American Culture Business Musings Japanese culture

Otetsudai: Japan’s answer to finding temps, stat!

I just read an article in BusinessWeek about how in Japan they have a GPS-enabled system called “Otetsudai” where they track down available job hunters within a certain vicinity for temp-hiring with jobs that need workers as soon as possible.

Basically, job seekers use their cellphones and log onto the Otetsudai website to indicate their availability at a given time. This in turn sends out a signal to the GPS servers about the availability of workers in a given area.

This sounds like a really great program and I kind of wish the US was advanced enough with mobile Internet right now to have a similar program. I know sometimes I am out just wandering San Francisco but I would be willing to work at any moment. It’d be nice to be on-call like that, especially if I know I have the time to spare. Too bad mobile Internet browsing is still rather limited due to service providers charging the service to customers. Not enough people really do mobile browsing here as compared in Japan, where it has been around forever. Plus, so far it seems like a lot of phones here in the US are not yet GPS-capable, which is another big difference between US and Japanese phones.

I remember when I was in Japan a few years ago for studying abroad, I got a cellphone with au KDDI. I didn’t really know how to use my phone, but then one of my Japanese friends showed me how we could use GPS on my phone for free. Now, remember, this was two years ago. Two years ago, here in the US, GPS was only really becoming known by most consumers. Even then, I don’t think GPS was available on cellphones just yet.

My oh my, the Japanese continue to amaze me.

American Culture Busride Observations My San Francisco Chronicles rant transportation

Woman on the bus.

I was on the bus today, on my way downtown to meet with one of my mentors for a holiday luncheon. The bus ride usually only takes about 15 minutes, so I zoned out for a little bit. After awhile, though, I noticed that there were more Chinese passengers than usual on this bus line. I watched a couple older Chinese women board the bus and sit near the front.

There was a Caucasian woman sitting right next to them; I didn’t know how long she had been there, but what I saw next really offended me. I guess the Chinese ladies had a bit of that “Chinese” smell about them (maybe they just came from Chinatown shopping?), because the Caucasian woman started to cover her nose with her turtleneck and act as if she were about to suffocate from the smell.

I was really offended by her blatant behavior and was tempted to yell at her “You can move to the back of the bus if the smell bothers you so much!” She was being so incredibly rude and offensive; if I were in her place, I would have either masked my disdain or just remove myself from the situation. It’s not that hard! It wasn’t like this woman was very elderly and needed to sit in the front of the bus; she was perhaps in her 40s, early 50s. She looked still very fit and youthful.

It just made me feel very disappointed in her behavior–I would have expected for a younger person to do something so immature, but not someone like her. If the smell of Chinese people bother you so much, then why are you here in the City?

Ugh, sometimes I wonder about society really.

American Culture

Difference between soliciting and not soliciting.

I don’t really get it, still–what’s the difference between the two?

Apparently, “soliciting” is when an individual is voluntarily seeking money or other valuables from another person through….legal means? If you are trying to sell something to someone, but are not asking for the money up front, that isn’t soliciting. Or is it? Soliciting apparently applies only when you ask for money up front….(when it comes to selling items door-to-door)

I don’t really understand it, but I guess I need to start to understand some of it sooner than later. I haven’t been able to react well so far when people tell me “no soliciting”….because I really don’t understand the meaning in itself. Why are people so consumed with their own lives that they forget that sometimes there are others who have to go around and do the dirty work anyway, i.e., do door-to-door sales? Someone has to do it–someone, not something. Aren’t we all human beings in the end anyway?

American Culture Internet reality television television

Reality TV Celebrity-dom

So it seems like reality television is really riding on its high wave as of late. I know I am behind on the whole ‘trend’ but still–seems like every channel I click to, there’s at least one reality TV show going on, if not gazillions! It’s gotten to the point where I feel like the market has become super saturated–as much as all these TV networks want to make money off of new “shows” through this genre, I think they’re really running dry at this point.

I wonder how exactly one of those shows work. Obviously most of the shows are pre-taped so the editors/producers can extract only the juiciest/most interesting parts of reality. The people who sign up to participate–are they doing the show because they want some quick fame? It’s crazy–I’ve been following the show “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila” and…although I enjoy watching the show and have really become captivated by it, it amuses me how all the participants from the show are now all of the sudden super-celebrities (well, at least on the web). When will their 15 minutes of fame be up? It’s just insane to me–you do a dating show, but in the end, what do you get out of it and what was it that you sought before you joined? Fame? Or really, true love?

In some ways I guess I kind of want to be on a reality TV show, but in many other ways, I’m quite content being Ms. Anonymous to the world.