Tuesday

Tuesday is a long day for me. No getting around that. I get up at 5:30 in the morning to get ready for the OGB call at 6. After that, who can go back to sleep, right? So, I then try to get as many people in California on the phone or email or IM or IRC as possible, so I can interact with them in real time. That's critical. The time window is closing fast, so I generally work as rapidly as possible in the early mornings. Then it's breakfast with my wife with the computer on and perilously close to my kid's morning juice. This is Japan. The kitchen table is small. But so far it's been ok. The wet sneezes with bits of cereal flying around are pretty easy to clean up. No full juice disasters. Yet. Then it's off to the train station around 10 am to the office in Tokyo while the Americans all leave the office for dinner and sleep and whatever. While at the office, I have a meeting or two every now and then during the day, but for the most part I do very little work in Japan for Japan, so as a result, I have the entire day all to myself to just pound on the computer. Sometimes I'll get the guys in China and India for some stuff, but many times it's 8 hours of silence. I'm not kidding. The office here is dead quiet. It's corporate Japan. Shhhh. I do hear keyboards clicking, though, and these guys are communicating in ways I don't see, obviously, being the only American for miles around. Anyway, I can get a lot done during these times, and I've become unbelievably efficient and organized because of this, and I have zero patience for anyone who wastes my time. I've been known to walk out of meetings (or hang up if the meeting is with another region somewhere else) if the meeting is only a chit-chat session. Then I split around 6 or so to take a swim in the cleanest damn pool on earth and get home before the trains are so packed that I suffocate on the way or amuse myself by counting the ear hairs of the guy standing next to me. He's inches away, of course, yet he never notices me. I seem to be the only one on these trains who notices anyone else. No one just looks around. Odd. Anyway, once home, I play with the kid. Eat. Whatever. But as the evening rolls on, I start to peek at the clock and figure out who in Europe I need to get since that's their mid-day and, more importantly, who in the US is just waking up to start their next day (which is still my same day). This can get confusing any time during the week, but on Tuesdays it goes straight into the Twilight Zone. On Tuesdays, I have a 10 pm meeting with some guys in the UK who have just returned from their lunch on the same day, and then again at 1:30 am my next morning with the Americans who just finished their breakfast from the previous day. Meanwhile, my dinner from many hours ago has already digested, and I'm getting hungry again and my family is long asleep. And it's dark outside. After my 1:30-2:30 am call, I generally need to get someone back on the phone for a quick check on something, and I immediately conclude that -- ouch! -- everyone's up over there and there's a lot going on, so I quickly see if I can do some stuff while they are all in one place. When 3:30 am rolls around I've pretty much had it. Bed. 22 hours. That's Tuesday.
Comments:

hey it was so nice a piece of writing...I can almost see you doing all those stuff..:)

Posted by smita on April 23, 2008 at 11:56 AM JST #

Had the same things going on while in the Navy in Japan. The only way to communicate from Japan on a ship in 1993 was a phone. Do I spent many a nights calling the Italian base for parts, then Virginia, then Jacksonville, and then back to the west coast for more parts for things I needed on the ship. It was nuts. After that you still had energy so I would run out in Sasebo to Skinny's get some Fried Rice or a Ham & Egg sandwich and got to bed only to get back up at 6:30 to sweep and mop with the guys.

Jim it seems like a long day and now that I work for a Global Company like yours I am also seeing some of the same things from the US. We have offices in China and one of my favorite people is there so it pays sometimes to stay up and chat via Sametime.

I loved the post. Keep up the hard work. Wishing my office was a quiet as yours.

-David

Posted by David Vasta on April 24, 2008 at 03:55 AM JST #

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