Izzy currently lives in Japan where he is pursuing his childhood dream to become a ninja. He writes about his adventures and experiences living in a foreign country while inspiring others to pursue their dreams and live in awesome life. Read more here:The 30 Year Old Ninja
This is odd... Actually, being a foreigner in a strange country, makes everything odd...
But this was above average odd.
I am in the teachers room, I look up, and the room is empty. Completely, totally empty!
At first it didn't seem too crazy. I took a breath and thought "okay, another event that nobody told me about". There is an unfortunate pattern that has developed where I am never told about anything. I can guarantee if there is something I should know about, I will not be told. I'm never really the last to know, rather I just never know.
It has really forced me to step back and think "what do I really need to know?". Yes, there are things of BENEFIT to know but few that I NEED to know. Really when it comes down to it, unless the school is burning down, I don't NEED to know about it...
I thought to myself "what should I do?" After critically assessing the situation, I concluded that I would venture off to go find all 400 plus members of the school. Once again, my actions prove that logic is my strongpoint!
I get into the hallway, and it's silent, dead silent! Okay, strange... I head to the gym - No one is there. I head to the 2nd floor - No one is there.
This is weird. My imagination begins playing games... I feel like I'm in an apocalyptic movie. I am the sole survivor in a foreign country after a massive disaster. Somehow, the walls of the teachers office, saved me, and only me, from mass destruction...
Oh Wait! Back to reality! Way out in the distance a few teachers are on the school field.
I casually stroll over (as I am fairly used to not knowing anything). I discover the entire school patiently sitting. I head over to the English teacher to subdue my curiosity
"So why is the whole school on the field?"
"Oh, hello Izzy-sensei. This is a fire drill."
"Oh... I didn't know"
"Yes, yes, we forgot to tell you."
Without too much thought, I joke about it to lighten up the mood.
"Haha, no problem. I'm on fire, I'm on fire!"
She found this hilarious!
"Hahhahahaha! Oh Izzy sensei is on fire! oh no!"
The other english teacher overhears our conversation and also found it hilarious.
"Hahaha! Heehhee! Oh fire! Izzy sensei fire! hahaha"
I feel rather proud, of my well presented joke. I'm gleaming...
THIS ISN'T FUNNY!
THIS ISN'T OKAY!
I JUST BURNED TO DEATH IN OUR SCHOOL'S PRACTICE FIRE DRILL!
Overexaggeration? NO! I spent the last 15 minutes wandering around the school because they "forgot" to tell me. Oh yeah, no big deal, that's cool. I totally have multiple lives. Yeah, actually, since I'm American I can get enveloped in burning hot flames and nothing happens to me. I even heard it is good for my skin... SUPER NOT COOL!
So what am I supposed to do?! I'll tell you what I am doing! I am now on the lookouts for fires everyday all day... And you know who I'm going to tell if I find a fire-- NO ONE! That's right. If I see a fire, I'm going to head to the field, sit down, then pull out a sandwichand watch it burn! (okay, maybe I am getting a little extreme)
Do you have any idea how much time it takes to search for fires? It takes all day! Here is the thing: just because there wasn't a fire over there 5 minutes ago doesn't mean there isn't a fire now. Fire is crazy. It can start anywhere! It can start in a bathroom, on the 3rd floor, in a backpack, ANYWHERE!
...So yeah, this is my life... I moved to Japan to become a ninja, and now I spend most of my working day looking for fires, hiding in bathrooms to eat food, and pretending to do nothing when I'm actually doing something.
There probably is way more appropriate way of dealing with this such as asking my supervisor "please inform me, if the school is in the midst of burning down".
Hmmm... Yeah... Maybe... I'll think about it. I've already wasted too much time writing this post. There could be a fire starting as I write this... Uhh... I need to get going...
When I first started working at my job, I didn't want to make any mistakes. I wanted to be a great employee. This led me to asking few questions because I didn't want to bother my supervisor. Really this ended up just creating more confusion for me because I never knew what was going on. Since, I rarely asked questions, my supervisor assumed I knew what was going on.
Communication is a huge deal in all situations. And even more so, being that I am in a situation where the cultural differences by themselves cause confusion. The Japanese culture focuses on learning through "watching" rather than "telling" in most professional environments. Clear communication is critically important for me to comfortably function in my job, and for that matter, life in Japan.
This leads me to the major lesson I have learned from this: If I want others to communicate with me, I must communicate with them!
Since I had asked very few questions I appeared like I knew what was going on. Do you tell things to people you think they already know? Probably not. It would be a waste of their time and yours. I appeared like I knew what was going on. Why would my employer tell me things if they thought I already knew?
How can I ever reach my dreams if I am unable to communicate what I want and need? At minimum it's creating unnecessary barriers.
What about you? Are you having unfair expectations of those around you? Have you communicated what you want? What you need? Are you blaming others for "their inability to communicate"? Are you trying to appear like you have it together yet you really would like some answers? Izzy currently lives in Japan where he is pursuing his childhood dream to become a ninja. He writes about his adventures and experiences living in a foreign country while inspiring others to pursue their dreams and live in awesome life. Sign up for his emai list and get access to the 3 simple truths that are critical to following any dream.The 30 Year Old Ninja