Konbini Staff Picks

Last year I wrote a post about how the staff can make a konbini [コンビニ] what it is, and it’s true, good staff can make your always-wonderful, always-spectacular konbini experience, positively stellar. So, here are my ‘staff picks’. That is, the staff that make my konbini life so heartful.

Staff picks usually refers to products that the staff of a certain establish like but in this case, I’m telling you who I think are the best staff at my favourite konbini.

Like everything at konbini, I do have my favourites. Let’s be honest, staff can break or make a business and konbini is no different. In fact, I go to some konbini simply because I like their staff and want to see them.

My favourite of favourites is a guy at the 7-Eleven closest to my apartment. He has a killer smile and always makes me feel good when I go in. I think he’s a major hottie, which in the Aussie vernacular means he’s very good looking. I have no problem admitting I have a konbini crush on him, which sounds more like a summer drink. He does the morning shifts and is always on during weekends, although recently he has been missing… like an anpan [あんアン], the ever-elusive, sweet red bean bun. Sorry, just had to bring that up again.

Actually, all the staff at that branch are great.

They know me so well that when I come in they literally stop serving the person at the counter and slide my coffee cup along and I slip my 100 yen into their hands.

The ‘Killer Smile Guy’ particularly loves me on Fridays because I bring in a mountain of change that I’ve been saving all week that equates to 100 yen. Yes, I save this change especially for my coffees and it can only be used on a Friday. I cannot explain why; let’s just say it’s one of the very quirky and incredibly charming and oh my God, so OCD aspects of my dazzling personality. Whatever it is, it works because he’s always laughing as I count it out.

I also like the young girl who works with him on the weekends. And the older lady who a few weeks ago, hadn’t seen me for a few days and whose face lit up when I walked in and said, “Hisashiburi!” [久しぶり!”] meaning, “Long time, no see!” It’s nice to know they miss me when I don’t come in.

I have a new favourite at Family Mart near my place too. He’s probably my age or a little younger and has glasses. He’s a cutie. Like a hottie, but cute… He once gave me a really good recommendation when I was drunk and asked him what fried food I should buy. I think he was laughing as much as I was.

I also like the little old lady who works at the other 7-Eleven near my place near the river and Pizza Riva in Yokogawa. She always talks to me and remarks on the fact that I get up really early every day. The other night when I came in to buy dinner she said, “Wow, your hair is really long now; it grew quickly!” She’s talking about the fact that I shaved my head and that it really didn’t take a long time to grow back to its current length. It’s nice to know that they take a personal interest in the lives of their customers.

I highly recommend that you take the time to go to your local (sorry Aussies, I mean local konbini, not local pub!) and establish relationships with the staff. They work really hard and like everywhere in Japan, the service is always impeccable. Find your favourite staff picks and then let me know. I would love to meet them and mention them in an upcoming column.

Oh, and just to finish off this week, I was sent this photo by a fellow Aussie chick friend (that means female friend) who found it in the toilet at the Family Mart near PARCO. Thanks mate!

don not teat or drink in here

Obviously, we all know what it means, but it’s hilarious because… well, moving the, ‘t,’ and leaving that space changes the meaning completely.

I have this sudden urge to go there and flash one of my own, ‘teats,’ take a photo and stamp the photo with a big, ‘NO!’ symbol, known officially as the, ‘international prohibition sign.’

Ah, Japan.

Thank you.

I needed that today.

P.S. And yes, I know I told you that I ate that Halloween chocolate bread that was larger than my head, but I was literally down to the last few bites when I said, “I can’t finish this.” I would love to show you a photo of what my stomach looked like afterwards (combined with the lovely side effects of antibiotics for my latest sinus infection), but I have a feeling you would never read this column again. Here’s a photo of me with it prior to eating when I felt fine.

Note to self and to you, dear readers: never attempt to eat that much bread in one sitting again. I told my mum I would regret it if I didn’t eat it. No, no. I regret now very much that I DID eat it.

Over and out.

Jade Brischke

Jade first visited Hiroshima with a group of her students from Australia and after falling in love with the city, vowed that one day she would return to live and work. It seems dreams really do come true! When she's not writing she's out and about with her camera, walking and exploring the streets or some may say, wandering aimlessly. She, however, doesn't believe any wandering is aimless. Jade blogs regularly at jackcrispy.com.