Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The mystery of room no. 882...

The other day I went to an official meeting in work at a government agency, the kind of place which looks really crappy and gray with stacks of books all over the place and which is either uncomfortably hot or cold, never somewhere in between. But nevertheless, a place where most Japanese people dream of working, basically they only recruit out of the top universities among the hordes of people who dream of a job in the slow moving bureaucracy of Japan.

As I had my little meeting around a table in a makeshift space in a corner of the office, I had a clear view of the computer screen of one of the junior women working there, young and junior, but not just a lowly assistant. Her screen was out of sight of the other people in the office and probably only visible from the place that me and my colleague were sitting.

On the screen, she had a word file open and written in large font (probably around size 24-32 something) "What's room 882 got to do with anything?" (in Japanese I think it said "882号室は何も関係ないだろう?). During the time I had the discussions with the people I had come to meet, she sometimes highlighted the whole text, sometimes she removed the questionmark at the end, only to put it back again. Then sitting staring at it for long periods of time.

It really threw me off my balance because I had problems focusing on the other discussion since this mysterious little message kept fascinating me and the obvious dedication she put into this seemingly pointless exercise. Just a few minutes before the meeting was wrapping up, she closed the file without saving and left her desk to go do something else, possibly slightly more productive.

Well, at least it's good to see that the taxpayers money is coming to good use and that our adminstrative functions here in Japan are putting the focus on efficiency!

...but what really was up with room 882...?


RMilner said...

Maybe she was working on a manga script. It would have been productive time because she got a lot of thinking done.

If people ask me what I'm doing sitting quietly at my desk with my eyes closed, I say I am formulating strategy.

ThePenguin said...

Maybe you are not so far off with the manga?

Mr. Salaryman said...

Wow Penguin, you really are a detective, could this be it?!

aimlesswanderer said...

You shouldn't complain, she might have been one of the more productive drones!

I though you were going to say that she was hot and kept undoing buttons, bending over or crossing her legs. Not that would be distracting.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Aimless - Well, show me one hot girl/woman working in Japanese government related offices and I'll show you bigfoot!

aimlesswanderer said...

What, all the secretaries and OLs and bowing ladies are all ugly? My best friend has visited there twice for business and visiting a dying relo, and he said that there are heaps of gorgeous women everywhere.

Even when visiting sick relos (and not being able to communicate with them, so being bored) in hospital he said there were at least hot nurses to ogle. And he already has a gorgeous wife, the lucky bastard.

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