When do we know we are done?

August 18th, 2015: This was when I was still in Japan doing my internship.

Is it when we can no longer cause any more damage, or I it a call we make ourselves to help with damage control?

Towards the end of my internship, I feel like I needed to call it quits. It felt as if I was always being attacked by my co-workers. They would say comments only to me; knowing fully well that I am capable of doing the task properly. For example, one of my co-workers, Kay, said this to me three days in a row:

“Don’t forget to be loud.”

This phrase, without context, isn’t harmful at all and would never put me on edge, but now comes the context:

I am a pretty shy person. My personality is of a stereotypical timid Japanese student. I am very quiet because I don’t like confrontation and one on one conversation with new people make me very nervous. It is as if I have social anxiety, which is probably the case. However, I am very good at talking in front of big groups. Weather I am speaking by myself or with others, as long as it is a big group, I seem to be just fine. And I have proven this on multiple occasions to my co-workers.

Every month we have to host a cultural event, which is more like a party with games or events. I was one of the first interns to get there. There was another girl who got there the same day as me, Igor; we were on the same flight and bus. The first cultural event was 7 days after we got there, so we had to plan everything in one week and then host it. Since the other intern, Igor, was a small white girl with blond hair and blue eyes, she got most of the attention, but she can’t use a computer so I did most of the work and organization. And then when we were hosting, Igor wasn’t very load so I took control of the situation and became the host who had an assistant (instead of a co-host). I was load and it went well.

Now to Kay’s defense, she wasn’t there until the second cultural event was over; we had one cultural even each month. But she did see the third cultural event, were it was not much different from the first and second cultural events. Me doing most of the planning, organizing, and then being the only host, with one co-host, Igor. I had no trouble being the host while she just stood there.

There were other events though out the month and a half that she was here that proved that I was fine in big groups, even though I couldn’t go into a random building and look for people who may or may not want to talk to me in English.

Again the phrase earlier wouldn’t be a bad phrase, it should have just been a friendly reminder to the group to be loud. However, she would only say it to me when it was just the two of us in the room; and though out the past week and a half, she has been arguing with me every chance she gets. I already do so much for the internship, I didn’t wanna deal with her too.

One example of this is I said, “We can have them sing for 5 to 10 minutes.”

We were trying to figure out a way to make our skit longer, so that we would take up all the time in our slot. And you know what she said to me, “No we can’t. We can’t do it for 10 minutes. That won’t work.”

And at this point I was dumb founded as I tried to explain with I meant by 5 to 10 minutes. And every time I said that we could take 5 to 10 minutes, she would argue with me again. I ended up having to explain that 5 to 10 minutes was a phrase that means any amount of time between 5 to 10 minutes; and I had to explain how that meant we could sing for 7 minutes. And even after all that she was still arguing that we can’t do that because what I said meant 10 minutes. I was so dumbfounded by what just happened that I had to just walk away.

Another example was when I would ask her to clarify what she said; Like when she said, “We should wait for one more student to come before we start the games that way we will have ten students in total. […] Okay so we should wait for 3 more students […] Yep, five more students would be good.”

I didn’t know whether she wanted to wait for 1, 3, or 5 students so I asked her, and instead of just giving me a number she argued with me about if she said 1 student, the 3 students, and then 5 students. She was arguing with me because she forgot she had originally said 1 student, instead of just giving me a number. I just want to point out that she acknowledged her changing of the number of students from 3 to 5, but instead of making a clarification, she decided to pick out a flaw and attack me for it.

But see this is something I am used to because my mother has got some weird memory loss where the same thing happens, so everyone in my family will only email her about dates and times and things to put on the schedule so that there is written records of what she said, so this wasn’t new to me. But what was new, is getting this from a co-worker (from America) in Japan, who can’t even use a computer. I left home to get away from my mother, I don’t want to find her in my happy place.

(just a little insight, neither Kay nor Igor can use computers for more than email or to type an essay)

I had to tell her to stop picking on me, and you know what her look of shock made my day. I was as if she knew she was attacking me but she didn’t know that I knew. It was the look of shock people get when they get caught doing something they are not supposed to.


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