Tokyo: What have been your best and worst jobs, and why?


Alexander d’Authreau, 27
English lecturer (British)
My current job is the best I’ve had. Since 2008 I’ve worked for a university entrance exam company here. The worst was also here in Japan, when I was working as an assistant language teacher, because I had different bosses, and the job description was so loose that it was far from satisfying.

Kanka Cho, 27
University student (Chinese)
As I’m still a student, I haven’t had any full-time experience, but when I came to Japan I washed dishes in a small seafood restaurant in Tokyo before making sushi at a chain in Kanagawa. Compared with working in a chain restaurant, I prefer a small restaurant, where you are not like a robot.

Patrick Mansfield, 77
Entrepreneur and actor (English)
The worst job I had was when, as a young man with a mortgage and two children, I needed extra cash, so I sold vacuum cleaners door to door in the evening. The best was appearing in a Toyota commercial on TV in Japan, for which I was paid rather a lot of yen!

Mie Yamada, 44
Cafe owner (Japanese)
To date, my best job has been a secretarial job, over in London but for a Japanese company. I did it for about three years. The worst job was as a data entry clerk in Tokyo, about 20 years ago, and I would certainly not like to do it again.

Doug Braymen, 52
Corporate training manager (U.S.)
My worst was aged 15, working for a summer in the back room of a women’s shoe store in California, where I also had to wash the big display windows. My best was later as a college recruiter. I visited schools to explain my university experiences and gave campus tours to students and parents.

Shelly Siddiqui, 27
Ground stewardess (Dutch)
My worst job involved working for a few days in an Iranian restaurant serving cheese fondue, which was messy. I only got ?15 [now ¥1,500] for a day’s work. The best is my job now as a ground stewardess at Schiphol Airport in Holland. It’s great because I meet so many people and every day is different.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

  • Worst – Conducting market research surveys by phone as an unpaid ‘internship’ for a radio station.

    Best – Hopefully the one I’m starting next month!