Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Postcard from the Kaisha 5

I have been in an omiyage wasteland as of late. Actually as of pretty much forever. After a trip home to Canada last year I hemmed and hawed over the intricacies of omiyage etiquette and was more relieved than anything when I finished handing out my 50th and last Coffee Crisp to a fellow Kaisha-in. It has just now occurred to me that I never gave an update on my relative status around the water cooler (tea pot?!) after said show of generosity and I heart my Kaisha love, but you can probably guess. If you guessed that I am now like, totally popular and everyone is clamoring to cop a feel of my flaxen hair then you need to read between the lines a little more. I have continued to wallow in obscurity. It's not really obscurity though, when everyone knows who and what you are but simply continues to ignore you now is it?

There are maybe four secretaries out of about thirty potentials who have gone out of their way (five high-heeled wobbles down the hall) to give me omiyage from their Professionals but I don't know that I have ever gotten any omiyage love from real live secretaries. This is more than a little distressing if you have a sliver of a clue as to how important and ritualized the whole omiyage thing is. It's not as if none of the secretaries have stepped foot outside of the greater Tokyo area in the last year, so what gives? After another walk of shame involving some Choco Apple Rolls after my trip to the great north over New Year's, I decided on my recent trip to Paris/London that I couldn't take the pressure any longer and nothing short of buying everyone a round of Louis Vuitton wallets was going to ever get me within spitting distance of the inner circle. Just in case you were wondering, I actually aborted the Choco Apple Roll mission halfway through, not bothering to hand out the rest of the Rolls to the secretaries (and in turn, their Professionals) that I missed on my first turn around the office. There were some Professionals I specifically wanted to target with said mission but I just couldn't bear the uncomfortable introduction of the omiyage and ensuing forced cha-cha with the relevant secretaries. I have half a box sitting of aforementioned Rolls in my desk drawer if anyone is interested.

Where am I going with all this you ask? I certainly couldn't fit all this on a postcard even if I employed a magnifying glass. It must have been the spring air because after Golden Week I almost choked on my tongue when a secretary pops out from nowhere bearing omiyage for me. What does this mean? Am I back in the loop? Is my one-woman omiyage-giving boycott over? I think I can safely say no as I have seen some illicit exchanges taking place in my peripheral vision which just adds to the hurt. My next big trip is to take a bite out of the Big Apple in September so I have until then to marinate on the idea of once again, holding my pride in one hand and a box of omiyage in the other and making the rounds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Flying below the radar is a good thing.