Sunday, April 5, 2009

Memory of Mr. Enoki

I like watching English Learning TV Program in Japanese Channel. Especially NHK, (Nippon Broadcasting Corporation) has provided very good English studying programs traditionally. Now they have one of more modern and talk show style, English studying program. There are a show host, young American who speaks fluent Japanese, 2 male students, 1 female student, and a guest. The guests are usually famous people who are active in international community in various field. Sometimes United Nations, sometimes sports, sometimes business, or entertainment.

I enjoy improvement of regular students and stories from guests. But, I enjoy most is the male student whose English is somewhat broken. He was asked to try to take an American girl out for dating in US, the girl he talked was nice, but still she needed to ask him to brush up his English and ask again. However, it is not his broken English I noticed. I noticed no matter how many times he has made mistakes, he has never given up. The people who were laughing at him started to be serious helping him. And he is definitely making his progress!

This student reminded me one person who I have worked with in my job experience. He was a Senior Engineer from my previous employment. His name was Mr. Enoki. He and I worked together for License of Technology. There are several American visited us for the license. Alas, he could not speak English so well. He depended me on English translation and business matters. We were good team and worked together in American and European accounts. Whenever we had visitors from abroad, I started to notice something. Despite his limited ability of English, the visitors admire him, appreciate what he did for them, remember him very well.

I took closer look at what he did. He was the one who make sure that his guests stay in proper place and they are comfortable in not only business but also general stay. In addition to his engineering capacity to prepare for visitors will go back with some result, even not an agreement, he was the one select their hotels, transportation, and meals. He sometimes visited hotels to make sure his visitors' stay would be comfortable. When one of our guests was sick, he took the patient to a hospital and stayed up all night to make sure he is okay.

Mr. Enoki died from heart attack about 20 years ago. I remember I felt like I lost my own father. He was the one who taught me that language ability is nice and convenient tool to have, but it is not everything. What is more important is one's heart for loving, caring, and people oriented. Even if you find one who could speak perfect English in Japan, if he was selfish and cold hearted, and just business like, you would not feel like speaking with him for long time, wouldn't you?

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Shaw Funami
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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. good post - you have certainly shown us your respect and feelings for your Mr Enoki ..

It is intersting how we become aware of certain traits of our elders as we get older and appreciate them more.

We also look back and continue to appreciate other aspects ..

As you say it was his way of doing things that was important - always putting his customers first & regardless of his own difficulties in the language, still ensuring that everything was to the best level he could achieve.

Thank you for your perceptive post

Hilary Melton-Butcher
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Shaw said...

Hi Hilary,

Thank you for your coment. I need to remember him once in a while so that I keep in mind that it is not language, but personality which counts.

Thank you again
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link