Friday, 3 April 2015

Jobs continued. The outside guard.

The other day, I went to the university where I have most of my classes.
I didn't recognize the guard so I said hello, introduced myself. She didn't give me her name, so I asked her.

Guard: "But I'm (just) from the security company".
      (translation, I'm not a university employee, so my name isn't important (to you?)
Me: "But you're here often?"
Guard: "Yes"
Me: "Well we'll often meet."
Guard:  "Oh.... and she told me her name".

It reminded me of asking students why most of them don't greet the guard in the morning, even though she greets them... The students agreed that they mostly didn't greet the guard. One of the most basic manners drummed into kids in Japan is the importance of "aisatsu"  - greetings.  "Make a good community, let's greet each other", "Greetings are important" type slogans.
I'm not quite sure at what point 'aisatsu' begin to be exclusive and reserved for people in the same group... A point for investigation...

At any rate, I said hello to the guard on my way in the next day, and she very cheerily greeted me back.  Small steps.  Very small steps.

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