Guest blog: Ben’s Part-time Job at Family Mart!

As my old high school religion teacher used to say, “Well, hello ma friends!” My name is Ben. It is a pleasure to meet you.  I shall be doing a guest post on Allison’s blog today, now let me guide you through the aisles of Family Mart. First of all, let me tell you, when they say ‘convenience store’ in Japan, they REALLY mean convenient .

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All these girls are actually waiting for the bathroom

All these girls are actually waiting for the bathroom

Employee behavior expectations:

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On the left are the set phrases I’m supposed to memorize and use. This is basically all I say all day and nothing else. 1)Welcome! 2)Thank you very much! 3)Could you please wait for a moment? 4)Sorry to have kept you waiting! 5)I’m terribly sorry to inconvenience you! 6)I understand (The only time I say this is when I ask the customer if they want their food warmed up – if they say yes, I say “I understand”) 7)Please come again!

On the right is a diagram explaining how I’m supposed to bow and face the customer. This includes bowing at a 30 degree angle and keeping my eyes down. I’m also supposed to speak shaping my mouth using the “ee” sound – in the diagram it says, “let’s practice saying ‘mickey!’ The reason for this is that “ee” is like a smiling vowel…right? Go on, try it yourself!

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This is a self-service hot water dispenser for the お客様 (okyakusama, customer) that buy instant noodles.

So in Japan, it perfectly normal to come into a conbini (convenience store), read an entire magazine, and just leave.

So in Japan, its perfectly normal to come into a conbini (convenience store), read an entire magazine, and just leave without buying anything.

We sell dress shirts too. You never know when you might get a "Fami-chicken" (Family mart fried chicken) oil stain on your shirt and need to buy a new one.

We sell dress shirts too. You never know when you might get a "Fami-chicken" (Family mart fried chicken) oil stain on your shirt and need to buy a new one.

People just hang around outside the store..

People just hang around outside the store..

Here’s some pictures of our various merchandise:

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From right to left: Banana Latte, various juice and tea drinks, green tea oreo bar, crustless peanut butter sandwich, Sparkling Fruit Parade, various vitamin jelly juice packs, a plethora of bentos, and an abundance of instant noodles.

Well my friends, I hope you enjoyed our journey through this magical wonderland that is Family mart. Please come in and buy 5 packs of cigarettes like 99% of my customers do.  I’ll be sure to be extremely over apologetic and grateful for your purchase! – Ben

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楽しかったねえええ :)That was fun, wasn’t it? Now everybody leave your comments and questions please and Ben and I will do our best to respond!  – Allison

12 responses to “Guest blog: Ben’s Part-time Job at Family Mart!

  1. hahaha so funny. They have famima in so-cal. So weird ya?

    I would like to know why ben hasn’t made a blog of his own yet?

  2. hey ben, i enjoyed reading about your experiences being a family mart employee…those are some pretty accurate employee behavior expectations : ) interesting also that people can read entire magazines and leave without buying. that wouldn’t go down well in denmark. once as a child i remember reading in a book at the bookstore and the shop keeper told me that i wasn’t supposed to read the book but to buy it. i felt so embarrased!

    i’m wondering if family mart is a japanese chain of convenience stores?

    happy sunday both of you : )

    • wow, that’s like the meanest bookstore person I’ve ever heard of. at family Mart you’re always welcome to read books to your hearts desire! Family mart is a Japanese-owned chain, but I believe they have stores in other countries all throughout Asia.

  3. I LOVE wondering in the convenient store in Japan, they got everything, and the food changes throughout the year, that’s my favorite part…

    and OH! Fami Chicken, I introduced it to everyone i went to Family mart with, all of them love it :)..

    and the phrases are the same as my restuarant too…

  4. great post! :D
    Do those shirts sell well there???
    I wanna try the matcha oreo bar!

    • Thanks!
      In all honesty, I can only recall two times when someone bought those shirts and one was a girl. probably for her boyfriend….?

  5. Pingback: 7eleven Japan (film) « 24:00·

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