Subaru Staff -Part 15-

February 9, 2007

We will introduce Emi Poppas and Noriko Otsuki among the staff of the Administration Office (current as of date).

―― Please introduce yourself

Emi Poppas

  • Accountant of Subaru Telescope
  • Graduate of the University of Hawaii at Hilo; Marine Science Major
  • Ninth year at Subaru
  • Hobby: Diving - Loved the ocean since I lived in Japan

Noriko Otsuki

  • Administrative Secretary of Subaru Telescope
  • Fifth year at Subaru
  • Worked as a cabin attendant and flew all over the world, in the past
  • Fascinated by the life in Hawaii; came to hawaii with her family

Emi Poppas

―― Tell us about your job

Emi: Primarily, my job is to purchase products and services required by Subaru. Currently, to calculate the travel expenses, I calculate income money, and to arrange high price articles.

Noriko: My work includes general office works, such as helping out with the Visa renewal of staffs from Japan, assigning health insurance as well as medical check up.

―― What’s difficult or worthwhile, working in an area of specialty using English?

Noriko: Actually, I sometimes have more trouble with Japanese now. I get tongue-tied when talking on the telephone.

Emi: That’s true. When I first came, I had a hard time with the technical terms because often times they were not on the ordinary dictionaries. Also, I was surprised with the difference in English accent. When I had to phone the mainland, I was very surprised with the accent of the east coast because I was only used to the Hawaiian accent.

―― Have you ever felt any difficulties because of the difference in social customs between Japan and Hawaii?

Emi: There is nothing that pops out of my mind, although; there was a form that we had to submit to an auditor in Japan. This is a very important form, which if we make a mistake; we have to rewrite. If we ask the local companies or clients to revise the form, the people here do not rewrite the whole thing, instead, they use whiteout. These kinds of papers can’t be accepted in Japan, so I was very surprised.

Noriko: The difference in what we think as “common knowledge” surprises me everyday. For example, in Japan, we are very punctual on everything and according to the rules. In Hawaii people are very easy going in terms of time as we call it “Hawaiian Time.” For example, if I say the deadline is “the end of this week,” I assume it will be complete by “the beginning of next week.”

Noriko Otsuki

―― Have you felt any inconvenience when communication with Japan due to difference in time?

Emi: Nowadays, we have e-mail so there is no problem. If there is something we want to ask to the office in Japan, and for instance, I write an e-mail on Friday, I will definitely receive a reply by Monday morning. It’s become very convenient.

―― As an important worker behind the scene, what do you expect for the future Subaru Telescope?

Noriko: The performance of the engineers who put in their greatest effort to make Subaru Telescope the best tool, the operators who control the telescope, and support astronomers who assist the observation is outstanding, and Subaru Telescope holds high popularity, so I'm sure the request from world-wide observers will continue to increase.

Emi: I feel very happy when I see articles of Subaru Telescope on newspapers and magazines. So I expect Subaru to send out more and more new discoveries to the world.

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