My working experience in Evergreen Hostel
Written by Jenny
Why did I chose Japan to work in? Come to Japan is my dream since my childhood. Influenced by Japanese anime and manga, I yearn to have a look at Japan. I wished that one day in the future, I would be able to step into this country, see it with my own eyes and experience it with my five senses. I started to learn Japanese and participate in Japanese events like Bon Odori. Years passed and I grow, my Japanese doesn’t improve much, but my passion towards Japan isn’t put off, still strong and deep as it has been. There was an afternoon that suddenly this coming to my mind. Why don’t I find a part time job in Japan after graduating? I had no idea how to do it at all at that time. But I really wish it can come true. After going through a lot of obstacles and difficulties, finally this become something that is going to happen and not merely a dream anymore.
I can’t describe how excited I was when I received the email from Hazuki san, the owner of Evergreen Hostel that she accepted my job application. I was nearly gave up after being turning down by few employers. Before coming to Japan, she briefed us about the job requirement, the rules and regulation. Though I had not been meeting her, I can feel her friendliness and geniality. This made me felt less anxious despite the coming journey is full of uncertainties. I was eager to meet her!
At 4th of October in my 24, my partner, Wong and I reached this country. After taking a 6 hour flight, spending a night at Namba station and a 6 hour express bus, finally we reached Evergreen Hostel and welcomed by Hazuki san. She is just as kind and ‘yasashi’ as my expectation! Her genuine warm and sweet smile made me forgot the tiredness and difficulties we experienced all the way came to Hiroshima.
We were taught about the check in process and how to deal with guests, how to prepare the beds and clean the hostel compound. To be truth I was quite worried at the beginning because I rarely do house chores at home. In fact, I was like a little princess at home who didn’t do house chores. I don’t even know how to clean a toilet because I never did it before. (Here I would like to apologize to Hazuki san because I lied that I like cleanliness).
I remembered on the first day, Hazuki san asked us to practice the check in process in front of her as a trial. I told myself to stay calm despite my little heart was doki-doki and pumping hard. I tried to use my smile to cover my nervous, and it works! Thanks to the trial, it made me able to deal with guests more smoothly! I still remember vividly how difficult and clumsy I was when I received the payment from the guest on the first day. I didn’t recognize any Japanese coins at all, thus it took me quite a long time before I could find the right coins for their change. I felt so embarrassed as the guests can even recognize the coins better than I am!
Hazuki san offers us free accommodation and allowance for food, and in exchange we would help her out in Evergreen Hostel. The working hour is about 5 to 6 hours per day, 1 shifts per day and 2 days off per week. I would say that the workload here isn’t heavy and difficult. For the morning shift, the main thing to do is cleaning the hostel, bed-making and checking-in for the guests. For the night shift, the main job is making sure the hostel compound is always clean and stay in the lounge to lend the guest a hand at anytime. The hostel compound is not big so cleaning work is not exhaustive. The number of the beds that need to be cleaned depends on the number of guests who check out on your working day. After all the cleaning and bed making, we can relax in the lounge while waiting for guests to check in. The working time isn’t fixed, so you can take your rest after completing the work.The owner prepares some hostel uniform too but it’s not compulsory to wear them. I enjoy wearing the uniform and proud that I am one of the member of Evergreen hostel!
Among the guests, Japanese makes up about the majority. So, I would say that it is better if you can able to speak in English and Japanese as. However, most Japanese guest that I encountered are able to understand English. There are very few of them that couldn’t understand at all. I struggled and tried my best to communicate with them with my poor Japanese. Be brave and just try to speak because Japanese actually feel very happy to see a foreigner putting an effort in learning and speaking their language. Phone calls from local people is another thing that makes me headache. Hazuki san usually stays in the hostel during daytime so she can help in answering the calls but night time is the problem. The ringing and picking up of the phone calls were so scary for me at the first few days! Looking back, I think that there is some improvement in my Japanese. From the first call I answered where I couldn’t understand and speak anything at all except ‘moshi moshi’ which means hello, and slowly I started to be able to note down their names and contact no. to let the owner contact them, and now I am able to understand their question and pass their inquiries to Hazuki san. I was so frustrated with myself when I can understand their inquiries but my mind just go blank and no Japanese word could come out from my mind and mouth. The desire to communicate more with Japanese local people makes me tries my best to learn Japanese.