A Rant by Donald Ames
One of my favourite lines from the movie Vanilla Sky is as follows: "Without the sour the sweet would not taste as sweet." That rule applies for life in so many ways that it is startling to think that it was written by the same man who penned the ridiculous phrase "Show me the money." What I refer to today in this most polar opposite of blog entries is my outlook upon the worst part of my Japanese experience. Oh, Japan is fantastic! I can't deny that fact. But there is one element of Japan that I loathe with every fibre of my being. I warn you in advance that this will be a very bitter rant filled with a lot of vulgar language, I am sure. Uncle Frank, you could probably forego printing this entry off for Gramma C.
What is it about major corporations that make them the dumbest people in the entire world? In all honesty, I cannot fathom how ass-backwards huge companies are. And this is why I feel this way: my commute in the mornings is ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous! I get up around 7:30 or 9:30, depending on if I start work early or late, shower, shave, dress and then start off on my trek. First, I have to take the express train line to Yokohama. Then I have to take a fuckin' bus to my branch. In total, this trip averages around 1 hour with good days being a little less and bad days being stupidly more. This is why it is so ridiculous! There is a NOVA branch a meree 5 minutes away from me! 5 God-damned minutes! I can walk to the train station where I start my long-ass journey and stand next to it! Now, why would you make your teachers ride a ridiculous amount of hours on multiple modes of transportation when you can easily put them at closer branches, save yourself money in the process by not paying out for train and bus passes and save the poor teacher a lot of fucking hassle?! Explain that one to me, you NOVA geniuses!
The reason I bring this up is because I was very close to being late on multiple occassions because you just can't rely on the bus system to succeed. There are too many factors with buses to keep you guessing on when you should leave for your shift: people, stops, traffic, red lights, dumbass drivers, people stopping the bus to ask the driver the most insignificant of questions, EVERYTHING! Today, I didn't even try to catch the bus knowing that the bus equals lateness. I just simply caught a cab, which is an unecessary step in this whole process. Luckily, I got into work on time because if I come in even a minute late I get docked 2 lessons! 2 out of 8 is a hefty price to pay when a company relies on the bus system to transport me from one place to the next. If a company forces me to take a bus they should allow a buffer zone of a couple of minutes to account for the retarded nature of the bus system.
Now, I know what you are saying: "Don, just start a little earlier! It's not that hard!" Well, when you leave your house at 11:30 for a 1:20 shift and still barely make it in on time, you tell me how early I should start leaving. Cause I have no clue! And this is the sour that is fucking up my sweet. Everything else is really cool! I like teaching, my students are fantastic, the people at work are good folks to work with, but it's the commute that is really putting a huge-ass raincloud over my Japanese parade. Due to the running this morning my lungs are shot, my throat is sore, my legs are killing me, I didn't get a chance to shower, shave or brush my teeth, I feel gross, I'm bitter and I'm really considering a transfer away from the peace and quiet of my branch to the hectic nature of another branch all thanks to this commute!
So enjoy your work now! If you ever get a commute like I do, end it all cause the fear of being late and losing money for no reason other than the annoyance of the bus system is not worth it! Now, I will stew for an evening and when I come back I'll go back to enjoying Japan. Promise.