My secretary broke up with me this week. Praise the lord.
It started last week with some murmured snippets about some desk shifting about to go down, but I didn't dare get my hopes up that it would be her moving. Not having to deal with her weird sour puss attitude and continued resistance to acknowledging my existence was more than I dared hope for. Having her continually in my peripheral vision all day every day was starting to do my head in. I have realized though, that her issues cannot be chalked up solely to her being Japanese, and I think she is genuinely just kind of fucked up. Case in point: she always eats lunch at her desk. I do too, for the most part, but I do it because I am a lonely whitie with a vag. What with her nationality and ethnicity behind her, she should be able to fit in with the other secretaries and score invitations to lunches where bore-me-to-tears conversations abound. The fact that she does not is suspect.
She is now gone, far down the hall and out of my line of sight. Not surprisingly, she said absolutely nothing to me about it, but made a point of saying goodbye to the nice secretary diagonally across from me. The first I officially heard about anything was when that new quiet secretary who used to sit next to me, came over and said that again, she would be joining my quad of shame, yoroshiku, etc., thank you very much. I feel like I have written in detail about the two quiet secretaries who used to sit near me, but for the life of me I cannot find it. In short, they were unnaturally quiet. Hanging up the phone in slow motion-type shit. I don't think I ever saw either one with a plastic bag or anything that could have emitted an offensive sound. I became painfully self-conscious of pulling a tissue from its box, taking my sandwich out of its bag, popping open a diet Coke, even the sound of my palm-sized stapler sent waves of paranoia through me. The worst part is, they weren't simply quiet, they were purposefully quiet. I could see the pains they took to ensure total silence and it in turn, pained me.
So this is who I have sitting next to me again. We will see how it goes. Three or four days after my secretary moved, she finally sent me an email to tell me that one of her main duties in relation to me is being shifted to Quiet One. And that maybe she should have told me earlier. You motherfucking think? I was so very very very tempted to write back that yes, she should have told me, and while we're at it, she should have told me she was moving too. I mean, my nose is so freakishly tall that sometimes I miss things going on to the side of me and holy shit was I surprised to turn my head one day and find a completely different person sitting on the other side of the divide. I am still trying to decide how to ask my secretary whether she is still my secretary or whether I should now direct everything to Quiet One. I am of half a mind to just email HR and have them clarify things for me since she is not being very forthcoming.
Living in Japan blurs the lines for me and I am left wondering about the motives behind people's actions: are they targeting me as someone who is foreign and female, or are they just ass holes? I alluded to it a little in my most recent manner post, but I am struggling with the extension of kindness to strangers. I'm not sure where the turning point came and went, but somewhere along the way I got it into my head that everyone is against me. There are obviously many exceptions to this rule (even at the Kaisha), but for the most part, sadly, I automatically assume that people outside of my little corner apartment in Nihonbashi are out to get me. I suppose I could easily draw this conclusion living somewhere else, but never have I encountered such a wall of passive-aggressiveness and people fronting all kinds of attitudes in my general direction.
Late last night as I was riding home, I came upon a group of six or seven salarymen taking up most of the sidewalk (which, by the way, is spacious on Showa-dori), so I moved to the very far left so as not to break up their group. What do you know, but two of them decide to move to the same side and then split up, making it almost impossible for me to squeeze through. I would have dismissed it as that peculiar and frustrating habit of people here to go completely against (my) logic when moving around other pedestrians and bike traffic. Last night though, the two salaryfuckers must have decided to fuck with me, because they had to move away from the group to block me and as I barely made it through swearing out loud at how tight they had closed ranks, the whole group started laughing about it. Those two in particular deserve to have Mavis run over their fucking underused balls. Now class, did the salarymen gang up on me because I was a foreigner on a bike? a female on a bike? a foreign female on a bike? a person with wavy hair on a bike? a sweaty person with wavy hair on a bike? a sweaty female on a bike? I will never know.