Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mistrusting Japanese companies

Although I am a Japanese person born in Japan, I have never liked the way Japanese white collar employees work in Japan. They always put the customers first ... often way too much. They accept unreasonable requests from customers so easily that they often look more like slaves rather than equal partners.

For example, let's say it's 4:30 pm on Friday now. You are an employee and thinking of the weekend's plan at office in Tokyo. Now the telephone rings and you will hear your customer telling you casually: "Oh I am sorry but can you finish this new work by 10 am Monday?" Yikes. That's tons of work. It means that you have to work overtime on Friday and throughout the weekend. But you have already appointments with your friends and family.

What do you think? Would you accept it? If you work in the culture of English speaking countries such US and Canada, you might say like this: "I am afraid I simply can't make it. Would you mind putting off the deadline a bit further like next Wednesday?" However, you can't usually say like this in Japan. You are exposed to a very strong social pressure and it's very difficult for you to refuse such a request from your customers.

I don't think this makes sense. This is a really terrible business practice, but is commonly observed in Japanese business scenes.

I can't deal with these Japanese companies. That's against my values. Of course, not all the Japanese companies are like this...but I have to say most of them are still like this.

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