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I am a freelance writer for newspapers,magazines as well as a journalist for TV.
I am from Tokyo, Japan and have been living in Los Angeles since 1990.
[日本語のブログFromLAby藤本庸子] fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog
[日本語のツイッター] https://twitter.com/YOKOfromLA

#70- Good deal???

Am I a good negotiator?!...I wrote this question in my blog on Jan 31, 2009.

Every year, I negotiate my apartment rent (see my Jan 31, 2009 blog) and I did it this year rent in March. At this economic downtime…my apartment company/apartment manager was planning to raise my rent for 6% (increase $77), but I negotiated my rent with my apartment manager and she gave me 1.5 %( $20) discount which means my rent increased 4.5% (increased $57) from March.

It was happy result at the time, but I found out that my next door girl’s rent was stay the same for another year until 2010 (but she has been lived here longer than me and her rent is more than mine.)

Anyway, I told my apartment manager “I found out that some people’s rent stay the same. Why did you increase my rent this year? It’s unfair! I told you that my friend who lives in Torrance, her rent decreased because of this economy downtime.You shouldn’t increase my rent.”

At the time, the manager told me “Our apartment has many staff and we are working for you everyday, so you can’t compare to any other apartments, and I discounted your rent every year and you have a great deal compare to the other residents, you know that.”

Yes, I know, I have a great deal at this place. I have a nice view (pool, trees, flowers and hills side green view), clean rooms, fitness center…but I feel like I deserve better!

Ha! My wish came true!

The manager sent me a letter the other day…”At***, we recognize that today’s economic climate impacts everyone. None of us really know what to expect over the next several months. While there are signs that the economy may be recovering, we know that there is still some uncertainly out there. We recognize that your rent check is often the large single expense, so we would like to offer you the opportunity for some peace of mind by providing budget certainty on your rent with an early lease extension opportunity. If you extend your lease within 30 days as offered below, you will not incur an increase of any kind in your monthly rent for the term indicated. Your rent will stay the same, and we will have the benefit of knowing you’ll stay with us for a longer period of time.” And this letter continues 9 more lines.

Of course, today, I tried to negotiate my rent with my apartment manager and the assistant manager to decrease my rent, but she and he told me “Yoko, you don’t need to negotiate with us until February 2011.”

I asked the assistant manager: I know you guys have a new price for new residents. How much is the most reasonable rent for new residents?

The assistant manager: Every room is deferent.

Me: I know, but just give me some average numbers.

The assistant manager: (He showed me the paper) You see here for example, we offer to new people decrease rent from $*** to $*** , but still $5 more than yours, which means you still have a great deal.

Me: Ok…I trust you guys…! I feel better now. Thank you very much for your service. I don’t have to think about the negotiation until February 2011.

The manager: Yoko, we don’t give this offer to everyone.

Really??? The letter says…”we recognize that today’s economic climate impacts everyone.”

But…I think this offer is good for me. I don’t think my apartment company (one of the major company in the states) will decrease our rent next year.

Me: I know, you guys always nice to me! I am so happy to live here. I feel safe and always clean everywhere. Nice trees and flowers. I am very happy to be here! You guys give me a great service. I really appreciate it.

But…I still wonder do I really have a great deal???

By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles
August 26, 2009

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Why do human beings keep fighting with each other or fighting wars?

About profit?

About territory?

About religion?

About ethnicity?

About statism?

About collectivism?



Why can’t we talk instead of fight (war)?

People are trying to change others…

People don’t want to change for others…

People think “I am right, you are wrong”…



I was thinking about “how can we resolve issues of terrorism and war in this world, can we talk instead of fighting?”



And then I realized “I need to think about my issue first” (since I moved into my apartment in Montrose one year ago)… yes, I have an issue about my living situation… my upstairs neighbor (64 years old woman who is not working) has been waking me up every night (around 11:15pm, 12:15am and 1:15am) with loud squeezing footsteps (it sounds not normal & regular footsteps) for one year… I had to call police twice, and I fought with this neighbor twice…



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#144- To my people, Japanese people 米国より東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)被災者および日本の皆様へメッセージ / 海外セレブからのお見舞い&応援メッセージ -Pray for Japan(日本に祈りを捧げます)-

Sorry folks, Today, I am going to write a message in Japanese, in my native language to Japanese people. If you read Japanese, please do.

I am going to write my thoughts for Japan &Japanese people and sending prayers to Japan & people in Japan.

Love,
Yoko

P.S. I am going to write in English next time. xoxo Y

******** My Japanese blog :

From LA by 藤本庸子      
(http://fromla.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2011/03/pray-for-japan-.html)


東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)被災者および日本の皆様へ

このたびの東日本大震災(東北地方太平洋沖地震)により被災されたすべての方々に心からお見舞い申し上げます。そして、犠牲になられた方々とご遺族の皆様に、深くお悔やみを申し上げます。

日本にいらっしゃる皆様、どうかご無事で、早く、安心出来る暮らし、笑顔が戻ってきますように、心からお祈り申し上げます。


*** 米国でも多くの人が心を痛めており、皆様のご無事を願っています

東北・関東地方で起った大震災に心を痛めながら、私は、「米国在住のライターの私に、日本の皆様のために出来ることをしたい」と、こちらで流れるテレビニュースの画面を見つめながら、ずっと考えていました。

そうしていましたら、本日(ロサンゼルス:3月18日/日本:3月19日)、仕事でお付き合いのある茨城県在住の女性(実際にお会いしたことはありません)から、「テレビでも、世界各国からの応援メッセージをもっと放送して欲しい」とメールをいただきました。

早速、私が報道の仕事で関わっている日本のテレビ局、ラジオ局の幹部、報道記者の方々へ、この女性のメッセージを届け、放送に関してのお願いメールを送信致しました。


*** 米国在住の私に出来ることを考えてみました

このブログは2008年10月に閉じていますが、…

#272- Happy employees make happy customers

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In general people want to have a convenience life style and want to purchase reasonable price products.






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This spring when I heard about some Japanese department stores in country side are closing business and their towns became like a ghost town, I thought I want to find out why RAINS is doing well, and I wanted to inform some great news about RAINS to Japanese readers who are struggling in their business.

I’m glad that I did it. I met a wonderful CEO of RAINS (Mr. Alan Rains) and found…