haven’t posted too much

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well long and short of it is that these past 2 months the wife and i have been working as full time temp monkeys at this hot and weaty factory in Oyabe City making drawers for some sorta japanese IKEA like place.

so far 2 of the people we started working with left. the guy “fat mike” hated it and the “big boss” and the other guy “kevin” just keep fucking up all the time. but they knew he was a bit slow with things. should have kept a better eye on his work. i think i didn’t help since they were like “He don’t even really know japanese and he does a better job then you!”

funny thing is everyone seems to just be so happy that we show up every day and do good work! i found that to be a surprise. i thought your average japanese would cute off a finger before missing work. thouht the wife is going to start going part time which the temp place is not happy about cause they want her to be like a second big boss but for now she needs to be able to watch our little monkey man a few days of the week so her mom can work.

actually the other day, it was a short week cause of some praise your dead relatives day, the main guy in charge of the production on the floor told my wife that he was surprised that i do such good work. said; “I just had this image of the big american not being very good at doing this little delicate work; but he does it fast and good!” so i have impressed the locals. never thought i would earn praise from a japanese boss about my work.

i guess i get to keep my fingers…

so da pphone rings…

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sometime after we went to the first temp place looking for work; the wife actually went to a place for a whole 2 days; we get a call from a different guy then who we talked to there.

he had overheard us and got all excited when he heard we; well me really; were from NY. he had lived in canada for a few years for school or something. so he really wanted to help us find work. he looked all over and he thought he had something for us.

he came to the house to get us one morning and drove us out not too far from this iron works factory we had an interview with a few days before! they wanted us to work there, loved that my wife had some CAD knowledge. anyways it was a place that made funiture for a certain line of stores in japan.

turns out that the temp place is in charge of the people for the “drawer making department” and all the people came from them. also the temp guy that wanted to help us, it is his project so he is in charge. one guy there wanted to leave for something else and they pretty much had issues with people working a day or 2 and quiting. i found that surprising since this was japan and i thought they all only worked 42 hour days, never leaving work.

he shows us around the area and intros us to “big boss” who is this tough looking, around my age, i swear she has to be at least into 80s metal, chick. she don’t care if i don’t know japanese as long as i get “OK!” and “Dame!” which is stop/no good/that big american cock is too much for my tiny…sorry slipped into some hentai for a second.

working there is her, her son who i call “wolfman” cause he is hairy with long fingernails. fucking hate that on guys! “Kevin” who is a little older, and a little slow. don’t talk too much, he seems to at least stutter when he does. like i said a little slow. and “Fat Mike” who was the one that wanted to leave. we were to be his replacement.

they showed us some of the shit they do. glueing parts together, pressing them in a machine, putting handles on, blah blah. told us that most days are normal with a rush job every now and then. rare overtime, and some days nothing to do really but go home.

it would be hot, and a lot of standing, lifting. but it was full time hours, at 900 yen an hour. but we would get some gas money too. so we said yeah we might as well. they all seemed nice, and were willing to overlook, not care about my lack of japanese skills. plus the temp guy is a super nice guy and really went out of his way to try and help us.

“Big Boss” checked the schedule and asked us to start the following Wednesday.

Hey man; why don’t you get a job?!

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because i told the wife that with my lack of japanese speaking skills i wasn’t gonna make this move if she was gonna be all over me about a job. i wanted to try and take time to get the language down.

well of course that went out the window as soone as i get here and she starts going off that she has to get me something now and work with me or i will never get a job! i was here for about 24 hours when some shithead from an english teaching school that she called called me.

“But why don’t you teach english?!” why don’t i shove shards of glass up my pee hole too? i am not a teacher. i do not know even what goes into making a correct sentence in english and i can’t spell. add to that the place that called me was written up all over the web by other white people working there that they are assholes that make you sign a contract and make you work more then the contract says and they even got sued by their employees over here a couple of years ago!

this dipshit was asking me all these questions i didn’t have answers for and as the phone call went on it became clear to me that they just wanted warm bodies and did not care about any real learning on their students part.

we even went out to this one place that only wanted english speakers for a one day event. we went to the place and the guy there barely spoke english and then the video. he showed us this video of what it was they wanted you to do at this one day event. the basics were you stood there and did all these games, songs and other such bullshit with kids and after a while they went on to the next english speaker.

the kicker was “bob the canadian” in the video. it seems that the japanese believe that most if not all of us white people from the states and canada are big, dumb, over friendly idiots. in your best clown kiddie rapist vioce say out loud; “Hi kids! My name is bob. I’m from Canada! Can you say Canada?! YEAHHH! I like to eat…PIZZA!”

and they wanted you to bring props with you. all this for like $80. i told te guy, really this is not me. i mean i am a metal guy with tattoos. i don’t act like this with my fucking kids!

then we hit a temp place. i found this extra useless since i couldn’t fill out the form myself or do the little test they had on there. and the the wife is insisting on all these things. we have to work together. we can’t work forever with long hours cause of the kids. i am just like we are never gonna get anything this way. why can’t you just get something now on your own?

the wife did get a call from YKK. they really seemed into her but she was saying it would have been a 2 hour commute every day and then it was one of those sort of old school japanese jobs which mean forever hours and the pay was pretty crappy for all that. i was forced to agree.

then she went to this other temp place and i refused to go, which caused a big yell fest in the car. anyways she went in and i played out in the park by the building with the kids.

then we get a call…

3rd time’s a charm, or i burn this fuckin’ place down!

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once again i am back at the japanese DMV for my third try at the “simplified practical driving test”. again we go to window #3 to pay the 3050 yen and again to window #11 to hand in all the paper work to zitty hump, she was back. she stamped everything about 40 times with 15 different stamps and handed me the map for course A. well that started on a good note that was one of the easy courses. i walked the course while the wife and Ryoma sat around. we had to bring the little one with us unfortunatly this time and he was a pain in the ass most of the time like any 2 year boy would be. didn’t help that he wanted milk from a vending machine and the damn thing gave us some cold milky coffee and he liked it! him being hopped up on that and the coffee blasted through him like a bullet train. 2 crap attacks while there!

anyways! the course tester i had the first time came out and called us tester fools over. another stroke of luck. even though he failed me the first time he seemed a lot more easy going then the second guy i had. after that first time with him he had really only said that i just needed to slow down. he went over his speech.

next stroke of luck i was not first this time. there was this chinese girl with her japanese boyfriend, a pakistani guy and his wife and kid that we had seen before, she was trying to pass, and another chinese girl with her japanese husband and little girl.

we all went outside and waiting our turns. i was second. i did all the check around the car like i was told, i got in the car like i was told, i did everything like the guy at the driving school told me. the only part i got worried about was on the back straight away when you are suppose to hit 50 and the god damn car was not getting up to speed so i had to go past the spot where i should have first stepped on the brakes and ended up sort of slamming on the brakes to slow down before the curve.

i made sure to go stupid slow on the inside parts and make it painfully clear i was looking at all the mirrors. i was even able to time my driving inorder to get the red lights since it was much easier to come to a full stop then have to go through a green light at a intersection on the “simplified practical driving test”.

i pull back into the starting point. the tester asked me if i understood japanese, in japanese. i told him that i understood a little, in japanese. then he said, in english, “ok no problem. please wait inside for me to call your name”.

i passed, i guess.

i got out of the car and the wife asked me how it went and i said “i passed, i guess. he said no problem” so we had to wait for all the others to take their turns. while we were standing outside a little chinese guy came over and asked me why i was stopped so long at this one intersection. i told him it was only because the red light there was a long one. in talking to him we learned that he had been taking lessons and practicing on his own for hours and hours he seemed nervous. oh and i had to sit in the back sit as the younger chinese girl took her test. she didn’t pass. she was stopped from even driving the whole course. she seemed to know what she had to do but she was just was too nervous and needed practice to getting it right. she almost pulled out in front of another car at one point!

we went inside to wait. Ryoma was being a pain. the tester came to a window, not sure which one. he gave us some paper that showed i passed. we had to go to window #3 again and pay to get the license made. the woman had the nerve to ask me if i wanted to donate any money for driving education in local schools. the only reason i didn’t say “don’t you whores think you got enough of my fucking money already?!” was because i don’t know how to say that in japanese. then to some little touch screen thingies and i had to make up a pin #. wife argued with me about this. i was like is this forever or just for now? cause i am just gonna use a simple one. after that we walked back through those big machines for the eye tests to what seemed like secret area. we handed in my paperwork and were told to sit. a little later the other chinese girl with the japanese husband and little girl came back she had passed too. so that was like 2 people out of 6 people passed.

sat for a couple of minutes and a woman came out and took me to the big camera for my photo. i really want to flip off the camera for my license picture just to show some of my hate. then we were told to go back and sit and wait again.

while waiting i got to enjoy something like a japanese CSPAN on the TV, a skanky girl with her short skirt loltia outfit check her hair and make up using an iPad she pulled from a designer purse. yeah whatever, can’t pass the tests though can you? also we noted some of the instectors from the driving school just walking over and walking in, going to the back areas to talk to their pals. again, scam much?! one even stopped and checked on the other girl that passed along with me. we didn’t see my guy.

finally some crazy older guy comes out and gives me and the chinese girl our driver licenses. he was very long winded with all the check everything to see if it’s right. i was glad to learn that we didn’t have to get those stupid stickers for the car that advertise that i was a “new driver”.

hundreds of dollars and hours and hours of wasted time for this?

hundreds of dollars and hours and hours of wasted time for this?

we left the building for what i hope is a long long time. as i pulled out of the parking lot i held up a middle finger to the DMV and their “simplified practical driving test”. i was not happy, i was not relieved. i was still pissed off and bitter at the complete clusterfuck we had to go through.

ahh ma but i don’t wanna go to school

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back again for my second lesson and first 2 hour lesson at the driving school run by former DMV driving testers. this time we would go out onto the real test course and practice course A which is the first one i took and failed.

we did a little more practice around their track first going over a few more things and then we headed over to the real one. what i didn’t expect was all the other people that were there on the track to for practice! there were other cars from our school, trucks, buses, backhoe loaders, another driving school, and even fucking cops! when you did the “simplified practical driving test” there wasn’t really anyone in your way. there might be a truck doing a test and a motorcycle but they covered very different areas and you didn’t really have to worry about “traffic”.

so first thing the instructor did was drive the course A and show me where to place the tire, there was an inprint in the road where a line use to be around the outside of the track, the tire stayed on that. here is where you brake, here is were you start to change lanes. then it was my turn.

of course i was going too fast around turns in the inner part of the track. then there was this whole part about changing lanes in a curve to get ready for the first turn to the inside track. i had to have the wheel at just the right angle, then start checking the mirrors, be sure that i didn’t move the wheel at all while looking blah blah blah.

i was starting to get annoyed. at what seemed to be no matter what i was either too fast or too slow. at how the hell can you actually check all these mirrors and see where the fuck you are going never mind have all the time to check them! and all the other cars on the track at the same time meant that we had to stop and wait a lot for traffic to go by which was throwing off my practice i thought. it was hard enough trying to remember all they wanted you to do without having to actually check to see if another car was gonna hit you.

the 2 hours were up and our guy once again thought that i was doing good and that maybe 10 more hours and i would be ready. we didn’t have that sort of time; and we weren’t about to pay for all of that; i had time for one more 2 hour lesson before my next “simplified practical driving test”.

we went back a few days later again with only a few more days left until my “simplified practical driving test”. this time my instuctor took us right over to the real course and we went through courses B, and C. course B was a bitch, this was the second one i failed. even he said it was the hardest and he hated it saying that C was his favorite as the easy one.

again he drove the course first showing me where i had to do everything for each one. the 3 courses were the same i the very beginning and end but the middle parts were different. really the only way to pass was to know all three course cold and know what you have to do where and when for each one.

i was already having nightmares of the course. i could close my eyes and practice driving the “simplified practical driving test” in my head. “Course A pull out, no brake, check mirror over shoulder, foot off gas check crosswalk, tire on line, brake take turn at about 10 kph, speed up, foot off gas, check rear, side, shoulder, signal, side shoulder, move into right lane…and so on. i could do this in my head for all 3 courses.

after 2 hours of lesson and trying to keep from getting hit by backhoe loaders time was up and we drove back to the school. the instuctor said that he thought i was doing well and that i just had to keep in mind a few things and i should do ok on the “simplified practical driving test”.

i hope so because my third time was coming up in a few days and i did not want to take more classes or go back to that DMV ever again!

back to school

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yes just like Rodney Dangerfield this old man had to go back to school to learn how to drive. or to be more accurate, learn how to drive the “simplified practical driving test” in order to pass and get a license.

after my 2nd “simplified practical driving test” we drove about 2 feet over to the driving school where many of the instructors were retired from giving course tests at the DMV. we were joined by a few others that failed with me or on a different test at the place.

we only had about a week and a half before my next “simplified practical driving test” driving test so we tried to find time to squeeze in. they of course wanted you to go as much as possible to get the most money out of you. not only did they charge you for each lesson but they first charge you to join their exclusive club. they were talking about 20 hours or so i think but with the cost, the distance we would have to travel and the time we had left there was no way we could do that.

after about what seemed like forever, and one instructor pissing off the wife for being a dick, we settled on 1 one hour lesson and 2 two hour lessons before my next “simplified practical driving test”. the first one hour was the next day.

so we drove all the way back the next day. we got this instructor that turned out to be a really nice guy. direct but not an asshole. the wife rode in the back of the car the whole time as a translator. he at one point flat out said something along the lines of; “you have to forget how you drive in the real world for the ‘simplified practical driving test’. if you drove like that on the road you would be in trouble!”

there you have it. an instuctor admitting that the “simplified practical driving test” was actually completely not practical! not only that but he also said that him and the other guys there talk to the guys that give the tests at the DMV! again admitting that this all was a scam in my eyes.

anyways they had a smaller track at didn’t match the DMV one but what he did for that first hour was tell me the basic secrets that they want you to do in order to pass. how to look over the car, get in the car, how to check the mirrors, how to brake, stop, signal, all of it. i basically had to relearn a way to drive that was nothing like i had been driving for 20 plus years just for this “simplified practical driving test” and then forget about it all after since there is no way you can drive like that in the real world!

he took me around the track, showed me what to do and then i had a turn. i was doing pretty much most of it not up to insane japanese standards but i wasn’t too bad. he felt that i didn’t need to take as many practice hours as most people that i could get away with half the time.

the hour went by pretty fast and the next class was a 2 hour lesson and on that one we would be allowed to go over to the actual driving course on the DMV and practice the “simplified practical driving test”.

once more from the top

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since i failed my first try at the “simplified practical driving test” we had to come back like a week and a half later to try again. again we get to pay 3050 yen and go up to window #11 to hand in the paperwork. but that day zitty hump wasn’t there. i guess she had some bells to ring or something and the guy that failed me the first time was at the window.

this time i get handed a map of “simplified practical driving test” course B. well this one was a bitch! a whole mess of turns and crap that i wasn’t even sure if i would even be able to remember the course. never mind that with all the added turns means even more mirror checking and chances to fail with a missed turn signal or too close to a line.

i walked the course again and once again i got picked to go first! we figured it had to be in order of when you showed up at the place and vowed to not be first if a next time was needed.

anyways i walked around the car again, did all the mirror checks and took off. this time i felt i wasn’t doing as well as the first time, and i failed the first one. mainly because i was too bust trying to remember the fucking course i had to take. by the time i got to the half way point and almost missed the turn i needed, i had to slam on the brakes, the guy told me to just go back to the start. he didn’t even let me finish and failed me.

of course i am pissed again, and he didn’t even tell me why i failed. we had to wait until after everyone else went and my wife asked him what was wrong. he again like the other one said i was going too fast and not checking the mirrors. he also added that i was too nervous; that my hands were shaking. of course i was nervous asshole! after 20 plus years of driving i am having to fight for the right to drive again! to prove i can but being failed for a “simplified practical driving test” that has nothing to do with real driving!

he then commented that there was a driving school right next to the “simplified practical driving test” course and they taught you what you needed to know to pass the test and i could get practice there. he added that most of the instructors there were retired from doing the tester job at the DMV place we were at.

how convenient! so you guys keep failing people with unrealistic rules of driving to get more and more money, and then suggest going over to the driving school were even more money can be handed over to your retired friends! nice scam you got going on here.

so we went over to the driving school.