Tom: Hey, Mark, long time no see!
Makoto: Yeah, Tom. Long time. What are you doing these days?
Tom: Well, I'm between jobs programming. Taking a little time off while I look for a new contract. How about yourself?
Makoto: Keeping busy. Working in Japan.
Tom: Japan? Way cool. What do you do?
Makoto: You know, I'm not sure what we'd call it in English. I work in an office.
Tom: Not management?
Makoto: No, we help management, but we don't really manage.
Tom: Not secretarial?
Makoto: You know, I think, in America, secretaries generally do this kind of work. It's called so-moo in Japanese. (総務 -- そうむ -- sou-mu) I looked it up and the best definition I could find is "general staff".
Tom: Hmm. Office staff?
Makoto: Maybe so. I basically make sure that a lot of engineering related paperwork gets where it's supposed to go, in the form it's supposed to be in. But I don't do any real engineering. At least, I'm not supposed to.
Tom: Well, a hundred years ago, back when secretaries were still mostly men, I think they'd have called you an engineering secretary.
Makoto: I guess the meanings of words change, huh?
Tom: Yeah. Say, can I buy you a cup of hot chocolate, since you don't drink coffee?
Makoto: Thanks, but why don't we find a place where we can both get a sandwich, and we can talk. It's about lunchtime anyway.
Tom: Great idea!