Pointless jobs

Japan: Hey. How’s things?

Me: Not bad. I went to a fancy department store the other day.

Japan: Nice. A bit of retail therapy. I like that.

Me: Yeah. There was a woman operating the lift.

Japan: OK, people use elevators. And…?

Me: No, i mean that was her job. She was the lift lady. She stood at the buttons in the lift and asked people which floor they wanted and she pressed buttons and did lots of bowing whilst wearing a smart uniform and a smile that failed to hide the emptiness of her existence.

Japan: It’s called customer service.

Me: It seems like a useless job. You’ve got loads of them actually.

Japan: Have i?

Me: Yeah. I went to a museum and in every exhibition room there was somebody employed by the museum to sit on a chair and…well, just sit. They weren’t offering help or guided tours or information. Just sitting. And most of them had a blanket. Why?

Japan: Maybe they get cold?

Me: No, i mean, why do these people have a job that involves sitting in a museum or an art gallery watching people look at stuff that’s hanging on a wall?

Japan: Oh, er…Probably just security.

Me: But what do they think i’m going to do? Run off with a massive Salvador Dali painting at half past two on a Wednesday afternoon? Anyway, your actual security guards are old enough to be my grandfather. If there was any real breach of security most your security guards might have trouble giving chase.

Japan: It’s fine. They sit next to the phone. They can call the police very quickly.

Me: What about those old men outside supermarkets who look after bicycles.

Japan: What about them?

Me: All the bicycles have built-in locks.

Japan: Yeah…but…you never know…

Me: And then there are the building sites.

Japan: Builders are not useless.

Me: Yeah, i know but there’s a building site just down the road from me and everyday there are three old men stood in blue jump suits and protective hats waving people past the construction with pink batons.

Japan: They’re just making sure everybody is safe.

Me: Safe from what? There’s a 2m high fence surrounding everything. And even if there wasn’t you wouldn’t just wander amongst heavy machinery and cement mixing and drilling risking serious injury. If those old fellas weren’t there nobody would ever get hurt.

Japan: Look. These old guys doing the jobs you think are useless?

Me: Yeah?

Japan: Consider it less of a job and more like welfare.

Me: Welfare?

Japan: Yeah. An old guy falls on hard times or doesn’t have much of a pension or just needs some extra cash for the family. What are they going to do?

Me: Get a pointless job that gives them some money and a reason to leave the house?

Japan: Exactly.

Me: Why don’t you have welfare system to help these people?

Japan: Oh i’ve got one of those but i don’t like using it much. I much prefer to just give people pointless jobs.

Me: ….?

Japan: But you’ve got me thinking now about useless employment. I’ve thought of some more.

Me: Go on.

Japan: English teachers.

Me: Well, hold on, actually i’m –

Japan: I mean, really, why bother? Why are they pretending to prance around and teach a foreign language to a population that barely has enough holiday time to go for a dump let alone another country?

Me: Yeah, but –

Japan: “Hey come and speak the international language of the world everybody! Then you can speak bullshit on several continents.” Well done. Really. Congratulations.

Me: That’s a bit –

Japan: And another useless job that i’ve got plenty of.

Me: Another?

Japan: Yeah. Bloggers.

Me: I’m not sure that’s even a –

Japan: What’s the point?

Me: Well…er…

Japan: “Hey look at me. I’ve got an opinion. I’m going to share it with the world and pretend other people give a cock.” What a futile exercise that is. Brain farting in the wind.

Me: Well, it’s just that –

Japan: Seriously. If you’ve got an issue with button pressing, bicycle watching, pedestrian protecting, museum sitting, security guards then whatever you do don’t join the club and try to teach me a foreign language or write about me online every other week. I’ve got enough of all that already.

Me: …?

Japan: What?

Me: Does this mean that i’m on welfare?


April 17, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


Me: Hi Japan. Can we talk about China?

Japan: Can we ever? China? I love complaining about China.

Me: I said “talk about” China not “complain about” China.

Japan: What’s the difference? God i can’t stand that country.

Me: Why do you dislike each other so much?

Japan: Why? Wow, well, where can you begin?

Me: I don’t know. What’s the worst thing about China?

Japan: Well, it’s full of Chinese people for a start.

Me: Isn’t that a bit, well, racist?

Japan: No, it’s an observation. They’re all loud and rude and confident. It’s quite off putting.

Me: Hmm. What else?

Japan: Well they copy everything don’t they?

Me: Do they? What do they copy?

Japan: Oh, all kinds of things, you know, perfume and handbags and clothes and technology and DVDs, all sorts.

Me: So nothing really useful or important?

Japan: Well, er…

Me: Like paper?

Japan: That was-

Me: Or chopsticks?

Japan: But-

Me: Or wet rice farming?

Japan: Hang on-

Me: Or kanji?

Japan: That’s different, that’s, erm, well…What about all the pollution?

Me: It’s everywhere. What about it?

Japan: No, the Chinese air pollution. It mixes with the sandstorms from the Gobi desert and makes Yellow Sand smog. It blows all over North East Asia every spring. It turns the air a yellow grey colour. It’s horrible.

Me: Sound pretty grim.

Japan: Oh yes. Very grim. Full of grimness. People are scared about their health. Sometimes people in Kyushu don’t go outside.

Me: People don’t go outside because of sand storms and pollution from China?

Japan: Exactly.

Me: How long does this last?

Japan: A day or so. Maybe a week at worst.

Me: And do the same people happily smoke cigarettes endlessly or sit in a bar or cafe or restaurant passive smoking themselves to a tumour?

Japan: That’s not the same. That’s, erm, well…

Me: And all this Chinese pollution? Is it a recent thing?

Japan: Oh yes. Their economy is off the scale. They’ve all got cars now.

Me: Cars? Don’t you love cars? Don’t you make those polluting automobiles by the million?

Japan: Yes, no, but…Well, what about all the factories they have? All those Chinese factories that make lots of…stuff.

Me: And who buys this…stuff?

Japan: Well, everybody and, er, yeah, me.

Me: Hmm…

Japan: Look, don’t blame me for my own blind contradictory hatred. It’s all China’s fault. They hate me just as much; apparently it’s got something to do with some kind of atrocities i committed when i invaded them throughout history.

Me: …?

Japan: Shut up smart arse. Let me wallow in my Chinese soup of morally superior self pity and mild-mannered closet xenophobia.

Me: …

Japan: …

Me: OK.

April 2, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.