Friday, September 26, 2008

Playtime at the Office

I`m truly falling in love with the office atmosphere. Today there are no classes for students, so there is a staff workshop on counseling methods. Now, one of my favorite sights is when the teachers giddily herd together and rush their giggling bodies out of the office. These `herds` just spring out of nowhere like a tornado in a trailer park. Typically, you will hear some high pitched grunts and laughs, and before you can say `konnichiwa,` they have already grouped together and are hurrying away.
Today`s `herd` was no different, and like always I decided to follow. I keep a safe distance though, so I can exile myself if needed. The `herd` had decided to frolick into the staff meeting room. The teachers stood frozen in amazement at how the tables and chairs had been re-arranged so everyone could face the front for today`s lecture. Then they scurried around the room to save their seats by placing magazines or even wallets at their desired spots. It was like watching little kids save their seats on the bus.
The Japanese practice an intricate and cherished system of saving spots. In order to save a location or spot in line, they simply place an object there or X out the spot in tape. For instance, you won`t see them camping out for `Star Wars,` instead you will see a parade of tape with large Xs. The Japanese have developed a system of trust, whereby no man, woman or child will take advantage, except for maybe an American.
To continue the office antics, a few of us actually took turns sitting at the head table. The rules of this game are as follows: 1.) when you are sitting down you must be formal because you are the head boss 2.) when not sitting you must repeatedly bow down to honor the boss. To add to the roleplaying, I said to one of the bowing teachers, "Please..RISE." This guy seriously bowed like 11 times.
Then just like it had never happened, everyone rushed back and put their `I`m working so hard!` earnest faces on.

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