Monday, April 09, 2007

The Laminator

Today marked the end of spring break and the start of the new academic year in Japan. As a result, there were a lot of new faces at school this morning. Not just new students but new teachers too.

Most of the new teachers seem pretty nice but I’ve taken a real shine to one in particular. I call him the Laminator. The Laminator is awesome. He’s like a Japanese version of Gareth from The Office.

Like his television counterpart, the Laminator has raised anal retentiveness to an art form. His desk is a thing of beauty. The surface is divided into a perfect grid of four squares with everything in its right place. His laptop sits squarely in the upper left quadrant. His day planner and his Mickey Mouse mug fill the bottom right quadrant.

His office supplies are neatly arranged in a shoebox-sized plastic container, which contains three of everything: three pairs of pink scissors; three green staplers; three Winnie the Pooh pencils; three silver rulers; three yellow highlighters.

But the piece de resistance is the personal laminating machine that sits squarely in the middle of his desk. I spent a good part of the day watching my new neighbour laminate every piece of paper that came across his desk. Notes, schedules, flyers. Everything was laminated and filed away.

At some point during the day, he taped a freshly laminated “no smoking” sign to his desk. I can’t wait to see what happens when he finds out the teachers smoke in the staff room. I hope he goes all Gareth on their asses.

Yes, the new school year is definitely off to a promising start.

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