No Lasting Effects

Monday, May 18, 2009

Friday Night
After writing the last post I went home and cleaned the entire apartment. It seems to be a coping mechanism for me :P

Anyway, a few friends came over and we made the worst Okonomiyaki I think I've ever had. It was still delicious because Okonomiyaki is fail proof but we came really close anyway.

Overall: good party but still a crap day.

I woke up bright and early, made my lunch and headed to school (-.-) I then traveled around the prefecture with a handful of students to watch their classmates compete with other high school students. It was surprisingly exhausting.

That afternoon, the teacher who sits next to me suggested that we go to Yamda Denki Electronics store and figure this whole internet thing out together. I am forever grateful to her for this.

We got there at 6:30pm. We did not leave until close to 9 and it was the same run around as we had on the phones on Friday. What's your phone number? What's your ID number? We can't help you.

I got really angry at one point and almost walked right out of the store. I would have too if my desk neighbor hadn't been sitting right there waiting for me to calm down and take my seat at the counter again.

It's just that the problem is only with the modem!!! I have no problem with the service!!! And if they can charge me every month they can figure out who I am lickity split!!!

At 9:30 we left and headed to an "American" style restaurant (as American as Outback Steakhouse is Australian) and I gorged myself on enough meat to make a Atkins fanatic proud.

Afterwards, I went over to Steven's place to have a pity party. He convinced me to check my apartment just one more time because there is just no way I would have ever thrown something like that little tiny piece of paper away.

Overall: REALLY crap day

1:30 in the morning, I tore my desk apart. I found old receipts from cellphone bills, bank transfers, old envelopes that had nothing in them. I found sewing kits, glue, tape, post-its I had been searching ages for.

I did not however find very much dirt or dust. Score cleanliness bonus points for Nina.

And then I found that stupid little bit of paper. It had somehow made it's way up and under and inside my desk. Even upon moving out of the apartment I would have never thought to look there.

What a pain in the ass!!!!

And so I went to bed :P

At 10am, I called the English help line.

Operator: Good morning, how can I help you?
Nina: Yes, I'm having a problem with my modem, it has no power so I'll need a new one.
O: May I have your telephone number?
N: *sigh* Can I give you my account number instead?
O: No, I can only look for your information using your telephone number.
N: (-.-) 090-###-####
O: Hmmm we don't seem to have you on record.
N: Really? You don't say...
O: Have you changed your number recently?
N: Never.
O: Never?
N: (for the um-teenth time) NEVER
O: Ummm...uhhh...ssssss....ummm...
N: ... (-.-#)
O: OH! Can I have your account number?
N: Yes, I just happen to have it right here. It's #############
O: May I have your name? Birthday? Address?
N: blah blah
O: Alright, I have your information right here! It seems you gave me the wrong telephone number. Your number is ###-never-seen-b4
N: Fascinating... (-.-####)
O: Now, can you tell me what the problem is with your modem?
N: It has no power.
O: Ok, are you by the modem now? Can you tell me with lights are on?
N: ...there are no lights on.
O: oh...ummm...uhhh....sssss....Can you hold a moment please?
N: ...
O: Thank you for holding! We'll send you a new modem on Tuesday. Thank you very much and have a great day!

This is a classic example of how no one teaches logical problem solving in Japan. If the computer did not tell this operator what to do, she wouldn't have known. If she had gone to her supervisor for help, he/she would have had the same problem. If it's not in the manual, if no one told them before hand what to do, they just wouldn't be able to take matters into their own hands and figure it out themselves. This is the way Japan works. This is how it has always been and will always be.

I am NOT calling anyone stupid for not being able to think logically. I have some great, BRILLIANT students but if I don't tell them exactly what to do and how to do it, they would be lost. It's just how they have always been taught to be.

But I'll have my internet soon and I know how to logically problem solve, so for today I'm ok.

5 shared their love:

Anonymous said...

Did you tell them to correct your phone number so it'll be easier next time?

BTW, I don't think that the absence of logical thinking is just Japanese. Nielsen's outsourced a TON of stuff to India and our greatest complaint is that if we don't tell them every I to dot and every T to cross, they can't figure out how to do it.

If they run into a slightly different scenario, they'll set it aside and go to the next one. Lord only knows when they'll ever go back and pick up the ones in the set-aside pile!!! Maybe never. Maybe they just return them.

Is "thinking" an ethnic thing???


NinaSama said...

Logical thinking is totally a cultural thing. Thinking out of the box is something Americans strive for. We are praised and promoted for figuring out new and unique ways to do anything. To think on our own is something that is highly prized in the states.

In Japan, it's exactly the opposite. People here strive to do things the way they've been told and to do it EXACTLY as they were told. They try to do things perfectly according to the book. It's not easy either!

When Americans go to school, it's to learn how to think for themselves. When Japanese go to school, it's to learn how to do everything the "proper" way.

An American would have a REALLY hard time doing things the Japanese way just as the Japanese would with American ways. It's arguable both ways...but I know which one I think works best ;)

Anonymous said...

Ok, so you are forgiven. But, you still forgot! ;)

Have a great day and we will figure out another time to get on and chat.


jessica said...

Man I would have never thought like this... I mean if something's broken I try and think what else I can do to fix it, it's just what I do... I thought that's what all people do, but then again this blanket can't cover everyone in Japan because then we would have no great Japanese scientists or inventors, free thinking is there I just wonder if you have to be a curious rebel to use it. Without forward thinking there would be no advancement and they're not stuck in the 18th century, so something had to happen... right?

NinaSama said...

There's another arguement that follows right along side this one. Some people say the Japanese haven't actually invented anything in the recent centuries. They have just improved on others' ideas. And improve they have!!! Look at ASIMO!!! But who originally invented those walking legs way back in 1986? Probably not Honda. Probably not a Japanese person at all.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that the Japanese haven't come up with some awesome invention that everyone uses today...but I also haven't found what that thing is yet either...

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