Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Untitled 2/12

I was kind of hoping there would be a poster this month specifically targeting the Secretary next to me, the quiet one, who has developed the unfortunate habit of letting out single coughs throughout the day without covering her mouth. It brings to mind the brilliant character in Little Britain who does the "computer says no" routine. It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

I'm not too much of a priss when it comes to germs, but really? Not covering your mouth during a cough? Just bad manners. I even cover my mouth when I am coughing whilst enjoying Mavis's leather saddle. I keep semi-glancing over at the Secretary when she coughs hoping this will instill some fear or shame, but to no avail. This is the Secretary who tries not to make even the smallest amount of noise when hanging up the phone or opening an envelope. How is it that we have ladies gargling (presumably to fend off colds) at the sink at work in the morning, really getting into it and making all sorts of disgusting sphincter-tightening sounds, and then we have people walking down the street coughing and hacking openly at unsuspecting passersby? This is definitely one of those "Japan is an enigma" moments.*

Thoughts on the poster? It actually looks like Creepy was getting ready to play grab ass and this poor woman who works for Subway corporate HQ is just putting some physical distance between them utilizing the objects at hand, like any good salarywoman would. We all know if it was me, I would be actively ramming the suitcase against his shins without a second thought.

*If the sarcasm was not apparent, you should probably get out while you can.


goeast said...

It's exactly the same in Thailand, and it's SO GROSS. Do people not have mothers who tell them not to sneeze and cough on people, really? Let's not even get into all the public nose picking on public transit.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

I really am doubting this is something taught from a young age here, I can't think of another explanation for this behaviour in a nation of neat freaks. I just tried to reply to a comment on your blog an hour or so ago- maybe it's my computer but it wanted me to log in to wordpress? Anyways, will try to get in touch with you soon before next month!

kathrynoh said...

Definitely gross on the coughing.

I love this manners poster because those wheelie bags are a freaken menace. I've tripped over them both here and in Australia because people walk with the bag trailing behind them and you see the bloody thing until you run into it!

Jeffrey said...

Covering your mouth with your hand? How 20th Century. By the time our kids were done with preschool, everyone in the family was coughing into their elbows.

Lisa said...

AHHH! This would drive me nuts. I would start with a pump of hand sanitizer and then escalate to a spray of disinfectant.

gec said...

When I have an enormous suitcase, or even a not so enormous one, it's hard for me to move it around. How about everybody just moves AROUND me. Or go bump the other people without luggage out of the way. And if you're walking slower than me with my enormous suitcase--MOVE.I'm walking in my line. Thank you.

gec said...

Oh yeah, and gargling is total bullshit. I love how we wash our cups and gargle and brush our teeth in the same sink. Well some do. Especially the men. Is the bathroom THAT far away!?

Generic Jen B said...

I refuse to eat out during the winter for this very reason: hoiking, coughing, sniffing. Not ok.
This poster annoys me deeply; it's the perfect illustration of the whiney, self-important, the world is out to inconvenience me attitude. The guy at the back should chill the f*** out and slow down, watch where he's going and allow people to perform the perfectly normal task of wheeling a suitcase that is designed to be wheeled. FFS! (must check calendar; this could be PMS)

Sarahf said...

I work with kids, I get coughed on all day. I also spend way to much time telling the kids to get a tissue- they come to school with snot caked on their upper lips. Drives me crazy.

Japan Australia said...

Funny stuff!! I love the manners poster. Very Japanese and we need to clean up this menace that is the wheelie suitcase.

Tako Hostil said...

Totally disgusting, you should invite Sven to the Kaisha and had him lecture her on manners.

wakanai said...

They are obviously doing the shuffle (Please refrain from dancing on the train!). Megane-san, right food to the front, right food to the back. OL-san, swing that suitcase to the back. Or is she using it to protect her virginity? Are there any virgins at all in Japan?

Sarah said...

I'm with you on the no cover-up cough, it disgusts me. I blame it on people being used to wearing a mask and so supposedly not needing to use a hand or elbow or whatever to cover but no mask and no cover?!! The other day some guy on the train coughed (no mask no hand or even an attempt to stop) and I got a face full of warm disease ridden cough air. The glare I gave him was enough to fry any bacteria lingering, however, and he took the hint and moved off to infect some other poor innocent.

Jon Allen said...

you'll like the version of the poster here :

I'm totally with you on the coughing, I cringe when it happens.

Beth said...

Gargling is bullshit, and besides, when you stand at the sink and tilt your head back and gargle furiously you're just making a throat fountain out of yourself, and then you spit and hack and cough a little bit more and spray the sink and faucet and handles with more of your grossness. Ew.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

kathrynoh: It's definitely frustrating walking behind someone going along slowly with one of these but as I use one sometimes, I can't complain!

Jeffrey: How 20th century indeed. At this point, I am grateful for any barrier between me and their mouths.

Lisa: Nice idea! I can make a big show about using it and hopefully pressure her into new healthy habits!

gec: I would lose my shit if I saw people gargling into the kitchen sinks! Bathroom is bad enough, but come on people! Sounds like you work with some charismatic guys.

Jen B: Yeah I'm not sure how Creepy is being inconvenienced, it's not like the suitcase is being used as a weapon!

Sarahf: The old suck it in instead of blowing it out thing? Love it almost as much as the gargling!

Japan Australia: Weird isn't it? I've never seen so many people with wheelie bags who are not travelling here in the city...maybe it's reaching epidemic proportions.

Tako: I would let Sven lecture me on anything.

wakanai: Not from what I've heard but I hear they can do very good virgin impressions.

Sarah: You poor thing. If that had happened to me, I probably would have tried to say something, blatent coughing on someone is just not on. Your mask comment came back to me on the train a few days ago when I was watching someone with one...if you cough with a mask, do the germs really not get out?! I am a little skeptical.

Jon Allen: Thanks for the heads up! I always enjoy those fresh takes on the posters.

Beth: Thank you for such an explicit picture, it actually made me laugh. And then cry. I am scared to touch the sink now. Gross.