Don’t Rest


Friday morning, as I mentioned, the Vice Principal called, encouraging me not to use leave. In Japanese the word yasumi (休み) is often used for vacation, but it is also used for other types of breaks and rests. I chose the word ‘leave’ above because it was unclear to me if he was talking about ‘normal vacation’ or ‘sick leave’, both of which are included in my contract and referred to as types of yasumi.

This morning I went to the junior high for my normal 1E and 1I classes before heading to the Board of Education office for administrative duties (and a quieter environ). As I was stamping my name in the attendance sheet I noticed the character for ‘year’ pencilled into the square for Friday. I asked what character it was, hoping to initiate a conversation that would reveal their intent. Year, as the conversation seemed to indicate, meant they planned to put it down as normal annual vacation. They asked if I rested that day and I indicated that I had taken a ‘sick day’.

Returning to my desk to pack my bag for the office, I could hear their discussion from across the room – it sounded like they didn’t know how to handle things. Shortly after arriving at the BofE I started asking advice. It sounded like I might need an official “doctor’s orders document”, shindansho (診断書), which normally requires a fee to the doctor. This launched a few telephone conversations. Ultimately it was decided that I should save my receipt from the hospital pharmacy – just in case. They indicated the shindansho would probably only be needed for illnesses over three days. I hope there is no trouble later.

On the easy side of things: I am required to pay a tax of 78,000 yen annually for my contract. I was given an option of dividing that into four unequal payments that occur at unequal intervals during the year. This let me hang onto my money longer, so I took that option; however, because of the strange payment intervals I neglected to pay taxes on October 31st. Recently they sent me a red notice in the mail that I should pay up and that there was an additional fee. Of course very polite language was used… and the fee on the 19,000 yen payment?… 80 yen (the cost to send the late notice.) Can we teach the IRS to be kind and gentle like this?


One Response to “Don’t Rest”

  1. gonzolder Says:

    ja krevetko! Vsem sasat’!

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