Norie came to Japan from Brazil with her family when she was 18 years old. When she joined UT SURI-EMU (SURI-EMU back then), she initially worked as interpreter and translator, and then as manufacturing leader and workplace manager at various client sites. She is now a senior manager of the Okazaki Office. During off-time, Norie enjoys playing golf, working out, and keeping busy with DIY home renovation.
I was an 18-year-old girl who couldn’t do anything.
She has this to say. When I came to Japan from Brazil 33 years ago and got a job, I really couldn’t do any work and my boss was so worried about me. I was assigned to a manufacturing site of a client company, at the same time my older sister and younger sister went to work on a manufacturing line, but I remember that I was only assigned to do basic tasks for a while.
Thankfully, I spoke Japanese at home since I was little, and was fluent in Japanese to a certain extent. That was part of the reason I was entrusted with interpreting work instructions and translating documents. Although I felt embarrassed when I couldn’t read handwritten Japanese and I was stumped for proper words when translating, many people around me were so helpful and I was able to make myself useful little by little.
I was 23 and in my fifth year with SURI-EMU when I was assigned to be a manufacturing leader. I moved to Chiba Prefecture and became one of the start-up members working for a client in Chiba, in charge of manufacturing and administrative work. From that time on, I have devoted myself to working energetically. I have encountered numerous difficulties but I didn’t let them get the best of me. I focused on the challenge in front of me and tried hard to pull myself together.
I also got married and became a mother around that time. While working, I sometimes received a call from the nursery that my child ran a fever, and I remember my colleagues sometimes went to pick her up on behalf of me and helped me out. My two daughters might have wanted to spend more time with their mom, but they quickly got used to the nursery and behaved well. My older child even went to pick up her younger sister from time to time.
I cherish each and every associate. Even if they may think of me as meddlesome.
I became a workplace manager when I was 29. I moved to a client’s workplace in Miyagi Prefecture and managed this outsourced workplace. This was a big workplace where we had more than 1,000 dispatched associates and over 20 persons for their management.
Our employee support policy is to give support even to the associates’ off-the-job lives. In particular, I made sure to take care of them by escorting them when they had to go to the hospital, especially the ones who came from overseas. This is because it is so difficult for those who don’t know Japanese and don’t have a car to go to the hospital on their own. Other staff members too made efforts to provide interpreting and other support to all these associates not only in the workplace but also in their private lives.
We also organized Christmas parties, ski tours, and tours to Tokyo Disneyland for our associates to enjoy life in Japan and get bonded with people. A big barbecue was also an annual event. We had to spend a whole day preparing a Brazilian potato salad for the barbecue — for over 1,000 people. It was no small undertaking but we really had a great time.
I returned to Aichi Prefecture when I was 36 and is now responsible at the Okazaki Office for labor management, recruitment, and training of associates of the entire area. I feel so pleased when I achieve goals with my colleagues or when I see my younger associates growing. Even now that I am a senior manager, I go to talk to those who appear to be in trouble and give my best possible advice, even if they may think of me as being meddlesome.
“A mother-like company ”
My associates so describe our company. I agree with them and I hope things will remain that way in the future.