職場のコトバ Office language / Det jobbiga jobbspråket

昨年の冬、学生ビザが終わってからどうするかで頭を悩ませていた際、スウェーデン企業で働く日本人のKさんに「まずは日本で働いたほうがいいよ、逆は難しくなるから」とアドバイスを受けました。「そういうものでしょうか?」と盾突く私に、「働いてみたら僕の言うことがわかるよ」とのこと。それでもスウェーデンに残りたい気持ちは強かったので、毎日求職サイトをスクロールしてフルタイム職を探しました。しかし、実用的な学位のない私には寿司屋以外のフルタイムは見つからず、気持ちは沈んでいく一方。そこへきて助け舟のように日本のお仕事が見つかったので、Kさんの言葉を信じて一旦は日本で働くことにしました。

スウェーデンで学業の傍らしていたホテルや市場調査のバイトでは、上司も部下も下の名前で呼びあい、感情や意見は率直に言うのが当たり前でした。ところが日本では、敬語がしっかりできないと内容を伝えることすらできません。上下関係や外と内にまず気を使わなければならない日本の職場は、少し窮屈に感じます。私は気づかぬ間にスウェーデンのフラットな環境で羽を伸ばしすぎたようで、敬語の使い方について上司に注意されることもしばしば。まずは厳しい環境を知るべきだというKさんのアドバイスは、当時の私には厳しく刺さりましたが、実際その通りでした。スウェーデンの柔軟な働き方と、日本の規律のある働き方、どちらがいいかは私にはまだ言えません。仕事に適応するので今は精一杯。おそらく両方大事なのだろうと思います。。

On the first week at my current job, my boss let me take  “Basic Business Manner Seminar” held by a famous institute. “You have no work experience in Japan so you’d better go there”. They paid 30,000 yen for me to attend the seminar. What an investment in me for acquiring the whatever manner. I felt slightly fooled that they just assumed that I would lack in business manner just because I never worked in Japan. But come to think of it, manner at work is taken seriously in Japan. Many Japanese companies educate their freshman which can take some months. Since I lacked the process I had to take the seminar. (I am thankful that it was just a day)

From 10 am to 4 pm I was stuck in a room with people from other companies who were sent there for some reasons. We listened to a well-dressed lecturer’s good presentation on so-called business manner. She had some points. An employee who knows the manner can build good relationships at work that makes her/his work go smooth and that ends with a high result. Manner is in another word, communication. To succeed at work, having good communication with workmates and customers is the key. Communication means output and input of information and feelings both verbally and nonverbally. The three key communication skills at work are named Spinach(Hourensou) that stands for Hou-koku (Report), Ren-raku (communication), and Sou-dan (consultation).  This wasn’t very difficult to understand.

Then, we learnt some Keigo. This manner was completely lost from me after being a student forever until two months ago and living in Sweden for three years. Seeing the lecturer drawing stairs on the whiteboard I remembered what the Japanese language would look like. Here in Japan, especially at work, one is supposed to change the language in accordance with the other person’s social status and if the person is an outsider or an insider. You are supposed to either put yourself lower than your boss or client by calling yourself in the modest language or let them go higher than you by calling them and speaking to them in the polite language.

 

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Keigo stair

 

In Sweden, I spoke to my bosses and customers very frank. I could call my boss by their first name, like Hi Malin! or Hi Jonas! (I don’t dare to call my Japanese bosses in their first name which I don’t even know…) and just told them the information or my feelings as they were without letting myself lower than them or putting them higher than me.

Now I have to think a lot about how I speak not only what I speak at work. The other day I said I’m sorry “Gomennasai” to one of my bosses for calling her surname wrong and the other boss told me later “Say ‘Shitsureishimashita’ instead;)” I just meant “I’m sorry”…eh. I think I just have to learn this language.

Jag saknar att jobba i Sverige där man får prata med sina kolleger, chefer och kunder utan tänka på hur man ska prata. Man får prata vanligt och klart bara. I Japan är det lite mer kompliserad för att man ska använda speciella språk för själv, chefer och kunder o om man uttrycker fel ses man oartig! Ja det är jobbigt men man lär sig och vänjar sig. Det är som ett spel och om man inte kan regel väll kan man inte spela väll bara.

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