Yesterday my uniform came! Make that uniforms. I can't have a fashion show yet because I need Tetsu around to take pictures.
Around 2:30 someone from the city hall called me and asked if I could come today (Friday) to try on my uniform. Sorry, no. I have someplace to go on Friday. How about now? The lady from the city hall was willing (insisted) that she would be over right away with my uniform. Scurry around the house and clean up a bit.
About 30 minutes later here comes the lady from the city hall lugging TWO BIG BOXES into my entryway! Oh dear, she didn't say she was moving in.
This was a very nice lady, but VERY businesslike in a masculine sort of way.
"Oh my. You certainly have a lot of cats. I hate dogs."
She didn't mention whether she hated cats... sort of left that up in the air but she made numerous comments about their presence. Why is it when you don't want the cats to be friendly they are?! Climbing into her boxes, checking out the wrapping paper, jumping up on her papers.
"Very aggressive cats you have here."
(Throw a few cats into the next room hoping they will have forgotten how to open the door. They didn't. They DID use the opportunity to use the cat box though. Usually I can't tell when the cats use the cat box... This day WE could... sniff, sniff.)
"Okay. Let's do inventory. Here is the helmet."
(Helmet?! I'm going to wear a helmet?!)
"Here is the jacket and the official badge and the official pin. Here is the shoulder braid and the whistle and the armband. These need to be transferred to whichever uniform you are required to wear that day."
"Here is a pair of pants. Try them on now. You will have to hem them yourself. Now put on the shirt and the necktie. Over all that goes the vest. Looking good. Here is the cute little hat. Oh, that really turns you into an official crosswalk guard! Make sure the shoes fit. And round it all off with the white cotton gloves."
(White cotton gloves?!)
"Okay. Take that all off and now put this on. Here is the winter skirt."
(sigh... I'm really going to be wearing skirts...)
"Here is the summer one. Here are two short sleeved summer shirts and here are two long sleeved summer shirts. Use those at your discretion."
"Now for the extras. The helmet of course. The hat. Don't wear the hat in the rain. It has cardboard inside and will go flop. You don't want to be wearing a floppy hat. You might think about wearing your hair away from your ears. Hearing the traffic is as important as watching the traffic. Here are the rain wear and the rain boots. And here are the winter coat and winter gloves. And last but not least, here is the crosswalk flag. See, it has a whistle button."
(Thank you. That's one way to get rid of the cats....)
"You wear this uniform from May 1st to May 31st. You wear this one from June 1st to September 30th. And you wear this one again from October 1st to October 31. All the other days you wear this one."
(You have completely lost me....)
"And then read this booklet which is VERY IMPORTANT."
(I can't read Japanese.....)
"Remember. You are now an employee of Nikko City. Regard your position seriously and consider yourself a visible representative of the public. No chatting on duty, no using your cell phone and be very careful that your language is correct and polite. "
(You do remember that I don't speak Japanese so well....?)
"Report to the City Hall on Wednesday for the swearing in ceremony. We will then take you to the police station to meet the chief of police."
(Good glory, they are already putting me away.)
"Congratulations on your new job. We look forward to having you be a part of the Nikko City Traffic Safety Organization for many years to come. 10 years at least! That's how long it would take for the city to get its money's worth from the uniforms. Good-bye and good luck!"
I haven't even started working yet but I'm tired out already.
Not that I didn't expect all this... I really did. I'm going out to buy some rubber bands for my hair today...
Here I am with the former crosswalk guard... Think I can turn into him overnight?