Saturday, January 5, 2008
Taking Attendance
Just like at all my previous jobs, I'm required to keep track of when I work. When I worked at Wal-mart, that meant swiping my badge to clock in and out, at the spa it meant making note of when I came in and when I left on the computer, and at the law firm, doing time entry to keep track of every hour of my day. Here in Japan, they take attendance using hanko. A hanko is basically a stamp. Everyone in Japan has a special stamp of their name that acts as a signature would in the States. Instead of signing things, you hanko things. So, basically, one day a month, I sit down and find my page in this big book at my base school, and hanko everyday that I came to work. If I didn't work, I have a special sheet to hanko if I took special leave, and another special sheet to hanko if I took vacation. My hanko is my name written out in katakana characters, which is the writing system used for spelling foreign words. You read it from top to bottom. In the pictures below, you can also view my horrible attempts at writing the kanji for Saturday, Sunday, and special leave.


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