Working Christmas Eve in Ikebukuro

It was coming up to Christmas in 2016. All my friends were going home to spend the holidays with their families, and the girl I liked was busy. I’m 90% sure she wasn’t blowing me off…. well, maybe 70%. I thought to myself, “If I can’t have fun this Christmas, at least I could earn some money!” And that’s exactly what I did.

Christmas Eve in Japan is the main event. All the couples get together and go on dates. Or, if you can’t get a date, all the lads and all the girls get together and spent the day together. For me, I was working near Ikebukuro station handing out tissues for the AU mobile company. It was a fairly common part time job, but it paid me 12,000 yen for eight hours ($US120). Despite being Christmas, this was a decent rate.

Now, while I say this is a common job, I meant for Japanese people. As a white foreigner working this job in a busy area of Tokyo, this was a bit of a rare site. My boss really loved it. He was some sort of playboy, and had decided to use me so he wouldn’t spend his Christmas Eve alone.

It was our job to give people the tissues, then ask them about their mobile provider and introduce our Christmas sale. I was doing alright, catching people unaware with my Japanese ability. But he was a pro, an absolute beast.

He’d real girls in, then introduce them to me. Kinda like that episode of “How I met you mother,” with the “Haaaaavve you met Ted?” segment. Wearing a suit with a Santa hat got me more than the standard “kawaii.” But my boss was really milking it for all it was worth. He was convincing girls to change their mobile provider to AU because I used it and he promised I would go on a Christmas Eve date with them all.

Unbelievably, it started to work. People were asking about the sale in detail. But it took a turn for the worst when they asked for my LINE account. Looking at my phone they discovered that I actually wasn’t with AU and used a different provider. The trust was broker and they fled, giggling that stereotypical Japanese schoolgirl laugh…… Well, not exactly. But it sounds better that way.

Overall, working on Christmas Eve turned out to be a lot of fun. I walked away with money and a funny story. Best of all, I’ll never forget my boss; a real playboy with a repertoire of tricks to teach!

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