Thursday, October 29, 2009

Workaholic: Tokyo Style

It is well known that in Japan people tend to work long hours, and at times take very few days off. Many people live the workaholic lifestyle. In Tokyo the workaholic lifestyle is taken to new heights in a hyper reality sense of the term. I have seen people work late into the night and get paid very little overtime. Some folks will work a week or more before getting an off day. Now, it is my turn.

From November I will be working six days a week. My only off day will be Monday. When I first got the orders from my company I have excited and shocked. I was excited because, in truth, I really like working. The men in my family long ago ingrained the idea in me that A man`s life is judged by his hard work and achievements. My shock came from the long distance from my house to the three different branches I will be working. I will be going to Yokohama, Kokubunji, and Kamata every week. There will be a lot of traveling and working for me.

My record for working without a day off in Japan is 12. That was tough but I enjoyed it because I was out in the thick of things everyday. To be honest, sitting at home really drives me nuts sometimes. Maybe I feel a little `boxed-in` staying inside too much. I get this bend up energy when I am static too long. I must be `out in the shit` as much as possible.

The down side of a fast hard working lifestyle is the damage to my body. Little things add up over time. After too many drinking benders, lack of sleep, long work days and other such madness I start to get a little run down. Its all about balance I suppose.

Anyway, a six day work week will be fun for sure. It will keep things interesting. What is your record for working without a day off in Japan?


Orchid64 said...

My record is 14 days, but not with full-time working.

Personally, I find the product of the work more important than the work itself. So much faffing about doing meaningless work happens in companies in Japan that the hours rarely result in anything tangible. Essentially, toil of no consequence is wasted time and reflects no differently on a person than sitting around at home doing nothing. At the end of the day, what difference do people tend to make? That's the question. It's not the total hours and days.

I'm not saying this is your life or your work because I don't know what you do, but I often feel that the part-time work I do now is far more meaningful than the long hours that I spent in an office working my tail off. The impact of what I do now changes people's minds and lives for the better. The number of hours I spent doing paperwork and sitting in meetings meant nothing, changed no one, and was just part of paid servitude.

Brian said...

My record is 5 in a row. So says the guy sitting in his pajamas at 10am on a Friday.

Benjamin L. Belcher said...

I did 6 day work weeks for a month straight this summer, my neighbor was doin em for half a year. Not so bad, altho the commute time will burn you. Hope you like sleepin on them trains bud!

billywest said...

Yeah, probably around 13 for me too. But, I usually refuse extra work. I figure I get what I need to get done well within my working hours and that's good enough.
Agree with Orchid, the whole idea of focusing mostly on the working method and very little on actual results can be so wasteful. But, it all contributes to the continuation of the eager-beaver society.
On the other hand, in the States, you have companies where you get the axe for losing your edge, even just a little.

Hard work with real results - good

Hard work for the sake of hard work - prison

Anonymous said...

Don't harass-jinx the man, he's probably on the rocks with his woman, eating rice balls and instant noodles all the while swilling malt liquor while trying not to take shit from those riding his ass at work. That's assuming a lot and speaking from my own experience in J-land, losing the girl, losing the job, losing the pad and now only able to scrounge by on 100 yen shop food and the occasional dumpster dive, well, it ain't pretty, but at least my heats still on. Fuck it's cold.

Keep your chin up Ghost!