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work place etiquette

Kirirao

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Short background info.
I got an unofficial job offer(内定) as a game programmer in a Japanese game company a week ago which I will be accepting. Then I will be going for internship till I graduate from the school next year April and start working full time.

Considering that I have no experience in any real working experience(just some part-times), I really need some advices from those who are currently working or already worked in a Japanese-run company.

Here's some of my question.

- Since I'm going to be the new guy, how do I address my superiors and "sempai's". I'm guessing just xxx-san would be ok. is xxxx-sempai is ok too?

- 敬語 Should I use it all the time when I'm talking to everyone or just the superiors in the workplace?

- nomikai, The place that I'm working, seems to have alot of nomikai. The problem is I don't drink, and that's where the socializing happens. I would love to join just really would like to avoid the drinking. So is it weird for me to join the nomikai and not drink any alcohol? What would other people(japanese) would think of it?

This is some of the things that I can think of right now.

and any other advices would be really appreciated.
 
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Short background info.
I got an unofficial job offer(内定) as a game programmer in a Japanese game company a week ago which I will be accepting. Then I will be going for internship till I graduate from the school next year April and start working full time.

Considering that I have no experience in any real working experience(just some part-times), I really need some advices from those who are currently working or already worked in a Japanese-run company.

Here's some of my question.

- Since I'm going to be the new guy, how do I address my superiors and "sempai's". I'm guessing just xxx-san would be ok. is xxxx-sempai is ok too?

How you address your "上司" jyoushi(superior, will be by his/her rank eg "課長",kachou"部長",buchou and if they don't have a rank then it will be "さん" san.
You won't need to use senpai in the work place.

- 敬語 Should I use it all the time when I'm talking to everyone or just the superiors in the workplace?
Yes you should use "敬語" in regards to your bosses ect, but there is no need to go over board, you will deffinately do fine with "丁寧語", teineigo(Polite speach) Mastering "敬語" is very difficult and most Japanese don't know how to use it correctly unless they have been taught, so don't be too concerned if you can't master it for the time being. Then there is your coworkers, this is difficult, you have to know where to use "丁寧語" and where you don't have to. If you use it all the time , things can get awkward. You will have to learn as you go b/c I have no idea what your working environment will require (that is what I mean to say is , "the unspoken rule of how to address co-workers")

- nomikai, The place that I'm working, seems to have alot of nomikai. The problem is I don't drink, and that's where the socializing happens. I would love to join just really would like to avoid the drinking. So is it weird for me to join the nomikai and not drink any alcohol? What would other people(japanese) would think of it?

This is some of the things that I can think of right now.

and any other advices would be really appreciated.
You don't have to drink to go to a nomikai, you can just have a good "ウーロンちゃ" oolong tea.
 

orochi

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About the drinking, it can also be a good idea to say you're allergic to alcohol. That should stop anybody from pestering you. But it's totally acceptable not to drink.
 

Taiko666

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Congratulations!

I'm sure some posters with fluent Japanese will offer you good advice. All I can say is that my Japanese colleagues *always* use xxx-san when referring to Japanese or other SE Asians (but not other foreigners) when speaking. And in e-mails & letters, even we non-Asian foreigners get the xxx-san treatment. This is irrespective of status.

But in general, just go with the flow. Being a little over-polite is much better than sounding rude. So err on the side of caution and listen to what your colleagues say (particulary those with similiar status.)

As for the after-work boozing, I don't think you should worry too much. Even if you get a few raised eyebrows initially, as long as you're having fun and being part of the party the fact that you're not getting drunk will be forgotten by those who are on their way to inebriation. And when your bosses and colleagues are having difficulty walking, you may even end up looking after them to a certain extent (organising the bill, hailing a taxi etc) which may raise your standing a bit!
 

Mike Cash

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All above is good. I would just add that the primary time one would use xxx-senpai is when one wishes to 機嫌をとる the sempai when asking for help on something, conferring on a matter, etc.

People these days tend to be pretty good about not pestering non-drinkers to drink. If one drinks a little that opens the door to being pressured to drink more, but most folks don't bother the tee-totallers, so long as they're not being any sort of a wet blanket to the drinkers.
 

Glenski

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Address everyone as -san. To say Tanaka-sempai do his face is weird.

Nomikai. Go, enjoy, drink what you want. I don't drink alcohol. Some people don't ask why. For those that do, I just say I don't like the taste, or it upsets my stomach. Go, enjoy, drink what you want. Socialize. That's what nomikais are for.
 

Kirirao

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@FrustratedDave, orochi, Taiko666, Mike Cash and Glenski
Thanks for the advices~ really appreciate it
Thats a relieve to hear about the nomikais too. (had the image of nomikai = booze+socialize in my head all of this time)
I hope you guys don't mind me asking a 'lot' more question in the near future too. So much unknowns.

@Valashu-kun
Thanks :)
 

Glenski

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Want to hear a direct example of recent nomikai. I just came back from one with 15 Self-defense Force soldiers. Two of them drank nothing alcoholic, and neither did I. One VERY politely asked if I was driving, and that was it. I know one of the other non-imbibers was driving, too, since he announced at the end that he would be happy to drive people home.
 

pipokun

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...
I hope you guys don't mind me asking a 'lot' more question in the near future too. So much unknowns.
...

I don't know how many new programmers got the naitei and start the internship.
Talk and ask with them when you are in trouble.

They are assets to you, so are you to them. (they are not the one who gives you salary, though).
 
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