I’m Your Immediate Superior

Here the dwarf noticed my complete indifference, and it hurt her pride deeply. A couple of blue lines appeared on her forehead, and her face turned red as a lobster. And then she looked at me with the glints of vengeance in her eyes and yelling at the top of her voice, “Why don’t you understand, Shogo san? I’m trying to help you. But your forever disrespected attitude toward me makes me beyond rage. I’ve been nice to you, but you don’t care about anything what I say. Listen carefully, Shogo san, because I’m not going to say it again. You must listen to what I say and obey what I say blindly, since I’m your immediate superior.”

Pause.

She drunk a bottle of cold green tea hurriedly and looked around the office in all directions to check whether other colleagues were still on a lunch break. After she made certain that we were alone at the office and made sure of her safety, she continued her tirade mightily, “Shogo san, the time has come for me to disclose the secret. Do you know how Ishida san had become the office manager? Because I declined the offer; that’s how he got the position at the first place. I declined it, for I’m planning to take a state exam for an accountant. I’ve taken the exam for three times so far and never passed. However, this time I am certain that I can pass the exam anyway. What I want you to understand is that even Ishida san respects me and can’t order me anything, since I’m indeed superior to him and better than him. Even I have to teach Ishida san and Nakao san how to copy faster. I have to take care of lot of things – that’s why I got stressed out these days.”

She Was Not Welcome

Every time I heard her silly tirade, I let myself burst out laughing uproariously and looked at her bewilderingly, as if she were a rare insect I found in a forest. Needless to say, every time she heard my laughter, she was beyond rage – she called me a hopeless renegade. At the worst, she let her malevolence made visible at the top gear all day.

One day I was lectured the stupidest subject on earth: how the dwarf became the fastest copy clerk at Williams Lea Japan. While I was sorting faxes on a computer, the dwarf was approaching to me and letting herself sat right beside me uninvitingly. And she began telling her supposed success story without any preliminaries, “Shogo san, you should know I’ve been working for Williams Lea Japan for years. I was there from the start, so to speak. From the beginning, I’ve been the shining star; I’ve been never-endingly asked to take a manager’s position. However, I always decline the offer, because I’m not in the right position to accept it. Do you know why I’ve never accepted it?”

“Nobody cares,” I whispered spitefully.

“What did you just say, Shogo san?”

I just shrugged my shoulders in order to make her realized that she was not welcome. However, my defiance did not discourage her; on the contrary, she carried on the lecture with a full of pride: “Shogo san, I’m talking about this specific attitude toward the job, namely, your unwillingness to learn the job. I tell you, your weakest point is your lack of concern about the job. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask any help and need to be more aggressive toward the job. You should follow every my movement with a pen and a note and should take a note what I teach you. In this way, you can learn the job faster. As you know, I am the quickest copy clerk at Williams Lea Japan – everyone calls me that I am the living copy machine. Be that as it may, I won’t teach you about the secret of copy technics, for I want you to observe my every movement and steal my technics behind my back.”

 

Eternal Stupidity

I soon enough realized that I had better pretend to respect the dwarf; otherwise, I would be constantly lectured how to behave toward my superior, and she would make my day miserable. She always lectured me what the first thing for me to do when I came to the office is greeting her with a slight bow. Of course, I never did that. I openly ignored her existence. Besides, I did not comprehend why I had to bow to someone whom I do not respect. If she advised me that I should have exchanged friendly greetings when I came to the office, I would willingly accept it. But not this humiliating performance, not on your life! Furthermore, I was eagerly waiting for a chance to let myself give a loud fart right beside her face, so that she would know that this was my answer to her eternal stupidity. In fact, every time I omitted my greeting, she became furious and told Nakao san with ostentatious loud voice, so that I could hear every single tiny detail she uttered, “Nakano san, I warned Ishida san many times that he shouldn’t have hired Shogo san. I told him that Shogo san would be rude to us, because he had been out of Japan for a long time. I don’t like people who have tasted foreign lands, since they don’t know how to behave at an office properly and don’t know how to respect their immediate superior. They don’t equip any Japanese etiquette, so to speak. For example, if we hire a normal Japanese person, he’ll come to me and greet me, bowing with a touch of polite words. And then he’ll listen to attentively what I say and take a note assiduously. But alas, look at Shogo san, he never greets me, never gives any attention what I say, never takes a note, and to cap it all, he never shows proper respect for me. It is Ishida san’s fault. He should’ve never hired him at the first place.”

 

Perfect Disgrace

Moreover, I have witnessed the other kinds of frivolous Japanese cockroaches: they think that they are very good at their jobs, and they are better than their colleagues. Such a type is more dangerous, more difficult to work with, and more pain for eyes. They are carrying a full of silly dignity about them all the time. All in all, their imperious manners are completely unacceptable and perfect disgrace. The dwarf was the epitome of this type – she was in fact the champion of silly pride.

Unforgivably Vainglorious Creatures

Mr. Virgin always pretended to know everything under the sun despite of fact that he did not know anything. He did not know who Strindberg was or any great writers but knew of only a few Japanese writers. Unfortunately, he could not admit his ignorance due to a small guy’s pride. In all my life I have met a number of Japanese arrogant jackasses who behave exactly like him. Japanese people are extremely narrow-minded creatures and live in their small world without rhyme or reason. And on top of it all, they are . They always want to show off themselves better than they actually are; they never admit their ignorance. The biggest problem for them is that they are very insecure. As a result, they cannot admit their ignorance openly; they are ashamed for asking questions in order to learn something new. The most embarrassing thing for Japanese is to admit their ignorance in public. For me, I do not understand such ludicrous pride. I am willing to admit my ignorance, so that I am able to learn new things and improve myself in daily life. In fact, my friends, my friends’ parents, and even total strangers have become my teachers along the way. Because of silly pride, the majority of Japanese have lost opportunities to improve themselves and to expand their horizon. Every time I see vainglorious Japanese cockroaches that pretend to be aloof, I am blushed by shame. As a matter of fact, Mr. Virgin had never read any books except weekly video game magazines at the office. He was a thirty years old virgin – he played video games all day on his day offs. Dostoevsky once said, “He thinks that he knows everything; in truth, he does not know anything.” Mr. Virgin was the epitome of a Japanese vainglorious muttonhead, and I was very sorry for that.