A couple of weeks ago, one of the air conditioners in our home decided to meet its maker. The landlord came over, took a look, and decided to replace it. This being a very hot summer in Japan, the installers were fully booked, so we had to wait a couple of weeks. The landlord left a note on our door noting the date and time the installers will come, and providing an estimated work time of 4-5 hours.
On the date, at the exact time scheduled, the installers showed up. Before doing anything, they taped plastic sheets on the floor and walls to avoid getting anything dirty. Needless to say, they removed their shoes every time they entered the apartment.
To access the main electric panel they needed to remove five shelves of shoes. First they took pictures of the shelves. Why? So that they would know how to put the shoes back exactly as they were. They then proceeded to place the shoes in two neat rows outside the front door. And only then did they start working. I brought them a bottle of cold water and some cups.
During the time the installers were in the apartment, I was working in another room. I told them I would be on a couple of conference calls so I would need to shut the door. They immediately asked if I would like them to stop working during my calls, so as not to make any noise. I said “no problem”, and in fact there was very little noise.
They were done in 2.5 hours. They removed the plastic sheets, put back the shelves and the shoes, showed me how the remote control worked, bowed, and left. The bottle of water remained untouched. Not a speck of dust was left behind.
(This is a post in the series “Why Japan is the Closest Place to Paradise“)