Diary: My First Non-teaching Job Interviews in Japan (Part II)

June 29

Dear Diary:

In my last entry, I wrote about how I thought Saturday’s mensetsu would be. Here’s how it really happened:

I walk into the restaurant 10 minutes before lunchtime. The waitress gestures to the counter seats. I see a man in his 40s or so with short, light brown and blond hair (dyed, or course). I realize he is the hiring manager, not what I expected: the gruff voice from the phone didn’t fit the blurred image in my mind. He stood up and said his name. I couldn’t catch it. TT.TT (<–Japanese crying face)

I introduced myself, and said “Shitsureishimasu” before attempting to sit in the low, square, seats with armrests blocking my bottom from the seat cushion. As I attempted to give him my rirekisho (履歴書, resume), my other folder slipped from my lap and under the counter. I left it there. He read , then asked a question, read, then asked a question: “So, you went to university in Japan?” and whatnot. He read my skills/hobbies section, 志望の動機 (shibou no douki, ideal work environment), and 自己のアピール (jiko no api-ru, a section for explaining why you are a good candidate).

On a side note, 志望 (wish/hope) is pronounced just like 脂肪 (shibou, [body] fat)… You’re welcome!

It was more like an information session. He told me that the hours are long (9am-10pm) with only one day off a week, and the pay is low ($1500 a month). Also, I would do many jobs, not just things related to my interests. He stated that he did not think I, as a foreign person, would want to work for so little compensation and expressed the wish to have someone who would work there for a long time. Also, health care is not provided. He asked about my visa and if I had questions. And we parted on friendly terms. I forgot to write my contact info, so I wrote them. He said that he would call me if the need arose. I am glad I did not get a job offer, to be honest. I also appreciate his honesty. That said, I also appreciate the honesty of the owner of a patisserie who did not want foreign people working at his shop (it was much more polite when he explained it, though that did little to prevent me from crying on the side of a busy street under the awning of a bus stop in the pouring rain.)

This is a reality in Japan, but I won’t give up!

Although, giving up and changing my mind are two different things. Once I know for sure what I want, I won’t give up!

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