Japan · Life · Mental Health

Work musings and saying goodbye…

If you’re checking on my sanity, I’m doing better.  The rest of the week turned out fine (after a second round of tears at work on Tuesday).  I downloaded iOS10 (it’s great) and watched the premiere of the new season of “American Horror Story” (it’s okay).

My work calendar (and not the 58 day cycle one) looks pretty great thanks to the Japanese holidays that comprise the lesser known Silver Week.  This means I only work one day next week, and it’s Wednesday (Monday and Tuesday are my worst days of the work week).  In addition, I decided, to preserve my own mental health and sanity, that I’d take a holiday the following Monday and a half day on Tuesday (since I have 11 holidays I’ve never used).  The week we move, I’ll only work two days, so it’ll be a breeze.  I feel no remorse in doing this considering the only times I’ve been absent is when I hurt myself and when my grandma died.

Recently, my favorite co-worker, Motoki, returned.  (He had been on a leave due to issues of mental health.)  Since he’s been back we’ve talked a lot especially about issues of mental health (a taboo subject in Japan).  He said that something I said to him really resonated with him and he decided to take a leave to preserve his sanity.  When the fiscal year started in April he was not looking well.  He was clearly unhappy and run ragged.  His face had become sallow.  I said that he needed to take care of himself, and it did no one any good if he worked until his eyes bled.  I had no idea when I said that to him in my usual no holds barred carefree manner (something Japan abhors) that that would be the voice of reason he needed to take care of himself and his family forgoing work.  In my time spent at this job we’ve had many a serious (and not so serious discussion) about life, the universe and everything.  I recall saying to him “Work will never love you back”, so while many Japanese remained married to their jobs, the jobs do little for them beyond a means of fiscal support.  In this blogger’s opinion that fiscal support doesn’t even extend to the amount of overtime Japanese people work that is only clocked by their boss’s eyes and not by payroll  (something that as an American I cannot abide which is why in Japan I’ve never stayed much later than my paid time).  This is something Motoki came to understand but Endymion still doesn’t (an argument for another blog).  Since Motoki’s been back, harmony has returned to the office, and it’s no longer ruled by the tyrannical AC hater, Nemesis.  (Deep down I think he feels about as much disdain for her as I do albeit for different reasons, but since he’s Japanese he’ll never be as vocal about it as I am).  This man took part in hiring me and I owe him at least a little for that.  More than that though he’s supported me in ever work endeavor or dispute I’ve ever had to deal with.  He is my most favorite person to work with and talk with at work.  I felt sad every time I looked at his empty desk.  And now…now I have to leave, and he is just one of the many people it hurts to leave behind.

When I left America, I did this.  I packed up my whole life (a 3 bedroom house worth of stuff).  I said goodbye to my family, friends some of whom I had known for 10 years.  It wasn’t easy then.  Now I’ve know some people here for a year or a couple years.  All the friends I’ve had when I first moved here have long since departed Japan.  It’s not a long time, but here in a place that’s so transient (and often devoid of like-minded folks), I’ve learned to value true friendships more because true friends are much more rare, and so it’s not easy to say goodbye now either.  I’ve already cried a lot about this, and I guarantee more tears will come.  Sigh.  I’ve got to wrap this up lest the waterworks flow tonight.  Thanks for sticking around.

Princess Serenity

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