Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Daily Grind

After the mid-lesson break, my student came back and dropped this comment - "Isn't it sick? It's past 7pm and half of the office is still here."

"Half?" I looked up, across the glass window that separates the conference room from the office space partitioned into mini-cubicles (a rare scene for a Japanese office, I tell you). "But it looks like most people are gone!" I said, seeing only a few lone bodies still glued to their computer screens - 3 computer screens, to b precise, for each of them, yes.

"Well, just go around the corner and see the other side of the floor. Most foreigners sit on this side."

"Ahhhhh ... Now I got it. For the longest time I was going to ask you how come your company seems to keep everyone out by a reasonable hour," I said.

"Yeah, b/c most foreigners do want to get out by 5:30pm and go have dinner with their family or kids. This is a foreign company so I guess they don't care. But you know," my student drew himself close and lowered his voice, even though the conference room door surely was shut tight. "I used to work in a Japanese company and people had this weird notion of needing to stay late. Yet the productivity was SO low."

Later at dinner, I was told that the trip plan might need to be called off.

"There's an event the night before and the an appointment at noon ... If I don't go, I'm probably going to lose this deal."

Lose it then.

"But it's a deal that concerns next year's business with this client."

Right, and this is one that concerns the marching forward to the 3rd decade of my life.

"Well, it's really just circumstantial, you know. I have little control."

I know. It's also just circumstantial that my b-day is set on this particular date. Go ask God for the reasons and I have little control too.

The bottom line is, I'm just sick and tired of this "work comes first" mentality. On your death bed, it's not going to be work or your colleagues or your clients or your boss who are going to accompany you until the final moment.

But we all seem to have forgotten that. Or we seem to be so good at finding excuses for forgetting that.

梅ちゃん at 12:50:00 AM



at 10/31/09, 12:36 AM Blogger Yuji said...

" Do the things you want to do...".
This is what I believe in.


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