Jesse's blog 84-Hitachi
Hitachi Company. This city was named after this company, and it's the most famous thing about this area. A large number of my students work for Hitachi Company. Still, I have lived in this Hitachi environment for 4 years, and never actually seen the legendary Hitachi Company. Until yesterday, that is.
Now that Billy sensei has gone back to Hawaii, many of you have probably heard that I am taking over his lessons at the company. This week was the start of those lessons. On Tuesday, I went to Hitachi Power Solutions, and it was my first time seeing one of the company buildings up close.
I went during their lunch time, so the atmosphere I saw first was a little unique. To be honest, it reminded me a lot of my time in university. After greeting the security at the gate, the first thing I saw was people playing pan pong. There were groups of people hanging out in the parking lot. Some were playing, and some were just watching them play and chatting. It was very casual and friendly, like a university.
Inside the building, there was 80's rock music playing over the speakers, all over the building. I don't know what I imagined Hitachi Company was like, but I didn't imagine that. Sometimes my students talk about work, and it sounds very serious, so I was surprised to hear rock music playing all over the building. It seemed really great to me, and again reminded me of university life. I even saw one man brushing his teeth in a hallway.
I've never worked at a big company. Well, of course, AEON is actually a really big company, but it's spread out all over Japan in lots of little offices. It definitely doesn't feel like a large company, since we only have a handful of staff at the Hitachi branch. Working as a bartender and server in Los Angeles, I never had more than 15 or 20 co-workers.
I've always been curious about that life. Large company life is something most people experience, but I never have. I like the idea of an automatic community. In university, I had a group of friends, but everybody at the university was still sort of "my group". Some of the people weren't really my friend, but I knew most of their names and I saw the same people again and again. I like that community feeling. It's one of the reasons I don't really want to live in a big city. There are too many people, so everybody ends up being a stranger. In smaller towns, you get to know all the people around you. Even if you don't like them, you know them.
The closest experience I've had to this after university, was one of my bartending jobs at a hotel. I worked as a bartender at a sushi restaurant in a Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles. My restaurant wasn't very big, but the hotel had a lot of staff overall. Every night around 10pm all the restaurants closed and a lot of the valet drivers, bell hops, concierge desk staff, and room service staff, all finish work. With so many people finishing at the same time, we always went drinking together. It was a 30-40 person party every night. Every Wednesday was karaoke!
This is now my new image of Hitachi Company. Maybe I'm wrong completely, but it's a nice romantic image, so don't correct me. I imagine the company a lot like a university, as a large community where everybody has some kind of connection, so that even if they aren't friends or maybe don't even know each other's names, they're still a kind of family. I hope that's true!