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

Dear Diary,

Of my three #1 choices, I went to My #1 Shop of All Time, Untainted by the Need to Find Work. It felt extremely awkward as I had gone so many times as a customer and now I went as a potential employee.  I saw my two favorite workers, gave them a letter, and then my recruiter and I were seated at my usual table, though he sat in my chair. We got free coffee, which he drank as we talked about the game plan.

Fifteen minutes later, I saw the owner for the first time. He had a squirt of blueberry on his double-breasted chef uniform. He had a last name I had never heard of and as we talked, Mr. I mainly spoke with/looked at my recruiter.  If it weren’t for him, the interview would not have been as long, or as detailed.

Mr. I spoke for at least 30 mins. to 1 hr., most of it was all the reasons I am an unlikely candidate: age (if there is a younger applicant, he/she will be chosen due to ability to absorb info/dexterity), hard work, long hours, low pay (though there is health insurance), lack of experience, no work until September as summer vacation is less busy, wait time for actual mensetsu (next April or so), the high cost of culinary schools in Japan (when asked where he recommended I go), and “brevity” (10 years at longest, a plus, with the expectancy I open my own shop). When asked what was the best thing he ever made, he recommended the latest cakes.

My recruiter and I ordered the same thing, and then the owner himself brought out the cakes! My recruiter likes the owner because he did not just say positive things, but also truthful things. I told him about Saturday’s rejection. He finishes dessert first, and on the way back, recommends I work as a teacher and just dabble in cooking in my free time or work part-time at a patisserie. Two thoughts, one to-do:

-How do aruibaitosan survive in Japan?

-If I work all day, I have no chance to go to cafes.

-I will research culinary schools worldwide.

July  6


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