The Accidental Office Lady

by Laura Kriska | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0804821054 Global Overview for this book
Registered by SKingList of New York City, New York USA on 3/10/2007
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by SKingList from New York City, New York USA on Saturday, March 10, 2007
Somehow I never registered this when I bought it a few weeks ago at Kinokuniya in Palisades Mall. Oops. Went to list it for a ring and realised this.

I hadn't heard of the book when I went to Kinokuniya, but the cover (as pictured) caught my attention, as did the blurb on the back. I started reading it immediately in the mall but it took me some time to get through it. Not because it wasn't god (it was!) or the length (302 pages) but because school sucks up far too much of my time :(

Anyway, some thoughts:

As is the case with other books not written about people doing the eikaiwa thing, it's nice to see another perspective on Japan. See how others experience the country. I found this to be especially so with Rora-san as I've never lived in Tokyo or Sayama. I smiled at her mention of FujiQ, I love that place.

"I discovered a sense of place, of coming home"
That sums up my feelings when I returned to Osaka in November 2005. Namba Walk and the Midosuji Line hadn't changed in my three+ years away, nor had most of downtown Osaka. I remembered why I had loved Japan in the ie first place. Her mention of El Paso taco supplies made me laugh, oh how often finding taco kits was just a wonderful way to eat the 'real' food that I never eat when I'm here in the US.

I love the little things that the author captured, the surprise landing at the factory, the day to day life in the secretariat and little things like how the heat of the rice congealed the egg at breakfast :) While she didn't 100% love her assignment, she recognised the challenges for what they were and how they shaped her life. She recognized that it was all a part of her growth as a person.

Perhaps the most random thing I learnt: that there was a Mr. Honda!
I liked how you needed clues to figure out when this book was set. I figured it out from some smaller clues i.e. what tool wasn't used by the execs, but then the big clue came by a siginificant event that occurred in Japan whilst she was there. The fact that there was no date let me think about when this could of been and whether things had changed.

All in all this was a wonderful read. Going to offer it as a ring if there is an interest.

Journal Entry 2 by SKingList from New York City, New York USA on Sunday, March 11, 2007
Ring-let:

SKingList
ariesgirl29 - USA
jerrilynnL - USA
Ramya - USA
Azuki - USA
Samulli - Germany
CandyDarling - Finland
LeishaCamden - Norway
LyzzyBee - UK
Matth3w - UK
hunnyb - AUS
Vikki - Hirosaki, Japan

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.
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SKingList

Always open. PM me or leave a comment if you want to join.

NOTE: please see entry 5/5/2010 for updated order.

Journal Entry 3 by SKingList at bookring in bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Released 14 yrs ago (3/13/2007 UTC) at bookring in bookring, Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Going into the care of USPS. Happy travels little book.

It doesn't have a label, but the BC-ID is in the top right corner of the first page. If anyone has labels and wants to add one, feel free.

Journal Entry 4 by ariesgirl29 on Thursday, March 22, 2007
Got in the mail on Tuesday but didn't know it until now - kids! :)

I have another book to finish up and will get to this one but I admit that I read the first few pages and it looks really good!

I'll put a label in it and will contact the next person when I'm almost done and ready to send it out.

Thanks for including me!

Journal Entry 5 by wingJerrilynnLwing from Denver, Colorado USA on Friday, September 7, 2007
Wow - this arrived in today's mail. I thought for sure it was eaten by the postal service back in May/June. But it safely arrived. Will read soon...

Journal Entry 6 by wingJerrilynnLwing from Denver, Colorado USA on Sunday, December 30, 2007
At first I couldn't read it because I was suffering severe nausea and the book was rather stinky. But I put it through a thorough airing out (along with newspaper, cedar chips and unscented cat litter to help draw out the smell). But I am throwing in the towel. I have a good stack of bookring books and the new-found ability to fall asleep within several pages (makes it very hard to get through a book in a normal amount of time, plus you should see the huge stack of magazines...). So to start anew with the new year and not be such a bad bookcrosser, I am sending this on unread to the next person on the list. Sorry for the huge delay! I will try to get it out to the post office in the next several days. It's a bummer because it looks good but I'll put it on my wish list and read it later (maybe in 18 years when I catch up on sleep). :-)

This is headed to Ramya in NJ next ...

Journal Entry 7 by wingJerrilynnLwing at USPS in By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, January 4, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (1/3/2008 UTC) at USPS in By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

off to Ramya

Journal Entry 8 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Saturday, January 19, 2008
This arrived on Thursday. I'll get started on it soon.

Thanks, SKingList, for lending and JerrilynnL, for sending!

Journal Entry 9 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Monday, October 13, 2008
I've PM'd azuki for an address.

Journal Entry 10 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Monday, January 11, 2010
This book is finally on its way to Azuki. My apologies for hanging on to it for so long. Once I finally picked it up a couple of weeks ago, I read it in just a few days. My husband and I have had Hondas since 1991 (the second car from 1996), so I found the book interesting from that point of view, as well as enjoying reading about the author's experience.

SKingList, if you PM me your address, I'll send you a small something as partial apology for delaying this book.

(Not that it's an excuse for me, but the one and only ring that I have hosted has been stalled for 3 1/2 years ... It's also a book about a American woman in Japan -- Geisha)

Journal Entry 11 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Book is here! Kind of a surprise too as I remember giving my address a while back, but I was not excpecting it to come in. Thanks for keeping the ring going! And thanks for the lovely bookmark.

Journal Entry 12 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Saturday, April 3, 2010
I didn't have much internet access during my travel so I wasn't able to journal till now, but I read this a week ago and it's now packed to be shipped to Vikki.

This book recorded the author's interesting experience and unique perspective as the first foreign woman to work at the Honda headquarters. As she has some familarity with Japanese culture and language, she is partly an insider but also has the personality of an American woman brought up to believe a woman's ability and right to career success. The book shows how her work changed her, and there is a satisfaction to see how she master the Japanese art of negotiation.

Thanks for sharing the book and best wishes that the ring will continue on at a steady pace.

Journal Entry 13 by Vikki from Aomori / 青森市, Aomori-ken Japan on Monday, April 19, 2010
Arrived today thanks!

Journal Entry 14 by Vikki from Aomori / 青森市, Aomori-ken Japan on Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Quite an easy read and very interesting, especially as I've lived in Japan for almost 7 years. I can sympathise with Kriska on some points. It can be very frustrating living in a place where things are done without question and where group dynamics prevail. Foreigners are often treated like children, which is extremely frustrating! Still, living in Japan, negotiating around the misunderstandings and differences and ultimately making your life here is a rewarding experience - one that I'd recommend to anyone.

Not sure where the book should go next. Can anyone help?

May 6 update - have contacted person next in line.

May 14 update - Samulli asked to be skipped, so the book is on its way to CandyDarling.

Journal Entry 15 by SKingList from New York City, New York USA on Wednesday, May 5, 2010
New Ring Order as of 5 May 2010. I think this is right - someone please let me know if there's an issue.

SKingList
ariesgirl29 - USA
jerrilynnL - USA
Ramya - USA
Azuki - USA
Vikki - Hirosaki, Japan


Samulli - Germany
CandyDarling - Finland
LeishaCamden - Norway
LyzzyBee - UK
Matth3w - UK
hunnyb - AUS


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.
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SKingList

Journal Entry 16 by Vikki at on Thursday, May 13, 2010

Released 11 yrs ago (5/14/2010 UTC) at

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to CandyDarling in Finland!

Journal Entry 17 by CandyDarling at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, August 20, 2010
The book is with me, thanks for sending it, Vikki!

Journal Entry 18 by CandyDarling at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, March 31, 2014
The book is now in the mail, on its way to LyzzyBee in the UK, as I never managed to get a hold of LeishaCamden. Sorry for the huge delay!

I loved this book, Laura Kriska's experiences in Japan were really interesting and very frustrating - I'm pretty sure I couldn't manage to work there. I'm glad I got the chance to read this book!

Journal Entry 19 by CandyDarling at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, March 31, 2014

Released 7 yrs ago (3/31/2014 UTC) at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent this book to LyzzyBee in the UK today.

Journal Entry 20 by LyzzyBee at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Monday, April 7, 2014
Received today from Finland - goodness, how long ago did I sign up for this bookring? I haven't signed up for one or run one for years! Anyway, I'll be a good bookring participant, and will read it during my upcoming week off and get it sent off soon as I can. Still looks good, anyway!

Journal Entry 21 by LyzzyBee at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, April 18, 2014
I was shocked to receive an email about a BookRing as I haven't joined any for years - it looks like I joined this one in 2007! I thought the minimooon would be an ideal time to whizz through this one, and so it was. I read about half of it on the train journey home.

The author was born in Japan and studied Japanese, with a year in a Japanese university, so she obviously jumped at the chance of a two-year stint working for Honda in Japan before returning to her new job in its US operations. This is the story of how she carved out her own role and individuality - in society and the company - amidst the culture clash and environment of self-enforced conformity, learning to negotiate in the Japanese way and to make friends along the way.

I liked the details about exactly how she lived her life, her housing situation and arrangements, and enjoyed the honesty about the culture clash and its frustrations but also her appreciation of Japanese culture and attempts to fit in. I would love to find out what happened next, as this is a few years old now.

Note: Matthew doesn't think he'll have time to read this, so I will get the next person's address and send it on.

Journal Entry 22 by LyzzyBee at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Monday, June 23, 2014
Oh no - to my absolute horror, I've just today realised that I forgot to get the next person's address and send it on! I'm so sorry!!

Contacting hunnyb today.

Released 7 yrs ago (6/28/2014 UTC) at Yorks Bakery Cafe - Newhall street in Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I was unable to contact the last person on the list. Skinglist said it was OK to keep and/or release it. Taking to the Birmingham meetup today. I will find someone to take and read this or I'll bring it home again!

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Journal Entry 24 by wingshnedwardswing at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, June 29, 2014
Picked up at the meetup. Thanks for bringing it along LyzzyBee!

Journal Entry 25 by wingshnedwardswing at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 1, 2017
I used to work for a company that worked with Honda, so it was interesting to read an account of life on the inside, as it were.

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