个人资料
正文

What was it like to work in Japan?

(2019-08-25 08:50:40) 下一个

His sparse long white hair, bald scalp, and bent back made J look much                                       
older than he was. At about 5'6", he weighed less than 130 lbs. His 
spindly legs and arms matched a measured gait giving the impression of a                                     
wandering member of a senior care facility. Under the white bushy brows,                                     
however, were a pair of lively and penetrating eyes above a
Pinocchio-style pointy nose and thin lips, all pro rata with the tiny                                        
round face. Under the overall senile appearance, however, he was a                                           
jovial fellow and he smiled often in a boyishly mischievous way.                                             

J joined our group six months ago. For someone who sat silently at the
corner cube day in day out staring at screens, he enjoyed conversations,                                     
which I discovered only recently. Once started, it was hard to get him                                       
to stop talking, in smooth and extra-heavily accented Indian English,                                        
about work, family, health, his family's health, etc., with all the                                          
sincerity of a beaver gnawing a tree.                                                                        

He worked in Japan for six years, he told us in last week's group
outing, and didn't miss it. "You show up at 9:00am sharp and punch your                                      
card. Next comes meeting after meeting. Nothing gets decided but you                                         
keep discussing with colleagues until late in the afternoon. Parties
often follow and you drink beer. You go back and work for a while and                                        
then you smoke and drink whiskey. By 3:00am, you take a taxi home and                                        
return in six hours. The good thing is, the company pays for the fare                                        
and even the clean-up if you throw up in the car."                                                           

"The company takes care of your housing needs, too, and the longer you                                       
stay the more senority on which, and on nothing else, your title and                                         
salary are based."                                                                                           

"For a brief period, we had to punch timecards when using the restroom                                       
because people were found taking a break and sleeping in there."                                             

"It was a great place to visit. The people were super-nice and helpful.                                      
That could be a front, however, at the work place. When my Japanese                                          
colleagues got drunk, they'd spill out their discontent. Because I
didn't drink, they often asked me 'Did I just bad-mouth the boss?'" 

[ 打印 ]
阅读 ()评论 (2)
评论
7grizzly 回复 悄悄话 回复 '暖冬cool夏' 的评论 : Thank you, 暖冬, for reading and your praise. J's observations confirmed some of my impressions from reading Murakami. I no longer wish for a Japanese work experience ;-)
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 Interesting. I thought Japanese people are efficient. Doesn't sound like that in his remarks. Meetings mostly won't timely solve problems:)
You are such a diligent reader/writer!
登录后才可评论.