So its the eve of my wedding ceremony. My parents have come to Japan. …And I’m somewhat miffed. Why? I shall explain.
In the last “Less Money, More Problems” editorial, I believe I mentioned my former boss threatening to not pay me my final paycheck if I didn’t hand in two forms that I really didn’t need to hand in. I went to the Labor Bureau and asked if he could legally get away with that. The advisor I spoke to told me no, he couldn’t. He made a copy of the lawbooks where it says employers are not allowed to withhold paychecks from employees, and underlined the key phrase. The advisor suggested I email my former company telling them I wasn’t going to hand in the forms, that withholding my paycheck would be illegal, and to include a scanned copy of the page from the lawbook as evidence. I did exactly that. I never got a reply to that email, so I figured that perhaps, defeated, my former boss had known when to quit, and would pay me my final paycheck which I desperately NEED on the verge of getting married.
Today was payday. Or at least, it should have been. I checked my account twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Nothing. I did not get paid for my final month of work.
Before I quit my job, one day I got on the morning train as usual. I managed to get a seat at my stop, and at the next stop, much like every morning, the girl I’ve nicknamed Slim (originally, she was Skinny, but I like Slim better) was one of the first on the train; her good timing and her Kate Moss-esque body volume usually allow her to find a place to sit. This morning, she took a seat next to me.
Then, something unusual happened.
Another black guy came onto the train. Why is this unusual, you ask? Well, black folks in Japan are rare, period. Having two randomly be in the same place at the same time, and not have anything to do with rap/hip hop or basketball, is kind of like winning the lottery twice. Black Dude #2 takes a seat next to Slim. …In case you haven’t figured it out by now, this makes Slim the cream in a black man Oreo. And while there are many Japanese women who would LOVE to be in this position (I’ve seen the videos…), not Slim apparently, as not long after BD#2 sits down…Slim got up and changed seats.
I suppose the double concentration of Gaijin Perimeter was just too strong for her.
Japanese people do sometimes change seats if they notice one person in a couple has managed to get a seat but the other hasn’t. I don’t think she thought that was the case here though. I’d never seen this guy before, he’d never seen me before, and aside from the obligatory Black Recognition Nod*, we made no signs of knowing each other. She was clearly just uncomfortable being sandwiched between so much raw, sexual power, that she had to change her seats. Or she thought we were both going to carry her off the train and murder her. Whatever.
It was kind of funny to see; BD#2 moved next to me and acknowledged it. “Man, she got up and moved in a hurry, huh?” We both had to just laugh about it. Gaijin Super Powers strike again.
Since I’m unemployed, I figured I’d spend more time regularly updating. I always wanted to update regularly, I just couldn’t with my job schedule. I couldn’t do much of anything, really. If possible I’ll try to do these comment responses as much as possible, I figure that’s better/easier than just leaving “(Az’s Note:…)” in the comments.
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I had an idea – a lot of people have been asking for wedding pictures. I was going to post up one – just one. But if a steady stream of donations come in, I’ll post more pictures. If you guys blow me away, I’ll post every picture that’s taken. Least I can do. And I’ll try to figure out other ways to enhance the content of this site as well.
I was going through my inbox when I found an email that stood out to me. I didn’t flag it at the time and I can’t find it/too lazy to look for it now, so I can’t quote it verbatim. To paraphrase what was said,
“You always complain about being broke, but JET teachers make pretty good money for the work they do, don’t they? Why don’t you just suck it up and go back to English teaching, then you can quit whining about being poor.”
I do occasionally mention my money problems, and have even groveled to you all from time to time, so I figure a basic explanation is the least I can do.
I was a JET for 3 years, and yes, JET’s do get paid decently. Many people will say that JET’s are overpaid, and if you look at the work only, it’s very easy to think that. However, when taking into account everything; the fact that the foreign teacher has come halfway across the world to live in a culture radically different from their own, in a place that fundamentally doesn’t accept them, and that since most JET’s end up on rural postings, they will have a giant spotlight on their lives for the duration of their stay…well, I think the salary is appropriate.
At any rate, what little I’d managed to save during my time on JET, I had to use when I moved into my current apartment. Moving costs in Japan are very expensive, to say the least.