Monday, July 29, 2013

Accidental Office Lady

Version 0.2

Errata for The Accidental Office Lady by Laura Kriska

Good book about her first years with Honda, though judging by her reported frustrations, I wonder how long she lasted with the company. Not sure if the title was really justified, since she didn't really do much OL-type work.

Quite a bit of insight into the cultural differences between Japanese and Americans, with the usual focus on the facade (建前 (tatemae in Romaji)) versus the reality (本音 (honne)). My own take on that topic is that most Japanese are content to keep them apart, and they don't even regard it as false or misleading because everyone is supposed to do it and everyone is supposed to know that everyone else is doing it. In contrast, most Americans regard the separation as a kind of stress that should be reduced by bringing the two into alignment, even when it jeopardizes the social harmony (和 (wa)). She didn't mention that term explicitly, though she did write quite a bit about building and maintaining good relationships, especially among groups of coworkers.

However, editor that I am, I was struck by a few mistakes:

Page 87: "Even though no one in the office would discuss her difficult behavior, I found some in the knowledge I wasn't the only one suffering." There's a missing word after "some", probably "solace" or "consolation".

Page 198: The Fuji Highland Resort must be Fujikyu Highland.

Page 229: "...I wouldn't need to be involved in the preparation but that they need me to help accompany..." The second "need" should be "needed" or possibly "would need".

Page 266: The Romaji form of the famous sumo wrestler's name is "Chiyonofuji", and the misspelling really stuck in my eye.