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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 36
    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 (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-08-22 10:04:43 AM
4 votes:

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.
2013-08-22 09:20:52 AM
4 votes:
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.
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-08-22 09:47:59 AM
3 votes:

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 09:45:54 AM
3 votes:
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.
2013-08-22 09:21:29 AM
3 votes:

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


Or so you think...

www.martyafterdark.com
2013-08-22 09:20:39 AM
3 votes:
dilbert.com
2013-08-22 09:15:10 AM
3 votes:
"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 12:11:03 PM
2 votes:

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.


The "downside" is that Sony is presuming Japanese cultural norms will kick in and the sidelined employees will be so ashamed at not being productive that they will find other jobs or commit career suicide (quit). Sony's problem is that they are not lying to these employees. The employees are not being told that their work was under standard nor that they were causing non-job related problems in the workplace. Instead, as good workers, they were simply told that they were no longer wanted. Sony violated the social contract that drives Japanese employment. Employees are to have lifelong loyalty to an employer, employers are to have lifelong loyalty to employees. Sony has violated that loyalty. Employees who do their jobs well are still being told to leave, despite having lived up to their side of the obligation.

In an individualist culture, like the USA, the employer is happy and permitted to say "Go fark yourself, you're out." for any reason or no reason at all. In return for this "Routinely impale the employees with red-hot spiked metal implements just because you can" approach to human relations, employees morally owe zero loyalty to employers at any time beyond the barest minimum necessary to hold on to the job. On the other hand, in a communal/shame culture like Japan, the total dogmatic loyalty expected of employees must be paid for by similar levels of loyalty from employers to employees.

The Japanese employers want to have things work both ways. They want a Japanese level of loyalty from employees to employers combined with an American level of disloyalty from employers to employees. Of course, American employers also want this.
2013-08-22 10:13:27 AM
2 votes:

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 01:52:09 PM
1 votes:
Employee unions want lifetime employment?

Sounds good.

Just pair up one of these guys with a union peer. They can share the job and the salary.

No problem.
2013-08-22 01:34:27 PM
1 votes:
potsofclay.files.wordpress.com
It took this long?
2013-08-22 01:26:15 PM
1 votes:
Are they untrainable for anything else? Even cleaning up the place, sorting files? Seems like a complete waste of manpower. I know a guy whose job it is just to scan old Air Force records from the lat 40's on up. He will bedoing that for the rest of his life probably.

They should just do what my job does, give the person the shiat work and hope they quit or screw up so they can be fired. A boss I had a few years ago tried to do that to me after I "stabbed him in the back". All I did was show the staff some of the policies that they can use to get around him when he was being a massive dick. He gave me the shiat work and I did it with a smile on my face and thats all I did the shiat work because it was my job nothing else, I no longer killed myself trying to make sure the report was clean at the end of the night or anything else because he said it was no longer my job that place went down the shiatter quick. He dragged me into the office and we had a nice convo:

Devil: Just keep doing what youre doing and you will get fired!
Groppet: What am I doing?
Devil: You know what you are doing, keep doing it and you will be fired!
Groppet: I'm sorry but am I not doing my job correct have their been complaints about my work. As far as I know and have been trained everything is correct.
Devil: You know what you are doing.
Groppet: Sir I am only doing the job you assigned me to and if I am not doing it correctly you should inform me of improvments I can make. (holding back the laughter as he got redder and redder)
Devil: (Very Angry) You know you are setting a bad example and I should fire you for that.
(meanwhile all his buddies he hired sit around doing nothing all day)
Groppet: Sir you havent been clear with me about what you expect maybe we should bring your boss and the client in to discuss what is expected of me.
Devil: Get out!

I went outside and laughed after that he was transfered a few months after that and left mysteriously after that.
2013-08-22 12:40:41 PM
1 votes:

mediablitz: Egoy3k: Honestly it seems like all you labor theorists haven't actually worked in a real job and have no understanding of the fact that as unfortunate as it is sometimes people get laid off. Life happens

More often than not, the layoff has ZERO to do with how well the person was doing their job. Saying "hey, shiat happens!" shows the American mentality towards workers as sub-human. Easily tossed aside.

But boy oh boy, leave a job with no notice, and what a horrible person you are, leaving the company stuck like that!

It's amazing how well corporate America has brainwashed so many. And you hear the "older" generation biatching about how Gen X'ers don't have the "work ethic" anymore. That's because they have seen the crap stain that is "corporate honesty", and don't fall for the "be loyal to your company" bullshiat.


Yeah that's why it's called a layoff. If it was a problem with the employee then it would be called getting fired.  What greater good are you looking for here exactly? Companies going out of business and all of their employees losing their jobs isn't exactly a bright utopian future.
2013-08-22 12:37:38 PM
1 votes:

Silly_Sot: Anything else is childish naivete.


I once had a worker complain to me about a decision I made, "All this company cares about is money!"  My response was, "Well yeah. Why do you come to work?"
2013-08-22 12:25:28 PM
1 votes:

Sin_City_Superhero: Sony also said that it offered workers early retirement packages that are generous by American standards: in 2010, it promised severance payments equivalent to as much as 54 months of pay.

4 1/2 years of severance pay. That does seem like a pretty generous offer, to me.


Wow, I've never worked for a large corporation that offered anywhere near that much severance. Good for them.
2013-08-22 12:20:08 PM
1 votes:

Egoy3k: Honestly it seems like all you labor theorists haven't actually worked in a real job and have no understanding of the fact that as unfortunate as it is sometimes people get laid off. Life happens


More often than not, the layoff has ZERO to do with how well the person was doing their job. Saying "hey, shiat happens!" shows the American mentality towards workers as sub-human. Easily tossed aside.

But boy oh boy, leave a job with no notice, and what a horrible person you are, leaving the company stuck like that!

It's amazing how well corporate America has brainwashed so many. And you hear the "older" generation biatching about how Gen X'ers don't have the "work ethic" anymore. That's because they have seen the crap stain that is "corporate honesty", and don't fall for the "be loyal to your company" bullshiat.
2013-08-22 12:12:49 PM
1 votes:

durbnpoisn: So, in my very disgruntled opinion, I think it absolutely sucks that companies of any size are legally allowed to lay people off.


I had to lay off just under 300 people from a Fortune 100 company. The reason? Their sweetheart 5 year tax deal was coming to an end. They were going to have to... GASP... pay normal property taxes.

Many people had worked there 5 years. They were given a total of 10 minutes to get out of the building. This after the week before being assured there were absolutely no plans to close the center.

I had warned people for months this company didn't give a shiat about them. Doesn't make it any better. American companies don't give a shiat about their employees.
2013-08-22 11:52:50 AM
1 votes:

ds_4815: 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.


The quick and the redundant.   First and first loser.  Ha.  What a shameful day ds_4815 must be having.  To go from witty to redundant in the span of one second.  If samurai had the internet, I bet what happened to you would be grounds for committing seppuku.
2013-08-22 11:43:41 AM
1 votes:

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


Tuition reimbursement for retraining is a fantastic idea, IMO.  I tried to convince my old boss to get into it, but he wouldn't.  I worked for a small publishing company (a very profitable one) that was transitioning from print to digital.  My argument is that it's difficult to find quality people.  I'd rather invest the money in retraining the people we had (who were willing to work all day and go to school at night) than letting them go and going to through the pain of finding quality people with modern skillsets.

We lost so much time, and a ton of ground to our competitors, by listing the jobs, then interviewing and training new people.  Our current products suffered as much as the future products, which wouldn't have happened had we spent a few thousand sending our editors to the local community college to learn better computer skills.  Not to mention we paid out unemployment to the people we let go, and everyone else in the company was completely demoralized.
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-08-22 11:25:35 AM
1 votes:

r1niceboy: 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

In America we'd rather pay useless people a little than competent people more.


To add on to what you are saying, the only valued job across the board has to do with some sort of "executive" permission or management.  Everyone else is seen with very little value.  It's an attitude that is going to kill us in the end, but the CEOs won't care... they'll have cash in the bank.
2013-08-22 11:14:54 AM
1 votes:

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


In America we'd rather pay useless people a little than competent people more.
2013-08-22 10:37:54 AM
1 votes:

Debeo Summa Credo: Over the long term, our economy has benefited relative to Europe and Japan's by being more flexible.


True; in Japan it is extremely difficult to get rid of a slacker.  They use various methods of emotional abuse, but some guys just grow a thick skin.  Thing is, if you look at just the sheer amounts of misery both countries can create despite massive per-capita wealth, I'm not sure if either way is better if we all remember for a moment that each "employee" is a person.  Not to mention this article is strictly referring to full-time employees, which Japan is moving away from.  Like America, they're increasingly using contractors in full-time positions.

The implicit assumption in the above is that the economy is more important than the people in it.  I've always regarded "teh economy" as a tool for allocating resources, but I'm kind of alone for it.  For as long as I remember, we've allocated resources to serve the tool.  The finance types have it so backwards they wouldn't look any stranger to me if they commuted to work by pulling their cars.
2013-08-22 10:31:59 AM
1 votes:
dilbert.com
2013-08-22 10:18:35 AM
1 votes:
The described job is what any server administration job is when properly done.
2013-08-22 10:08:50 AM
1 votes:
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 09:33:07 AM
1 votes:

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 09:32:39 AM
1 votes:
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 09:28:12 AM
1 votes:
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 09:28:02 AM
1 votes:

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 09:26:31 AM
1 votes:

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 09:25:27 AM
1 votes:
For a country that has long prided itself on stability and relatively equitable incomes,

As long as your privates dangle.
2013-08-22 09:23:12 AM
1 votes:

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 09:22:36 AM
1 votes:

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 09:21:30 AM
1 votes:

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


Until...

2.bp.blogspot.com
2013-08-22 09:20:39 AM
1 votes:
Dude..... Dream. Job.
2013-08-22 09:19:27 AM
1 votes:
My god, I would get so much reading done.
 
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