How was your week? If you ask me, I would respond "It was tiring". I had lots of lessons to plan and teach at my junior high school! I was glad to talk to our guests and see how their week went, too.
One of our guests works at a job where one of his responsibilities is to take minutes, so once every week, he must get up early and come to work to prepare the weekly meeting. I was really surprised to learn that in Japan there are no foods or snacks served at company meetings!
In the U.S., we think like this: Taking staff away from their normal job is causing inconvenience for them, so we should give the staff some kind of benefit in exchange for their time. That's why the managers usually pay for some kind of snacks. Common business meeting snacks are sandwiches, bagels, donuts, and maybe some kind of drink like coffee or juice. Then, maybe staff will feel relaxed and can share some good ideas at the meeting. My mom told me that there were some really good sandwiches and cookies from a famous Seattle bakery at a recent meeting she had.
But, I can also understand why Japanese people don't have any food at meetings. If you eat while your coworkers or boss is talking, it seems disrespectful. By being focused and professional at a meeting, you can show your professionalism, right?
Anyway, I think Americans and Japanese have different ways of thinking when it comes to the times and places where it's okay to eat food. I'd really like to talk about this more at the next free talk, so please come to the cafe on September 24th when I work next! Of course, this might be interesting to talk about anytime, so please come visit us when you're free and have a good time talking with our staff and other guests.
Here are some words and phrases that came up in today's conversation that you can study!
to take minutes: This is the action of typing the contents of a meeting. It's difficult to take minutes because you have to type the contents of the meeting's conversation really fast !
This is an adjective that's a little bit difficult to explain.... It means like an attitude, or way of talking of people that want to appear more successful, smart, or important. For manyexamples, watch this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwV-Qulog5I
The way they talk is very pretentious.
sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is a type of picked German cabbage. American's like to put sauerkraut on their hot dogs.
Thanks for reading! And as always, I'll see you next time.