Center

One week has come and gone since I started working last Monday. Well, I probably shouldn't use the term working, because we are still undergoing training, or like I mentioned in the previous post, the boot camp of the business world haha! The first phase on basic business skills ended on Thursday and beginning Friday, we were exposed to basic IT stuff like networking, database, system development for another two weeks.

It is quite something for a noob like me (Datin Pinky knows this very well) to learn about all this computer stuff and I hope I will be able to cope with it lol!


Chinese style lunch in bento box for day two on Wednesday.


Japanese style bento box on the third day, but I guess the first two ones tasted better. 

Back to the basic business skills session, the ice breaking session was done in a very interesting way. There were no self-introduction session but we got into the first activity straight away. We were each given a puzzle; it is something like minesweeper, but the problem is, the rules written on the paper was written in such way that it is really hard to understand. I tried reading it times over times but still couldn't really make out what they wanted.

The rules are simple; every boxes has different score and each group can pick any boxes four times within the time limit of thirty minutes. The team who scores the highest points win the game. Halfway through the game, as our group was trailing the other two groups, one of our team member came out with a genius idea - pick the same boxes where other teams had scored before. It was not written in the rules that we cannot pick the same boxes more than once, and it turned out to be a masterstroke. We overtook the other three teams and won the game with two minutes left in the game.


Has anyone seen a person's name longer than my colleague from Sri Lanka?

One of the important elements in the business world in Japan is the to master the honorific language, or more commonly known as keigo (敬 語). It is something that can never be learned overnight. It is an issue that many of the Japanese youngsters face today - the failure to use the keigo the correct way. 

On the second day after the lesson of keigo on the previous day, we were told that there would be a test on this topic. Super alamak! It was a total surprise for everyone because we were not told about this test at all. It was a short fifteen-minute test and I think I did enough to at least pass it. Then came the result. I looked around at my group members' scores.

The one on the left scored 55 marks. He said to myself, "Ohh nooo, I guess I'm a non-Japanese." Another one scored 60. I told myself I would be lucky if I can get at least 40 marks.


 Quite shocked to see my own score lol! Full marks is 100 by the way.

To get the second highest score (highest score in my group was 95) in my group, whom the rest were Japanese was something I was quite proud of haha! In fact, there was one time where one of my group members asked me the way of writing the kanji character for a word. At least not I know they aren't prefect after all.

On the final day, each of us were required to present a role play to introduce our own companies to our customers. The catchy part is that our role play was recorded with a video camera, which will later be sent to our companies. So, it was crucial that we do not do silly stuff during the role play. I volunteered to go first because I just wanted to get everything done as soon as possible. The longer I wait, I know the agony of waiting will make me more anxious haha!


My first meal since started my life as a salaryman.

The role-play went okay I think; in fact got some praises from the staff haha! Just hoping that when that video reached my company's office, it will not shock them lol!

Work starts at nine in the morning and ends at six in the evening. I usually wake up at six, roll around the bed until six-thirty, take my breakfast while checking my mails and reading the news in the Internet, take my shower and get ready, and by fifteen to eight, I will begin to walk to the train station and get to my training place.

In the evening, it will usually be seven already by the time I reach home. So far, I have been taking turns eating out and cooking for my dinner. As you can see from the photo above, I had only porridge for my dinner last Wednesday as I had ulcer and it was too painful for me to take solid food. The porridge was not just plain one; I added some sesame oil and preserved vegetable. 

 Each of us were presented with a certificate at the end of the course.


 Kinshicho Station with Tokyo Sky Tree in the background.


Fried chicken and potato onion sauce with vegetable set meal (鶏竜田揚げとポテトのねぎソースたっぷり野菜の定食) at Otoya (大戸屋).

At the end of the first phase of my training, I decided to pamper myself with some good food at one of my favourite restaurant - Otoya. Besides, my ulcer was beginning to get better and I had gone a few days without proper food.

On the next day, we began our second course, which was the basic IT course. The venue was in Otemachi near Tokyo Station. So, the four of us got down from the station and began our walk towards the building where the training was held. However, we were too smart that even though all of us have an iPhone, we decided to look for directions using a printed map lol!

Super smart thinking by this four future systems engineers, right? Haha! 


Halfway looking through this map, we thought we had lost our way and some random stranger came to our rescue lol!

Just in case you are wondering, we managed to reach our destination just on time.

However, although we only attended this second training phase for a day, we felt that it is more stressful than the first one. To be honest, the group we have this time was too rigid. The way they talk, walk, laugh (which almost non-existence) is just like robots. Even within the same group, my other group members talk to each other using keigo, which is something I'm uncomfortable with. It makes me feel that there is a distance between us; the closeness among group members is almost nowhere to be felt.

Another thing is how much emphasis the speaker put on time management. He is super sensitive with time that he has to use his stop watch for every session. It was really stressful to make sure that we finish up every task within the time limit. This course is gonna be fifteen-days long and I wonder if I will survive through the period haha! How I long to return to the previous crazy group members lol!


High-rised skyscrapers at Tokyo Station.


 Sea of salarymen inside the station after work. 

After my first five days, I decided to make something for my dinner. It has been sometime since my kitchen really gets kicking. So, I made fried tom yam with excessive broccoli lol! I know this entry talks more about food than my training, but never mind-lar. After all, that's what Malaysians talk about all the time right? Haha!

I digress.


Finally, a proper home-cooked food for dinner.

Every few days, Mom will usually send me a text message to my phone early in the morning before I go to work. There was one morning, where I got the following message:

"Arigato gozaimas. May u n ppl in Japan b free frm danger n b wel n safe. Hav a nice day."

I wondered for sometime why-lar this fella suddenly began her message by thanking me pagi-pagi buta. Besides, her sentences that followed just didn't relate to the first one. It just sounds weird. I later figured it out that she wanted to wish me "good morning" (ohayo gozaimasu), but she got confused between ohayo and arigato lol! Damn cute-lah this Mom! And did I mention that she has started taking online Japanese lesson on her own lately, though she has taken a break for almost two weeks already after just one lesson haha wtf!

So, I'm gonna step into my second week tomorrow and we gonna start and learn how to use the computer lol! Wish me luck!


Robinn T said...

learn how to use the PC? must be some high tech gungho system la..

good job with keigo! I never seemed to get when to switch between them, especially with my sensei.

Guess I need to go for crash course if I ever plan to work in or with a Japan company in the future~

Calyn Ong said...

Omigosh mummy is so cute! And funny! Had to control myself from laughing out loud in the middle of the night HAHAHAHAHA!

Btw, you only have that amount of fried rice to last you for the night? Tipu ar :P

calvin said...

@ tempus:
haha! yeah! you will know what we learn in the next post xD

now everyone in the classroom will come and refer to me when it comes to keigo, as they say i use them better than them lol!

well, i will always welcome you if you ever choose to come over; provided i am still around xD

calvin said...

@ calyn ong:
your mom is ten times a joker than mr bean. can give her a new nickname already - miss kacang soya haha!

ish, you don't have to do that to me in the public-lar. okay-lar, that was just half of it xD