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Last week, we talked a bit about the sense of “duty” that Japanese people tend to have. This is one thing I really admire about Japan. A few months ago, a group of bus drivers in my country won a huge amount of money on the national lottery. They had formed a syndicate at work, so they all shared the winnings. I think there were about six of them. Anyway, when they found out they had won, they just didn’t turn up for work the next day. They didn’t care about inconveniencing the company or the customers – they basically didn’t care about anything now that they were rich. The strangest thing about this was that almost everyone in Britain laughed when they heard this news and said that they would have done the same. Maybe it’s because I have been in Japan for a long time, but I thought it was disgraceful behaviour.

Having said that, there are times when the Japanese sense of duty can be abused by those in authority in order to just push people around and make them do things they don’t want to do. In Japan, people are taught from a very young age that “gaman” is a sign of strength, but in the West, this would often be seen as a sign of weakness because you are letting yourself be bullied. For that reason, Western people love to hear stories about people standing up for themselves, especially when they are fighting against a big organisation like a famous company or the government. Last week, one of my best friends, who lives in Canada, sent me a story that has been on the news over there. Here is what happened…

A musician named Dave Carroll from Halifax Nova Scotia had difficulty with United Airlines. He spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor Guitar. During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for YouTube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded: “Good luck with that one, pal.” Of course, this was a sarcastic comment that meant, “We are not scared of you – you have no power to threaten us.” Anyway, Dave wrote his song and posted his video on YouTube. If you listen to the lyrics, you will be able to hear the story.

The video has since received over 11 million hits, and Dave has now written several follow-up songs and even a book! United Airlines has subsequently contacted the musician and offered to pay him to take down the video. Naturally his response was: “Good luck with that one, pal.” Taylor Guitars sent the musician two new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has led to a sharp increase in orders.

People love this story because this guy was not prepared to do “gaman.” He was not afraid to take on this huge company, and he succeeded in making himself famous, and in making them look like fools.

This week, I would like to hear any tales you have about either you or someone you know refusing to do “gaman” and standing up for yourself. If you don’t have any stories, please feel free to just write your reaction to this story, or any other thoughts you might have on the topic.

27 Comments

  1. YU on 2012年06月04日 at 16:13

    Hi David and everyone,

    About 20 years ago I’ve once flown with United Airlines. To tell the truth, I was surprised at their very unfriendly service at that time, and since then I’ve not flown with them again. What I learned from Dave’s song is that they seem to be as unfriendly as ever…

    >People love this story because this guy was not prepared to do “gaman.”

    I think Japanese people like this story too.
    It gives us great satisfaction to see an arrogant
    huge company beaten thoroughly by a young, pleasant-looking musician.

    I like the lylics, especially ;

    > So began a year long saga, of “Pass the buck”, “Don’t ask me”, and “I’m sorry, sir, your claim can go no where”.
    So to all the airlines people, from New York to New Deli
    Including kind Ms. Irlweg, who says the final word from them is “no”.”

    Do you think “KIND” Ms. Irlweg still works for United?? Was she demoted or even got fired??
    Anyway, I guess she must have felt more dead than alive when she heard this song at first.

    > Well, I won’t say that I’ll never fly with you again,
    ‘Cause, maybe, to save the world, I probably would,
    But that won’t likely happen,
    And if it did, I wouldn’t bring my luggage
    ‘Cause you’d just go and break it,
    Into a thousand pieces,
    Just like you broke my heart

    Very sarcastic lyrics !!
    But I exactly know what he meant.
    He finally couldn’t stand their insincere responses. It was no longer a matter of money, maybe…

    > This week, I would like to hear any tales you have about either you or someone you know refusing to do “gaman” and standing up for yourself.

    I can’t think of any interesting story than this little one now… sorry.

    Some months ago I bought a lettuce at a supermarket near my house. When I cooked at home, I found inside the lettuce was eaten by a worm and most of the parts were of no use. So, I finally gave up to use the lettuce on that day.
    Some weeks later I bought a lettuce at the same supermarket again. And the lettuce was again eaten by a worm and of no use. So, I called the supermarket and explained the circumstances to the manager. He apologized to me for the incovenience and offered to bring a substitute to my house. But I refused it and I got money back(about 300yen) instead when I went to the supermarket several days later.

    I told this story at my English language club meeting, because most of the members live in the same area, and they also shop at the supermarket.
    Some of them said, “Indeed, their fruits and vegetables are getting worse.”, but one member said, “Eeeeee, I can’t understand why you complained about such a tiny thing. Don’t you know worm-eaten fruits or vegetables taste better ??”
    I couldn’t believe my ears for a moment, her words sounded as if I were a bad, narrow-minded, ignorant woman. And she acted as if she were a woman of fine character(人格者)!!
    But, was my act against the supermarket really so bad and absurd!?
    Actually, the manager appreciated my complaint, because they could not have known that they were selling “worm-eaten” lettuces, if I hadn’t complained. And to be honest, I don’t understand why I need to pay for vegetables “of no use”.
    I’m not that rich to buy a useless object!

    Bye for now !



  2. minmin on 2012年06月05日 at 02:02

    Hi All,

    It’s an hounor to be the second comment poster on this ropic 🙂 (at this moement when I drafting this…)

    I agree with David that “gaman” is a sign of strength in Japan but is seen the other way around in western.

    One of the reasons I think of other than what David mentioned above is that too tough for Japanese people to complaining about a problem or justifying the things. The action needs tons of energies to keeping stand up against the incorrectness, unfair, disadvantage to be won and quite likely it’s normaly take time.

    My “fighting” story in Hong Kong was at a shoes shop. I found some good looking high heels, tried on and decided to get one of them. Asked a store staff to get me a new one. She politely said “Please have a seat” and gave me a leaflet while I was waiting for the high heels. Felt too long to kept me waiting, so then told her I would refuse if it’s take time but it came shortly. At a glance, it was a bit filthy and had stains on the lable, so I told the shop staff this looks not new one and don’t want it. She started to wiping out, I said no need it as it’s old one and stepped out the shop. And, she shouted to me that “You have to buy it as you had already tried this on !”.

    I really shocked and gradually more get angry when I think about it afterward. Why I didn’t leave earlier as soon as I realized they were lying. Or else, why I got more angry at them to complaining about it.

    Some of my Hong Kong Chinese friends suggested me on this story that I could escalate the problem to the headquarter of the shop with providing the name of the staff. And the same time I also should report it to the local gossip magagine to warning them. It is very common amongst Hong Kong Chinese and they will do so.

    Think Japan is an well oragnized country in the world and people are thoughtfull each other. One of the good example I saw in the news that the survivers from the East Japan 3.11 disaster were proactively cleaning up the toilet by turns where they evacuated, not completly rely on the volunteers. Most of the foreiners cannot imagine how could managed good order as they were under such a tragedy situation.

    However, It sometime stop themselves to think of what is the right way to do because of “gaman”.
    What is wrong to claim to refund for the damaged lettuce at a supermarket while it only 300 yen ?
    I will do the same if I were you, YU.
    I would change a pack of eggs when I noticed one of them were cracked even when pay or right after paid for that at a supermarket if am sure it’s not my fault.

    We should learn how to complain assertively in dispassionate manner not to be a claimer. And to do more practive to tell a story along with your feeling and thoughts from a very yong age.
    This is actually good excercise for me here to posting my story and thoughts on this blog !

    Good night, all !



  3. minmin on 2012年06月05日 at 02:13

    Correction:

    >I was really shocked and gradually more get angry when I think about it afterward. Why I didn’t leave earlier as soon as I realized they were lying. Or else, why I didn’t get more angry at them to complaining about it.



  4. YU on 2012年06月05日 at 09:31

    Hi everyone,

    Now I remembered that I’ve come across an interesting article the other day. It’s about a “funny” service concept by Skymark Airlines.
    (BTW, Skymark Airlines is a low-cost airline, operating scheduled passenger services within Japan.)

    http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/domestic/photos/20120525/dms1205250701003-p1.htm

    I had a good laugh! And at the same time, I felt quite threatened.
    They sound so bossy and the statement 「機内の苦情は一切受け付けません」 is impossible!! 🙁
    These are not for a good cause, just excuses for not providing proper service.

    People do not go for cheap and nasty products(安かろう悪かろう) especially when there are so many cheap AND quality products. (デフレですから!)

    I don’t think I will never ever fly with them.

    Hi minmin,

    I found your “fighting” story in Hongkong very interesting! I’ll write my thoughts on it later.
    I’ve gotta go…

    Bye for now !



  5. YU on 2012年06月05日 at 17:30

    Hi minmin and everyone,

    > And, she shouted to me that “You have to buy it as you had already tried this on !”.

    What she said is full of inconsistencies.
    If customers have to buy all the shoes they tried on, they will end up buying wrong size shoes too, as most people try at least a few sizes of the same design to choose the correct-seize shoes for them.

    > Some of my Hong Kong Chinese friends suggested me on this story that I could escalate the problem to the headquarter of the shop with providing the name of the staff.

    And, did you talk with the headquarters?
    Your story reminds me of my fighting story in Germany.

    About 10 years ago or so, I bought a book for a friend of mine for Christmas at a quite famous bookshop, called “Thalia Buecher”. In Germany it is very common to give someone a book for Christmas gifts. At this time every year, Thalia Buecher usually set up a special section only for wrapping presents for Chirstmas. And so, I was waiting for my turn there. The customer before me was a German woman about fifty years of age. Because the wrapping of her present looked very nice, I asked the wrapping staff to do the same wrapping she did for the German woman for me too, of course, in a good manner ; “Could you please….?”. And next moment I heard something incredible from the staff’s mouth. She said, “Scheisse egal”, which means, “F*ck you!I’m not interested in your liking! “(くそっ、そんなのどうだっていいんだよ!)
    Wait, wait!! Did I just hear her correctly?? Yes, I heard her right!!

    While she was wrapping my book reluctantly, I kept on staring at her face and her name tag by turns. Receiving my book from her, I went straight to the store manager and told her everything with providing the name of the staff. The manager apologized to me and explained that they hired the staff as a temporary part-timer only for Christmas season, and she was a college student.

    What I was impressed with the store manager was that she returned to the wrapping section with me, called the wrapping staff in question and asked her whether she really said so(“Scheisse egal”) in my presence. She admitted it and apologized to me for her rude words.

    I couldn’t ask why the staff said such a rude thing to me, but not to the elderly German lady before me(maybe because I was a foreigner!?), but anyway, I liked the way of apology the store manager did, so I didn’t stop buying books at Thalia Buecher even after that.

    I’ve suffered various forms of discrimination when I lived in Germany, but the case at Thalia Buecher was pretty strong, and I couldn’t overlook it.

    > We should learn how to complain assertively in dispassionate manner not to be a claimer. And to do more practive to tell a story along with your feeling and thoughts from a very yong age.

    I agree with you.
    Some Japanese people have the wrong idea of “gaman”. They admire those who don’t object to anything and keep your head. I don’t think it is nice to assert one’s rights without doing one’s duties, but most Japanese people are honest and diligent, and I think they have the right to complain.
    (By the way, the other day, I saw on TV a brain scientist saying that criticizing/complaining others or things around you keeps your brain young, and I thought it was true.)

    See you !



  6. rinko on 2012年06月05日 at 20:50

    Hi David and everyone.

    This is my story,it’s so tiny one compared with the mucisian’s though..

    When I was a new employee of a bank I was in charge of teller at window in small branch that had not many people working.My boss was a man who was always in bad mood and irritated by something I didn’t know.He often called someone to him and gave him or her unreasonable sermon that was completely unrelated to them and kept them from their job for hours. He seemed to dispel his irritation by doing that bullies to someone.
    I felt very uncomfortable about his behavior and about no one was in protest against him despite that he clearly obstructed their job.
    One day I got targeted by him. He called me and started to complain about mistakes of some payment slips that was handled over a decade ago! I couldn’t believe that he called me only to show old slips just when I was dealing with customers at window.So I told him “I don’t think it’s proper time to listen to you because ,as you see, there are lots of customers waiting here.I will come to you again after we close window.”
    He was stunned and stopped complaining.

    Soon after that, at lunch time one of my workmates said to me “Unbelievable. you are the first one to be against him, even you are new here!!” She said as if I were strange and unusual so I felt really bad.
    One year after,I was transferred to another branch and I heard the boss was still doing that and even made a few part-time workers quit the job by his bullies!

    I think “gaman” is good spirit of Japanese and it should be admired as minmin mentioned about East japan disastar.Even when people are in straits they put a brave face on it and cooperate with each other.
    But there are sometimes misunderstanding and confusing “good cooperation” and ”見て見ぬふり”as my story.

    Hi YU.
    Thank you for letting us know about interesting story of Skymark.I thought Airline company is kind of service industry,but it’s getting to be changed…

    Bye for now !

    rinko



  7. Anne on 2012年06月05日 at 22:15

    Hi David and everyone,

    I had a look at the video,and using videos sounds effective! His song is humorous and I like that.

    Hi YU,
    > So, I called the supermarket and explained the circumstances to the manager.
    –If I were in your situation, I won’t hesitate making a phone call, either. Actually, my younger son works for a supermarket, so I’ve heard various kinds of stories concerning customers. It seems to be very important for the staff how to deal with these kinds of things quickly, politely and nicely.

    > there are times when the Japanese sense of duty can abused by those in authority in order to just push people around and make them do things they don’t want to do
    —–I can’t think any of own story, so can I share a story from a book? I’m afraid this is a bit different from the one that refuse to do “gaman”,but anyway…

    I’m reading the book called “あきらめない” by Atsuko Muraki at the moment. She is a Health Ministry officer and was in prison a couple of years ago for taking part in falsely certifying an illegal postal document. later, it turned out that she was innocent.
    In the book, she talks how she was interrogated. She says that she understands why people sometimes plead guilty to criminal charges even though(when?) they are innocent. Her story about interrogation was shocking even though I could imagine what that would be like.
    She says in the book:
    “People who are timid,cowardly and weak might sign a written statement to protect themselves or to save their lives even if it is different from the fact.”

    She also says why and how she could fight for this trial without giving up.
    “There were many times that my heart became weak, lost heart and was tempted to give up.”

    She mentioned several ways why she wasn’t discouraged and one of them is as follows:

    “List everything you can do now without complaining about your situation, and then you’ll see the priority in your life at this moment. Just take a thing a day at a time.”

    It’s one thing to understand this rule in your head, and another to put it into practice, right?
    I really admire her mind-set.

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  8. YU on 2012年06月05日 at 22:17

    Hi rinko,

    > One year after,I was transferred to another branch and I heard the boss was still doing that and even made a few part-time workers quit the job by his bullies!

    I guess he’ll be a head of a small branch forever!

    > But there are sometimes misunderstanding and confusing “good cooperation” and ”見て見ぬふり”as my story.

    Right.
    In Japan, if you point out some mistakes in the old rules, you are labeled “a person who does not work well with others”(協調性の無い人間).

    Bye for now !



  9. Fumie on 2012年06月05日 at 23:09

    Hi David and everyone,

    Kudos to Dave Carroll. Stand up to the big company and made them compensate him.

    But I don’t think the case of him is not the one about the spirit of Gaman: making a claim and doing Gaman is differnt matter. Japanese people do make a claim when our possessions are damaged or when we buy bad products.
    My mother had been worked at a laundry and I remember she often complained how stressful her work was. That’s because customers often claim for their works.仕上がりに不満 so she had to apologize them. Customers said “A button was gone.” “My dress shrinked.” “The clothes didn’t be cleaned at all.”…
    I think the spirit of Gaman is situations that for example when your boss ask you to do unfair things: like treating women employee as a servant and ask her to serve tea. That is often happened in Japanese companies a couple of decades ago. I used to work in such a company. Although I was reluctant to do such a request, I smiled and served tea to keep harmony.
    Another example of mine was that my father-in-law said to me to wear Kimono at my son’s Omiyamairi. (First visit to Shinto shrine to pray for baby’s healthy growth and happiness.) I didn’t want to wear Kimono because it’s not flexible and I breastfed him. But I wore Kimono not to offend him.

    Younger people tend to voice their opinions clearer than older generation and people in Osaka talk rather flankly and bluntly.

    I don’t always do Gaman. When I worked at a private English company, my salary was quite low although I did my best for students. So I, together with other teachers asked our boss pay raise but he said I can’t. So I quit that job. There were other reasons too.

    Hi YU,

    Skymark Airlines’ attitude is very bossy. It’s rare as Japanese company. Most Japanese companies treat customers as God.お客様は神様です。

    Hi Rinko,

    What you did to your boss was a very brave thing! I admire your courage.

    Bye for now.

    Fumie



  10. minmin on 2012年06月06日 at 00:02

    Hi there,

    YU: And, did you talk with the headquarters?
    Your story reminds me of my fighting story in Germany.

    I should have done it but I didn’t as not checked her name. So I was very frustrated for a while afterward 🙁
    I heard from my Japanese friends the kind of experience of yours in Germany is happen quite often in Hong Kong as well. One of mine was at Louisvuitton !!!

    Am quite supprised at the service concept for Skymark. What the hell, is this serious ?!

    rinko: Wow ! You have done well to stop his mouse.

    Anne: Yes, The Mukai san’s story is still fresh in my memory.



  11. Tomo on 2012年06月06日 at 11:09

    Hi David and everyone,

    I liked the second story very much, but I didn’t like the first one. The bus drivers are very irresponsible and self-centered. I was surprised to hear that almost everyone in Britain would have done the same. Don’t they care for others?? I can’t imagine that happening in Japan. I love to hear stories about people standing up for themselves too, but I think there is a big difference between “standing up for yourself” and “being selfish.”

    The musician has the right to complain. The service of United Airlines is terrible. If you broke someone’s property, you should pay for it or at least apologize for your mistake. Isn’t that common sense? I’m glad that the musician didn’t give up. He must have felt very nice when he said, “Good luck with that one, pal.” to the company.(applause!!)

    It was interesting to read everyone’s stories. Minmin’s and YU’s stories reminded me of our discussion about “services.” As you know, I’ve never left Japan, so I’ve never received those bad services, and again, I cannot imagine that happening in Japan. I guess those bad services are one of the reasons that people need to learn how to protect their rights.

    Hi rinko,
    Well done! The boss doesn’t have what it takes to be a leader.

    Have a nice day, everyone!

    Tomo



  12. David Barker on 2012年06月06日 at 11:18

    I just remembered a story I heard many years ago that made me laugh. A computer company (I think it was IBM) came out with a new laptop that they claimed was really tough. In the TV commercial, they showed a businessman checking his computer in at the airport, and then waiting nervously at his destination for it to arrive. Of course, it was fine. This commercial made sense in the West because everyone knows that baggage handlers at airports do not treat customers’ bags with care. When they showed the commercial to Japanese people, though, they didn’t understand it at all. They just said, “Well of course the computer was okay because the staff at the airport would take care of it!” IBM had to make a different commercial for the Japanese market.

    Tomo, I agree with you 100% about the bus drivers. That story made me embarrassed to be British.



  13. YU on 2012年06月06日 at 11:24

    Hi Fumie,

    > But I don’t think the case of him is not the one about the spirit of Gaman: making a claim and doing Gaman is differnt matter. Japanese people do make a claim when our possessions are damaged or when we buy bad products

    Certainly, both Dave(custom guitars)and I(lettuce) have just claimed damages of ourselves, although one is much more in a witty way than the other.
    In contrast, what rinko did was to stand up to a powerful person(her boss) in order to solve customers’ inconvenience(waiting time), and it was not for the benefit of herself. And what you did with other teachers was to improve your working conditions.

    As you say, I think “to claim damages of oneself” and “fight for everyone’s advantages” or “demand one’s rights to win better conditions” are different matters.

    Your story (English school) reminded me of my courageous colleague in the company I used to work for.
    She was ten years younger to me, but we were good friends.
    One day, we were noticed that there would be a
    “town meeting” with our company president. She said she wanted to ask and tell everything what she’d been doubting and unsatisfied with the company to our president on this occasion. And she asked me to join her plan, but I refused it, because then I was planning to quit my job and looking for a better working place. I thought I didn’t want to use my energy for useless matters, because I would anyway leave this company shortly, and it was much better to put my energy into finding a better job.

    And as she has announced, she carried out her plan at the town meeting. There was a momentary stir in the audience. And from next day she became the most “famous” employee in our company. Everyone around her, including her boss handled her gingerly. Everyone knew that all what she was saying at the town meeting was sound(正論), though…

    By the way, she is still my good friend. She quit her job several years ago and is working for a different company now.

    See you !



  14. YU on 2012年06月06日 at 12:51

    This is just an aside.

    When I was about to get off the bus in London(not double-decker), the bus driver came to complain me.
    At that time, I had a “one-day open ticket” or something like that, and of course, I showed it to the driver before getting off. But he was keeping on complaining me. To tell the truth, I didn’t understand what he was telling me, I thought he was speaking in another language but English. And what is worse, he had a tattoo in his arm and looked very scary. So I was in a cold sweat.

    Then an elderly woman who was waiting for her turn behind me helped me. She “translated” the driver’s words into “normal” English. Thanks to her, I understood the driver was asking me “A photo is required for your ticket”, but he was finally wrong.

    I wonder if it was “Cockney” I had heard so much of…



  15. amo on 2012年06月06日 at 20:31

    Hi David and everyone,

    I am pretty busy at work at the moment. Since Monday, I couldn’t take a lunch break 🙁
    Some of staff are taking their vacations so we are a shortage of manpower now. This situation will last till this end of month, I suppose. So I have to “gaman” till then.

    Oh, I got off the train. It’s my station.
    Bye for now.
    Hope I can find a time to comment on this topic.

    amo



  16. minmin on 2012年06月06日 at 22:58

    Hi All,

    Tomo>I cannot imagine that happening in Japan. I guess those bad services are one of the reasons that people need to learn how to protect their rights.

    Agree. In Japan, people are preserved by good services and quality of products and generally don’t doubt that things are going well like David told us the story that IBM had to revised the TV commercial for Japanese one.

    amo>I am pretty busy at work at the moment. Since Monday, I couldn’t take a lunch break 🙁

    Oh no! Think the boss should had considered if covering shedule would feisible in such a tightened manpower 🙁
    When is your turn to taking holidays ?



  17. Fumie on 2012年06月07日 at 06:14

    Hi Anne,

    What Ms.Muraki went through was really painful. I can’t believe Japanese police are still conducting such an awful interrogation to the accused without evidence. Police targets people in weak position and force them to plead guilty. Ms.Muraki’s case was just several years ago, right? This rotten system doesn’t change! Reading your story about her made me want to read her book.

    Hi YU,

    >As you say, I think “to claim damages of oneself” and “fight for everyone’s advantages” or “demand one’s rights to win better conditions” are different matters.
    You explained what I tried to say in good English. Thank you.

    When I heard Cockney in EJ’s interview, it didn’t sound like English at all for me.

    Fumie



  18. YU on 2012年06月07日 at 16:30

    Hi David,

    > This commercial made sense in the West because everyone knows that baggage handlers at airports do not treat customers’ bags with care.

    I remembered a video I saw on TV news some months ago that made me amazed. A chinese courier company’s workers were picking up a parcel from a big pile of parcels(at first glance it looked a mountain of rubbish) and throwing it toward the boxes sorted according to the destination.

    Actually, this video was shown when the news reported that Yamato Transport(ヤマト運輸) has advanced into Chinese market. As you know, Japanese courier companies are famous for their good services. Apparently, Yamato hired local people as drivers, and Japanese staff instilled the Japanese ways of services into them, but it was an unbelievably tough work, because they(Chinese people) didn’t know “services” in the first place.

    > I guess those bad services are one of the reasons that people need to learn how to protect their rights.

    IMHO, Japan will eventually need to accept foreign manpower, and it means, we’ll live with them in mutual prosperity. I think Japanese children should learn how to protect their rights at school, because their potential foreign classmates probably must know it better.

    See you !



  19. YU on 2012年06月07日 at 16:33

    > because their potential foreign classmates probably must know it better.

    =>because their potential foreign classmates probably know it better.



  20. trmr on 2012年06月08日 at 05:43

    Hi David and everyone

    A story of musician is very interesting and funny.

    I am a man who do a bad “gaman”.
    If I were in other members’ situation, I didn’t do anything in most case.
    Because it is requires a lot of energy to fight.
    I don’t have it. I do “gaman” or try to find another solution.

    The internet service I use in my house is not good.
    The connection has often got disconnected.
    I can take it. If it continues I will contact a customer center for how to solve it. But I won’t “fight” them. I’m just going to cancel a contract and contract to other internet service.
    I know it’s not good behavior.

    Hi YU
    If Skymark Airlines has provided a good service, 「機内の苦情は一切受け付けません」may be acceptable. Because it doesn’t mean that their service is going to get worse. They just don’t want to pay the cost to the excess claims from few percentage of passengers. But Skymark is received administrative guidance recently. This attitude makes people feel doubtful. It’s not good.

    bye for now

    trmr



  21. trmr on 2012年06月08日 at 06:37

    Hi everyone
    I think a case of PTA is similar to bus company one than musician’s case.
    If you refuse or ignore the role, someone should do it instead. If all of members do that, PTA doesn’t work. You need to do “gaman” sometimes. I don’t know much about PTA. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Time to work..
    Bye
    trmr



  22. Anne on 2012年06月08日 at 08:10

    Hi YU and everyone,

    Skymark Airline’s remark sounds to have become controversial. As trmr mentioned, no wonder the company received administrative guidance, having said that, I guess that means there must have been tons of complaints from the customers. A lot of new airlines that offer quite reasonable prices have been competing for getting customers these days. It’s difficult to strike the balance among price, safety and good service,right?

    Hi Fumie,

    Yes, as minmin said, her case is not the old one. Actually, this is a part of the story. She also talks about her career as an officer, gender issue and her family. She lists the title of 149 books that she has read while she was in prison,too.

    Hi amo,
    Did you have time to take a lunch break? I hope so.

    See you then,

    Anne



  23. YU on 2012年06月08日 at 09:17

    Hi trmr, Anne and everyone,

    My husband would not complain in most cases, either.
    For example, even if he was served a different dish than he ordered, he would just accept the wrong dish without complaining.
    However, I doubt whether he is really a good customer for the restaurant, he is certainly a kind customer, though.
    After all, the waitress/waiter could not realize his/her mistake or the customer(my husband) might not visit the restaurant again.

    In my opinion, if companies start neglecting business effort, then they would go under soon or later, at least in Japan. They shouldn’t slight opinions or complaints from customers. No matter how reasonable prices they offer us.

    > They just don’t want to pay the cost to the excess claims from few percentage of passengers.

    Those who complain about everything just to get rid of
    stress are out of question.

    Bye for now !



  24. YU on 2012年06月08日 at 09:35

    Hi trmr,

    > If you refuse or ignore the role, someone should do it instead. If all of members do that, PTA doesn’t work. You need to do “gaman” sometimes.

    That’s true, but I think they are very irresponsible.
    PTA systems are wrong, but other PTA members are not wrong at all. Do you call those people “a coward”?
    I think a real coward is those who just refuse or ignore the role and never come and say their opinions or complaints at PTA meetings.

    See you !



  25. David Barker on 2012年06月08日 at 09:49

    Hi trmr

    Actually, I think that is a type of bullying that is commonly used in Japan. “If you don’t do it, you will inconvenience someone else.” My response would be, “Not my problem.” In Tomo’s case, she had to leave a small child alone at home because of the PTA meeting. I have never been to a PTA meeting, but I would guess that they are probably like most meetings in Japan – i.e., a complete waste of everyone’s time!



  26. Tomo on 2012年06月08日 at 12:07

    Hi David and everyone,

    Basically, PTA activities are for children, for teachers and parents to help each other and give students good environments. Just because I said there are a lot of things I don’t think are necessary, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need the organization. If everyone said, “It’s not my problem.”, I don’t think we would be able to help each other. Do you remember me talking about the system how children at my daughter’s school go to school, and that we regularly check students and the traffic in the morning? This is one of the PTA jobs. If it is related to your children, it is also your problem, isn’t it? Can you say “Not my problem” just because you don’t want to do the job?

    I think we should make PTA jobs more simple so that we don’t need to waste our time, but as I said before, it’s not easy to change things. The rules and the system are supposed to be for us to make things easy, but I often find that we are tied down by them. YU said, “PTA systems are wrong, but other PTA members are not wrong at all”, and I agree. One of the reasons I don’t object the 本部 is that they are also doing the job “no one wants to do but someone has to do.”

    See you soon,

    Tomo



  27. YU on 2012年06月08日 at 13:38

    Hi Tomo and everyone,

    > I think we should make PTA jobs more simple so that we don’t need to waste our time

    I think so too.

    > This is one of the PTA jobs. If it is related to your children, it is also your problem, isn’t it?

    I agree with you.
    “Not my problem” sounds a bit like “I’m not interested in my children” to me.
    And if you take only the benefits(morning traffic control,etc… ) from PTA for your own children without working together with them(PTA) at all, I don’t think it is fair. That’s asking too much(ちょっと虫がよすぎ), those selfish parents may talk back, “I have never asked you my child’s patrol”, though…
    BTW, I heard from mama tomo that some fathers do PTA jobs such as “evening patrol”, so in my area PTA jobs are related to fathers too.

    See you !



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