Impressed by the Japanese spirit of hospitality, Qian Xiaolei decided to move to Japan from China and now helps non-Japanese customers with their shopping at a Tokyo department store.
“I sometimes look for an item together with a customer who needs assistance,” the 31-year-old said. “What’s important is not to forget about the spirit of hospitality.”
Fluent in Chinese, English and Japanese, Qian has worked since last October as an attendant for foreign customers at the Mitsukoshi department store in Ginza.
The store deals sells a wide range of goods and almost every day it switches the items on display and how it presents them.
“When I come to work, I walk around every floor for about an hour to make sure which item is in what area on which floor,” she said.
She went to an English conversation school when she was still in elementary school while studying Japanese on her own to understand the Japanese TV dramas she loved.
After graduating from a university in Shanghai where she majored in computer science, she worked for a Japanese airline for four years.
“I was amazed to see my Japanese colleagues treating passengers and their fellow attendants nicely and working earnestly,” Qian said. “I wanted to do (my work) just like they do.”