Monday, March 30, 2009
Let There Be Light
Obsessively scratching my eyes while emitting a morning yawn I notice the Vice Principal stop dead in his tracks. Cautiously sipping his coffee his eyes bulge in my direction. 'Uh oh,' I think, 'here we go again with another Japanese conversation I won't be able to understand.' Though, I was joyously wrong, as glancing up I noticed what had elicited his attention. The eye-blinding fluorescent light bulbs above my desk have 'moved on to another place.' Then he pleasantly smiles at me which I translate as, "This is f***ing unacceptable! Don't worry little foreigner, you'll be blinded again shortly." Though it would be silly for him to do anything about it, so a teacher a few desks down picks up the phone and sends the distress signal. However, I was not prepared for the maintenance man to scurry over to my desk precisely three and a half minutes later. This guy responded faster than any ambulance ever has in America. I'm not much of a reader, but even a blind person (which I will now become thanks to the newly installed lights) could read the urgency within this dedicated servant's soul. I began to thank him, but I didn't get past 'domo' as he already flew to his next feat of heroism. The Japanese word for efficiency is noryoku, but I don't believe this can translate back into American English. When my classroom lights were out in Florida I had to conduct a delicate month long process of paperwork, reminders, bribery and kidnapping to get the lackadaisical 'live by the contract' fatass janitor to grace my presence. In closing, when your lights are out, I pray that a little gray-haired Japanese man rushes in for the rescue. Though apparently, the same people who love to install these blinding light bulbs also love running through them.