It’s been one and a half months since I joined the tribe of salaryman contributing to the Japanese economy and my boss’s paycheck. A mundane every day routine interspersed with exciting trips to Tokyo and meetings with random people. I vaguely remember myself stubbornly rebelling against becoming a salaryman just a few months ago, but that faint idea is slowly fading out, and the unprecedented evolution into a salaryman continues…

Not that it is a bad thing though. (now you see the effects taking place…)

I get a stable income, friendly colleagues, a place to stay… and more or less a controlled life.

The president of my company stepped into our office just a few days ago, and the director of my division introduced me to him. “Oh so you are the guy from Singapore!” was his response.

Well indeed… if I were from China, Korea or somewhere in the States, there wouldn’t have been such a reaction, but Singapore! “So what brings you here?” must have flashed through his mind instantaneously. In fact, I realize many Japanese are constantly intrigued by the fact that I am from Singapore, and more curious why I ended up in Nagoya, in this company.

My colleagues frequently ask me, “So what brings you here?” A rather mind-boggling question, that I pause to hesitate for a moment, for a reality check to ensure I am already out of the interview room, (and that I have actually qualified for the company.) I sometimes suspect this is all a trick, that I haven’t actually got through the last interview, and too honest a reply would kick me out of the company.

But true enough, sometimes I wonder too, why have I decided to come here, with my family and friends in Singapore, and in Tokyo?

Perhaps it’s not a bad idea, to be able to concentrate on working here, to get used to a new lifestyle, gaining new experiences. You know how it’s always cool to say, I have lived in Singapore, Tokyo and Nagoya… (wow!)

I was transferred out of my original Sourcing section to Purchasing section at the start of this week due to some problems with the HR plans. One guy decided not to come anymore, destroying the original perfect plan of rotation and substitution of staff. And sine I am still not considered an official staff (or maybe because I haven’t passed that last round of interview), I was taken out of my position to replace that guy who went AWOL.

So now I have to start learning all over again, now being in a section that works fundamentally different in terms of work content and atmosphere. “Maybe that’s what’s good about this company; you get to experience different job scopes and work genres without getting out of the company,” was what my previous section manager told me. Well maybe it is a rare privilege being able to experience both sections within my first 2 months in this company. If this “rotation” continues at this rate, I might have worked in all the sections in the company by the time I become an official staff.

Well, I am a rather optimistic person. I believe all this will work out eventually for a bigger purpose. I just need to enjoy whatever is given to me now. I enjoy my colleagues’ friendliness and idiosyncrasies, I enjoy where I stay, and the pay I get (though a little more would be better…)

Like what Steve Jobs said, you have to believe that the dots will connect somehow, somewhere down the road in the future. The important thing to do now is, to put the dot down clearly and surely, so that when it connects, I know it did.

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