Incompetence

As you know, I have been very busy promoting What’s up in Kyoto. Part of the promotion is a small advertising campaign with posters in one of the best frequented subway stations in Kyoto. I have contacted an advertising company and they really did their best to have the posters up on July 14th, that’s three days before the first Gion Matsuri parade and also during yoiyama, where this particular subway station is very busy.

I was very happy, and waited for all the visitors that would come to my site and… nothing. Or, at least, not much more than usual. I thought, oh well, you probably have to pass the same poster more than once to take action, so I was not really worried (okay, maybe a little because I spent a lot of money).

And then I received an email from the advertising company yesterday evening at around 7 pm, telling me that: We are so sorry, but the posters were removed already on the 16th due to the mismanagement of the transportation office! My first reaction: I laughed out loud. Using the word “mismanagement” or “incompetence” in business communication is pretty strong, I did not expect that at all from the gentle and roundabout Japanese. It made my evening.

By now, the posters have been put up again, and as a compensation, I will receive a whole month of free advertising since they will leave the posters up until mid September. And also the reprinting will not cost me a thing! If all Japanese incompetence is like this, I don’t think I mind…

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