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As soon as my lunch break comes, I dash out of the office to avoid being invited to have a lunch with them. I always have a single idea – go to Starbucks to read a book to improve myself. I have been reading the important book, The Growth of Soil. I am so immersed in Hamsun’s beautiful world and am aware that I am participating in the era of human degeneration. Naturally, I forgot about going back to the office. My usual break time is from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., but when I realized it, it was already past 2:30 p.m.
As soon as I went back to the office and sat down on my chair, the bitch rushed toward me like a bull, as if she determined to crash me to pieces. She fired at me, “Mr. Onoe, what on earth are you thinking? Do you know what time it is now?”
“I guess around 2:30 p.m. now,” I replied calmly.
My calmness aggravated her, and she exploded, “Mr. Onoe, it’s unforgivable and beyond my patience. As you know, the company allows you to take a lunch break for only an hour, but you took over ninety minutes today. Are you totally insane or out of your mind? A normal person has a conscience and feels guilty when he is late coming back to the office from the break – immediately comes to me in order to make an apology, but you’re always behaving as if nothing happened and seem not to care if you come back here late. Let me explain, Mr. Onoe. The company is paying your salary by hours, so even in your thirty-minute absence, you are paid. Do you understand what I am talking about? Everyone comes back to the office from the break on time and even five minutes earlier, so that they can get ready for afternoon’s work, but you never come back to the office from the break on time and are constantly being late by ten or fifteen minutes. I can’t let this situation continue anymore because it’s unfair to everyone.”
But here I could no longer refrain myself from interrupting her tirade, and I said impulsively, “Excuse me, Ms. Yamada, in Mexico nobody cares how long employees take a break, but they care if they’re finished with their duties properly. Literally, today is not so busy. In my opinion I haven’t caused any damage during my absence. I’m wondering if you’ve ever been in the world. Have you ever been in Mexico, for instance?”
At this point, she could not control her rage anymore and yelled at me at the top of her lungs, “Enough, enough nonsense, Mr. Onoe! Who cares about Mexican culture? Wake up, man, here is Japan. You must obey Japanese rules. If I ask you to do something, you just do it because this is order. When I say you have to come back to the office on time from the break, you must obey. If you don’t obey what I order and still talk about Mexican nonsense, you will face a serious consequence, which I bet you won’t like it.”
As soon as she uttered her final threat, her face became red beyond rage and turning her back to me, she strode straight to her desk, shaking her flat ass.