27 January 2007

The world would be a better place if ________.

Via the Sassy one, here’s lovely Robyn’s assignment.

I’m a self-centred bint, so I made a wee change. Prepare to be mesmerised by the utter vacuousness of the following.

My world would be a better place if people watched where they were going. There still appears to be some confusion as to which side of the footpath/sidewalk one should walk, despite the arrows on the ground indicating just that.

My world would be a better place if the same people refrained from inspecting their navels, feet, etc. as they wandered around the city. If they’re looking down, they should be able to see the arrows and follow them accordingly.

My world would be a better place if the insane plastic bag subculture didn’t exist. For some incomprehensible reason, certain items purchased from supermarkets are wrapped in plastic then placed in plastic bags. That’s at least three layers of plastic, people.

My world would be a better place if
the Clown went back to lurking in hostess bars all day and didn’t involve himself in current projects, thereby confusing an already confused office.

My world would be a better place if the following scenario didn’t happen again. Ever.

Clown: GG-san, how many files you have left?

GG: I’ve done five of the nine files, so I have four to read.

Clown: You have two.


GG: Um... out of the nine files, I have read five files, so that leaves four files.

Clown: There are not nine files.

GG: Oh. (Opens folder on computer) Here are the nine files I received.

Clown: Ah so, we sent two back to client. You have seven files.


GG: O-kaaay. Which files have been sent back to the client?

(Clown indicates the returned files)

GG: So… I have proofed two 4000-word documents that I didn’t actually need to read?

Clown: You have new boots? (staring at GG’s legs)

My world would be a better place if I’m never again sent a 5500-word* document at 4.00pm on a Friday afternoon. If I didn’t work on it until 6.30 then decide to call it a day as it had been a very long week. If I didn’t shut down my computer, put on my beanie, coat and gloves, and have some weekend-plans banter with the gaijin guy next to me. If I didn’t walk to the door, only to hear:
Clown: GG-san, it is good translation, ne?

GG: It’s not bad, Clown-san. I’ve had to rewrite a lot, as the translation is quite literal and very confusing in places.

Clown: You have finished the file?

GG: I’ve got four pages to go, so I’ll get it to you by lunchtime on Monday.

Clown: The file is due tonight.


GG: @#$$#%%^^&(*)*()%^$%^#$^#$@$%^%&% (Just manages to refrain from spontaneously combusting. Just.)

My world will be a better place when it finally sinks into my thick skull that it is possible to say ‘no’ without actually saying no. It can be done in the following ways, so please be advised of the following and take precautions:
It is possible
Yes, but

Various gutteral sounds


Conversely, my world will be a better place when it finally sinks into my thick skull that ‘yes’ can mean:
I understand

* I rewrite about 1000 words an hour if the translation is good, i.e. I can understand wtf is being said. This job required at least seven hours, not 2.5 hours. And it would have been very handy to know the deadline constraints.


  1. You have new boots?

    Wow! What are they like?

  2. black. leather. knee-high.

  3. The world would be a better place if...

    the sort of personalities that brought our species to the top of the food chain would die out like the dinosaurs and allow the rest of us to figure out how to make civilization actually work.

  4. Great list! I am puzzled by the plastic bag thing as well. I will intentionally NOT put the onion in a separate bag, and the cashier will put it in one anyway. What could possibly happen to the onion during the 10-minute ride home?

    Your job sounds frustrating, but it does provide good material, doesn't it.

  5. Onions! Brrr … Be very afriad, Robyn. Keep those little suckers well wrapped up.

    No chance of a photo of you in the boots, eh GG?
    Thought not …

  6. forty_two: i like where you're coming from - it's a lovely dream, my friend. being of a pessimistic ilk this week, i foresee that the people with the sorts of personalities that brought our species to the top of the food chain shall continue their merry quest for world domination through violent and oppressive measures that will lead to the end of the world as we know it.

    robyn: hello! nice to see you here. i think that's a great warning for all of us - beware the rogue onion. we may thank that cashier one day.
    a friend in tokyo once told the cashier that she didn't want everything wrapped in the plastic bags and to just put it all into a paper bag. this completely confused the cashier, who then stuffed four plastic bags in with the groceries. then it was our turn to be confused.
    i guess all job's can be frustrating at times. i just had a particularly bad week.

    dive: it is possible.

  7. What kind of panties are you wearing?

  8. Well actually that may have been me, black outs and all. Toyko sounds like a big ant hill, you spray some of them and they all panic and don't know what way to go. The Clown sounds like a delightful chap, hes got you by the curlys, nice boots, what a charmer.

  9. i'm australian so i wear undies, not panties. or i just go commando.
    i like your analogy, old man. i think that's why there are arrows everywhere, pointing you in the direction in which you should walk. god forbid you work it out yerself.
    things run so smoothly when the clown's at the pub, which used to be most days.

  10. Fake Dive. Love it, Old K.

    And GG: I like "possible".

  11. dive: anything is possible.

  12. Oh, GG, it sounds like a hellish week!
    In spite of my normally calm and patient self, I almost went berserk this week, too, because of the craziness! I know EXACTLY what you mean about people not walking in the direction of the arrows. It IS like an ant hill here sometimes, and I really want to scream: why is it so friggin' difficult to walk in orderly paths instead of all over the friggin' place!!!?
    A highschool boy carrying a large school bag nearly knocked me into the next prefecture as he and his friends ran DOWN the UP staircase to catch a train! I swung around and hit him in the arm, yelling DAMN YOU! The thing here is that NOBODY says anything! Thats why there are so many bad mannered pedestrians and train riders! If somebody knocked some sense into them once in a while, maybe they'd start mending their ways.
    And besides the triple-wrapped bags, what's with the bicycles parked right in front of entrances to shops, banks, grocery stores, etc.? I want to grab those bikes and pitch them at the stupid persons who parked them there!
    OK, now that I've vented, I hope your week goes better, and that you succeed in getting people at work to give you notice about deadlines! I would have laughed and said, "wow! that's a good one! you should be a comedian! see you Monday!" and walked out the door. That would teach them that in the real world, people deserve to be given realistic deadlines.
    Boy, this WAS a vent, huh? :-)

  13. Great rant!
    Tokyo sounds sooo much fun. I gotta get myself over there.

  14. at: oh my god, i just about wet myself laughing reading your comment. that was exactly how i felt every minute of every day last week. i completely agree that the feckers who go DOWN the UP staircase deserve a volley of abuse thrown their way. i've started snapping 'HEAD UP' when trying to sidestep some idiot who is walking along looking at the ground. ha, and don't start me on people on bikes. you might find this article interesting. i'm going to wave it under the nose of the next person who nearly runs me over when they come flying down the footpath at 60kms an hour. either that or i'll throw sticks in their bike spokes.
    still, that's just my fantasy. i guess society runs so smoothly due to everyone's internal control (that i seem to lack). if every pissed off person in tokyo decided to let the rage loose, we would have absolute chaos and anarchy. i like that there's very little (overt) aggression and bite my lip to keep it that way, just as most other people do. we're all in the same boat and all just trying to get where we need to be - we just need to step around 12 - 30 million people to do it on a daily basis!
    the clown isn't going to change - i need to decide how much longer to put up with it. i should just get out of there already. hope your week goes well without any international incidents!

    dive: after reading all this you still think tokyo sounds like fun?

  15. More than ever.
    It's like London only with smaller, less aggressive people to shout at.

  16. That sounds awful. You need to watch Office Space. It's American, but it still might make you feel better.

    The world would be a better place if those things happened.

  17. Don't worry the immigrants will get rid of that culture in no time and you'll have it just like the rest of us, Dive you'd better get over before it all goes.

    I changed my template and yer link vanished, spooky.

  18. Your life is quite busy isn't it Gaijin Girl!

    I've got new boots too! Same: black, knee length. Cosy! Bit high though, not so easy to walk anywhere fast!

  19. dive: it's nothing like london, or anywhere else for that matter. i can just see you here shouting at all the little people.

    sassy: the american guys at work have also told me to watch Office Space and said it was hilarious. thanks for the tip.

    old man: ha, yes. we all like a slice of life from the home country when in a foreign land. i'm working on creating a mini-melbourne as we speak.

    lynn: work's really busy, but the rest of my life is kinda cruisy.
    congratulations on your new boots purchase - you're brave to get heels. mine are flat so i can still walk to work in them.