JEN has over 400 staff but at their headquarters in Tokyo they only have 20 employees. The staff members pick their own hours and so throughout the day I saw people arriving and leaving the office. One of the most difficult things I have found when traveling abroad is how to learn different cultures' societal rules and manners. In Japan, it is customary to announce to the entire office when you enter in the morning, when you leave for lunch/errands/snacks in the middle of the day, and also when you leave at night. However, not only are you expected to say a traditional phrase when you exit the office but when other people leave, there is also a response you are expected to say in return. To say the least, it was very difficult for my jet-lagged muddled brain to sort through the appropriate calls and responses, but I managed with a few mispronunciations and lots of smiles both from me and my new co-workers.
Hopefully, as the summer goes on, my pronunciation of Japanese will become more accurate and both I and my new co-workers will continue to smile together but perhaps over new things besides my, albeit inevitable, cultural faux pas.