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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

First Day On The Job

This past Monday, I started work at a new job, as the so-called Editor-in-Chief at a national magazine celebrating its 80th anniversary with the very next issue going out in one week's time.

What, me worry?

Actually... no.

Before any new or somewhat traumatic event, the evening before is such a stressful time that I break out in acne, have a twitchy stomach or fail to go to sleep.

But last night... much like the night before I had my first team-teaching event on the JET Programme in Japan at Ohtawara Junior High School in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken back in September of 1990... I was actually kindda calm.

Back then, I had just reinvented myself a couple of years previous upon entering the journalism program at Humber College in Toronto... becoming more outgoing... less shy, and infinitely more talkative.

I know, I know... you can't believe I was shy or not talkative, but I was. Painfully so. I was still afraid to talk to women, but I did - and even had a few dates... and by the second year, I was dating three women at once. A blond, a brunette and a redhead. Really.

I wasn't sleeping with them, and if you asked any of them they would have said we had gone out on dates (plural), but we weren't dating. Pa-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe. What's important is how I interpreted it in my head... part of the reinvention process.

I learned I really could control how I felt. If I felt like it.

As such... the night before my first class, I wasn't nervous at all.

What's the worse that could happen? I had finally unleashed the gift of gab I had always possessed amongst my small cadre of nerdy friends (I'm a nerd), so having stage fright talking wasn't going to happen.

And besides... my first class... and all of the first time appearances in front of other classes... and at six other junior high schools... that was to be my self-introduction.

That's where I talk about me to others. Tell them about myself... who I am... who and what I have done in the past... tell them about others in my life...

It was the forerunner to my blog. In an oral tradition rather than written down.

And... while all I did was talk in English while the JTE (Japanese teacher of English) translated my ramblings into Japanese, I realized for perhaps the first time, that MY story wasn't as dull as I thought it was when I was living it.

They really loved that Neapolitan ice cream joke regarding those three different hair colored women.

And here's why... the young guys in the class all thought I was a pervert for dating these women at once - which was both an insult and a compliment by them, I soon realized... as after class they gathered around to ask me more questions in English (!!!)... and the young dudettes... they were trying to figure out just why this nerd was able to get three women to go out with him...

News of that triple-dating scenario actually made the rounds outside of the school, as older brothers and sisters were told... and later when I finally broke up with Ashley (or she with me, depending on how revisionist we want to be today), I suddenly had all of these single, young Japanese women - the older sisters of my students, it would appear - wanting to date me.

I've already written about that in other blogs...

The point? Confidence begets more confidence. Or something like that. Hmmm... I thought I had a better point to make. Oh well.

As for my first day at my new job yesterday? Well... I managed to spill hot coffee down the front of my shirt. Comedy gold.

Still... it didn't bother me, or I didn't let it bother me, and had a really fun time.

Somewhere with a drinking problem,
Andrew Joseph

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