「祝!100回記念」あるいは「超 シャッフルランチの怪」

*English translation below

物凄くふざけているようで本当は不真面目……
と、いつもの前口上はこれくらいにして。

なんたって今回は記念すべき投稿100回目。

今年の2月からはじまったあまた公式ブログ「AMATA Matters」。
今はなき(たぶん生きてますけど)岡センセーのムチャぶりからスタートしたスタッフブログも、おかげさまで投稿100回を迎えました。
読者の皆様に感謝です。
そういえば、第1回目の投稿者も 私、超ごろーでしたっけ(⇒第1回目はこちら)。

んなわけで、100回記念号のはじまり、はじまり。パチパチパチ♪♪♪

**********

こんにちは。思いやりブロガーの超ごろーです。

皆さま、今年の暑い夏をどのようにお過ごしだったでしょうか。
そろそろ秋も深まる頃ですが、ここらでちょっと季節外れの怪談をさせていただこうかと思います。
覚悟してください。

さて。
あまたにはシャッフルランチ制度というものがあります。すでにブログには何度か登場し(こちらをどうぞ)、その制度を理解している読者もおられるでしょう。
今回はそのシャッフルランチにまつわる、身の毛もよだつ体験のご紹介です。

◆第1話 いなかったメンバーからのお礼

メンバーは、Aさん、Bさん、Cさん、Dさん。
たいていのシャッフルランチがそうであるように、ビルの一階で待ち合わせでした。
でも、なぜかDさんだけが姿を現しません。
ABC3名はDさんとは面識がなかったのですが、ビルの一階には3名だけしか残っておらず、Dさんがいないのは明らかでした。時間もないので3人は、ひとまず予約しているお店に移動しました。

Dさんには、社内SNSのシャッフルランチ専用掲示板に「先にお店に向かっている」と書き込んで、Dさんが合流してくれるのを待ちました。
でも……Dさんからの返事はなく、お店にも姿を見せなかったんです。
残念に思いながら3人はランチをとりました。
終わった後はシャッフルランチ専用掲示板に、
A:「楽しかったです」
B:「おいしかったです」
C:「またよろしくです」
などと書き込むのが通例なのですが、そんな中……

D:「ご一緒ありがとうございました。楽しかったです!」

いなかったはずのDさんから書き込みがあるじゃありませんか?!
あの場には確かにABC3名しかいなかった……いやでも……?
もしかして3名だけにDさんが見えてなかった???

◆第2話 一人多い?!

メンバーは、超ごろー、Xさん、Yさん、Zさん。
ふだん接点のない4名でしたが、超ごろーはXさんの顔を覚えていたので、Xさんを見つければいいやくらいに思っていました。分室で働く超ごろーは若干遅れて待ち合わせのビルに向かいました。

すると……

なぜか超ごろーと一緒にランチに行くメンバーらしきグループ(Xさんがいる!)が、超ごろーを置いてビルから移動を始めたのです。
「え? なぜ? 俺がまだ合流していないのに!」と思った時、気がつきました。

グループは4人いるのです!

わけが分からずその場に立ち尽くしました。
知らない誰かがメンバーになっている……
あれは幻だったのでしょうか?

いなかったはずのDさんがランチを堪能し、ランチを楽しむはずの超ごろーが置いてけぼりを食らう怪現象。

実はこれ、知らない人同士を仲良くさせたいという、シャッフルランチの宿命が起こした悲劇(喜劇?)なんです。

つまり、
第1話のグループ:Aさん、Bさん、Cさん
第2話のグループ:Xさん、Yさん、Zさん、Dさん
そして、置いてきぼりの超ごろー(ぐすん)
Dさんが間違って別のグループに交じってしまい、それに全員気がつかなかったわけ。

ズズゥゥゥゥン
お分かりいただけただろうか……

顔も名前も知らない相手と限られた時間で待ち合わせをし、食事をするという高難易度なシャッフルランチ。めちゃくちゃ面白い♪
ちょっと前まで超ごろーは「グループの幹事が旗を持つなり、どのグループなのか分かるようにした方がいいんじゃない?」と言ってたのですが、予想外に面白い展開なので、しばらく静観したい気分になりました。

思いやりブロガー 超ごろー

“Let’s celebrate our 100th post!” Or, “Cho – A Phantasmic Occurrence at Shuffle Lunch”

It’s the sort of thing that seems very silly, but is actually just insincere…
And so on, etc. You know my usual opening routine by now.

Anyway, enough of that. This right here marks our blog’s 100th post, and that’s something worth celebrating.

“AMATA Matters,” the official blog for AMATA, started up earlier this year back in February.
Oka-Sensei, who is no longer with us (don’t worry, it’s not like that… I’m sure Oka-Sensei is very much alive and well), was the first to throw all of this blog stuff on our plate, so that’s who we’ll pay our respects to as we celebrate our blog’s 100th post.
Much appreciation to all of our readers.
And speaking of all this, I’m pretty sure it was yours truly, Cho Goro, who wrote our very first blog entry (you can take a look at that first post right here).

So without further ado, let’s kick off our 100th blog post! *Uproarious sounds of cheering and applause*

**********

Good day, everyone. It’s your considerate blogger, Cho Goro.

I most certainly hope that you all managed to stay on top of things and get through the summer heat without too much trouble.
The fall season is creeping upon us at this very moment, and although it may be slightly unseasonable now, I have a ghost story that I’d like to share here.
Prepare yourself…

Here is a little bit of background before we get started:
Here at AMATA we have what we call a “Shuffle Lunch” system. This has already been covered quite a bit in our blog (have a look here if you like), so I assume that many of our readers have some prior knowledge of this system.
So with that in mind, it was a Shuffle Lunch that formed the basis of what I’m about to tell you. It was truly a frightening experience that made my hair stand straight up!

Chapter 1 – Words of gratitude from a member who was never there

The following 4 members of this Shuffle Lunch group will be referred to as: “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D.”
As per usual the group came together on the 1st floor of the building to meet up for their Shuffle Lunch.
D, however, never actually showed up.
We have to remember that the other 3 members, A, B, and C didn’t know who D was. But, they knew that someone was missing due to the simple fact that it was just the three of them waiting around on the 1st floor. So, now that it was clear that D was a no-show, the remaining three members decided that they couldn’t wait around forever and made their way over to the restaurant they had booked for lunch.

We have an in-house social media thread that’s just for Shuffle Lunch, and the one and only D commented on it with, “Don’t wait up, I’ll see you all at the restaurant.” And so the rest of the group waited there for D to show up.

But wouldn’t you know it… They never heard back from D, nor did D ever show up at the restaurant.
The other 3 pressed on and had their lunch with a bit of reluctance.
After they finished up, the three of them each posted on the Lunch Shuffle thread:
A: “That was fun!”
B: “I enjoyed our lunch!”
C: “I’m looking forward to next time”
Etc. and so forth. The kind of comments you would expect. But then, on that same thread…

D: “Thanks, everyone. I had a great time!”

Whoa! Why was D commenting on the thread!? This is the same D that never showed up.
It was just the three of them, right!? A, B, and C, that’s it. There couldn’t have been anyone else?
Unless D was somehow invisible to the other three???

Chapter 2 – One too many!?

For the other Shuffle Lunch group we’ll refer to its members as: “X,” “Y,” “Z,” and me, Cho Goro.
As always this 4-person group didn’t know each other, but I did know what X looked like, and I figured that I could spot X if I had to. My work space is a little out of the way so I was just a tad late when I headed off to our designated meet-up spot.

But then…

When I got there the lunch group that seemed to be mine (with X included) was already leaving the building without me.
My first thought was, “Hey? What’s going on? Don’t they realize I’m not there yet!” But then I noticed something:

There are 4 people in that group!

I found myself just standing there frozen in place.
Who was this random person that took my spot for lunch???
Did I just see a phantom of some kind?

So during this strange phenomenon we have D enjoying their lunch even though they never showed up, and along with that my lunch group leaves me behind even though I was supposed to join them.

It was designed to make it easier for strangers to get to know each other, but in a weird way it looks like Shuffle Lunch was destined to become a tragedy (or a comedy perhaps?).

Let’s review this a bit.
Group in Chapter 1: A, B, and C.
Group in Chapter 2: X, Y, Z, and D
So, my group just left me hanging *sniffling in sadness*
Then D went off to mingle with the wrong group, and apparently no one even realized it.

DUN DUN DUUUUN!!!
Did you catch all of that?

The deal with Shuffle Lunch is that each member doesn’t know the other’s name or face, and they have to meet like that for lunch. This adds a high level of difficulty to the whole experience. But then again it’s incredibly amusing!
A little while before all of this I said, “Don’t you think we should have like a coordinator to take charge so we know which group is which?”
But you know what? On second thought I think this whole thing is actually turning out to be way funnier than I ever could have imagined. So I say that we keep this up for a while and see what the future holds.

Your Considerate Blogger, Cho Goro

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