I've mentioned before that one of the positions at our school (and most Japanese high schools, I believe) is "tea lady." At Koyo, the woman who fills this position has other duties, as well, but I think the task of keeping all these thirsty teachers in freshly brewed (from her own mix of leaves) tea is a full-time job! There is almost always a fresh pot of hot tea in this area of the teacher's room, and I know it's the same all over the office.
Lately, we have had a lot of "office days" in which we (ALTs) don't teach any classes, aren't given any responsibilities (even if we ask, and believe me, I do.), and must only be present. From 8:40 to 4:40. Just present.
These days get terribly grueling. I've been planning next term's classes, studying Japanese via the Rosetta Stone program, making paper lanterns, designing holiday cork boards... and that only takes up the morning hours. When the other teachers are in meetings (to which we are not, understandably, invited), it can be particularly maddening.
Tea Lady to the rescue!
Our lovely tea lady has been suprising us with special treats during these times. I don't think she gives them to everyone, because she always pops in when the rest of the staff are in meetings. Last week she poured us piping cups of hot coffee, and today she came armed with a tray of these:
Just the sugar rush I needed to tide me over to lunch. Thank you, Tea Lady.
How will I ever function in a work environment that doesn't provide constant, free caffeine and sugar? I shudder to think.
nom nom nom