March 28, 2006

Reality vs Reality

Sometimes you can see right into the heart of things without even the slightest effort. It amazes me that a persons body language, facial expressions, vocal nuances and choice of words can lead you to a different meaning then the language coming out of their mouths.

I Think I'm doing ok, I started a business six years ago and each year it gets a little bigger. My wife handles all the important stuff on the financial end of things 'cause she reads and writes Japanese better than I do. Now we're starting a new venture and she wants to know why she is doing all the negotiating for our loan. How come I don't talk to the bank?

Good question.

I speak Japanese and even though I ain't perfect, I can get my ideas across without any major faux pas.
Have you ever gone out to a restaurant or store with a Japanese person and have the waiter or shop keeper treat you as if your invisible? They don't even realize that they are doing it.
I'm asking questions or ordering food and all the replies are going to my wife.
I keep answering the queries, but his eyes never stray in my direction. It's like being a ventriloquist's puppet. They know the dummy isn't really speaking so they'll talk to the 'master' even though her lips aren't moving.

If I'm gonna talk business with someone I need to have them take me seriously. Even if I can't communicate with words, I can utilize other forms of unspoken communication to get my point across.
I don't think I can sit in a meeting with people who can't look me in the eye and believe that an ignorant foreigner, like myself is able to express thoughts in their language.
So I guess it's not because I don't want to talk to the bankers or that I'm avoiding a responsibility. It's because, just like anybody else, I hate to be ignored.

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