So Friday it was and therefore the day I was officially starting my new life as an office lady at a big company in Tokyo.
The night before, I had wandered to the address where my company was supposed to be.( you don’t want to know how long it had taken me to find it…)
So. As I got dressed that morning,I tried to remember everything I needed to know for work. Which vocabulary could be useful, how would I have to introduce myself again? What documents do I need? What outfit is the best outfit to wear on a first day of work? Eeeeek.
After having settled on a clean grey skirt, white blouse and ballerinas to walk in at first (later switch to heels)..I made my way over to the train station. And let me tell you: what happened from there on just taught me, you can not practise your first day at work in Japan.
Trains were crowded. But okay, that is to be expected and was no big news. But then I found myself on the express train and just when I thought: “Ooooh, nice.next stop should be mine..” I realized. Express trains don’t stop at the stop where I am supposed to get off. Eeek. So I managed to switch to a local train, realized in the last second that it left from the platform behind me, not in front of me, as I had expected.
I eventually made it to my station. Now..it was already 9.15 am and I was supposed to be at work at 9.30 am and still had quite a walk ahead of me!
Not being able to enjoy any of the sun or the atmosphere as I had imagined I would be on my first day of work to calm myself down…I rushed through the streets! Right before seeing the big building,I pulled out my black office heels, just to realize that they still have the price sticker on the bottom and it takes way to long to get it off. REALLY?!
“Ok then, no heels. Let’s get myself into this building” so I thought. But this was easier said then done. There was no entrance to be found. So I yelled out to a Japanese worker, already being inside of the big fence..and after explaining him how I am new and start my internship today, he kindly took me to a secret passage where..again..I was faced with trouble: a security guy, questioning my business! The time was already 9.35am. After filling out a sheet to get handed a visitors pass, he looked at it and said my supervisors name is nowhere to be found in the computers name register. (At this point I was already about to cry.Late on my very first day, which is drastic in Japan.)
Now guys, eventually I made it inside the building after insisting in Japanese on my right to be there. Inside however, there was no front desk to welcome me and so again,I had no clue where to go. I just ended up taking the elevator to the 8th floor and asking a guy writing on his computer, if he could kindly tell me where my department is.
Turned out, I was in the wrong building. (darn it, the security guy had been right after all!) Three office workers where now standing around me, discussing my business and I just..I just wanted to disappear. Finally one decided to take me to the building I actually need to be at.. I made it there at around 9.47am. Gyaaa!-.-
But from thereon things got much better. My supervisor,a Japanese lady, is a very modern funny woman. She welcomed me warmly, showed me around and introduced me to everybody. Of cause even without my heels I was absolutely overdressed, but I didn’t mind.. ;) My team is about half Japanese, half international and so you hear a good amount of Japanese, English and German all day through.
My boss also welcomed me warmly, introduced the company and my specific work tasks via powerpoint and then I got started right away with my first tasks such as translating emails for my coworkers, welcoming suppliers etc.
I think what I like most about it (as far as I can say this up to now) is, that they seem to make a really good team and want me to be integrated in it as much as possible, having the chance to learn a lot. They have very high expectations too, but I like that, since its a challenge I can grow in and a good preparation for any future job positions.
Since my superviser mostly speaks Japanese with me and all my work assignments and conversations with clients are in Japanese, its nice to know that I will most likely be able to improve my language skills a lot… It was a crazy day..but my conclusion is that I really really like my new job & life in Japan!
At night, I had plans on meeting up with some of my very good Japanese friends I’ve known for years now. On a quick decision I just dragged some of my roomies along and it ended up being one of the most fun reunions ever :)
The fancy Mexican bar we went to had the most breath taking view on Tokyo and its skyline. You could even spot the Tokyo tower! It made me realize: I really am now living here! Amazing!
Ps.: Sorry about the picture quality: I know that my phone doesn’t take high qualtity shots at night and I had forgotten my camera!!