I must admit that today was a bit of a harder day. My stomach was not doing so well in the morning so I had less energy. It was also a slower day, but unfortunately I was asked a lot of new questions other than the usual "where's the bathroom?" and things of that nature. I feel like I made a lot of mistakes, but it is also important to recognize that I did some good things today as well.
The things I am not so good at yet is being assertive because I have a lack of self-confidence in my Japanese. I do not want people to think it is because I do not care or do not want to be there. I always try to smile even when I cannot understand a question and apologize before bringing in my superior. Most people are understanding but some today looked a little confused. There were just a lot of out of the ordinary things that I was not expecting today so I was a little shocked.
The things I did good at was helping a foreigner make a reservation for a restaurant. My superior helped me but I tried to take control. I am not used to talking on the phone but I attempted and everything went fine, although the person on the other end was probably so confused why someone with non-native Japanese was working at the concierge at a top hotel. I also was able to give directions and look some things up on the computer for a Japanese person, so for that I was happy.
I also received a present from someone I met yesterday on his way out. I will email him to thank him. In the afternoon, I met another American and she was so fun to talk to. Her personality was the type that "anything is okay" and she wrote down her name and phone number so I could call her back in the U.S. I wish I could get to know Japanese customers like this (although exchanging personal information like that is not part of the culture), but I know someday maybe I will get there.
I had lunch with the President today. The food was excellent, although way too much for me. I wish I could have eaten more, but my stomach would just not allow me to. We talked about various topics and he complimented me on the report I made for the sales department. I am thankful for the time he took out of his schedule to meet with me.
I think more and more reality of working in Japan is hitting me. I know that because everything is new I am really stressed, but I know that the majority of my stress is due to lack of language knowledge. I feel that if I were to be able to attend language school for just one year after graduation, I would feel so much more comfortable in a Japanese business environment. Unfortunately that does not really fit in with my professional goals (or financial budget), but I am thinking I would enjoy working in a bilingual environment in the U.S. Although some people may be able to just set foot in a Japanese company right away, knowing my own mental health and well-being, it might not be so wise for me to do that.
Even though I am really stressed, I am thankful for this opportunity!