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What was the working life of a Vietnamese girl living away from home like?

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What was the working life of a Vietnamese girl living away from home like?

At the age of 20 - while my fellows went to university, I decided my future by starting a new life in Japan. Until now, when I think about the time I took on all kinds of jobs in Japan, it all seems like only yesterday...

Jena

Jena

Published on 21 Apr 2021, 15:00

After graduating from high school, unlike my classmates, I wanted to go out into society and fend for myself instead of spending another four years in the university. Therefore, I decided to study basic Japanese and began a journey in Japan that was full of difficulties but still gave me a lot of joy and experience.

My first job in Japan as a shipper for a relatively big shipping company in Tokyo

Similar to other manual work, the heavy workload snowed me under every day. You could even understand my whole job if you followed me around for just one day.

Every day, I woke up at 6AM, finished my morning routine then left the house at 6.20AM. In Japan, people usually go to work by train but I had another way. I rented a room near my company and went to work by bike to save time.

The pace of life in Japan is fast, so the best way to fill the belly without wasting time is to have breakfast in convenience stores. This is also the reason why you can see a lot of Combini or standing shops with reasonable prices while wandering around any street in Japan.

There was a 7-Eleven right below my company, so I usually came to the company early and stopped by that place to buy something for breakfast.

What was the working life of a Vietnamese girl living away from home like?

After having breakfast, I would scurry to the company's warehouse to find my assigned packages for the day.

After the first week, I realized that the most effective way to deliver as many packages as possible in one morning was to categorize them according to their areas.

In Japan, there is no men-only or women-only work

In Vietnam, most of the jobs such as driving, cleaning, or fixing trucks are done by men. However, when I came to Japan and chose this job, I had to learn how to drive a mini truck and how to clean it properly. That was an essential requirement to decide whether I was accepted for the job or not.

Every day, before hitting the road, I had to clean the truck. If the manager saw me skipping that task, I would be punished and severely reprimanded. The cleaning was a simple task, since the Japanese culture has long been associated with the image of elementary school children cleaning the tables after eating at school.

The starting point was where I picked up the packages, then I had to go to a transfer station (which was close to the delivery location) to pick up the trolley and deliver the goods to their places.

We only used trucks to deliver the goods to the station, so most of the day we would walk through all the streets to deliver all the packages. This work required stamina, so regular exercise and drinking enough water every day is a must.

The trolley for shippers
The trolley for shippers

I usually received the packages for the morning first. If there was more to deliver in the afternoon, I would come and collect them in the early afternoon. However, there were afternoons that I worked as a salesperson - meaning that I would go to small shops on the streets to introduce the company's services and invite people to try those services.

Japan is so safe that it feels almost strange!

Here is something interesting. If the shop owners want to give a shipping company, like mine, the package, they will just stick my company's label on it and leave it in the front door. Our job would be to check whether that package belongs to our company or not, if yes, we would give the receipt to the shop owners and take it.

Security in Japan is absolutely amazing that no one has to care about their assets being stolen even when they leave them on the street.

My afternoon would end after I brought the car back to the company and met the accountant to hand over the information of the packages and receive the advance money to pay for the truck parking fee. This job allowed me to meet the accountant every day, not just at the end of the month like in Vietnam.

I love this job because it is my main source of income; moreover, it grants me great relationships as well as the chance to be exposed to everything in Japan in the most honest way.

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