Japanese Customer

Posted on: May 13/08

My Japanese came in handy for the first time today at the bank where I work as a teller! 😀 But I haven’t practiced in ages, so the conversation could have been a lot better. For example, I should have used more honorific forms of words instead of the casual forms (I stopped myself just in time from saying “Gomen” instead of “Sumimasen”), and the sentences could have actually been structured to BE in sentence format. Oh well, it still made me feel great~

Actually, she wasn’t even my customer; she was my co-worker’s customer. My co-worker asked me a general question, and as I answered, I glanced at the customer’s profile on the computer screen and saw that the name was a Japanese one. I gathered up the courage and tried to strike up a conversation IN JAPANESE with the ~60 year-old lady (the following was all Nihongo de):

Me: Ah, so are you Japanese?
Her: Yes…Oh, you are too….?
Me: No…I’m not. I just learned it…
[She was getting a new bank card and said a whole bunch of stuff in Japanese, which I had to half guessed to follow along…but the basic idea was that she thinks she left her old one in the ABM accidentally when she was doing transactions there the other day.]
Me; Ah, is that so…?
Her: Yes, but that one was an old card that I had…
Me: Well, now we’ll give you a new one so it’ll be better too!
Her: Yes, it’ll be better. 🙂
[And then my co-worker came back and wanted me to explain to her how to change her PIN number of her new bank card, I was (very) hesitant but I told her I’d TRY my best *fingers crossed*)]
Me: This is your PIN number right now. If you go to the machine, you can change it. When you put the card in there, and then you press these numbers, you have an option to change your PIN number.
Note: all the underlined words were actually spoken in English! Haha, wow, that did not go over too well, but she actually got what I was trying to say *wipes sweat off brows*
Me: Sorry, my Japanese is still terrible. ><
Her: No no, It’s alright!
[In the end, I asked her to sign the receipt (“Sign shite kudasai~)” and she seemed quite happy that I have helped her ^^]

After the customer left, I asked my co-worker if her English was really that bad. She told me that yes, she had trouble explaining some stuff to her, and for her to explain that she can change the PIN number at the machine…that was nearly impossible!

So now, I can boast that my limited level of Japanese has FINALLY come in useful at work! 😀 Yatta~

3 Responses to "Japanese Customer"

Congrats on getting to use your Nihongo skills! It seems like it was a successful conversation over all. I’m sure your customer felt more comfortable/relieved too afterwards. lol
Thanks for the comments on my tagboard btw..things are just crazy at this time. ^^ The job is good. We’re still ironing some things out on the corporate end of it all, but I’m happy to have a job!

Inadvertence says : I absolutely agree with this !

Hey, just randomly dropping by through your comment on my friend’s (Mel) blog.

It’s an awesome feeling to be able to use your Japanese after so long. がんばってね!Hope your JET application comes through as well!

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