Mr. Tada and other men were considerate enough not to keep me in an assistant position forever. He told me to get a bookkeeping certificate to prove I have some knowledge of accounting. I thought it was insulting as I had BA in business and passed a bookkeeping class. How come did I have to prove anything? He would have already promoted me or at least considered my base level higher if I were a man. I remembered how much I struggled with the bookkeeping class at Waseda. While all my friends got A, I got C. I would have liked to avoid it forever if I could. I studied harder than the last time but passed the test by a small margin. I told Mr. Tada the result casually and was relieved he didn’t ask me to show him the score.
Mr. Tada decided to provide the same opportunities for Miss Nagai so that she’d move up from an assistant position. Miss Nagai was more intelligent and skilled than she gave herself credit for. She already had the bookkeeping certificate and was once a hard-working sales manager before the burn-out brought her to the current assistant position.
Soon, Miss Nagai and I were too busy to do both assignments, and Mr. Tada hired two new assistants, Miss Morita and Miss Hashimoto, who were about the same age as me. The two women had contrasting appearances. Miss Morita had an enormous head, which was amplified by the fat over her high cheekbones etched by her thick hair. Her crescent-shaped mono-lid eyes and nose and mouth looked so small and looked like someone drew them on her smooth white face. She was short and square-built and had a protruding belly, which she disguised well with a fitted sweater and a flared skirt. Miss Hashimoto was tall and svelte with a long neck and narrow face. She had dyed maroon hair layer-cut at shoulder length and had the kind of double-lidded eyes much desired by many Japanese women. She’d often wear a soft-pink sweater, an under-knee-length beige skirt, and pulled low heels style with her long legs.