Junpei

[Junpei] Work-from-home woes

It’s been two years since we started working from home and we are very slowly easing back into a new normal. I enjoyed working from home. I didn’t need to rush out the door and squeeze with everyone on public transport. I could take care of my home at the same time as I work. Working from home, however, comes with its fair share of pains.

I’m sure you have gone on many online meetings and instead of starting with, “how was your day?” Or, “how are you?”, people start the conversation with, “Can you hear me?”

That’s okay, but the version I always get is this. I would raise my hand to speak, and just when I’m about to say something, someone would say:

It is clear that I am not on mute because the ‘mute’ icon is not active on my screen. I would be lying if I said I was not annoyed by how many times this has happened. In the end, all I respond with is:

A little patience never hurt anybody. I have a quote to share for that, too.

Chiyo

[Chiyo] Insensitive people.

Do you have a friend who is a cat lover who gushes about how cute cats are all day and how they want to cuddle with them all day? Well, DON’T. If you love cats, take them seriously and treat them with respect. Just the other day I had an acquaintance come over and he was just awful.

Before I tell you the whole story, I would like to say that all my life I’ve encountered people who tell me how cute I am as a compliment – it is anything but a compliment when the implication is that I don’t get taken seriously or shown any respect when I’m “cute”!!! (๑・`▱´・๑)

Okay, so just the other day, I invited Junpei and our colleague (whom I’ll just call A-san here) to my house for tea. I tidied, by the way, so I took a photo:

Everything was fine and dandy, until A-san noticed I had an electronic keyboard in the corner of the room.

“Oh Chiyo-chan, I didn’t know you play the keyboard! Could you play something for us?” He asked.

Just so you know, I’d only just started learning how to play it recently, so I’m no Mozart. But how could you turn down a guest, right? It seemed rude. So I told him very honestly that I was an amateur and to pardon me for my poor playing.

Then I began to play a piece I was recently practising and it was Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”. I really liked this song because they often play it at weddings. (˵¯͒〰¯͒˵) It started out fine, then on the way to the chorus, I started to slip up and hit the wrong keys. A-san loudly noted this at once. He laughed jovially and said things like:

“Oh Chiyo-chan, I’m not sure the song goes like this.”

“The bride is tripping down the aisle now, haha!”

He went on and on. And on. And on. I was so angry. I am so angry. I was going to throw my keyboard at him in rage. (Am I the bad guy here?!)

I think I might have left some claw marks on the keys.

Then Junpei very calmly said, “Here, A-san, have some cookies.” And he stuffed A-san’s mouth so quickly that A-san couldn’t even laugh or say another word.

What a waste of a good cookie.

Then he looked at me and said, “I thought that was a very beautiful effort for having started learning the keyboard for only a month.” And he clapped for me and took me away from my rage.

When A-san finally spluttered back to words, Junpei promptly said it was time to leave and got up so efficiently and matter-of-factly that A-san could not protest.

What would I do without Junpei?!

Anyway, Junpei loves to collect quotes. So it was no surprise when he texted me this quote after he had left:

Who…is that?

Yeah. I’m not going to invite A-san to my home ever again.

Junpei

[Junpei] Merry Christmas.

Hello, my name is Junpei. It is Christmas today. I celebrated it with my most cherished friends. We went to Chiyo’s house this year, sat on the rooftop and enjoyed the sounds of different Christmas songs floating out of the neighbors’ windows.

We used to go to so many parties at this time of the year and we would panic over the last few presents we forgot to buy. We haven’t been able to go to any parties the past two years. At first, it was strange and almost sad that the mood was different. But this year, I found that it allowed me to reflect on what was most important – and that was to be grateful for the friends you have and for the relationships you hold.

My friends know that I love to collect quotes, so I’m sharing a very apt one below.

Merry Christmas everyone! May the new year hold better adventures for us all.