Monday, February 27, 2006

Lost in Spazlation

I really wish I had something interesting to write about.

I suppose two "interesting" things happened to me this weekend.

On Friday night I got choked unconscious.

On Saturday night, instead of going out on some adventure until 6am (like the previous post), I stayed in and cleaned the fuck out of my little apartment.

I even went down and got ye Olde English and dusted off all the surfaces. I threw away stuff that had been sitting on my table since last April. I vacuumed with my badass vacuum that I have, and mopped the bathroom and kitchen. Then I put on a DI hat and some white gloves and screamed at myself until I got it right. Just kidding, I didn't do that.

Sunday I worked out and ended up throwing up afterwards. I haven't done that in quite some time. I downloaded some cool music and danced around in my underwear for about 2 hours before going to bed.

Good weekend.

So my workplace here is re-organizing, and I've picked up another person's work. I'm about 10 times busier now, so my days of sitting around on my ass and doing nothing are a bit numbered. In any case, the biggest change will be getting used to my new "people." Not so much for me, but for them. They've already sent out some reconnaissance teams to see what I'm all about. I tried to keep it light with two of them today. One of the Japanese section chiefs came in with this lady that works here, and the following dialogue ensued:

Her: Here's blahblahblah work, is that good?
Me: Sure, sounds great (and it was).
Him (chiefie): Should I come here and talk to you about things before I turn something in?
Me: Well, normally I read it over before it gets translated to see if it sucks. If it sucks, I shitcan it.
Him: Well, this is written in Japanese. It might be too hard for you.
Me: Yeah thanks. Anyway, not everyone does bad work, so if someone sucks, I'll just read over that particular person's stuff. Otherwise I'll trust your judgement and send it along.
Him: So I can decide whether or not to show you or just to send it up?
Me: You're the section chief, right? (He's also a former 2 star general in the JSDF)
Him: Yes.
Me: You got hired as the section chief for a reason right?
Him: Yes.
Me: I trust you. I don't have time to meet with you guys every time you turn something in.
(Long pause)
Him: But there are some people whose stuff is, how should I say, not as good as the others.
Me: Ok, then we'll look at those before you submit 'em.
Him: But I don't want to discriminate. I want to treat everyone equally.
Me: Well, if they wanna get treated equally then they should do equal quality work. Maybe that will encourage them do better.
Him: (blank look -- that statement really surprised them)
Me: And if it's bad work I'll put it in the "comments" box.

I pointed over to the shredder, which has a little "Comments" sign written on it in Japanese. American humor doesn't really translate well to Japanese people (and a lot of other cultures, and visa-versa). They looked at me blankly, and I asked them if they understood the joke. They said, "No, why would you put a "comments" sign on a shredder?" When I replied with, "Well, the joke is, that's what we think of any comments you might have," I was rewarded with the usual look, which is a combination of confusion, hurt feelings, a touch of horror, and "you are an asshole". Most American humor gets the "why would you do/say that, you asshole" look anyway, so I'm pretty used to it. (Come to think of it, I get that look from Americans a lot too. *sigh*).

In any case, I'm sure that they left the room feeling confident that I, their new overlord, am a complete and utter disrespectful assface who, if provoked, will throw their work in the shredder.

Mission accomplished.

PS. Trust me -- It might seem like I'm being a bit of a jerkface, but the older ex-JSDF guys will try and strongarm, go over your head, and walk all over you, all with a friendly smile on their face, if you play nice with them. Being moderately prickish now is way better than having to use mega-asshole tactics later on when things get out of control. They use the same tactics, so you gotta play the same game a little bit.

PPS. No Japanese Nationals were thrown into a shredder during the making of this post.


Anonymous Anonymous said...



6:08 PM  
Blogger brando said...

I love your disclaimer at the end about how safe and unhurt the subjects of your post were. That's sort of Paully's blog style. It reminds me of the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Wind and the Lion" or some such movie. There was a line of heavy cavalry charging into a bunch of archers. They were running at full bore, when magically they all tumbled forward as though someone had tightened a rope 2 feet off the ground, simultaneously tripping the lot of them. Their disclaimer went like this: "47 horses were maimed and had to be killed in the making of this film."

4:52 AM  
Blogger Jinxy said...

Then I put on a DI hat and some white gloves and screamed at myself until I got it right.

Oy. That's funny. Did you choke yourself, too?

7:55 PM  
Blogger brando said...

Did you also wipe radiator dust on your face and call it warpaint?

1:38 AM  

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