Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Like a Mad Dog in Heat

You know, there is working hard, working your ass off, and then there is working in Japan. People in this nation work themselves to the bone at times. I used to be surprised and often wondered why people work so hard in Japan; until recently. If you just work as an instructor in Japan you really do not have to do so much to do your job well. If your lucky, or cursed, enough to break into management it becomes very clear as to why people have to work so damn hard in Japan. Truth be known, people are fucking lazy! For every one over worked person in Japan, there are at least 10 who do not do shit. If you show any ability to be a leader people will flock to you and load you down with work. There seems to be a general attitude of `Oh! He gives a shit. Give him all the work.`

So, I am sorry to burst people`s image of the hard working Japanese people. They only look like they are working hard all the time. For as many people you see working there ass off, there are twice as many people just going though the motions. I have learned this hidden fact of life in Japan from experience working in the land of the raising sun. I have seen people so quick to take the position of, `Look! It seems like he knows what is going on. Lets just follow him and do everything he says. If things fuck up it is his fault not ours.` So, they will follow you until things actually do fuck up. At that point, suddenly no one knows you and everything is your fault. I know some of you think I am kidding but this shit actually happens. You have to be very careful working in even the lowest level of management in Japan. People will screw you over in ways you could never dream of in the west.

Slowly, I have learned how to survive, yet I still makes mistakes sometimes when dealing with my Japanese counter-parts. One wrong word or move and your in the dog house until they feel you are worthy of notice again. This unique experience is something I never dealt with in America. I usually always knew exactly where I stood with upper management in America. If they did not like something I was doing they told me directly. In Japan it seems as if they do not do this kind of thing. If they have a problem with you, they do not tell you. Instead, they plan out a way to make you suffer for doing something they do not like. You have to play a damn guessing game in order to `feel out` where you stand with Japanese managers.

The best to do is never ask questions. If you do ask questions be very careful how you word your it. If you come to them very directly and straight forward they usually react in a negative manner. The Japanese seem to care about their own emotions a lot. In many cases, it depends on how they feel with respect to how serious they take you. It is a very different professional environment to say the least.

Overall, I am enjoying these challenges. Everyday something new happens which blows my mind, at the same time, motivates me to understand and carry out duties handed to me.