Monday, March 6

Began new job today as junior salesman at commodity brokerage firm. Took two hours for anyone to notice I had arrived at work. Receptionist lady, Fran, made facetious comment as I went on restroom break. “You’re very quiet, Mr. Umezawa.” No shit, Sherlock. I am a ninja.

Tuesday, March 7

Today at work no better than yesterday. I am being pressured already to do things I do not wish to do to make sales. Other salespersons say to me constantly: “Get out there,” “Mark my calendar,” and “Help me help you.” I know not what such sayings mean, but they make me extremely uncomfortable.

I wish they would refrain from such horrible directives. I am tempted to mark furiously all of their calendars in shuriken rampage. Alas, though, this is not the way of the ninja.

Wednesday, March 8

Discovered beautiful girl named Alicia works in mailroom. Hung invisibly from ceiling and spied on her for 20 minutes before mustering courage to say hello. For this, I am remorseless, of course. Stalking is in my nature.

“Hello,” I said. “I am Shuruku, newest member of sales team, stealth warrior trained in the ancient art of ninjutsu. You are?” “Oh, you mean like in Mortal Kombat?” she replied. “My boyfriend, Ken, plays that all the time on Xbox!”

Damn Ken. Damn that silly game. Will I ever live this down? Probably never. People still ask me for codes to Shinobi, and this confounds me greatly. Is not Sega Genesis long since defunct? This is ridiculous.

Thursday, March 9

Pushy woman from human resources demanded my presence at 11-o’clock meeting. I arrived punctually, making loud coughing noises to ensure I was perceived. She told me: Sit. Pushy woman proceeded to question my job application—specifically, previous job title of “surreptitious assassin/mail courier.” For whom did I work?, she wished to know. And why did I not provide references? “I work alone,” I replied. This did not satisfy her. Then, ninjalike, very cleverly and quickly, I clarified, “Freelance.” “Fine,” she said, rolling her eyes at me.

Pushy woman from human resources will never know how closely death’s shadow hovered over her. I am baffled still that she would question the job history of one who lists “neck snapping” as foremost skill.

Friday, March 10

Made first sale today. Vice president of sales took us out to celebrate for “liquid lunch” at “TGI Friday’s.” I did not know what this meant—perhaps code? It sounded bad.

Upon arrival at restaurant, whole sales team ordered round of drinks. Waiter returned to table with tray full of beers, and, upon placing mine in front of me, stated, “The Asahi for you, sir.”

I was indignant at this presumptuous gesture. Simply because I am Japanese I must prefer Asahi? I said nothing, however, instead choosing to hide my anger at this cultural face slap. Besides, they did not carry Sapporo on tap. Asahi would do.

Monday, March 13

In the heat of battle, the art of stealth cannot be overemphasized. Especially when photocopier runs out of toner.

Tuesday, March 14

All day long I am made to sit in a cube. All I wish to do is leave this cube. Yet, each time I leave for restroom break, I return to find turtle figurines strewn about my desk by anonymous office clowns. Perhaps they think I do not understand this joke; they are wrong. I, too, view animated television, though I am partial to Looney Tunes.

I shall discover the offender by becoming invisible (or hiding under my desk). Then, one evening, when he is working late, he will be visited by a ghost while walking to his automobile and so shall meet his demise.

Obsessed with cinematic apocrypha perpetuated by Steven Seagal and pizza-eating, animated “ninja” reptiles. These fools forget one very important, very real fact: poison-tipped blow darts.

Wednesday, March 15

Alicia has taken to sending mixed signals lately when alone in the kitchen with me. Often will she bend slowly, gracefully over to obtain coffee filters from the cabinet below the sink. This makes me confused, and very sweaty.

Is Alicia becoming flirtatious with me? Perhaps she has noticed me crouching behind the microwave?

No, impossible. I am a ninja.

Thursday, March 16

My acute sensory skills seem to indicate Alicia does not in fact wish to sleep with me.

This is probably for the best. Hot mailroom sex is not the way of the ninja. Alas.

Friday, March 17

It is official. Thanks to Evan, the dumb, round intern, everyone has now verified what they had only at first suspected: I am indeed trained in the secret art of ninjutsu. It is now only a matter of time until I am forced to end the life of a co-worker.

This is why I prefer to work alone—I mean, freelance.