Continuation of OJT lecture

During the part 1 session that I gave you, the importance of
establishing the training plan as well as the points to keep in mind
to establish communication with Japanese persons as well as personal
management.

Culture shock

The next thing I’d like to share with you is culture shock. Have you
heard this terminology, “cultural shock”? I’m sure this has nothing to
do with you.

So what kind of images do you have in mind when you hear this
particular term, “culture shock”? So how many of you have been to
overseas countries before? Is this your first time visiting an
overseas country? At least 80% are here in Japan for your first
experience. So culture shock is the kind of symptom when the person is
away from your own home country and there is a great possibility of
happening to everyone. Whenever the person is away from your own home
country, you are away from your parents, friends, brothers and
sisters, and you are in a strange country with different customs.
Everyone has a chance to have culture shock. This is just a symptom,
not a serious disease. However, if you do not do anything and if you
just leave culture shock to make a space in your heart and spirit,
that might cause you to have serious damage to your heart.

We have a number of cases that we have experienced. One person every
few years is so stressed out that these people are no longer able to
carry out training here in Japan and they have to go home. The stress
is something you should think of carefully. So important thing to hear
again is to understand what culture shock is all about. Once you know
it, and if you realize it is happening, you may find a way to solve
the problem. Allow me to go into detail.

Here are the characteristics of culture shock. Culture shock may take
place with a mixture of all these elements.

Try to utilize this page and you can evaluate your mental state. If
some of them fit into your state, you may be suffering from culture
shock. One of the important symptom is if you oversleep or are unable
to get enough sleep, this is a particular symptom that you should
realize. Since you are working in the IT business industry, you may
need to work very hard during the weekdays, so you may need to obtain
good sleep on weekends. However, you need to differentiate between
physical fatigue and spiritual fatigue. If you are sleeping on
weekends because of physical fatigue, it is okay. However, if you are
sleeping because of emotional fatigue, it is important to realize
something is happening to you. Advice to keep this handbook or paper
with you so that you can use it as a guide or yardstick to measure
your mental status. Whenever you are establishing communication with
Japanese people and you begin to realize that these symptoms are
starting to appear…

This is the second page of symptom of culture shock. You may use these
as a guide or yardstick again.

This page contains how the culture shock process takes place in your
mind. The horizontal line uses as index the day you arrived here in
Japan from the left until the day you go home. At present you are in
the excited period. Some people like to use this honeymood period.
Since you came to Japan, your mental state is quite excited, and this
is the time you try to observe so many different things. However, as
soon as you are thrown into a new environment or you may be asked to
live in a different atmosphere, then this honeymoon period will no
longer continue. So far that you have carried out so many WBT and so
that you will learn as much Japanese as possible together with your
friends having good drinks or discussion with friends from the same
country. However, starting from 19th, you will be thrown into new
environment. Some of you have to work on your own, some of you will be
paired up with old acquaintances, but you are on your own. Even though
the two of you happen to be receiving the same kind of training at the
same company, you may not be working on the same floor. You may be
working entirely on your own. At the present moment, you think, it
doesn’t happen to me—because you are still in the excited period. As
your environment changes, your feeling may cool down, and you may
enter the depressed stage. If that happens, I advise you to refer back
to these two pages as a yardstick to evaluate your emotional state.

However, this kind of process takes different by person by person. For
some people, your excitement will continue to grow and you don’t get
depressed, but that’s different from person to person. As I said, it’s
not necessary that everyone will go through this process, but if you
establish good relationship with your teachers, your state may go up.
You may believe that may be end of it, no longer need to suffer, but
in actuality it doesn’t happen like that. You may experience little
drop of your emotional state. So some people may experience number of
repetitions of recovery period and then finally reach the stable
accommodation period.

Please read the remaining pages so that you will have a much better
understanding of what culture shock is about. The last thing I’d like
to explain is the so-called re-enter shock. Once you go back to your
country, you may suffer re-enter shock. You may think “I shouldn’t be
back. Japan was much better.” While you were in Japan, you may think
you hate Japanese. Once you are back in your country, you may miss
Japanese people.

So far I gave you the explanation of symptoms and what kind of process
you are going to deal with in culture shock. From now on, I am going
to give you how to deal with it. I’m sure that all of you have the
capability and ability to cope with the culture shock. You will try
your best to overcome whenever you think you get caught with it. Since
each one of you have different characters and personality, you may
choose to have a sense of humor to get away from the culture shock.
Some avoid a quick decision. Choose the way that is best to deal with
the culture shock. Last page also contains the additional informations
so that you can get hint for life here so that you can escape being
caught with it.

That kind of chart you just saw was not something I came up with. It
was made by a professional psychologist. This particular psychologist
wrote in his book that the honeymoon stage is when you ask people if
they have questions and they say no… That is the honeymoon stage.
However, if you fail to establish good communication with the Japanese
people, you may become in such a state that you no longer react, or
you over-react to Japanese people’s behavior and everything will
become a problem.

Repeat

Allow me to repeat once again, it is very important to establish your
training plan. If you have any doubt or question about the training
plan, then do not hesitate to ask your teachers, on the first day or
second day, to make sure you fully understand what the expectations
will be. That will be one of the major keys to make your training
successful. Your technical knowledge or technical skill will be
determined by how much the good communication you can establish with
the Japanese people from your host company. And I shared with you
three important rules. First is to keep punctual time, second good
manners – try to utilize greetings, and third, try to keep memos. And
also, I mentioned how to carry out self-management including taking
care of your own help as well as abiding with in-company rules and
regulations. I also mentioned for those of you who live in company
dormitory as well as company apartment, try to keep the community
rules so that you can avoid unnecessary problems with your neighbors.
Fourth thing I gave you explanation is the culture shock, either on
big scale or small scale. Each one of you may be able to suffer
culture shock, so I gave you the explanation on that. I also gave you
actual expamples on how to deal with problems whenever you feel you
are starting to suffer from culture shock. We AOTS staff members all
wish you a good start from next week. Try to keep all of these hints
and ideas in your mind. So now you will have a chance to see video on
OJT. This video can be quite useful information for all of you. It
takes about 30 minutes.

Video

Looking at the video, I forgot to remind you about two things. One is
the money issue. As you saw during the video, you are here in Japan as
trainees. So the pocket money you will receive from the company is not
a kind of payment of any form. It is not a salary or bonus. If any
time, the host company will ask you for overtime work, or if the
company asks you to join a development team for a bonus, you have to
say no. You are a trainee, not a company employee.

The second important thing is about new friends you may make while you
are living in Japan. As you saw in the video, it is kind of a bad
acquaintance. People may approach you and ask if you want to be a
part-timer. There are people always making up new ideas and how to
involve you with crimes in Japan. One of the examples we have is
forged telephone cards. For example, someone may approach you asking
if you want to sell telephone cards. We have had this one incident
here at YKC, there were so many forged telephone cards used at this
public phone, so YKC had to ask NTT to come and make an investigation.
It was very unfortunate and very sad incident we had in the past. So I
must ask you to self-discipline because people always make a new trap
and sweet-talk you into something illegal in Japan. In that case, you
must have the guts to say no. If you think you have involved in any
kind of illegal act, do not hesitate to contact us at YKC as well as
AOTS in general.

So I just gave you this warning, because this kind of thing may
happen.

So far I have given explanation from agenda 1 to 5. Next I am going to
provide you with two different kinds of evaluation sheet. The first
evaluation chart I am going to provide you now, we should have given
you the first day, and I am very sorry I have to give you this one at
this time. So since I am giving you this yellow sheet now, you have to
remember your state when you first arrived here at YKC. You have to go
all the way back to eight weeks ago, and try to fill in this chart. So
either tomorrow or day after tomorrow, we will give you another
version where you can put your current status, or how much you know
and knowledge you gained after arriving here in Japan. So that they
can make a comparison on how much improvement you made. Allow me to
explain why this kind of delay took place. In order to determine the
established number of the questions to be asked at the initial stage,
your projects still had to be established. Until those were
determined, we were unable to come up with the questions. So please
come and get one each and make sure to write just like you were on the
first day.