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(The New York Times)   Japanese firms attempt to bore unwanted employees into quitting voluntarily. Fark: by giving them subby's dream job   (nytimes.com) divider line 126
    More: Strange, Japanese, Japan, Jefferies & Company, Osaka University, boredom, Sendai, law of similars, layoffs  
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15456 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Aug 2013 at 9:17 AM (48 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



126 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-08-22 09:09:54 AM
Retire at 51 in Japan?  Sign me up...
 
2013-08-22 09:15:10 AM
"I won't leave," Mr. Tani said. "Companies aren't supposed to act this way. It's inhumane."

The Holocaust is inhumane. North Korean prison camps are inhumane.  You are simply irrelevant and don't wish to go out and find a new job. And that's cool, but not inhumane.
 
2013-08-22 09:19:27 AM
My god, I would get so much reading done.
 
2013-08-22 09:20:39 AM
dilbert.com
 
2013-08-22 09:20:39 AM
Dude..... Dream. Job.
 
2013-08-22 09:20:52 AM
Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.
 
2013-08-22 09:21:05 AM
My company just outright fired me as the highest paid, most senior employee (having worked there for 23 years).   Essentially I got a phone call while I was on vacation telling me not to come back
 
2013-08-22 09:21:29 AM

Sybarite: My god, I would get so much reading done.


Or so you think...

www.martyafterdark.com
 
2013-08-22 09:21:30 AM

Sybarite: My god, I would get so much reading done.


Until...

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-08-22 09:21:54 AM

rnatalie: My company just outright fired me as the highest paid, most senior employee (having worked there for 23 years).   Essentially I got a phone call while I was on vacation telling me not to come back


A job I used to have used to make people they wanted to get rid of the director of "special projects" as there were no special projects.   Gave you time to work on your resume and go on job interviews.
 
2013-08-22 09:22:03 AM
Here's a crazy idea:  a government and/or private sector initiative to retrain obsolete workers with modern skills.

Offer him half-tuition or something; cheaper than paying him to sit in a room...farking waste.

/crazy idea is crazy
//probably socialist, too
 
2013-08-22 09:22:36 AM

ds_4815: Sybarite: My god, I would get so much reading done.

Until...

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 320x218]


Ooh, so close...
 
2013-08-22 09:23:12 AM

bdub77: "I won't leave," Mr. Tani said. "Companies aren't supposed to act this way. It's inhumane."

The Holocaust is inhumane. North Korean prison camps are inhumane.  You are simply irrelevant and don't wish to go out and find a new job. And that's cool, but not inhumane.


Tell him about the UAW's plan for guys like him.  Take the early retirement with a signing bonus or get laid-off and sit for however long it takes for you to be needed again and get called back.  Till then you do the same stuff he is doing only without a paycheck.
 
2013-08-22 09:23:23 AM

Raging Thespian: Sybarite: My god, I would get so much reading done.

Or so you think...

[www.martyafterdark.com image 540x405]


By ONE BLOODY SECOND, you schmuck.
 
2013-08-22 09:25:26 AM

PunGent: Here's a crazy idea:  a government and/or private sector initiative to retrain obsolete workers with modern skills.

Offer him half-tuition or something; cheaper than paying him to sit in a room...farking waste.

/crazy idea is crazy
//probably socialist, too


Probably cheaper to just pay off some politicians.

Let's do the math: 40 people, probably roughly 4 million+ a year for 10 years. Probably not the whole picture either.

Donate 40 million to a bunch of politicians so companies can layoff employees at will.
 
2013-08-22 09:25:27 AM
For a country that has long prided itself on stability and relatively equitable incomes,

As long as your privates dangle.
 
2013-08-22 09:25:41 AM

Carn: Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.


It would probably get a little boring after a while if you couldn't leave the room until the end of the day.
 
2013-08-22 09:26:31 AM

Carn: Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.


I'm guessing it's a cultural thing where you're supposed to be deeply ashamed that you're not working your fingers to the bone every second of the day to contribute to the greater glory of the company or something.

I wish they'd try that here in the U.S.
 
2013-08-22 09:27:18 AM
I remember reading somewhere that once apon a time that a certain railroad company had modernized equipment and made a bunch of jobs redundant and unnecesary.
however, they couldn't find anywhere to move the employees to, and union contracts forbid firing them.

so they had the guys come back to thier now empty workplace and just hangout all day. There wasnt anything for them to do, and they werent allowed to talk, eat, read, etc..
 
2013-08-22 09:28:02 AM

rnatalie: My company just outright fired me as the highest paid, most senior employee (having worked there for 23 years).   Essentially I got a phone call while I was on vacation telling me not to come back


That's how we roll in America
 
2013-08-22 09:28:12 AM
Geesh a company being held accountable for the employees that helped them get where they are.
We must get rid of this immediatly.
 
2013-08-22 09:29:57 AM
I have a friend who worked in japan and this used to drive him insane.  The most senior employees would do absolutely nothing because there was nobody senior to them to tell them to get to work.  Meanwhile the younger workers are coming in 3 hours early every day.
 
2013-08-22 09:30:04 AM

littlett's: Carn: Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.

It would probably get a little boring after a while if you couldn't leave the room until the end of the day.


If it was only internet access maybe, but if you can bring reading material too?  Sheeeit.  Sign me up!  I have a huge backlog in my "to read" pile.
 
2013-08-22 09:31:57 AM

NutWrench: Carn: Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.

I'm guessing it's a cultural thing where you're supposed to be deeply ashamed that you're not working your fingers to the bone every second of the day to contribute to the greater glory of the company or something.

I wish they'd try that here in the U.S.


Me too, I'd totally pretend to be ashamed for that job.
 
2013-08-22 09:32:39 AM
Most companies are loathe to outright fire people - wrongful termination suits are not something they want to risk as employee rights are strong, they really want them to quit on their own (or make it appear so) and will go to great lengths to do so. Many domestic companies here simply suddenly transfer you to some other podunk office of a subsidiary. The foreign firms often only have one office so transferring is not an option within Japan plus they don`t like to play games. Some of the larger US investment banks transferred people to Hong Kong or Singapore during the financial crisis and fired them there after having them sign a local contract as the payout was only 2 weeks vs about one month per year which is an accepted minimum payout here.


/ headhunter in Japan & APAC
// living in Tokyo for over 12 yrs
/// advise gaijin CEOs about the labor laws
 
2013-08-22 09:33:07 AM

Nhojwolfe: Geesh a company being held accountable for the employees that helped them get where they are.
We must get rid of this immediatly.


Yeah god forbid Sony stop making magnetic tape in 2013.
 
2013-08-22 09:35:52 AM

Raging Thespian: Sybarite: My god, I would get so much reading done.

Or so you think...

[www.martyafterdark.com image 540x405]


nice!
 
2013-08-22 09:39:02 AM
Dude, you made magnetic tapes. Either you didn't read the writing on the wall or you ignored it, but about your mid 30's you should have seen the optical disk was going to completely chase you out of your job.

As for myself... I know it looks like e-readers are taking the lead, but the same sort of person who would read Gibbon's Decline and Fall on an e-reader would surely object to drinking chardonnay from a styrofoam cup. The 600 year old tech will remain.
 
2013-08-22 09:43:44 AM

rnatalie: My company just outright fired me as the highest paid, most senior employee (having worked there for 23 years).   Essentially I got a phone call while I was on vacation telling me not to come back


Maybe you shouldn't have gone on vacation.

/this is how assholes justify their existence.
 
2013-08-22 09:43:47 AM

Carn: Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.


Right? Sign me up!
 
2013-08-22 09:45:54 AM
Last job I had, my boss tried to get me to quit because he couldn't fire me, so he cut my hours down to 20 a week. I went home every day at lunch time and loved the hell out of it. This lasted about a year until one of the other workers in our department of three got cancer and took an extended leave. I worked full time for a few more months until my other coworker took a three week vacation and it was just me in the office. I called in sick two days in a row and quit on the third day. I still get tickled thinking about that fat lazy bastard running around doing my job for those three weeks.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-08-22 09:47:59 AM

wildcardjack: Dude, you made magnetic tapes. Either you didn't read the writing on the wall or you ignored it, but about your mid 30's you should have seen the optical disk was going to completely chase you out of your job.


And the vast majority of the people (and the people who constantly biatch about Liberal Arts on Fark) want this future for the U.S.  Turn education into job training and then put the people out to pasture when their very specific job training is no longer needed.

This is a problem with this corporation, not with these people.  The corporation doesn't want to spend a dime retraining someone who was specifically "educated" to perform a certain job. 

And, of course the corporate sycophant club on Fark will reply "of course."
 
2013-08-22 09:49:05 AM
FTA :

"Economists say bringing flexibility to the labor market in Japan would help struggling companies streamline bloated work forces to better compete in the global economy. Fewer restrictions on layoffs could make it easier for Sony to leave loss-ridden traditional businesses and concentrate resources on more innovative, promising ones."

"Labor practices in Japan contrast sharply with those in the United States, where companies are quick to lay off workers when demand slows or a product becomes obsolete. It is cruel to the worker, but it usually gives the overall economy agility. Some economists attribute the lack of a dynamic economy in Western Europe to labor laws similar to Japan's that restrict layoffs."

These are key points. Over the long term, our economy has benefited relative to Europe and Japan's by being more flexible. Europeans and Japanese are much more reluctant to hire new people when demand increases because it is so much more difficult to let them go when it becomes necessary.

Paying people to do nothing or to do something that is worth less than you are paying them is detrimental to the economy.
 
gja [TotalFark]
2013-08-22 09:49:06 AM

BattleFrenchie28: For a country that has long prided itself on stability and relatively equitable incomes,

As long as your privates dangle.


Why so sandy in the v-j?
 
2013-08-22 09:49:45 AM

Cerebral Knievel: I remember reading somewhere that once apon a time that a certain railroad company had modernized equipment and made a bunch of jobs redundant and unnecesary.
however, they couldn't find anywhere to move the employees to, and union contracts forbid firing them.

so they had the guys come back to thier now empty workplace and just hangout all day. There wasnt anything for them to do, and they werent allowed to talk, eat, read, etc..


My uncle was one of the youngest firemen on the railroad when they switched to diesel.  He could have spent the rest of his career, just riding the trains and reading books.  He liked to keep busy, so after a couple of months, he took a lateral move to another job.  A lot of his co-workers did not (especially those close to retirement).
 
2013-08-22 09:49:53 AM

turboke:


I was going to mention that comic. I believe it was published just last week.
 
2013-08-22 09:53:19 AM

Carn: Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.


Not sure how this differs from what I do now.....
 
2013-08-22 09:56:50 AM

Carn: Holy fark!  They let you sit there and surf all day?  You still get paid?  Do they not let you pee or something?  I'm not seeing the downside here.


NutWrench: I'm guessing it's a cultural thing where you're supposed to be deeply ashamed that you're not working your fingers to the bone every second of the day to contribute to the greater glory of the company or something.


The main downside is that you're ostracized by your peers.  If you're not pulling your weight that's more work for the rest of us, and that makes you very unpopular, very quickly.  I know a lot of Farkers don't mind being despised but one other thing to consider is that Japan doesn't use offices or cubicles.  You're in a room full of people who ignore you, and mind you the Japanese often don't make much base pay so they have to work overtime to claw their income back up to middle class (they work long hours but they'll often slow down the pace to stretch out the work -- not very efficient).  So for 13 hours a day you're essentially experiencing a social form of sensory deprivation even as you're surrounded by people who can see everything you do.  If you're not an outright sociopath the experience can get downright excruciating.
 
2013-08-22 09:57:14 AM

d23: This is a problem with this corporation, not with these people.  The corporation doesn't want to spend a dime retraining someone who was specifically "educated" to perform a certain job. 

And, of course the corporate sycophant club on Fark will reply "of course."


If they had positions for those people they would re-train them because the alternative is hiring new people and, you guessed it, training them.  It's a hell of a lot less expensive and risky to retrain existing employees than it is to train new employees.  Keeping the business profitable is in the best interest of the majority of it's employees.
 
2013-08-22 10:01:34 AM

bdub77: rnatalie: My company just outright fired me as the highest paid, most senior employee (having worked there for 23 years).   Essentially I got a phone call while I was on vacation telling me not to come back

Maybe you shouldn't have gone on vacation.

/this is how assholes justify their existence.


Nope, I'd just have been sucked up in the rolling RIF patrol with the other 9 people who were in their offices that morning.    As soon as my boss brought on a HR person from another corporate division I knew two things:   I'd been fired and they'd already fired our local HR person.
 
2013-08-22 10:04:43 AM

Debeo Summa Credo: These are key points. Over the long term, our economy has benefited relative to Europe and Japan's by being more flexible. Europeans and Japanese are much more reluctant to hire new people when demand increases because it is so much more difficult to let them go when it becomes necessary.


Except American businesses are reluctant to hire new people when demand increases because they see an opportunity to increase their stock position a few points. The days where Americans had a leg up by quickly firing incompetents and replacing them immediately with someone who doesn't suck are long gone. Now you just get fired because your project grew 3% instead of the expected 5% and noone gets replaced.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-08-22 10:05:28 AM

Egoy3k: d23: This is a problem with this corporation, not with these people.  The corporation doesn't want to spend a dime retraining someone who was specifically "educated" to perform a certain job. 

And, of course the corporate sycophant club on Fark will reply "of course."

If they had positions for those people they would re-train them because the alternative is hiring new people and, you guessed it, training them.  It's a hell of a lot less expensive and risky to retrain existing employees than it is to train new employees.  Keeping the business profitable is in the best interest of the majority of it's employees.


Well you also have to be careful to realize this is japan.  They won't hire anyone that isn't young into a position.  They require people to submit a photo with their CV.  It's illegal, but every company does it and there is no way to enforce it.  I don't know if the same attitude is used with retraining... maybe someone here does?
 
2013-08-22 10:06:42 AM

bdub77: "I won't leave," Mr. Tani said. "Companies aren't supposed to act this way. It's inhumane."

The Holocaust is inhumane. North Korean prison camps are inhumane.  You are simply irrelevant and don't wish to go out and find a new job. And that's cool, but not inhumane.


Japanese people are just overly dramatic. I had a friend use that word once when I asked if she wanted to get a beef bowl.

Me: "Let's go to Nakau."
Her: "No. It's inhumane."
Me: "What is? The way they treat the cows?"
Her: "No. You have to buy a ticket at that machine and sit at the counter and stuff..."
Me: "I don't think you're using that word properly."

We ended up at a Chinese place.
 
2013-08-22 10:07:05 AM
See what you get for screwin' up that MicroCon merger?
Capt. Connor approves
Kohai nods
 
2013-08-22 10:08:50 AM
The amount of work I could get done if I didn't have to do my job is staggering. Sign me up.
 
2013-08-22 10:13:27 AM

Debeo Summa Credo: Paying people to do nothing or to do something that is worth less than you are paying them is detrimental to the economy.


Shouldn't we capitalize it as "The Economy" and create small shines in our homes dedicated to it, festooned with fetishes, flowers, and small animal skulls?
 
2013-08-22 10:17:05 AM

d23: Egoy3k: d23: This is a problem with this corporation, not with these people.  The corporation doesn't want to spend a dime retraining someone who was specifically "educated" to perform a certain job. 

And, of course the corporate sycophant club on Fark will reply "of course."

If they had positions for those people they would re-train them because the alternative is hiring new people and, you guessed it, training them.  It's a hell of a lot less expensive and risky to retrain existing employees than it is to train new employees.  Keeping the business profitable is in the best interest of the majority of it's employees.

Well you also have to be careful to realize this is japan.  They won't hire anyone that isn't young into a position.  They require people to submit a photo with their CV.  It's illegal, but every company does it and there is no way to enforce it.  I don't know if the same attitude is used with retraining... maybe someone here does?


RTFA, it's illegal to lay people off in Japan. It would be monumentally stupid if there was work for these people to hire new people just so they can keep these others banished to the land of wind and ghosts.
 
2013-08-22 10:18:35 AM
The described job is what any server administration job is when properly done.
 
2013-08-22 10:18:50 AM
Dream job subby?  Mine is 3rd string NFL quarterback.  I'm already sufficiently bored at work.
 
2013-08-22 10:19:26 AM
They could call it the Wally Room
 
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