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Thread: Missing Japan

  1. #21
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    So is this your way of resigning from being our Lord and Saviour, Wesus?

  2. #22
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post

    I really kinda gotta ask. How are you 32, well educated, working at "renowned" institutions and not making enough money to feel comfortable? Are you not making 36k/year? Are you doing something wrong when you look for/negotiate your work and contract? Do you have a passive/pushover personality, or is your industry dirt cheap? I just can't understand how someone who is as "on paper" well off as you are is having problems.
    Probably, my "industry is dirt cheap." I've been working for universities, which (across much of the U.S.) are getting their state funding slashed while simultaneously being mandated to lower tuition rates. So it's employee pay that gets squeezed to compensate. (The university I work for now just won an award for being the most "efficient" in the entire Southeast region, meaning they expend less money per student than any other (subtext: by paying their employees the least).)

    As a programs administrator, I am making 42K/year, but -- to my bewilderment and frustration -- it's not enough to support me and my student-husband, even though he works part-time and we basically don't do anything but work and study. (No shopping, drinking, movies or vacations.) Our rent is reasonable ($750), but groceries are getting more and more expensive here (just like in Japan). 45K/year is probably the minimum I need to cover our basics; 55K/year is my target range.

    I'm open to breaking into the private sector, but I need help. With a BA in Asian Studies and an MA in Liberal Studies (and university-based work experience), I'm not sure where to search, what kinds of positions to look for or how seriously I'd be considered. My strengths are in writing, rhetoric, diplomacy and organization; my work experience is in office management, event management, program management, education, student services, and advising. If you were me, what would you do? Where do you think I'd fit in today's work marketplace?


    Also, I want to thank you guys for your thoughtful and relevant responses. I had no idea I'd get such on-point advice and non-judgmental consideration. You rock.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    For reference, the same thing is happening here in Canada to universities.

  5. #25
    Member privileged's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    It’s tough. I logged in here because I’m also missing Japan.

    I was in Tokyo for over 6 years; I’ve been back in the States for 4.

    Life in Japan was always interesting. You are ALWAYS learning something new. You’re in a very nice society that you’re a part of, yet apart from. I had a nice group of foreign friends, as well as Japanese. There was something fun about figuring out how to do stuff. How to file my taxes. How to get around, how to find work, how to date. It’s all an adventure! Here’s it’s just a pain in the ass.

    I was gone from late 20’s to early 30’s, when my friends who chose a normal life were developing things like careers, marriages, houses, and children. I am just not on that level.

    I definitely miss Japan and I sort of want to be back there, but not realistically. I appreciated the opportunity to teach but I don’t want to do it as a career. I also don’t want to work twice the hours at a Japanese company for about the same pay.

    Moving to Japan is one of the best things I’ve done and it’s also a bit of a curse as I think you’ll always miss it. And to be fair, I view my memories through rose-colored glasses. I missed America when I was in Japan.

    I’m not really looking for advice or for this to be “solved.” Just saying I can relate. When I first got there, of course I didn’t know anyone or how to do anything. I had lots of free time. It doesn’t take that long for life to take over and you wind up very busy. I guess it’s odd that it’s taking longer back in the States. Part of it is probably that I’m older. Also, I don’t live in a city nearly as dense or convenient as Tokyo. I’m struggling with work, which means while I have lots of free time, I don’t have much disposable income. I’ve done all the cooking, jogging, and cleaning I can handle. Eventually you need to do stuff that requires money in order to develop a normal social life.

    It’s fair enough people aren’t going to hire me and pay me well for having pretty much fucked around in Japan instead of developing plausible career skills. I made the choice and I stand by it. Still, I thought coming back would be tough, and it has been.

  6. #26
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by privileged View Post
    It’s all an adventure!
    Agreed. I lived in Tokyo for a year and a half, and in a small, rural city for three years. After all that time, I still get a kick out of just walking down the street.
    In the end, wouldn't it be really cool to say you made it through life enjoying stuff?
    車庫 B1F

  7. #27
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Are people from such terrible places that they had to go to Japan to do that?

  8. #28
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    Are people from such terrible places that they had to go to Japan to do that?
    Coming from you, that has to hurt.

  9. #29
    read half. react. BifCarbet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    No. It's just too hot to go outside here.
    車庫 B1F

  10. #30

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    Coming from you, that has to hurt.
    Hot damn this just hit such a good spot. Thanks for the good and genuine laugh.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    To the original poster. It sounds like you are having a tough time. I agree with others that you are probably missing Japan because of how unhappy you are with your current situation.

    To me it seems clear that the reason why you are struggling to pay your bills is your student husband. Your 42k salary is decent when you are not factoring in a spouse who is only working part time and enrolled in an undergrad program. College is expensive. I don't think there is much you can do but look for a better paying job to pay the bills until he graduates and starts bringing in good money.

    If you want to make better money and are as qualified as you sound I recommend trying to work for the federal government. The money is great though I sincerly doubht you will find it as fufilling as JET. the feds are always looking for program managers and the like throughout the country. Working for the federal gov also gives you a large chance for promotion and job advancement. I come from a family of fed employees and find most people don't have a clue to the vast amount of well paying fed gov jobs are out there.
    Last edited by Sherlock; February 23rd, 2015 at 06:52.

  12. #32
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
    If you want to make better money and are as qualified as you sound I recommend trying to work for the federal government. The money is great though I sincerly doubht you will find it as fufilling as JET. the feds are always looking for program managers and the like throughout the country. Working for the federal gov also gives you a large chance for promotion and job advancement. I come from a family of fed employees and find most people don't have a clue to the vast amount of well paying fed gov jobs are out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  13. #33
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Too true.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Let's be fair, the same sentiment could also be applied to JET.

  15. #35
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Of course. JET is a government job.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Of course. JET is a government job.
    Indeed it is.

    For real though, in response to the original poster (if it's still relevant), I think it would be worth taking a good look at what's making you miserable now and thinking if there's anything you can do in the near future to help fix your situation. You mentioned that you didn't have very many friends where you were; maybe you could take place in a meetup group or join a local club? Making friends when you're older isn't easy but it is doable, I think.

    One of the great things about JET is that in a lot of places the friend groups are built in; there are only six foreigners in the city, so of course who else are you going to hang out with? It's good for falling into a central group but, if you do decide to go back to Japan, I think it's important to remember that this situation isn't a given. You could be in a situation where the other foreigners in town are people who you won't mesh with at all, or you might even be the only foreigner in the village! Of course, it would still be possible to create a strong social network in a situation like that too, but it would take considerable more effort, and what you would be doing is probably very similar to what you would do to make friends in your current situation.

    I'm not necessarily saying tough it out if it's truly making you miserable, but I am saying that it's worth thinking about what you can do to make your situation better. Numerous other posters have said it, but what you aren't missing isn't Japan itself, but your experience there. See if you can isolate what it was that made your experience in Japan so enjoyable, and do your best to create it where you are. Remember, ESID so it's very unlikely you'll get the same experience in Japan through JET, but you might be able to create something similar where you are.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post

    This is very true.

    The federal government definitely overpays many of its employees for the type of work they do. Which was why I was recommending it to the original poster so that she can be more financially sound doing similar work for better pay.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Of course. JET is a government job.
    Even better, it's contract work for the government. (I feel that way any time a teacher walks up to me and asks me repeatedly, 'Is it OK to bother you right now? Can you come to class next period?' - "Of course. Standing around in a class doing nothing is a better use of my time than sitting in the staff room fucking around on ITIL."

  19. #39
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    Even better, it's contract work for the government. (I feel that way any time a teacher walks up to me and asks me repeatedly, 'Is it OK to bother you right now? Can you come to class next period?' - "Of course. Standing around in a class doing nothing is a better use of my time than sitting in the staff room fucking around on ITIL."
    The first school I worked at was real bad about this. They used me less in the classroom than any other ALT I've ever met was used, but nevertheless whenever a teacher asked me to do anything they'd be groveling and apologizing and saying how busy I was, even though I was constantly begging them to use me more.

  20. #40

    Default Re: Missing Japan

    Was the previous ALT an asshole?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

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