Catbus? Adorable! Cat jar? Scourge of new staff members.

When visiting the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, it’s instantly apparent how dedicated the entire staff is. Each and every front-line worker shows an immediately apparent commitment to the artistic expression and sense of magical wonder associated with the anime studio’s works, and you get the feeling that everyone who’s working there feels lucky to be doing so.

So when Mamma Aiuto, the Ghibli Museum souvenir shop, recently hired a new staff member, they became another addition to the bright, cheery workplace atmosphere. Still, every job has its challenges, and the museum’s official Twitter account recently shared something that every new hire at Mamma Aiuto struggles with: the nekobin, or “cat jar.”

Nekobin is the Japanese word for rounded jars with a diagonal opening, like the one shown above (they get their name from how their contours resemble a cat sitting down while leaning forward on its front paws). The Ghibli Museum shop sells nekobin with little Soot Sprite candies inside, but when a customer buys something, the staff wraps it in a paper bag, and the jar’s cute design makes it very tricky to wrap.

Granted, an employee could just stuff the jar into the sack, then keep crumpling the paper until it’s more or less closed up. This is Japan, though, where careful presentation is expected as part of proper customer service, and aesthetics are especially important to both Ghibli and the sort of people who visit its museum. That means the wrapping has to be tidy, its corners crisp, and the Mamma Aiuto perfectly centered, which is a lot for new hires to handle while also not keeping customers waiting too long.

On the bright side, things get easier with practice, as shown by the deft fingers of the shop’s manager, Mr. Morita, in this follow-up video.

“Wrapping the nekobin neatly in a flat paper bag is trial everyone has to go through,” tweets the Ghibli Museum, so remember to be patient if the wrapping seems like it’s taking a while when you get the chance to visit.

Source, featured image: Twitter/@GhibliML
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