Teachers' blog


【Overseas Guest: Basic Level Discussion – Examples】

(Contributed by Takashi)
Have you ever had a foreign visitor come to your workplace?
Yes, my company has received a number of overseas visitors over the years.
Yes, at least one or two foreign guests visit our office every month.
They are usually employees of our overseas subsidiaries or representatives of our overseas dealers.
They come to the Japanese headquarters to report their operations and learn the latest information about our products.
How often would you have face-to-face meetings with people from abroad?
I would say I meet overseas visitors once every three months or so. Sometimes I go to their countries to meet them and other times they visit me.
The purposes of those meetings vary. But I am an engineer, so we tend to discuss matters related to technical issues, such as product specifications and design changes.
In addition to those meetings, I have to visit overseas manufacturing sites every now and then. Those are the times we have problems in the factory and I get there to troubleshoot.
What do you think would be the hardest thing about welcoming a guest from overseas?
The toughest thing I have to deal with in regard to foreign guests is the fuss my superiors make.
They usually give me many instructions on mundane issues like what kind of lunch or hotels we should provide for the visitors.
What they have in mind is to impress foreign guests.
I don’t quite understand why we can’t deal with them in the same way we do with domestic guests.
The thing that always gives me a headache dealing with foreign visitors is the difference in work habits.
For us, working overtime is something we take it for granted, but that is not the case for workers in foreign countries.
So, there is a tension when I ask them to go along with our work schedule and have them work longer than they are accustomed to.

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