frank frutes

I don’t usually plan my sourness; it just comes out that way.

Communication is a tricky thing. The other day at work, I had a series of meetings. All went well—we got through all of the material and everyone had a few laughs. Then the final person of the day plunked herself, her computer and a pile of papers in front of me and said, “You already checked this, so Wheaties and a Fig Newton.”


“Rumpelstiltskin captured an albatross.”


“Bogartinsky fleebarty floop.”

OK, that’s not exactly what she said, but what she did say made about that much sense. So I touched her arm gently and said, “I’m sorry. I don’t understand. Don’t panic. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It means I’m stupid. But if you want me to understand, you’re going to have to try again.”

After a bit more struggling, I discovered that she wanted me to come back on Monday.

That’s all.

One of the problems for the feeble-minded foreigner struggling with Japanese is that there are multiple layers of politeness along with a corporate culture of using as many words as possible to say the simplest thing. Now that I’m older than almost everyone else, as well as a Sensei in these situations, they use extra polite language out of respect for me.

And I appreciate that…but mostly I don’t understand it.

So please, people, keep it simple. I would be ever-so-grateful. In the interest of getting the job done, I don’t mind looking a bit dense. And I promise I won’t plan my sourness or laugh at your frank frutes.


3 thoughts on “frank frutes”

  1. I love getting older and people calling me sir. It still hits me. Wait, I am a sir? I agree with you 100%. Don’t mince words, say what you mean, and mean what you say…just don’t be mean about it.

Any opinions about that? I love to hear from you.

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