Tuesday, March 13, 2007

All the Comforts of Home...

One of the things I truly love about my life here in Japan is the office I have at work. It's got just about everything a man with time on his hands could desire. It's spacious, it's got a view, and the amenities, well, they're to die for! What, you think I'm joking? I'm dead serious, friends. Japan places a great premium on maintaining the appearance of being busy while actually doing nothing, and the best way to appear to be busy is not to "appear" at all! I don't come out of my office all day (except to attend meetings), so I must be busy! And since the diligent "worker" is expected to be "busy" in his office all day, he might as well be comfortable. Allow me to show you what I mean.

My office has a very large window affording a lovely view of the parking lot. (Hey! There's my car! It's the blue one in the middle of the "top" row.) And you know, on clear days I can actually see the ocean from here! Sometimes I just stare out the window for hours on end...

As you can plainly see from the shot below, my "work" area is spacious and comfortable. The university has spared no expense providing me with the means necessary to do my job well: a computer with broadband internet connection, a fax/phone, a color printer, and all the office supplies I can pilfer!

My office also comes equipped with it's own portable stereo, complete with CD/MD/Tape /Radio functions. And, what better way to use my broadband connection, printer, and office supplies than to provide myself with a little music to help make the hum-drum of the work day a little more enjoyable!?

As a university "professor" I'm expected to be well-informed about what's happening in the world and in my special area of "expertise". I'm provided, at no expense to myself whatsoever, with any reading materials I desire.

Of course, on that rare occasion when someone actually comes to see me with a question, it's only fit and proper that I have the necessary reference material at my disposal. Can't have those pesky students tripping you up with some trick spelling or grammar question!

Care for a hot or cold drink? A snack? Need to wash up? Not a problem! (I'm still angling for a way to get coffee covered by my office budget...)

And finally, after a long day of blog--, er, working, sometimes I feel like taking a little nap. Looks inviting, doesn't it?

Yes, indeed. I sure love my office!


  1. By God, you're describing the job I just retired from - down to the window overlooking the parking lot. And as for the work ethic, well, like I've said before, the State of Louisiana has certainly patterned itself on the Japanese model.

  2. Wow. I'd looooove to work in a place like that. From my desk, the only view I've got is the elevator door!
    The only free thing around here is the coffe (the cheapest in the market), since the stationary has been "controlled" recently. We have to go to the 6th floor to get a pen!

  3. Glenn, please remember that most of the time I'm just kidding around (that's my story, anyway!).

    Usual Stuff, I have boxes of pens in my office! Coffee is, for me, like alcohol. I don't really care what it tastes like, as long as it gets the job done. Anything else is decadence!

  4. If I step out of my cube and turn around, I have a pretty decent view...

    My work environment is actually pretty decent, and I suspect that my building's amenities are above average, like the two big flat-panel HDTVs in the cafeteria, one of which appears to be permanently tuned to ESPN.

  5. Hi Eli,
    I get some weird version of ESPN here on cable tv, but they don't seem to show much in the way of actual sporting events--some French and Scottish League soccer, one two-week old NHL game on Tuesdays at 1:00am, and a smattering of golf and motorsports. Other than that it's pretty much all Japanese pro-wrestling, some billiards, some weird "extreme" sports, and a lot of shows that seem to be just excuses to play some rap tunes. Oh, yeah, and SportsCenter.
    Kinda sucks, actually.

    I keep waiting for some Japanese phenom to break into the NHL. Then I'll get lots of games on NHK!

  6. This is great, Kyklops. What a view, what a . . . parking lot!!

    This was a fun tour -- seriously, it seems like a pretty nice set-up. A couch, a sink and coffee maker, privacy, windows, bookshelves, music, reading material. (I'd be constantly kicking that cord near the sink though.)

    I couldn't tell what the top three CDs were, but I very much liked the bottom three (a bit eclectic, but very nice).

    Thanks for the tour.

  7. Hi Kyklops,
    hahaha you are too funny and certainly have too much time on your hands.

    Like Eli I actually have to get out of my cube to see anything (the jerks near the windows get an awesome lake view...i am stuck in the middle cube looking at nothing.)

    But the notion of appearing busy transcends cultures. Even the best corporate jobs I have worked in, have had too much downtime...

  8. GT, glad you enjoyed the tour. Cell phone cameras really come in handy when you have nothing to write about. Just click away and write about the goofy pictures.
    For some reason, I never trip on that cord. In fact, that cord serves no function in my room. I pulled it out once, though, and the guy in the next office lost his TV connection. Weird.
    At work I usually listen to jazz and a bit of classical (but my "first love" is rock n' roll). The top three discs are (from left) by Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman.

    Hi Maliha, I've never had to work in a cubicle environment, but I suspect I would get more done more quickly if I did! I know what you mean about appearing to be "busy". It justs manifests itself differently in different cultures.