Engineering Manager | Trail Runner | Stockholm, Sweden


If you think spam mail and pushy direct marketing is restricted to the so-called Western cultures you’re very mistaken. Every day I get between five to ten items of various spam mail usually advertising apartments, various services and paid sex.

The ones that knock sometimes turn out to be from Kobe University: freshmen trying to recruit people to their respective clubs. The only thing that bothers me about this is how on earth they know my address? Although seeing how “safe society” always trumps privacy here I should not really be surprised.

Then I get newspaper salespeople and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The latter are without exception sweet-looking old ladies with carefully hidden craziness in their eyes. This is why I never open my door to sweet-looking old ladies anymore but put on some loud Marilyn Manson instead.

Finally there’s the J-com serviceman, the very reason I wrote this post. J-com devised some cunning plan to get to japanese people building on their natural habit of trying to keep things in the best condition. It starts with a pamphlet announcing that J-com – only working in the bestĀ interestĀ of their customers – will have a maintenance person visit each household and check their cable connection. We’re supposed to fill in a date that’s good for us and wait.

Then the guy would come, and he’d crawl under my desk and check the “signal strength” coming from my cable I never use anyway. Then he’d announce me it’s working perfectly. Seriously, what a shock, it has been like that the other fifteen times he or any of his colleague was here.

After that he’d announce that the exceptionally good reception I have makes me a prime candidate for J-com’s this and that cable service, leaving a packet of colourful marketing material on my desk…

I have to endure this comedy every three months or so, even though I told them I don’t want cable TV, my ISP is another company and I don’t want to switch. I can see how it works though, Japanese would never say flat out no for a “serviceman” trying to check their connection (allegedly).