On Friday October 23 the members of the Tokio Complaints Choir met for the first time. Around 90 people showed up – the room full of excitement. After a few technical difficulties with the audio/video equipment (The battery of the laptop showing samples of earlier choirs went flat just in the moment when the audio started to work – Japan seems to be troubled by the same issues than any other country) the choir made some warm-up exercises directed by Musician Shunsuke Okuchi to get into the right mood for the following complaints workshop.
Choir members then had 7 minutes to still write down their most burning complaints on post-it notes and distribute them to boards with pre-defined categories such as WORK, OTHER PEOPLE, POLITICS etc. The topic of WORK related complaints was the most popular by a large margin. Finally participants organized themselves into small expert team, each team dealing with one of the defined topics. The team PUBLIC AFFAIRS had most members, while the FUTURE team was smallest. The expert team LOVE AFFAIRS initially had only female members, but two brave men join the team in the end to bring in additional expertise. Now the task of the teams was to read through all complaints submitted in their category, to discuss them and make a selection of 10-12 best complaints. The room was heating up from the energy released. In fact the room temperature rose to tropical levels, since the air conditioning stopped working (we had forgot to make an application for air conditioning over time work!)
In the end each team introduced their members (a peculiar thing: after somebody told their name, everybody gave applause, so we had 90 times applause for 90 names by 90 people) and presented the complaints they had selected. Here are some exsamples:
- I am scared every three months, because I’m a 3 month contracted worker
- My grandmother thinks she’s an American.
- My wallet is full of discount cards rather than cash.
- I like sake but cannot drink because of high-leveled cholesterol and r-GTP.
- The entrance of my building is a smoking area.
- taxi driver listening to pornographic programs on the radio
- My brain-dead boss only pops up to parties.
- My boss found my gray hair and pointed that out to me.
The evening ended with a spontaneous birthday song for 3 choir members and some food and drinks.