Saturday, September 29, 2007

A fact of life in Japan

This sounds so familiar:

But I had had no difficulties whatsoever in numerous tries. Which meant the post office was due.

I knew this the second I greeted the clerk in Japanese and he answered me in English. A bad sign. We were not going to communicate.
(Japan Times Online)

This not only happens in Japan. When I was in Manhattan before coming to Japan, I went to get my visa. I had had a spousal visa before, so I thought I knew the procedure. The guy who waited on me was Caucasian---perhaps a Japanese citizen, perhaps not. He was working for the Japanese government though as a bureaucrat. He rejected one of my forms and told me I had to take another form home and fill it out. When I got home, I discovered that my only mistake had been to write the wrong heading or something on the first form---a simple mistake that I could have corrected on the spot. However, as an officious dork, he couldn't have simply said so, although it was obvious that he knew. Not that US bureaucrats are one bit better. It appears to be a mental illness common in the profession. Oh, wait---there is nothing professional about a bureaucrat is there?

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