Goodbye Greedy JC
Goodbye Greedy JC
Putting oneself out there truly brings unique opportunities.
More so than the monetary compensation, these freelance assignments also offer extremely valuable life lessons, both pleasant and unpleasant.
An opportunity came along many years ago to interpret for a network marketing company attempting to enter the Japanese market.
My job was to support an American, “JC”, coming to “open up” Japan.
Here, one really got an in-depth look at a specific kind of American mind-set, in particular the mind-set of selfishness and greed.
This work entailed making calls on his behalf, interpreting in meetings, and other fundamental tasks he was not capable of due to the significant language barrier.
Japanese cultural barriers hiding beneath the surface can be much more deeply problematic when the guest also carry with them an air of cultural superiority and arrogance, especially when they know little to absolutely nothing about Japan.
All the more Mickey Mouse and somewhat farcical was that JC’s was clinically obese, a redhead with a goatee, and spoke in a high-pitched whiny voice.
The contradictions abounded, as the company he was trying to bring to Japan in a network marketing format was a health supplement company, and this very unhealthy man, both physically and mentally was a extremely poor, and ultimately failed choice to represent his company’s health and wellness story.
One recalls always being aghast as he constantly stomped all over the Japanese sensibilities with his boorish behaviour, and gruff and boisterous mannerisms, which is where one coined the term, “The Honky Stomp”.
He also thought it was appropriate to yell and curse over the phone for one of his own mistakes.
Smiling to oneself while he yelled into the phone, one could visualize his redhead with flames shooting out, along with a very bright crimson face and highly elevated blood pressure.
There was also some deep verbal drubbings in person as one came to the role of not only interpreter and guide inside the murky waters of Japanese business, but also to play his whipping boy.
Cultural Note: This is what is known as yatsu atari (八つ当たり).
One is certainly glad to have been in Japan for many years by then with a good sense of calmness and Stoicism in the face of this agitated, aggressive, and greedy American.
He would often make snide comments that whenever he looked at a Japanese person’s face all he could see was ¥10,000 notes.
He would also refer to the prospective Japanese clients as “my retirement fund.”
This aligned with one’s understanding of this particularly sleazy type of American.
Many things about this belligerent and ultimate repulsive beast exuded heaps of negative energy, the kind of energy one associates with the culture of greed and selfishness.
This is where all people are looked upon as somewhere to extract money, as much money as possible, without any regard for the person at the opposite end of the transaction.
Perhaps his company should have selected someone with a little more cultural awareness as this company, like so many other network marketing company trying to come to Japan soon failed, never to return.
Read about this kind of arrogant and selfish attitude in the post entitled “The Mickey Mousification of Japan.”
As with all stories, there is always an end, and JC’s came via a massive heart attack in his late 50s.
Regardless of how much money JC may have had flow through his grubby fingers during his life, one believes he lived a futile and meaningless life, for no matter how much material one accumulates throughout a lifetime, the old adage will eternally ring true: You can’t take it with you.
For he could never be satisfied, nor could he stop comparing himself to others, which left him frustrated and ultimately bitter throughout his pointless life.
Many valuable lessons, some of them quite harsh, were not lost on his interpreter whatsoever.
For this confirmed one’s understanding that selfishness and greed are a form of self deception, which ultimately leads to a frustrating, empty, and meaningless life.
To be clear, the importance money and how to handle it properly is critical to a peaceful and fulfilling life, and money must be looked upon as a neutral conduit of energy only.
However, the accumulation of money for its own sake, and as one’s ultimate purpose in life can be viewed as an abject failure in the art of living, in what can only be considered an inconsequential life.
Indeed, a life well lived is ultimately made up of unique experiences and the people one meet while on this fleeting one-time journey.
Bonus: Read more about the the importance of “once in a lifetime”, ichigo ichie below.