Another rant?!

But first, here's what I'm doing this week!

On Friday, one of my friends will be at badminton for the last time. She's an English teacher from Shizunai, and she'll be changing schools soon. So I'm definitely going to go and say goodbye. On Saturday if I'm free, I'm going to invite some people to go out to the karaoke bar to drink a bit. I learned how to drink in moderation, and it is serving me well. Nevertheless, when I go back to the US I'll probably quit drinking. There's no need to drink there, since most of my friends don't drink.

Today at work I got a printed-out email handed to me. It says I had better finish the tests for this Japanese course I enrolled in. When I enrolled in it, I thought it was mandatory, so I never wanted to do it in the first place. And now that I'm enrolled in it, my supervisor gets emailed if I'm not doing it. So it's a lose-lose situation, especially since the material covered in the textbooks seems quite useless. I've found that I'm only interested in conversational Japanese, the stuff you use on a day-to-day basis. The textbooks, on the other hand, are filled with formal language and things that would rarely come up in a normal conversation.
I guess I'll be doing those tests tonight! The email said I'd be disqualified if I don't finish. Not that I care either way about this non-mandatory course, but I don't want my supervisor to get another email. Good thing they gave me the email a day late...

Now for the rant.

Funny how being at the town office never fails to irk me.

If there's one thing that infuriates me about working here, it's that nobody ever tells me anything.
In particular, I'm never informed of club events or local festivals I might be interested in attending. I guess everyone assumes I'm either disinterested or that I already know about everything that's going on. But I'm not some sort of all-knowing crystal ball. I can't read the calendar well enough to understand it all. Before I read my predecessor's blog, I just assumed that the small villages of Hokkaido didn't have that many festivals. But my predecessor wrote about having the same problem- not being told anything, until he made some friends who would tell him what was going on around town. And we do, in fact, have festivals! I only wish I knew when they were.

Well I'm tired of being left in the dark. I'm going to ask my coworkers when all the festivals and town events are, and have them mark it on a calendar for me. But that's only a band-aid solution to the problem. Hell, just ten minutes ago I was sitting at my desk doing virtually nothing, when some of my coworkers come up the stairs carrying heavy boxes. No need to ask me for help. No need to inform me. I'm just a foreigner. It's not like I'm doing anything important. I haven't done any work all day, and you walk right by me with work I could clearly be doing. I mean, shit. If you have no translation work for me to do, and you won't let me go home, at least let me do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Carrying boxes up the stairs would have been the most productive thing I did at work today. But I guess informing me about even the smallest job is against the rules. And it's not the first time this has happened.

Gods forbid my presence here is given any meaning. I've made up my mind, I can't stand it at this office anymore. I'm going to take Wednesday through Tuesday off. That will leave me with three vacation days left. Maybe I can use the time off to do some exploring along the Hidaka line, or go to Sapporo. Even staying at home is better than this office.

Oh yeah, and when I asked to take vacation, they informed me I only have six days left as opposed to the eight that I should have. They scammed me once again out of two vacation days- days I thought I took as sick days to recover from my ingrown toenail surgery. Let's break that down here.

1. I had minor surgery on short notice
2. I had to be on painkillers
3. I couldn't fit my foot in a shoe
4. It hurt to put weight on it
5. I explained all of the above to my supervisor in advance

And yet they still expected me to...

1. Walk to school
2. Stand and teach classes for hours on end

What would you do? Damn straight you'd take a sick day or two. There was no other option. I had to take sick days, but they thought I deserved to take vacation days instead.
This is what I like to call...

*deep breath*


Buuuuuuuuuuuullshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Well I'm not willing to fight them, I'm just looking forward to having as little time at this office as possible. It's days like today that make me think I made the right decision in not recontracting. Business culture is ruthless and illogical, and the working population has been brainwashed by it. I'm sure it's not the same everywhere, but if this is generally how things work in Japan, then you can

count me out.

I'm just glad school isn't as bad as the town office.

So screw it, I'm on vacation. Finally going to go do something fun for myself instead of sitting in this stuffy office.
Next time I'll have pictures, I promise. I was having too much fun with HTML at the office today.