Skip to content
mature lady enjoys squirting and anal with bbc.site suckin that dick. two hot sexy body nasty brunette sluts. phica pussy eating bathtub lovin thickred bbc stretch. xxx indian

[wpaudio url=”https://www.btbpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/The-_Busy-Myth_.mp3″ text=”The ‘Busy’ Myth”]

I think we have talked about this topic before, but it was a long time ago, and I read an article yesterday that made me think of it again.

Apparently, an Indonesian nurse tweeted that she was surprised to find that although Japanese people are never late, they never seem to manage to finish anything on time. In particular, she was talking about the culture of working late. As you will see if you read the comments on the article, the opinion of most foreign people who live and work in Japan is that Japanese people don’t see a difference between working and just “being at work.” In other words, they think that Japanese people are not really very busy at all; they just spend a lot of time at their workplace.

I think there is a belief in Japan that if you finish too quickly, you cannot be working hard. There is also the pressure of not being allowed to leave before your boss. The result is that many people mess around all day being very inefficient, and then start working properly at around four or five. They leave the office around ten, and tell everyone “I’m so busy!”

I know from experience that what the Indonesian nurse said is very true of Japanese meetings. Although they usually start on time, no one can ever say when they will finish. I think there is a belief that if the meeting is over too quickly, it means that people haven’t thought carefully enough about the topics. As a result, millions of hours are wasted every day on pointless meetings that no one wants to go to in the first place.

So what do you think? Are Japanese people really busy? Or is there just an expectation that everyone has to pretend to be busy so that others will think they are a hard worker?

By the way, Tomo’s comment on the last entry made me think about another big difference between the West and Japan. Tomo’s clinic clearly doesn’t have enough staff, and so she has to work late as a result. The difference is that if a boss said “We don’t have enough staff so you will have to work late” to someone in my country, the answer would be “The fact that you don’t have enough staff is your problem, not mine. I’m going home!” I think that Japanese companies and managers get away with murder (←check this phrase if you don’t know it) because Japanese workers feel so much responsibility to their employers. Of course, this is a good thing in many ways, but it means that workers have to suffer because managers can’t / don’t want to find extra staff.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic of being “busy.”

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

コメントを投稿するときは、名前とメールアドレス、メールアドレス欄下に表示される4文字の英数字(CAPCHA code)を入れてください。 最初のコメントは承認後の公開になりますが、2回目からはそのまま投稿できます。

※メールアドレスは公開されません。

※CAPCHA codeは時間切れになることがあります。コード右上の矢印で更新してから入力してください。

※ブログの更新のお知らせはFacebookまたはTwitterで!Facebookでは「いいね!(Like)」ボタンを、Twitterでは「フォローする(Follow)」ボタンを押して下さい。

71 Comments

  1. David Barker on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 01:02 PM

    By the way, I posted Kattie’s photos on the last entry. I will leave the comments option switched on for a few days so that you can comment on the photos if you want to.



  2. YU on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 04:41 PM

    Hi David,

    I finished translating this week’s topic so if you need it, please let me know.
    (I’m wondering if I should have posted it in that early timing last week. Do you think beginners should make effort to translate it themselves first? But, if I didn’t post it on Monday or Tuesday, they might have less time to write their comments….)



  3. David Barker on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 04:43 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for that. Please just feel free to post it as a comment. If people want to try translating it themselves, they can skip your translation and then use it later to check their own.



  4. YU on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 04:57 PM

    Hi everyone,

    今週のエントリーの和訳です。
    必要ない方はスキップしてくださいね。

    The “Busy” Myth

    I think we have talked about this topic before, but it was a long time ago, and I read an article yesterday that made me think of it again.

    前にもこの話題について話し合ったことがあったと思いますが、もうずいぶん前のことだし、昨日またそのことについて考えさせられるような記事を読んだんです。

    Apparently, an Indonesian nurse tweeted that she was surprised to find that although Japanese people are never late, they never seem to manage to finish anything on time. In particular, she was talking about the culture of working late.

    あるインドネシア人の看護師が「日本人は遅刻するわけでもないのに定時に仕事を終わらせられないみたいだということに驚いている」とツイートしたようです。特に彼女は夜遅くまで働く、という(日本人の)慣習について述べていました。

    As you will see if you read the comments on the article, the opinion of most foreign people who live and work in Japan is that Japanese people don’t see a difference between working and just “being at work.” In other words, they think that Japanese people are not really very busy at all; they just spend a lot of time at their workplace.

    記事を読めば分かると思いますが日本に住んで働いている外国人の大半は、日本人は「(本当に)仕事をすること」と「(ただ単に)職場にいる=勤務中であること」との区別がついてない、と思っています。言い換えれば、彼らは日本人はそんなに忙しい訳ではなく、ただ職場に長くいるだけに過ぎない、と思っている、ということです。

    I think there is a belief in Japan that if you finish too quickly, you cannot be working hard. There is also the pressure of not being allowed to leave before your boss. The result is that many people mess around all day being very inefficient, and then start working properly at around four or five. They leave the office around ten, and tell everyone “I’m so busy!”

    私は日本(人)には「仕事をあまりにも早く終えると一生懸命働いていないと思われる」という思い込みがあるんじゃないかと思います。それに上司より早く退社することは許されない、というプレッシャーもありますね。結果的に多くの人が一日中ダラダラと非効率的な仕事の仕方をし、午後の4時か5時くらいになって初めてやっと「本気モードで」仕事をし始めるのです。(そして)夜10時ごろ会社を出て、まわりの人たちに「あ~忙しすぎっ!」と愚痴る、といった具合です。

    I know from experience that what the Indonesian nurse said is very true of Japanese meetings. Although they usually start on time, no one can ever say when they will finish. I think there is a belief that if the meeting is over too quickly, it means that people haven’t thought carefully enough about the topics. As a result, millions of hours are wasted every day on pointless meetings that no one wants to go to in the first place.

    私の経験上、そのインドネシア人の看護師が言っていることは「日本の会議のやりかた」において(も)非常に的を射ていると思います。そのほとんどは定刻どおり始まるのに誰も何時ごろ終了するかについては皆目見当がつかない。日本人は「会議があまりに早く終わるとちゃんとその議題について十分な話し合いがなされなかったと思われる」、とでも思い込んでいるのではないでしょうか?結果としてそもそも誰も参加したくない無意味な会議に毎日何百万時間という無駄な時間が費やされています。

    So what do you think? Are Japanese people really busy? Or is there just an expectation that everyone has to pretend to be busy so that others will think they are a hard worker?

    というわけで、どう思います?日本人って本当に忙しいと思いますか?それともまわりから「仕事をきちんと頑張ってやっている」、と思われたいがために忙しい「フリ」をしなけくてはいけないだけだと思いますか?

    By the way, Tomo’s comment on the last entry made me think about another big difference between the West and Japan.

    ところで、Tomoの前のエントリーのコメントを読んで欧米と日本の違いを考えさせられました。

    Tomo’s clinic clearly doesn’t have enough staff, and so she has to work late as a result. The difference is that if a boss said “We don’t have enough staff so you will have to work late” to someone in my country, the answer would be “The fact that you don’t have enough staff is your problem, not mine. I’m going home!”

    Tomoが働いているクリニックは明らかに人手が足りない、だから彼女は遅くまで働かなくてはならない。どこが違うかというと、もし私の国で上司に「人手が足りないからあなたが残業して」と言われたら、その答えは、「人手が足りないのはそちら側(会社側)の問題(責任)でしょう?私のせいではありません。なので私は帰らせていただきます。」ということになるだろう、ということです。

    I think that Japanese companies and managers get away with murder (←check this phrase if you don’t know it) because Japanese workers feel so much responsibility to their employers. Of course, this is a good thing in many ways, but it means that workers have to suffer because managers can’t / don’t want to find extra staff.

    日本の企業や経営者たちは日本人の労働者が会社に対してものすごい義務感を持っているという性質を利用して言いたい放題、やりたい放題なんだと思います。もちろんこういった慣習にはいい面もたくさんあります。でもそれでは会社側が別のスタッフを見つけられない/見つけないから(今いる)スタッフたちが大変な目にあう、ということになってしまいます。

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic of being “busy.”

    とにかくこの「忙しい」というトピックに関してみなさんの意見を聞けるのを楽しみにしています。



  5. Anne on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 05:11 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for posting Kattie’s photos. All of them are very nice and atmosphere in each room looks cozy. I liked them! As for this week’s topic, I haven’t read the article yet, and just have had a look at the entry now, so I’d like to write something later.

    Hi Tomo,

    That’s too bad! I hope work shift is adjusted to normal and things is going well soon. Things would be tough for the time being for you and for your family,especially for your daughter. Anyway, you are lucky to have such a supportive mother. Take care!

    Hi YU,
    Wow! That’s amazing!

    Anne



  6. YU on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 06:59 PM

    Hi everyone,

    > Are Japanese people really busy?

    As the Indonesian nurse points out, I don’t think most Japanese people work efficiently. In particular, white-collor workers are often in a position to be able to adjust their work pace their “convenient leaving office time” accordingly.
    Having said that, I guess more and more companies in Japan are starting to keep an eyes out for those unnecessary overtime work of the employees to reduce labor cost.

    インドネシア人のナースが指摘しているように、私もほとんどの日本人は効率よく仕事しているとは言えないと思う。とくにホワイトカラー(事務職)の労働者たちは自分の希望の退社時間に合わせて仕事のペースを調整できる立場にある人も多いのではないか、と思います。
    とは言え、人件費削減のためにそういった不必要な残業に目を光らせ始めている企業が多くなってきているんじゃないか、と思いますが。

    And regarding to Tomo’s problems, I think “the fact that her clinic doesn’t have enough staff is their problem, not hers”, but I think I would have worked as Tomo, if I were in her situation. In my case, it is rather from selfish motives, though.

    Tomoの職場の問題については、確かに人手が足りないのは彼女のせいじゃないしクリニック側の問題だと思います。が、私も彼女の立場なら同じように働くとだろう、と思います。私の場合は打算的な理由からですが。

    I mean, I might suddenly have to take days off in the near future due to any reasons(illness, children’s matters, holidays, etc…), too. And in those cases, someone else in my office will end up working longer for me. So, it’s like, “We should help each other in times of need”. It might sound very Japanese ways of thinking, though…

    というのは、私自身もそのうちなんらかの理由で急に仕事を休むかも知れない(病気、子供のこと、休暇とか)。そういう時は逆に誰か他のスタッフが私の代わりに長く働くことになる。だから、「困ったときはお互い様」ってことです。すごく日本人的な考え方かもしれないけど。

    Having said that, Tomo has three children, so I think she’d better negotiate with her boss in person in order to hire a new staff as soon as possible.

    とは言え、Tomoは3人もお子さんがいるし、なるべく早く新しいスタッフを入れてもらえるように院長(?)に直談判した方がいいと思います。



  7. Biwa on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Hi everyone,

    The topic for this week is quite difficult for me to decide where to discuss from! I agree with some of the ideas like the never-ending meetings and the uncompensated overtimes, but I don’t think that only Japanese are working inefficiently.

    When I go somewhere abroad, I’m really surprised by the way people continue chatting with their co-workers right in front of a customer! You meet those kind of people almost everywhere like restaurants, airplanes, post offices, stores, even on taxis. I think that is never the case in Japan, and I wonder if they can finish their tasks by working that way.

    Having said that, it is true that Japanese are working too much ( or maybe just spending too much time at office) and people in other countries seem to enjoy a rich social life after work. That is quite a mystery to me.



  8. David Barker on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I agree 100%. When I go back to the UK, the thing I notice most is that people do not seem to take pride in their work the way they do in Japan. The problem is that bosses and companies abuse the goodwill of Japanese workers. I think there also needs to be a big change in the way that Japanese people think about work. As you say, people in other countries manage to be just as productive as Japanese workers while having a much better work / life balance.

    I knew a junior high school teacher in Sapporo who was one of the best teachers I ever met. She did fantastic lessons, and she also met all of her other responsibilities. The problem was that she used to leave school every day at 6 o’clock, so other teachers used to talk about her behind her back even though they had spent most of the day reading the newspaper!



  9. Kimi on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for uploading the photos. I am enjoying them.

    Hi YU,

    Thank you for translating the topic. They are very helpful to me.

    Hi everyone,

    I use to work as a sales representative for a long time. Some excellent representatives are rewarded every six months. A woman, who excels the others, doesn’t work overtime. She decided not to work overtime because she raises her children as a single mother, and every day she leaves the office finishing her work within the limited time. Her ability to concentrate and take action is much greater than the others.

    今、私は働いていませんが、以前営業として長く会社に勤めていました。半期ごとに成績優秀社員が表彰されるのですが、そのなかでも特に抜きんでていた女性は、残業をしません。シングルマザーで子供を育てていたため、絶対に残業はしないと決め、時間内に効率よく仕事を終え帰っていきます。彼女の集中力と行動力は人並み外れています。

    I watched a certain company on TV the other day. It introduced the system where working hours is cut from 8 to 6 and a salary is not changed. It seems that to make shorter working hours possible, it improved the efficiency including cutting the meeting time and doing away with a lunchtime. Now the employees finish their job at 3 and leave the office at once.

    また先日テレビで、ある会社が紹介されていました。この会社は全社員の勤務体系を1日8時間から6時間に短縮し、給料は従来通り支払う制度を導入しました。短時間勤務を実現するために、会議の時間を短縮したり昼休みを廃止するなど効率化をはかったのだそうです。今は3時に会社を終え、サクッと退社していきます。

    The point is time management. It is necessary to deal with time management at the training in order to promote their awareness about it. It would end up accomplishing for the company.

    要は時間管理の問題だと思うのです。研修など人材育成の場で時間管理について取り上げひとりひとりに意識を浸透させることが必要です。ひいては会社の利益に繋がると思うのですが。

    In Tomo’s case, we don’t consider it from the viewpoint of efficiency. I want to say “Don’t push yourself too hard”, but someone has to bear the burden because of short of hands. I would do the same thing. But still, I say “Don’t work too hard.” I hope the clinic will get some people soon.

    Tomoの場合、効率という観点で捉えることはできません。無理をしないで、と言いたいところですが、人手が足りなければ誰かにしわ寄せがきてしまいますよね。私もきっと同じことをしていると思います。でもやっぱり無理しないで。とにかく早く人手を確保してほしい。

    PS I struggled to write this comment. I think there are tons of mistakes. Thank you for reading.



  10. Biwa on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Talking about meaningless overtimes, I think, for some people, there is a kind of fear for being left out from the group. When I used to work, I sometimes had to work overtimes and all the section managers(課長) and the branch manager(支店長) were always there. At first, I thought they had a kind of responsibility and had to be there while their staffs work, but gradually, I understood that the managers were building a sort of connection with each other by talking or just hanging around in the office.

    If one of the managers had to leave early for some reason, he would tell a bunch of excuses which sounded really funny to us. Why didn’t he leave the office with just saying ” See you tomorrow”?

    These things made me think that they were just scared to be left out from the group, or they thought like if they had missed something just because they weren’t there, it would cause a great damage to their career success.

    Having said that, my husband is now the age of my bosses used to be, but I don’t think he thinks this way. He says his team really lacks staff. I’m very worried about his health these days!



  11. kattie on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    I think there was a similar working culture in the UK in the 1960s. When my dad was in his early twenties he worked at two/three large companies in Central London, he always tells me that if you wanted promotion, it was important to pretend to be busy and always try to be one of the last to go home. It was also crucial to attend every meeting, not because you wanted to discuss the business, but to stop people criticising you behind your back! In those days men weren’t really expected to do much housework, or help with the children and there were very few women working in senior positions in companies.

    Nowadays there are lots of women in senior positions and men are expected to help around the house and with the childcare, so these are perhaps some of the reasons why most people in the UK like to finish their work at a reasonable time. I also think that, unlike our parent’s generation, we now expect a certain amount of leisure time every day – we want to ‘work to live, not live to work’ – or maybe we’re a lazy bunch!



  12. Biwa on Monday October 22nd, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Hi David,

    I saw your comment right after I posted mine!
    I understand about your friend being said things behind her back. I don’t know why those kind of people(the teachers saying things) can actually become teachers and I guess this is another case of being scared to be left out of the group.



  13. Tomo on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    何だか私の名前がエントリーや皆さんのコメントに…!

    Thank you for worrying about me, YU, Anne, and Kimi.
    I’m a bit tired, but I’m OK 🙂

    As I mentioned before, the people at my clinic are all nice, and they say they are sorry that I have to work more than I was going to. My clinic doesn’t have enough staff at the moment, but I can’t blame them because I understand that they never thought the women would quit like that.

    まぁ、この状態が続くようだと困りますが、今は他にどうにもならないので。。 皆さんいい方なので「申し訳ないんだけど…」と言われたら、あっさり「嫌です」なんて言えないですよね。(欧米では言うのかな??) やっぱり私も「困ったときはお互いさま」派ですね。

    I have to work tomorrow too, so I’m off to bed.

    Good night,

    Tomo



  14. Biwa on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 07:23 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    That’s interesting…so it might take another 40 years or so to catch up. A long long way to go!

    By the way, we had “English muffins” for breakfast this morning. I wonder if you call them that way, too. It’s a kind of flat round bread with a slit, and we cut it horizontally? with a knife and toast them, and eat them with butter and marmalade. Do you sometimes have those, too?



  15. Biwa on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 07:31 AM

    Hi Kimi,

    Your story is also very interesting! I guess not a few companies are trying various things to work efficiently, and I hope other companies follow them to make a big change in the ways and attitudes toward working.



  16. amo on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 08:43 AM

    Hi Anne,

    1. I think there are often too many middle-men *involved.* (多くの中年の人が含まれている。10/16 Yu へのコメントから)

    If I memory is correct, Kattie was talking about the reason of the high cost of home-stay, so I took her words like this;
    多くの中間業者が関わっている(ので費用がかかる。)
    I am not sure though, “middle-men” in this case not 中年 but 中間業者.

    What do you think?

    Hi David,

    I was too sleepy to write a comment last night so I haven’t checked the article that you mentioned. I will have a look it tonight and write a comment later.

    Hi Kattie,

    Thanks for sharing nice pics.
    Your house is sooo lovely:) when I visit the UK, I’d like to stay your place.
    Thanks again.

    Oh it’s my stop, I am off the train.
    Have a nice day, everyone.

    amo



  17. YU on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 08:47 AM

    Hi Kimi and everyone,

    Kimi, I’m glad to be of your help!

    > It seems that to make shorter working hours possible, it improved the efficiency including cutting the meeting time and doing away with a lunchtime.

    I want to work for the company!! I still want to have a lunchtime, though!
    Joking apart, I guess more and more companies in Japan are changing their policies into this direction these days, they are still a minority, though…

    My older brother is 44, he is in a responsible position in his company. His main duties are supervising his men and taking responsibility for their failures. Actually, I was very surprised to know the fact that he usually leaves office already around 6 except for some special occasions. He told me, “Even if I work late, it does no good for the benefit of my company. Everyone will just feel obligation to stay longer than me, and the company will end up spending unneccesary labor cost.”
    When he was hospitalized last year , his colleagues told me that actually my brother is one of the most successful person among the employees in the same year. I’m not bragging about how capable he is, but what I want to say is that it doesn’t seem that his company judges employees’ ability only from “how long they stay at their office”, at least…

    By the way, it’s interesting that exactly “an Indonesian” should have tweeted like that because I know from experience that they work inefficiently, too. Generally speaking, they’re very nice people(incl. my husband!), but I never ever think that they work more efficiently than we do. Certainly, they might leave office on time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they “completed” their tasks for the day, I think!

    Hi Biwa,

    Today we’re having a “Halloween party” at my English Club for mothers and kids. Do you sometimes have such parties with your students, too?
    Last year I bought a book named “Halloween is…”
    and gave a reading of it for our kids. The book says that there’s an old English Halloween game, called “Bobbing for apples”. Have you ever heard of it? I wonder if British people today still enjoy this game, though…
    Anyway, everyone liked this book last time, and I’m going to read aloud it again today.

    Have a nice day all!



  18. YU on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 09:14 AM

    Hi Anne and Amo,

    > I am not sure though, “middle-men” in this case not 中年 but 中間業者.

    I think you are right.
    “middle-men” means 仲介業者(brokers, intermediaries).



  19. Biwa on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 09:27 AM

    Hi YU,

    Enjoy your day, YU!
    Yes, we do have a trick-or treating every year and I’m rushing to prepare these days. The students invite their friends and siblings, too, so I think nearly 80 children will be spooking around in my neighborhood. I’m going to be an Indian(native American) GIRL!(not an obasan!) this year.
    I also have the book you’ve mentioned and I read it to my students, too. I also like to scare the kids (LOL!) so I read spooky books, too. There are lots of other funny Halloween books that your students might like, such as “Skeleton Hiccups” and “In a dark, dark, house”. You can find them at a net-shop called “kids mart”. Here’s the link.
    http://www.kidsmart.jp/



  20. Anne on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Hi amo and YU,

    amo, tha~nk you for correcting my mistake! Yes, both of you are right. This kind of mistake happens to me often… I’m afraid I tend to jump the gun. By the way, if I want to say, “中年の”, it should have been “middle-aged”,right? How confusing these two words are!(Am I the only person who thinks this way?)

    Hi David and everyone,

    What the article said is true to some extent. There have been such unspoken rules that didn’t allow workers leave their offices before their bosses say”See you tomorrow!.” There is still such an atmosphere in some companies, but I assume situations have been changing little by little.

    Let me share two reasons for that:
    One is the economy is stagnant, and each company is more concerned with work efficiency; they focus on how much they can reduce overtime pay. A friend of mine who works for a bank touched on this issue the other day. She is a chief of some section(課長). According to her, she advises her subordinates how to work effectively or tells work priority. She also says they don’t need to stay at the office when their work were done.

    Another is the change of worker’s attitude toward their company. As Kattie mentioned, young people expect a certain amount of leisure time, and they don’t feel “guilty” when they leave the office earlier than their coworkers. People care much more about work and life balance.
    Do you remember a commercial about energy drink? In it, it says,”Can you work 24 hours?(24時間働けますか?)
    Here’s the link of the commercial just for the people who don’t know:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reCVRVRDTn0

    This really reflects the social condition in the bubble economy! I have to admit those hard working makes what Japan is now.

    As for the problem what Tomo has now, the story is different. I would do the same as she did,and I don’t think most of the Japanese won’t say, “It’s not my problem, but yours.” As Tomo said, “help each other in need” is the idea that Japanese bear in mind when something unusual happens at the work place. I guess it’s a kind of “しょうがない”situation,isn’t it? ( I think you don’t agree with the idea of “しょうがない” situation,David.)

    Hi Yu &Biwa,

    YU, have fun!
    Biwa, 80 Kids!? It sounds like a big event!

    I like the stories, ornaments or games concerning Halloween!

    Bye for now,

    Anne



  21. David Barker on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Hi Anne,

    I think that Tomo’s situation is a special case, and I would probably do the same as her if I were in her place. However, if the situation has not changed three months from now, and if the boss is still saying “We don’t have enough people,” I would probably change my attitude. If I feel that someone is genuinely having trouble because of something that is not their fault, I would always try to help out, but if I felt that they were just taking advantage of me in order to save money, I would tell them to get lost!



  22. Biwa on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    I’m just tweeting so just skip this if you want!

    I just found the expression “circle the odd one” in a children’s workbook. I mean, I know what this means, and it’s really a simple word that even a child would know, but I just couldn’t put it together like “stay an odd night out” like Kattie did. Also, if I’d written like “this is another case of being afraid to be the odd one”, my sentence would have sounded more natural and clearer.

    I wish I could handle those simple and short words like “meet” one’s responsibilities, as David wrote. I guess these words are the most difficult for non-native speakers, and I really learn a lot here.



  23. YU on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 02:29 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I think I’m not smart enough to understand your “tweet” above.

    “Circle the odd one out” means “仲間はずれにマルをつけなさい”, but I still can’t understand why this has something to do with Kattie’s sentence(=Sometimes our guests stay the odd night or two in other places…).
    “Odd” in “Circle the odd one out” means 半端な、余りの, and the one in “stay the odd night or two” means 臨時の、一時的な. They are used in the different meanings, I guess.
    Biwaの言いたいことがうまく理解出来ていないかもしれません。Sorry.

    By the way, we played “Halloween BINGO”, made “Jack-o’-lantern mask”, danced “The skeleton dance”, etc…, but as soon as our kids received “treats”, they stopped joining the Halloween activities and started to be absorbed in eating them!!! Sigh… 😉

    Anyway, good luck with your native American “GIRL” costume!!!



  24. YU on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 03:11 PM

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you for the link.
    The CM reminds me of the end of term test in my university days. リゲイン was a very popular energy charge drink in those days. I know, it’s originally sold for “busy Japanese business men”, but friends around me and I used to drink it during the term test period to stay up all night studying for the tests!! And thanks to リゲイン, I managed to graduate from my university without repeating the year! I love リゲイン!!



  25. Biwa on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 03:24 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for replying my odd tweet!

    I learned from my dictionary that “odd” meant “triangle” in an ancient language. I guess all the other meanings come from the same stem.
    半端なis “something not regular” and 臨時の、一時的なis “something that does not happen regularly”.
    When you put it into Japanese, they might sound different from each other, but if you build a certain image of “odd” in English, it’s quite easy to recognize both meanings, I think.

    日本語の訳だけで比較すると、一見まったく関係のない言葉のように思えますが、私なりに理解したoddという言葉のイメージから考えると、実は全部の意味の根っこは同じだな~と感じます。



  26. YU on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 03:54 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    I got it now, thank you!

    > 私なりに理解したoddという言葉のイメージから考えると、実は全部の意味の根っこは同じだな~と感じます。

    I looked it up in my English English dictionary.
    And I know exactly what you mean.

    By the way, your sentences sometimes rack my brain, but solving your “riddles” might be a good training for my aging brain!



  27. Anne on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 04:58 PM

    Hi David,

    Oh, I got it and I know you are kind, so please don’t get me wrong! I’m not meaning that the present situation at Tomo’s hospital continues for ever, but these kinds of things happen in Japan. People have to overwork, sometimes unpaid(サービス残業.) Actually,this happened at my elder son’s place. I think this is another problem in Japan, and I wonder how many people in Japan can afford to change their attitude under this situation.

    Hi YU,
    Did you used “リゲイン” to charge your energy? Katakana”リゲイン”means “regain” in English and its name conveys a strong message,right?

    Hi Biwa and YU,
    Both of your discussion about “odd” is interesting. For me, its image is “奇数 and 奇妙”, so when I first saw this in Kattie’s comment, I was not sure about its meaning. As YU mentioned, its meaning here is “occasional or random.” I guess it conveys the nuance of vague ideas or plans.
    eg.
    “I spent most of my stay in England at kattie’s house, but I spent odd night and two at the hotel in London.(イギリスではほとんどケイティの家で過ごしたのだけれど、1,2泊(いつとは言わないけれど)ロンドンのホテルに滞在したわ。)I wish I could say this way!
    By the way, I found another sentence using”odd” in a dictionary.
    ” I’m going to do odd jobs during spring vacations.”(春休みにちょっとしたバイトをするつもりです。)
    There are lots of meaning,indeed!
    ホントにたくさんの意味がありますね。

    Anne



  28. rinko on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 05:26 PM

    Hi David and everyone.

    I think it’s true that Japanese meething and conference take long time uselessly.But also it’s true that working peopele are much busier and forced to work overtime more than before because of cut-down of workers under this economic situation.As far as I experienced, I never saw anyone pretended to be busy working although there were some slow-workers.I wonder if I just didn’t notice that….
    日本の会議や打ち合わせは確かに無駄に長いことが多いですが、この不況下で人員削減をする会社が多く、働く人々の負担が増え、残業を余儀なくされているのも事実だと思います。少なくとも私がいたいくつかの会社では、仕事の遅い人はいても、忙しいふりをしている人は見たことがありませんでした。まさか気づかなかっただけなのかな・・??

    >Japanese workers feel so much responsibility to their employers.

    I think lots of people feel responsibility to their own job more than to their employers.For example,if someone neglected his/her duties at work it would trouble not only his employer but also his connections ,such as customers,clients and so on.Most of people don’t like that, I think.
    会社にというより、自分の職務に責任を重んじる人が多いように思います。自分が仕事を残すことにより、お客やクライアントなどに迷惑をかけることを嫌う。たぶんほとんどの人がそうですよね。

    Having said that,

    >but if I felt that they were just taking advantage of me in order to save money, I would tell them to get lost!

    I agree with David on this opinion.

    I actually don’t like overtime work because as I mentioned before,I’m a person who is always anxious about the time and I want anyting to go on schedule,for better or worse.So I used to leave my task until the following day and go home on time,unless it needed to be done for the day when I was working.
    My husband is completely opposite to me.Even when his work-schedule is not tight and he could go home early, he ends up working overtime for preparing things for the following day.I don’t know if he is workholic but probably he is more typical Japanese worker than me.
    私自身、良くも悪くも物事が時間通りに進まないといやなタイプで、次の日にまわせる仕事はまわして、その日中にしなければいけないことがない限り、いつも定時に帰っていました。主人は私とは全く逆のタイプです。その日の仕事に余裕があって、定時に帰れる日でも、「じゃあ、明日の準備をしてしまおう」と結局残業してきます。仕事人間なのか・・・よくわかりませんが、きっと彼のようなタイプのほうが、日本人には多いのでしょうね。

    Hi Kimi

    >I watched a certain company on TV the other day. It introduced the system where working hours is cut from 8 to 6

    I saw the TV program,too and I was really impressed by the idea and system. I remember the woman working for the company said she didn’t have to hesitate to have a child working there.
    私もその番組を見て、とても感銘を受けました。その会社で働く女性が、「働きながらも安心して子供が産める」と言っていましたよね。

    See you everyone!

    rinko



  29. YU on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 07:24 PM

    Hi Anne,

    > Did you used “リゲイン” to charge your energy?

    Yes, but some of my firends used to drink it before “clubbing”, too!

    はい。でも友達の中にはクラブで遊ぶ前に飲んでいる子もいましたよ!

    >“I spent most of my stay in England at kattie’s house, but I spent odd night and two at the hotel in London.(イギリスではほとんどケイティの家で過ごしたのだけれど、1,2泊(いつとは言わないけれど)ロンドンのホテルに滞在したわ。)I wish I could say this way!

    Indeed(!), but I have still long way to go, so I’ll try to write “simple English” like Tomo for the time being so that everyone will understand what I want to say.

    ほんとうに!でも私にはまだまだ遠い道のり。。。わたしはしばらくはみんなに私の言いたいことを理解してもらえるようにTomoのようなシンプルな英語を書くように心がけます。

    By the way, I didn’t know how to pronounce “Kattie”… Thanks!!

    ところでKattieってどう発音するのか知りませんでした。ありがとう!

    Hi rinko and everyone,

    >I think lots of people feel responsibility to their own job more than to their employers

    You might be right. As you say, most Japanese workers place great importance on their customers’ needs. In Japan CS(Customer Satisfaction) is the most important thing, but ES(Employee Satisfaction) is often slighted.
    Japanese companies often survey the opinions of their customers or clients, but they seldom ask if their employees are satisfied with their working conditions(working hours, salary, holidays, etc…)

    そうかも知れない。rinkoが言うように日本人の多くは顧客のニーズに重きを置きますよね。日本ではCS(顧客満足度)が一番大事なことですが、ES(従業員満足度)に関してはいつも脇に追いやられている気がします。日本の企業は顧客やクライアントに対してはしょっちゅう「顧客満足度調査」を行うけど、従業員に対して今の労働環境(労働時間、給料、休暇制度など)に満足しているかを調査しているってあまり聞かないですね。



  30. Biwa on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 09:20 PM

    Hi Anne,

    I’m not sure if “odd” has a random or vague nuance. I think it’s just いつもと違って。

    >“I spent most of my stay in England at kattie’s house, but I spent odd night and two at the hotel in London.(イギリスではほとんどケイティの家で過ごしたのだけれど、1,2泊(いつとは言わないけれど)ロンドンのホテルに滞在したわ。)

    滞在中、一泊はホテルに泊まったわ。

    I stayed at Kattie’s house mostly, but I stayed an odd night at a hotel in London.

    (もしくは)2泊はホテルに泊まったわ。
    ~~~~~~,but I stayed two odd nights at a hotel in London.

    というように、私は理解しました。(違ったらごめんなさい。)ケイティーがこの表現を使った時には、あるゲストの例を挙げていたので、1、2泊”an odd night or two”となっていましたが、”odd”という言葉自体には「漠然とした」ニュアンスはあまりないように思います・・・。



  31. Kimi on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Hi YU,

    I admire your brother. How cool he is to be great at his job even if he leaves the office!

    お兄さん、素晴らしいです。仕事ができて、早々と職場を後にするなんて格好いいです!

    Hi Biwa,

    If you are interested in knowing the story about the company I wrote, you can see it here. http://www.nhk.or.jp/gendai/kiroku/detail02_3261_4.html

    もし私が書いた例の会社に興味があれば、ここでチェックできます。

    Hi rinko,

    That TV program on women’s social advancement got me thinking. Although there are a lot of problems in Japan, I hope women can advance more into society.

    女性の社会進出に関するあの番組を見て、いろいろと考えさせられました。日本にはまだ多くの課題が残されていますが、女性がもっと社会進出できるようになるといいですね。

    Hi everyone,

    I mentioned about time management before and I think that women can manage time more efficiently than men. (Sorry, David!) Especially, those women who have experienced marriage or childcare are good at time keeping. They (We!?) are doing a lot of things in small pieces of time. It is said that once women quite the company on the occasion of getting married or having a child it is hard to find another job. I think that they should be highly appreciated.

    さきほど時間管理について触れたのですが、私は女性のほうが男性より時間の使い方がうまいのでは、と思っています。(ごめんなさい、David!)特に、結婚や子育てを経験した女性は時間管理能力が高いのではないでしょうか。彼女たち(いや、私たち!?)は、細切れの時間の中で様々なことをこなしています。結婚や出産を機に一度会社を辞めると再就職は難しいと言われていますが、もっと評価されるべきだと思っています。

    Thank you for reading.

    Kimi



  32. Kimi on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Hi YU,

    Sorry I made a mistake.

    >How cool he is to be great at his job even if he leaves the office!

    How cool he is to be great at his job even if he leaves the office earlier!

    earlierが抜けていました。・・・が、この文章自体、もしかして意味不明ですか? even if でいいのかどうかもわからず・・。もっと適切な言い方があれが教えてください。



  33. Anne on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Hi Yu and Biwa,

    >YU,I wish I could say this way!—I’m afraid my sentence was incorrect. I was not meaning to say about the sentence but the content. I mean,”....イギリスではロンドンにも1,2泊したわ。”(なんて言ってみたい!)
    Anyway, you are right. Tomo’s writing is so superb that everyone should learn from her including me:)
    As her name, I’m not sure how to call, so please don’t trust me.

    Biwa, ややこしいこと書いてごめんなさい。基本はYUの言うとおりoccasionalだと思います。

    >correction:
    *Did you used “リゲイン”—Did you use “リゲイン.”

    Anne



  34. Tomo on Tuesday October 23rd, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Sorry, I haven’t read the article and the comments yet. I just wanted to say that I don’t think I will be able to join you this week because one of my colleagues is down with a cold and I have to cover for her. I will read them this weekend.(if my brain is working! LOL)

    I’m going to do the laundry for tomorrow.

    See you!

    Tomo



  35. Fumie on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 05:55 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I didn’t know about the tendency of Japanese people pretending to be busy and working inefficiently because I haven’t been worked in such offices. I think this tendency is mostly apply to white-collar workers not blue-collar workers. And I think the things are getting better. As you know, more people are prioritize their own life too e.g. some men take some days off to help around the house and with the children. I want to “work to live, not live to work”, as Kattie wrote. And I hope this old, ridiculous tendency (people working inefficiently and pretending to be busy) be abolished soon.

    Hi Tomo,

    It seems things are really tough at your workplace at the moment. Please take care of yourself!

    Fumie



  36. Biwa on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 08:01 AM

    Hi Anne,

    No problem. っていうかI’m not really sure at all. Anyway, I think it’s nice to share with members what you’ve learned about a certain word/phrase. Little by little, you get to know how to use them correctly.
    By the way, I love the smell of fragrance olives, too! It’s a pity that you can enjoy it for only a limited time.

    Hi YU and everyone,

    I’m so sorry that my sentences rack your brain! I always try to write my thoughts in the simplest way, but it’s just that there is a huge gap between what I want to say and what I can say (in English). I have to be careful and thank you for letting me know, YU!

    Hi Kimi,

    Thanks for the link!
    The president of the company looks very young and I think that these people from the new generation will help people to change their attitudes toward working.

    Hi Tomo,

    Please take care of yourself! I hope you are eating and sleeping at least a little!

    Have a nice day, everyone!



  37. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 08:36 AM

    Hi Anne,

    >YU,I wish I could say this way!—I’m afraid my sentence was incorrect. I was not meaning to say about the sentence but the content. I mean,”....イギリスではロンドンにも1,2泊したわ。”(なんて言ってみたい!)

    I see. To be honest, I didn’t realize that your sentence was incorrect!! 😉

    > Tomo’s writing is so superb that everyone should learn from her including me:)

    Indeed…
    These days, I really feel that vocablary or expressions I can “handle” in practice(=active vocablary) are fa—–r less than the one I can just understand(= passive vocablary).
    自分が実際に使いこなせるボキャや表現(使用語彙/表現)は理解できるボキャや表現(理解語彙)よりはるかに少ないと実感している今日この頃です。

    Hi Kimi and everyone,

    Thank you for the interesting link, Kimi.

    Although I agree with David that there also needs to be a big change in the way that Japanese people think about “work-life balance”, I don’t think it is not that easy to find a solution, as the article says.

    日本人はワークライフバランスを考えなおす必要がある、というDavidの意見に賛成ですが、この記事にもあるようにそれはたやすい事ではないと思います。

    I don’t think Japanese companies and managers will renounce their advantages(=that they get away with murder using the responsible nature of Japanese people) so easily unless they can take some other benefits instead.

    日本の企業や経営者達は何か変わりになるような利益がない限りなかなか今のメリット(=責任感の強い日本人の性質を利用してやりたい放題なこと)を放棄する事はないだろうと思います。



  38. Biwa on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 09:37 AM

    Hi YU,

    Your right, but I think lots of employers are starting to think the other way round. That is because if they don’t try to improve their employees’ working problems, they will just end up losing their most excellent employees.



  39. Biwa on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 09:43 AM

    Sorry, “Your right” should be “You’re right”.



  40. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 01:28 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I’m so sorry that my sentences rack your brain! I always try to write my thoughts in the simplest way, but it’s just that there is a huge gap between what I want to say and what I can say (in English).

    Please don’t say sorry.
    I didn’t mean that your sentences are always comlex nor unclear, but I just wanted to say that I’m too dull to get your points sometimes.

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    > but I think lots of employers are starting to think the other way round. That is because if they don’t try to improve their employees’ working problems, they will just end up losing their most excellent employees.

    “I guess more and more companies in Japan are changing their policies into this direction these days, they are still a minority, though…”

    I wrote as above before. So I agree with you to some extent, but unfortunately they are still a minority, and they are often big companies who can afford to worry about things like that. What’s more, not all jobs need excellent skills, knowledges or educational backgrouds, and so most ordinary workers who don’t have any outstanding skills will just end up accepting their bad working conditions as they do now. So, I think what the Indonesian nurse pointed out is the reality in Japan, unfortunately.

    前のコメントで上記のように書きました。だから私もBiwaの言っていることにある程度までは賛成です。でもそういう企業ってまだまだ少数派だし、そのほとんどがそういうことまで考える余裕のある大企業だと思うんですよね。それにすべての職業、職種がすごいスキル、知識、学歴を必要としているわけではないので結局特に目立ったスキルもない普通の労働者たちは現状の悪い労働条件を呑むことになってしまうんじゃないかしら?だからインドネシア人のナースが指摘したようなことが残念ですが日本の現状だと思います。



  41. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 04:42 PM

    Hi everyone,

    This is quoted from the link Kimi posted.

    “クリスティーヌ・ラガルドさん:ここで大事なのは、企業が不利だと感じるような制度にしてはならないことです。
    社会保障費の拠出や給与に対する課税なども、釣り合いのとれたものにして、パートタイムで雇用した企業が不利になるような仕組みであってはなりません。これは極めて重要です。”

    I totally agree with her.
    In Japan employers and employees halve the social security tax so I don’t think employers like to pay the tax for the employees who can work only for short hours(5-6 hours) a day in average. That’s why Tomo’s clinic, for example, hires 6 part-timers instead of maybe 2-3 full-time employees.

    ラガルドさんの意見に賛成です。
    日本では雇用主と従業員が社会保障税を折半することになっているので雇用主側は短時間しか働けない人にそういう費用をかけたがらないと思います。だから例えばTomoの働いているクリニックも2,3人の正社員を雇うんじゃなくて6人のTomoのようなパート社員をやとっているのでしょう。

    It will be also more profitable for employers if they employ 3 people who can work 8 hours than 4 people who can work only for 6 hours. The total working hours are both 24 hours, but the former case will cost them less than the latter one because they only need to pay the tax for 3 employees wheras the latter case is for 4 people.

    それに6時間しか働けない人を4人雇うより8時間働ける人を3人雇った方が企業にとっては有益になります。どちらも総労働時間は24時間ですが後者の方がコストがかかりません。なぜなら前者が4人分の社会保障税を払う羽目になるのに対し、後者は3人分の社会保障税しか負担しなくていいということになるからです。

    The point is actually the work efficiency, not the total length of working hours, though….
    Anyway, I don’t really think that the idea of “work-life balance” will establish in Japanese society so easily unless this tax system is changed.

    でも実は大事なのは延べ労働時間じゃなくて仕事の効率なんですけどね…
    とにかくこの税制度が変わらない限り「ワークライフバランス」という概念は日本ではあまり浸透していかないような気がします。

    “長谷川氏:….時間外の労働をまずは徹底的になくすことによって、より効率的な仕事ができるようにする。
    特に日本の場合は、ホワイトカラーの生産性が非常に低いといわれています。
    それをずっと放置してきた経営者側も悪いんですけれども、そこを大幅に効率化をすることによって、まずは残業を少なくするということと……”

    As Mr.Hasegawa points out, I really wonder why comapanies and managers in Japan just have been ignoring the low productivity among white-collor workers until today. Does anyone have any ideas??

    日本の企業や経営者はなぜ今日までホワイトカラーの労働者の
    低生産性を放置してきたのかとても不思議なんですけど。誰か分かる方いますか?



  42. Biwa on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 04:50 PM

    Hi YU,

    Yeah, I kind of understand what you say is reality, but those unsatisfied workers/employees can just shift to more satisfactory workplaces. It might not be that easy to shift workplaces under this bad economy, though…
    Anyway, “excellent workers” doesn’t always mean workers with special skills or knowledges, I mean workers who take pride in their jobs and who work hard to safisfy their customers. There are always exceptions, but I guess most of the people are generally excellent workers and those are the ones who bring benefit to the employers. So I think not only the big companies but also the small companies need to look further(=try to satisfy their employees) and try not to cling on to their short-term benefits.



  43. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 05:17 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > So I think not only the big companies but also the small companies need to look further(=try to satisfy their employees) and try not to cling on to their short-term benefits.

    I don’t think it is easy to turn their attention to the medium- and long- term manpower training under this bad economy(for small companies, in particular), but I agree with your opinion all in all.

    この不況下で(目先の利益にとらわれず)中長期的な人材育成に目を向けるのはたやすいことではないと思いますが(特に小さな企業には)、でも全般的にBiwaの意見に賛成です。



  44. Kimi on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 06:53 PM

    Kimi

    Hi everyone,

    I think that the key to increase productivity is whether people work with awareness about it or not. People can improve productivity by eliminating waste and inefficiency with our ingenuity amid strict competition. Unfortunately, we Japanese have been protected under lifetime employment and the seniority system. So many employees haven’t had to consider productivity improvement. Times have certainly changed. More and more companies are taking achievement-oriented. Competition is fierce with increased globalization today. To make “work-life balance” possible, we must increase productivity by any means. I think government, companies and people should work together about it.

    生産性向上を図るには、まず意識の問題があげられます。競争という厳しい世界にさらされることで、知恵を絞って無駄を省き効率化をすすめ、結果的に生産性が向上していくのではないでしょうか。残念ながら日本はこれまで「終身雇用、年功序列」といった制度に守られてきたので、生産性云々を考えずに過ごしてきた人たちが多いのではないかと。しかし時代は変わり、今は成果主義を唱える企業が増えています。また、グローバル化が進み、さらに競争に拍車がかかっています。「ワークライフバランス」を実現させるためには、否が応でも生産性を向上させるしかありません。国、企業、国民が一体となって取り組むべき問題だと思います。

    Kimi



  45. Kimi on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 06:55 PM

    Sorry, I wrote my name on top.



  46. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 08:08 PM

    Hi Kimi and everyone,

    The article you posted intoroduces how the “work-life balance” works in Netherlands. And it says that when the working hours are shortened, the productivity increases naturally.
    It also says that the society and employers need to treat part-time workers and full-time workers eaually(e.g. post, social secrity, etc…) to realize “work-life balance”.

    Kimiが貼ってくれた記事はオランダではどのように「ワークライフバランスが」機能しているかについて紹介していますよね。そこには労働時間が短縮されると自然と生産性が向上する、と書いてあります。
    また、「ワークライフバランス」を実現させるには社会や企業が短時間労働者と正社員を平等に扱う必要がある、とも書いています(例えば社内での地位、社会保障など)。

    As all of you might know, more and more companies in Japan are hiring temps because they are very convenient for employers. I mean, temp agencies pay the social security tax and the company can stop the contract anytime they like.

    皆さんもご存知のように日本ではこのところ派遣社員を使う企業がどんどん増えています。なぜなら彼らは雇用する側にとってとても便利だからです。社会保障費は派遣会社が持ってくれるし、要らなくなればいつでも契約を打ち切れる。

    So, I’m a bit skeptical if Japanese companies would really think over the realization of “work-life balance” seriously. For them it is much easier to hire temps. They are usually good at the job and work efficiently(of course, there are always exceptions, though!) because their working hours are normally fixed.

    だから、日本の企業が本当に真剣に「ワークライフバランス」について考慮するかに関しては私はちょっと懐疑的です。彼らにとってみれば派遣社員を雇う方がずっと簡単だからです。彼ら(派遣社員)はその職種に長けているし、労働時間があらかじめ定められているから効率的に働くし。



  47. Biwa on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Hi Kimi, YU and everyone,

    >To make “work-life balance” possible, we must increase productivity by any means. I think government, companies and people should work together about it.

    I agree with you, KImi.

    >It will be also more profitable for employers if they employ 3 people who can work 8 hours than 4 people who can work only for 6 hours. The total working hours are both 24 hours, but the former case will cost them less than the latter one because they only need to pay the tax for 3 employees wheras the latter case is for 4 people.

    YU, I didn’t know about this. I thought the employers pay tax according to the employees’ working hours. If they have to pay according to the number of the people they hire, this is definitely not fair to the employers.

    >I’m a bit skeptical if Japanese companies would really think over the realization of “work-life balance” seriously.

    I still think that if the workplace is not attractive for the workers, even the temps will just go away to more attractive companies.

    As Kimi said, I think we have to think from three ways(government, companies and people).
    The government should try to improve the legal system(like the one YU mentioned above), and the companies should try to improve the workers’ labor conditions not to lose the manpower, and people should try to increase productivity.

    I read some of the older comments which was written by a careworker. He said that his job was very tough both physically and menatally because of the bad working conditions. I think that these jobs are one of the most needed these days, and their employers should try very hard to improve their working conditions unless they will just lose their precious manpower.
    I know it’s not easy, and there are lots of dilemmas, but I think we really have to think about this.



  48. YU on Wednesday October 24th, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    >YU, I didn’t know about this. I thought the employers pay tax according to the employees’ working hours. If they have to pay according to the number of the people they hire, this is definitely not fair to the employers

    Of course, the amount of the tax that employer needs to pay differs depending on how much the employee earns.
    However, as you know, employers don’t need to pay those social security tax at all as long as their employees work within the working days/hours specified by laws as follows ;

    unemployment insurance : under 20 hours/week
    health insurance and employee’s pension : under 3/4 of full-time workers

    もちろん雇用主の払う社会保障税はその従業員が稼いでいる額によって違ってきます。
    でも、知っていると思いますが、下記のような法で定められた範囲内の労働時間/日数の範囲内で働いている限り、雇用主側に社会保障費を払う義務は生じません。というかその従業員は社会保障の対象になりません。
     雇用保険 : 週20時間以内
     健康保険・厚生年金 : 正社員の3/4以内の労働日数、時間

    今はこんな経済状況なので企業はどこもこの社会保障税費用をいかに抑えるかに必死です。

    As the article says, that is why companies in Japan expect full-time workers to work hard and longer so that they don’t need to employ extra staffs.

    企業側は社会保障税を折半する代わり正規社員には
    目一杯働いてもらわないと元が取れないんじゃないですか、記事にも書いてあるように。それにオランダのようにそう簡単に短時間労働者(でも社会保障対象者)を自前で雇い入れると結局新たに人を雇わないといけなくなるし。そんなことするなら少々時給が高くても雇用費用ゼロの派遣社員を使う方がお得、というわけです。私も理想はwork to liveが可能な社会の実現ですが現実の経営の世界ははそんなに甘くないと思います。KimiとBiwaの言うようにまず環境から整備しないと何も始まりませんよね。

    Good night!



  49. Fumie on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 06:44 AM

    Hi everyone,

    If you are interested, here is a link of the definition of “odd”.
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/odd

    Hi YU,

    Thank you for the explanation of management situation of Japanese companies. I’m not good at economics.

    Fumie



  50. YU on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 08:11 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > I think that these jobs are one of the most needed these days, and their employers should try very hard to improve their working conditions unless they will just lose their precious manpower. I know it’s not easy, and there are lots of dilemmas, but I think we really have to think about this.

    I totally agree with you!
    Do you know that the nursing care compensation system has been changed this year? Everyone had thought that nursing care homes(?) would receive more money with the change, and care workers’ working conditions would be improved, but it was again just another tricky reform by our government, and the working conditions in most nursing care facilities got even worse after the reform!!

    本当に!今年4月介護報酬の改定が行われたの知ってますか?(私は最近NHKのドキュメントを観て知りました)
    介護事業に従事する人たちの誰もがこの改革によって施設の収入が増え、介護している人たちの労働条件も改善されると期待しました。が、結果的にはまたまた政府の子供だまし的な改革に過ぎませんでした。そしてほとんどの施設では労働条件が改善されるどころか更に悪化する事態になってしまっています!

    If you are interested, here is a link ;

    http://www.hhk.jp/kenko-telservice/2012/1004-091314.php



  51. Biwa on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 08:14 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    Thanks for the link. With lots of examples, this is very useful. I’m going to add it to my list.

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for the explanation. I’m really bad at these things.
    It seems that this rule meet both the temps and the employers needs. A temp who wants to work wihout so much responsibility ( like they can quit any time without feeling too much guilty), and the employers are somewhat protected (don’t have to take the risk of paying tax for a temp that can quit any time).

    I think, this kind of tax loophole(抜け道)is always unavoidable, especially under the bad economy, but yes, I agree with you that we have to rethink about these things, too.

    Also, I hope Tomo knows these things(余計なお世話かもしれませんが・・・・), and would like to hear from other members who might be working as a temp.



  52. Biwa on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 08:17 AM

    Hi YU,

    I saw your comment right after I posted mine!
    I’ll take a look into the link later. Thanks always!



  53. YU on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 08:48 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    Just one more thing.
    In Japan, employers usually spend not only social security premium or training education, but also many kinds of welfare programs(福利厚生費) of their own, such as bonus, retirement money, 住宅手当, 役職手当, 家族手当, etc… for their full-time workers. It means that employing one full-time worker really costs much!



  54. YU on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 02:35 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    >How cool he is to be great at his job even if he leaves the office earlier!
    仕事ができて、早々と職場を後にするなんて格好いいです!

    earlierが抜けていました。・・・が、この文章自体、もしかして意味不明ですか? even if でいいのかどうかもわからず・・。もっと適切な言い方があれが教えてください。

    even ifは「たとえ~だとしても/~しても」の意味なのでちょっと違うと思います。
    で、全く自信はないですが、こんなのどうですか?

    “It’s amazing that he should know how to get the job done and even leave the offfice earlier than his men!”

    It’s amazing that he should…. ….なんてすごい!
    know how to get the job done 仕事ができる
    even しかも
    his men (彼の)部下たち

    もっと他にいい言い方があると思いますがとりあえず。



  55. YU on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 03:09 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Ishihara announced to resign his post just now.
    Appalently, he’s going to form a new political party.
    The day has finally arrived….



  56. Biwa on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 04:22 PM

    Hi YU,

    Yeah, and he’s 80 years old. I think he’s old enough to retire!

    Thanks for the link. Sigh…..
    People just do these meaningless reforms instead of solving the fundamental issues just because they don’t have any good ideas. I think the problems in this area needs to be considered seriously and as soon as possible. The front line staff always get hit badly. It’s really easy to understand why many careworkers with lots of goodwill just quit their job.



  57. Biwa on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 05:12 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I wonder if there is a phrase in English that expresses 「車の両輪」exactly.
    I know by experience that a person who can organize his/her work well tends to be a very attractive person who enjoys his/her private life. Also, when your praivate life is a satisfactory one, you can also work efficiently and energetically. So, I guess you can say work and private life affects each other mutually, but is there a more natural way to say this? May I ask you, David?



  58. David Barker on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 05:46 PM

    Sorry Biwa, I don’t know that expression.

    Does anyone else know?



  59. Biwa on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 08:47 PM

    Thanks for replying, David.

    I found some phrases on the net-dictionary. Do you use these in real conversation?

    “a pair of wheels”, “be inseparable”, “be closely connected with each other”, “be great help to each other”

    I was imagining something like “the sun and the moon” (LOL!) I guess, “be inseparable” is the closest to the Japanese nuance. Thanks anyway.



  60. Kimi on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thank you for your suggestion.

    >It’s amazing that he should…. ….なんてすごい!

    I have a question. Why is “should” used ? I’m afraid I don’t understand the usage of auxiliary verb so much.

    質問があります。なぜshouldが使われているのでしょうか?すみません、助動詞の用法がいまいち理解できていないようです。

    Catching up to your exchanges takes me a good amount of time. So your English and Japanese are very helpful to me. They can help me understand your comments and I can learn a lot of new expressions from them. Thank you!

    皆さんのやり取りに追いつくのに時間がかかっています。そんなか英語と日本語の併記は私にとっては大変有益です。理解の助けになり、また新しい表現をたくさん学ぶことができます。ありがとうございます。

    Anyway, you can’t take your eyes off politics more than before.

    ところで、ますます政局から目が離せなくなりましたね。

    Hi Biwa,

    You are an English teacher for children, aren’t you? No wonder your English is sophisticated. I want to learn more from your comments.

    子供に英語を教えられているのですよね?どおりで英語が洗練されているんですね。いろいろ学ばせていただきます。

    Kimi



  61. YU on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    >I have a question. Why is “should” used ? I’m afraid I don’t understand the usage of auxiliary verb so much.
    質問があります。なぜshouldが使われているのでしょうか?すみません、助動詞の用法がいまいち理解できていないようです。

    shouldの用法の中に
    It is/I am…. should that…..で驚き、意外、怒りなどの感情を表す、というのがあります。日本語だと「…なんて/…とは」という感じです。

    例)
    It is lucky that the weather should be so nice.
    (天気がこんなにいいなんてついている)

    I’m surprised that she should have done such a thing.
    (彼女がそんなことをしでかすなんて驚きです)

    It’s a pity that you should have to leave.
    (あなたが行ってしまわなければならないのは残念です)

    おそらくどの辞書にもこの用法は載っていると思うのでチェックしてみてください。
    (ちなみについ最近これと同じ質問をBiwaがしてDavidが回答してくれています。どのエントリーだったか忘れましが。。。)

    では!



  62. YU on Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Hi Kimi,

    > It’s a pity that you should have to leave.
    (あなたが行ってしまわなければならないのは残念です)

    …行ってしまわなければならない「とは」残念です

    の間違いでした。Sorry!



  63. Kimi on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Hi YU,

    I got it!
    Thank you for answering my question in your busy schedule.

    Good night.



  64. amo on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    >There is also the pressure of not being allowed to leave before your boss.

    Actually, I don’t like people who just spend a lot of time at their workplace, so I don’t allow my staff to work unnecessary overtime. Although having said that, I used to work late before, but I never forced my staff to work late, so they usually left the office earlier than me. Of course I asked them to work late sometimes. After going through a tough situation a couple years ago, I decided not to work late anymore, since then I also try to take paid leaves regularly. Sorry I am getting off the track. Anyway, in this respect I have good staff because they really don’t like overtime.

    >Are Japanese people really busy?

    I think some are busy and some are not. One of my sisters are very busy, and I don’t think that she just pretends to be busy because she always has to work hard to meet deadlines.

    >Or is there just an expectation that everyone has to pretend to be busy so that others will think they are a hard worker?

    I can’t believe this. As I mentioned above, I don’t allow my staff to work unnecessary overtime so this kind of thing won’t happen to my section. If this true, there are so many stupid people in this country lol

    I had a look at the article and read some comments. To tell the truth, I was a bit of shock to know that there are so many people who think that Japanese people don’t work efficiently.

    Hi Anne,

    >amo, tha~nk you for correcting my mistake!
    Not at all 🙂

    amo

    PS. correction

    If I memory is correct,
    >If my memory is correct,



  65. Fumie on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 05:19 AM

    Hi David,

    This is not relevant to the topic.
    I finished reading “Born to Run”. Let me write my impression. I found out that my idea(knowledge) of what is good for running was completely wrong.
    The more expensive shoes are, the worse it would be for feet. And it made me want to run barefoot after reading this book. But only on safe (clean) ground without pebbles, broken glasses and dogs’ poops like school playground in my case.
    I first tried to read original one(English One)but I gave up in some point because it’s too difficult for me. And I started to read Japanese version. Actually until about the half of it, I didn’t feel much interested, but after about the half it become very interested. What I learned in the book was full of surprised.

    トピックとは関係ありませんが、”Born to Run” を読んだので感想を書かせて下さい。この本を読んで、私がこれまで走るのに良いと思ってきたことが全く違っていたことを知りました。靴が高価であればあるほど、足にダメージを与えてしまう。確かに読んだ後、はだしで走りたくなりました。だけど危険な物や汚い物のない学校のグラウンドなどならですが。
    初めは原書に挑戦したのですが、難しすぎて途中であきらめて、日本語で読み始めましたが、半分ぐらいまではあまり面白いと思えませんでした。ところが後半あたりからすごく面白くなってきました。目からうろこの連続でした。

    Fumie



  66. Biwa on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 07:34 AM

    Hi David,

    My previous comment seems to be a bit different from what I wanted to say. Can I rewrite it?

    「車の両輪」means “a pair of wheels” directly , and it includes all the meanings written above. Does the phrase in English include all those meanings, too? Does everyone get it when I use it like “Work and private life are like a pair of wheels”?

    Hi Kimi,

    Thanks for your compliments! As YU said, I asked the same question to David before. (みんな同じところに疑問を持つのですね!前にTomoも同じ質問をしたとのことでした。)The name of the entry is “The part where…” and David’s answer was posted on Oct.2. (Since there’s so many comments, I think it’s easier to find David’s because his name is written in blue.)

    Hi amo,

    >To tell the truth, I was a bit of shock to know that there are so many people who think that Japanese people don’t work efficiently.

    I agree! Actually, I was thinking the other way round, especially for the people like sales clerks and waiters/waitresses you meet abroad.



  67. Biwa on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 07:37 AM

    Hi KImi,

    Sorry, “Since there are so many comments…” is correct.



  68. Anne on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 08:30 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    Oh,did you? That’s great! Same as you, I started reading the English one, and gave up reading after reading a third of it. I wasn’t enjoying at all, and it was difficult for me,too. Some parts of the book I’ve read so far are about situations and people concerning Tarahumara Indians of Mexico.

    読み終えましたか? それは素晴らしい! 私も同じように英語バージョンで読み始めたんですが、3分の1読んだところであきらめました。  楽しめなかったし、私にとっても難しかったです。 これまでの読んだところは、メキシコのタラウマラ族にかかわる状況であったり、人々についてです。

    >. Actually until about the half of it, I didn’t feel much interested, but after about the half it become very interested. What I learned in the book was full of surprised.—You found it interesting after half of it? Oh, I should have been patient until I go that far. I’ll start reading again from where I stopped. Thanks for letting me know about it. By the way, I have to wait a month to read the Japanese version because two people are ahead of me on the waiting list at the library.

    半分過ぎたあたりから面白くなったんですか?  あ~そこまでたどり着くまで我慢しなくちゃいけなかったですね。  やめたところから、もう一度読み始めることにしましょう。  教えてくれてありがとう。  ところで、日本語版については図書館の予約リストに私の前に2人いるので、あと1月ぐらい待たなくちゃいけないと思います。

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for letting us know lots of information!
    By the way,you(in general) can’t take your eyes away from the politics,don’t you?

    See you soon,

    Anne



  69. amo on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 08:58 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    >I agree! Actually, I was thinking the other way round, especially for the people like sales clerks and waiters/waitresses you meet abroad.

    I was wondering that too! I was going to write about it last night but it was already too late so I didn’t . When I went abroad, I often met people who weren’t interested in their work. Especialy shop clarks, they keep talking with each others and also it seemed like they didn’t want to be bothered by customers.

    I got to go,
    amo



  70. YU on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 08:59 AM

    Hi amo and everyone,

    > I think some are busy and some are not.

    Very true! Some are really busy like your sister, but I guess some are just wily.
    I knew a coworker who always worked inefficiently by design to work overtime so that she would be able to earn more. As you know, you get paid for overtime work(usually!) unless you are a management level employee or higher. So, I suspect that some are just pretending to be busy for “money” like her.
    That is why I wrote in my first comment on this topic as follows ;

    > In particular, white-collor workers are often in a position to be able to adjust their work pace their “convenient leaving office time” accordingly.

    本当にそうですね。amoのお姉さん(妹さん?)のように本当に忙しい人もいればただずる賢いだけの人もいると思います。
    元同僚の女性でわざとダラダラ仕事をして残業している人がいました。そうすれば稼げますから。
    みなさんご存知のように中間管理職以下なら残業手当が支払われますからね(普通は、ですけど!)。だから彼女のように「お金のために」忙しいフリをしている人も中にはいると思うんです。だからこのエントリーの最初のコメントで以下のように書いたのです。

    Hi Anne,

    > By the way,you(in general) can’t take your eyes away from the politics,don’t you?

    As I mentioned before, I didn’t used to be interested in politics very much, but thanks to the “interesting” politicians like Ishihara or Hashimoto, I started to get interested in politics more and more these days! 😉



  71. YU on Friday October 26th, 2012 at 09:34 AM

    By the way, the company I worked for before giving birth had the annual-salary system.
    I’m not sure because of it or not, most of the employees tried to avoid working overtime as much as possible and left the office aroud 7 at latest.

    ところで私が出産前に働いていた会社は年俸制でした。
    そのせいかどうかは分かりませんがほとんどの社員たちはなるべく残業にならないように努力して遅くても7時くらいには帰宅していましたよ。

    So, if you were garanteed to get payed as the same amount of the saraly as you get now, people would probably work much more efficiently within the limited working hours like the model company’s employees in the article Kimi posted.

    だからもし今もらっているのと同額の給料が保証されればみんな限られた労働時間内で効率的に働くようになるんではないでしょうか、Kimiが紹介してくれた記事の中の日本の企業のように。



pornomiete.com kambikuttan porn