Thursday, September 29, 2005


DaiYama, the electronics superstore chain, is making the wrong kind of headlines again this week, after angering a customer in Kurume with its strict adherence to company policy. On Wednesday evening, Weave Statson, an Australian studying at Kurume University, headed to the electronics store after his tutorials to pick up a pre-ordered digital camera. He arrived at 6.30pm, safe in the knowledge that the store was open until 9pm.

However, when he presented his receipt and asked if he could have his camera, the clerk apologised and told him that the store had just closed. Looking to where the clerk's finger was pointing, Mr Statson saw that the store clock was incorrect, having stopped at 9.01am that morning, but he was unable to persuade the store clerk to hand over his goods.

Despite Mr Statson showing the clerk his watch, and making him look at his own equally correct watch, he was told that all employees must go by the official store clock, and was politely asked to come back tomorrow. When the Australian refused to back down, the clerk disappeared to find the company policy manual, and painstakingly pointed out all the relevant points to a very frustrated Mr Statson.

Ironically, by the time heaccepted that he would have to come back the next day, the time was in fact 9.01pm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


It should have been a routine 5 minute stop at a local convenience store, but for English conversation teacher Hose Jansaphine it turned into "a nightmare, a pure bloody nightmare". Bystanders report that Mr Jansaphine asked for a 2kg pack of ice cubes, to which the attendant, jogging back and forth from the freezer, brought the dumbfounded customer 2000 individually wrapped ice cubes, one at a time. Despite requesting for a single bag of the cubes, the attendant seemed determined to carry out his duties "as befits the status of this franchise and the quality of service that we all enjoy", a spokesman for the store said yesterday.

Mr Jansaphine is reported to have stormed out of the store after half an hour, leaving the attendant to his duties, which, if eyewitness reports are to be believed, carried on for a further 5 hours.

Friday, September 09, 2005


The Umecha Highway in northern Kysushu is in the spotlight today, as a Local Council meets in Fukuoka to decide whether events taking place yesterday were justified. According to the Council, three motorists travelled the length of the 30km highway, only to be turned back at the toll booth because today was a "bus and truck only day". The motorists protested that there were no signs warning them of this, and that they would be willing to pay the full toll and pass through. However, highway personel are alleged to have consulted their manuals and turned the drivers back, the latter of whom faced a close to 100km round trip to their destinations. Whether they attempted to charge the angry drivers for their mistake was not disclosed. The meetings are scheduled every day for the next 10 days, where more news will no doubt surface.