Gaijin Smash

Sour Apples – Part III

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on November 4, 2008

Looking back on it, it seems like I’d worked for an entirely different company. I loved my job, liked all (or most…) of my coworkers, I’d just gotten a raise, and got to call myself the “English Division Director” as well. How could things possibly have gone so sour from here? It all started with A-san’s untimely departure from the company, sometime in late January/early February.
One day, not long after A-san had arrived at work, the company president called her out for a one-on-one talk. Maybe 10 minutes later or so, we could all hear the president’s voice as he screamed something out in anger at her. It was such a sudden and short outburst that we had no idea what he’d said. We only knew that it was an angry yell. A-san returned from the “meeting” a few minutes later, and perhaps an hour after that, quietly informed me that she’d be quitting in two weeks. Later, she told me about what had happened during that meeting.
During a company drinking party a week or so earlier, apparently A-san had made some kind of off-hand joke. Although I was at that drinking party, admittedly I don’t remember much about it. Anyway, after that, a new hire joined the company – a Chinese college student who was studying in Japan and would do part-time translation work for the company. The president went around doing individual introductions – when it came time for A-san’s introduction, he repeated the joke that she’d said at the drinking party. A-san wasn’t too happy about this, but instead of making a scene on the spot, she e-mailed the president later and asked if she could talk with him privately, which became that fateful meeting. She said that she didn’t appreciate using the joke like that – its something she’d said after work in the company of friends and with a little alcohol present – she certainly didn’t want it to be someone’s first impression of her during work hours. The president’s response was along the lines of “But, you said it. That’s the kind of person you are. I’m not wrong.” He then revealed the fact that he knew she’d been to a job interview lately. “Going to an interview means you plan to quit right? So tell me when your last working day is.” A-san hadn’t planned to quit, but being cornered like that, she felt like she had no choice but to give her two-weeks notice. The president then berated her for her working habits – coming to work at 10AM and leaving around 3:30-4PM, saying that he was a great guy and had it been any other company, she would have been long since fired.

The incident left a sour taste in my mouth for a multitude of reasons. Aside from A-san being completely right about the inappropriate use of the joke, she hadn’t been planning to quit at all. As for the job interview, she’d seen a job posting that caught her eye, sent in her resume on a whim, and was called for an interview. It didn’t mean she was secretly plotting to leave the company. To this date, it remains somewhat a mystery as to how the president found out about this interview. It also irked me that A-san was being called out on her working habits – specifically, leaving early – when these are the very conditions that were agreed upon when she started working. As the mother of two young girls, she should not be expected to stay and work late at the cost of raising her children. Before the drinking party even, the president and my supervisor had called me out privately to talk about my working condition when I was still doing the insane amounts of overtime – they began to ask about A-san and if she was really working or not. They seemed to want to blame my being overworked on her leaving early. I tried to stress that she was doing everything she could and without her the English “team” would have really been in hot water. They didn’t seem to believe me though, and this incident only served as proof.
However, the more pressing concern was the state of the English Team. With the hire of the Australian guy in February (let’s call him…I dunno, Curly), it felt like we’d finally established a true team, but A-san’s departure was going to set us back again. Curly was going to be of a tremendous help both to the company and to me, but as a new hire I didn’t expect him to be able to smoothly take over the jobs A-san had done for the past few years right off the bat. Luckily, the volume of work wasn’t as bad now, but we were still going to be terribly understaffed.
So I thought, but within 2-3 days of A-san’s announcement that she was going to quit (forcibly…), the president and my supervisor told me that they’d found a replacement. A Japanese girl, who was married to an Australian guy and had, by their accounts, superb English. I was happy that the English Team was going back up to 3 members, but the president and my supervisor seemed almost too happy about it. The president was nearly patting himself on the back for finding a replacement so soon, and the attitude between both of them was that this was the ideal situation. While having another native speaker and a Japanese girl with strong English abilities was indeed a good set-up, I couldn’t forget about A-san’s situation so easily.
The Japanese girl came into the company, and as they’d said, she did indeed have superb English. So much so, that she could call me “pussywhipped” when in one conversation I described my duties around the house. Much like Ms. Americanized, she had a way of just shocking us with statements that, perhaps if they weren’t coming from a Japanese girl, would be regarded as somewhat normal, but given the context, only serve to blow one socks right off their feet. Once, when the three of us as the English Team went out for some after-work drinks, me and Curly were talking about some of the girls (er, women) around the office and sort of ranking them, as many men are prone to do (yes, ladies – if you work somewhere where there’s men, you have been ranked at some point in time. And don’t pretend like you haven’t ranked us guys either…), this girl brings up one of the female Chinese college students who happens to be very well endowed, and just casually said “I’d go to bed with her!” After recovering, I had to teach her the proper terminology, “I’d hit it.” It’s tempting to want to call her Ms. Americanized 3, but as I understand it, she gets most of her casual English from her husband who is Australian, so that name doesn’t work. I’m just going to call her Ms. Shocker, because even after years of living in this country and teaching junior high school kids, even though I thought I’d heard everything she never failed to floor me a few times with something completely new.
Ms. Shocker though, told me something somewhat disturbing, and not in a good way. She said that she’d sent in her resume to the company in November, and as she hadn’t heard anything, she assumed she didn’t get the job. …November! If you will recall, it was late November/early December when the workload increased and I had to work a lot of overtime just to keep my head above water. November! Even if she couldn’t do translation, I can think of a bajillion other things she could have done which would have helped out tremendously. Why now? Why did it take A-san’s untimely departure for them to finally hire Ms. Shocker? This would be my first indication of the company’s human resources policy – rather than hire enough people to do the job, understaff and expect the workers to work long hours to cover the staffing deficiencies.
As its still a somewhat small company, it would be understandable if they just didn’t have the financial resources to bring in new people. However, that didn’t seem to be the case. Even though many other departments were still understaffed, new people were brought into the company for brand new divisions – divisions the president wanted to start. While not bad ideas, why not work on solidifying the current divisions before going off to add new ones? At the time, we only had one computer programmer – for a company whose business is online retail, one would think that having a sufficient team of computer programmers would be a priority, but it was not. Also, the president announced that he was starting up an izakaya-style drinking bar – again, something of his own plans. Ignoring all the startup costs associated with that, it was hard not to think that all the time and energy devoted into getting this drinking place off the ground – especially considering the salaries of part-time workers to work there – could have been better spent making our company better, including hiring new workers on our end.
That would become a very common complaint with the president over the next few months – that he just did whatever he wanted, which often meant leaving current plans in a half-assed state in order to go start a new project. Right before I quit, he went and bought a company dog. He’d announced that he wanted to raise a dog and/or cat at the company back in December – and keep a blog about the pet’s growth. The announcement was met lukewarmly at best, with most people giving an “are you serious?” reply of “Eh?” Despite this, he went out and got the dog this past August anyway. He didn’t ask if anyone had allergies or phobias of dogs, and no thought or planning was put into who would actually take care of the dog during work hours, or about the potential nuisance having a dog barking and running about an office would be.
If this were the only problem, it might have been manageable.
The incident with A-san, as it would turn out, was only the first of many to come.
Over the next half-year, many people would have incidents of their own – with many people quitting the company, and those who didn’t quit stayed on bitterly until they could be in a position to quit. By the time I left the company, looking around the office, there were only a handful of people who’d been there longer than me – and I’d only worked there for a year and a half. The turnover rate was astounding, to say the least.
In April, one Japanese lady’s father died. She asked for time off to grieve and make funeral arrangements. The president asked her to produce proof that her father had indeed actually died. …I can’t imagine the bad taste it would leave in one’s mouth to be required to prove that your father died in order to take time off from work. The lady’s contract just happened to be ending later that month – although she had been planning to renew, very understandably she decided to let her contract end there.
One girl decided to quit her job in order to go back to college and pursue her studies. However, she offered to continue to work for the company on a part-time basis. I’m not sure of how this came about, but at some point during the talks of how they would work this out, the president told her “You’re not worth the 900 yen (part time salary)”. Needless to say, she left the company and never looked back.
One day, the president calls the Korean guy out and asks him why he doesn’t do more overtime. The Korean Team pretty much had no reason to do overtime whatsoever – they were getting everything done on time, early even. But for this guy, he especially had good reason to want to go home – he had a Japanese wife and a newborn baby (only about 1 year old at this point) back home. He told the president that, of course, he wanted to go home and see his daughter and help out his wife. The president’s response was “You know, babies don’t actually remember anything until they’re about 3 years old, so its okay if you are not there.”
Our sole computer programmer was also accused of not doing enough overtime. Which was odd, because he was – although his work time “officially” ends at 6:30, he left the company around 8:30 to 9PM, sometimes as late as 10PM. He was also getting everything done that was asked of him, which was especially remarkable considering he was the only computer programmer for an online retail website.
A Chinese college student was sent to China for an overseas business trip. As the trip covered the weekend and a holiday day, she is supposed to receive vacation time to compensate for having to work on weekends/holidays. The president didn’t give her enough compensation vacation to cover all the days of the business trip. After having a talk about it, he finally did give her her vacation days, but did so bitterly, adding that since it was her home country she probably enjoyed herself and saw friends and ate good food, so that shouldn’t be considered a work day.
I’m sure there were more incidents that I’ve forgotten, or wasn’t included in the gossip loop on. All of these people are good people and hard-workers, so it was very disheartening to see them treated this way. Even if the president remained friendly and jovial with me, I found it difficult to be friendly with him, knowing he’d said and done these things to good people whom I considered to be friends. More than that, I couldn’t help but to wonder if these things were happening to the people around me…when would it start happening to me?
Unfortunately, that answer would come sooner than I’d hoped.


57 Responses

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  1. netta said, on November 4, 2008 at 12:24 am

    wow reading this whole story is like an epic saga
    now I get your comments to people telling them “dont be discouraged, working conditions in Japan aren’t all like this” because this does seem pretty special
    Don’t worry, what alwas goes around, comes around

  2. Philip said, on November 4, 2008 at 12:43 am

    What. an. asshole.

  3. Templeton Bullocks said, on November 4, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Truly, douche-bag presidents with horrendous ethics is a universal thing.

  4. mike said, on November 4, 2008 at 12:57 am

    …heh thats some BS. Makes me much less hopefull about what im gonna do after JET…

  5. Brian said, on November 4, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Wow man, that’s crazy @_@ i can’t wait to hear more but i’m dreading it too. can’t be pretty
    i hope the company i would work for once i’m done with JET won’t be like that.

  6. Mike said, on November 4, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Sounds like it’s time for gaijin smashing.
    And it’s kind of shocking to see how badly the president of a professional company is. We americans especially need better translation of products…
    But good luck on finding another job, and there is news that sf state is getting blaz blue if ur ever back.

  7. VanessafromCanada said, on November 4, 2008 at 1:52 am

    Wow, what a dick.
    I totally know where you are coming from Az. I worked under an asshole supervisor for a year. You know the type, takes credit for your work, bad-mouths you to the boss (so you don’t move up), and blames you for their mistakes.
    I quit that job to go to University, but not before I proved myself to the boss who offered to give me a great recommendation anywhere.
    Point is, even though it seems tough now, in the long run, you probably made the best decision to leave. Change isn’t something to be feared, think of it as an opportunity for bigger and better things =)
    Hope you got your last paycheck from that jerk!!

  8. Derek said, on November 4, 2008 at 1:53 am

    I’m glad you decided to post the story. It’s been killing me wondering what the hell happened. I’m really bummed for you – you got the break you needed and were getting going in a good job and then it all turned to crap 😦
    I really hope your able to find an awesome job.

  9. Xak said, on November 4, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Just wow. I can’t believe anyone can think it’s okay to treat their workers like that. And I think of how much it stinks that my husband will only get a few days with the new baby (unpaid), but at least he doesn’t work overtime like that, that’s awful.

  10. Andrew said, on November 4, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Nice post Az. I really appreciate the way you include the nuances of this job and the people you work with. You manage to, in relatively few sentences, convey that the people you are talking about are complex humans, as opposed to punchlines or caricatures. Also, you do an excellent job explaining the details of your situation logically and coherently so that it’s not a struggle to track characters and events. Well done.
    And of course, congratulations on the wedding and good luck with your literary aspirations.

  11. Kakui Kujira said, on November 4, 2008 at 2:41 am

    I think I may know how the president found out about A san’s job interview.
    When I had my job interview for my current (non-teaching) job, they asked me what sort of contract I had with my current employer. I said none at all, I just worked the classes they sent me to. They asked me if I was sure. I said yes, I would remember signing a contract. The interview was a few hours long and was with half a dozen or so suits. The contract question kept coming up.
    One of the US chaps already working here said that Japanese companies are very careful not to be seen as interfering with a contract. It’s considered bad for everyone. They only stopped asked me about it when I said they could either call the company or I’d get the company to call them.
    So I think the company A san had the interview with checked with your old company.
    Privacy concerns seem to be almost entirely no existent. When a cyclist collided with my on the footpath, my then-wife walked straight into the doctor after he saw the cyclist. The doctor, with only my then-wife saying what had happened, quite happily show her the X-ray and other files.

  12. Chief said, on November 4, 2008 at 2:47 am

    That is a terrible president of a company. I’m surprised he is still in business at all with that kind of business ethic and practice. I figured it would cost more to pay for overtime than to have sufficient amounts of people on staff. Guess overtime and harassment laws are different in japan huh?
    Reading these posts make me think that you should probably submit it to a local newspaper or news channel. Get people who are likely to apply there to be informed of the dickery that goes on.
    If anything it may help your literary aspirations.
    I’ll be rootin’ for you to get your damn paycheck from that sumbitch. Show em a good ol’ Gaijin smash for the rest of us in the states!

  13. Prab said, on November 4, 2008 at 2:50 am

    What the feck?! This sounds really awful! Strange that this change in the boss took place after you worked there for a year and half. That means that that guy was pretty reasonable and okay in the beginning, right? Well, whatever changed his attitude and behavior, it’s not up to the workers to care for their bosses mental health. But if he goes crazy – like this one surely has – the poor workers have to take all the bullshit. Really sucks man…
    Can’t wait to read the rest of the story.
    All the best for finding a new job, Az!
    Greetz from Vienna, Austria

  14. Jazzorion said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:14 am

    Okay. What a jerk. It’s a good thing I wasn’t working there or I might not have been able to keep my composure nearly as long as you did. I think I’m gonna be dreaming tonight about going to japan and Gaijin punching this guy in the face (though in real life I wouldn’t do that, probably just tell him to his face what an idiot he is).

  15. Yamine said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Welcome to the jungle… This type of working environment is very common in fact.

  16. toorisugari said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Apparently this company is one of those “burakku kigyou” which should be avoided by the job-seeking college students.

  17. Justin said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:57 am

    I know you didn’t want to post this story. But don’t you feel much better getting it off your chest?
    Too bad you can’t Gaijin Smash your ex-boss. He certainly deserves it.

  18. Rob said, on November 4, 2008 at 4:31 am

    What a complete dick hole. As a Westerner currently living in Japan I’ve met a few people who may be difficult to deal with but your ex-boss sounds completely unreasonable! I’m not sure if has no one who care about him or if he’s just a psycho at least you were able to leave.
    Good luck with married life!

  19. Ian said, on November 4, 2008 at 5:02 am

    That’s all so terrible!
    Scott Adams makes a living writing this kind of stuff, you know…

  20. Liv said, on November 4, 2008 at 5:30 am

    That all sounds disgraceful, Az. It’s kind of similar to the place I was working in before I moved to Japan. Why is it so often incompetent jerks who get to such high positions? I’m glad you’re out of it now, even if times are rough for the moment. Ganbatte!!!

  21. Mage said, on November 4, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Oh man, that sounds terrible. I hope you’ll be able to find another job. I certainly think that your writing is good enough to keep you afloat (more than good enough,) but I know that will take time and you’ll need to have some sort of income for the time being.
    I wish there was something I could do besides offer my best wishes…
    On a more humorous note, I just saw my first example of kancho in Japan. I was sitting in a nice soba restaurant with my host family and a horde of little cousins, when I heard one of them shouting, “Kancho! Kancho!” I turned around to see them going at it with evident enthusiasm. The adults were, predictably, oblivious.

  22. Ken said, on November 4, 2008 at 5:42 am

    Wow, he’s more Jew than my Chinese Jew friend Choi!!

  23. GK said, on November 4, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Yeah, I’ve had bosses like that… funny thing is they were both at the same company.
    I was basically a kid and just super psyched to have a job. At first. Still I suppose I should thank those a**holes. They made me realize that I never ever wanted to do that kind of work/be employed at that kind of company ever again. So I started college. Then I finished college. Now I’m going for a graduate degree. Funny how things work out.
    Have a good one Az.

  24. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2008 at 6:18 am

    You should have Kanchoed him for a thousand years of pain. Or alternatively have a Kancho your boss day.

  25. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2008 at 6:18 am

    You should have Kanchoed him for a thousand years of pain. Or alternatively have a Kancho your boss day.

  26. Mayhem said, on November 4, 2008 at 7:52 am

    So the truth will out… and quite frankly I can’t blame you Az. I’d be exactly the same given all the above happening.

  27. woman in japan said, on November 4, 2008 at 8:53 am

    As a woman in Japan, I can guarantee the president was “jovial” with you because you are a man. Not just any man, but a tall, largely-built, black man. Everyday I see gaijin men not being treated the way women are treated, by the same men!

  28. another person in this apt complex said, on November 4, 2008 at 9:00 am

    We love reading your writings. I have worked in America for quite a number of years. I would love to tell you other jobs are different. They can be just as bad in America or anywhere else. What you describe, I have experienced in 3 jobs in the US. My friends have also experienced the no time off for a death in the family; firing people and forcing everyone else to pick up the slack; not hiring people and forcing everyone else to pick up the slack; and just being a general dick. It happens everywhere so don’t be disappointed if it happens again. It’s work. Don’t let work rule your life. Find some friends and let all that go.

  29. Allen said, on November 4, 2008 at 9:15 am

    It’s obvious that the president’s izakaya was taking a financial toll on the company’s resources. To remedy that problem, the president started a systematic downsizing of anybody who had something for him to base the firing on. If it isn’t this then it could be that the president of the company was drunk on his own power and had very little management skills.

  30. Concray said, on November 4, 2008 at 9:39 am

    i didn’t know that working by a desk could be so interesting…

  31. Dave said, on November 4, 2008 at 10:56 am

    You haven’t even gotten to your own part of the story yet and we can already see, for damn good reason, why you cut your losses and left that hellhole.

  32. HiEv said, on November 4, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Heh… You just reminded me of my own experience with having a Japanese boss.
    Back in 1995-96 I worked for a company in Philadelphia that put artwork onto CDs in a “virtual gallery”. The company president was an artist and aikido master. He hired a manager, two secretaries/data entry people, two graphic designers, three 3D computer graphics designers, a (hot!) CPA, and me, the lone programmer. We actually had a lot of turnover as well, but that was the average makeup of the staff.
    Anyways, they had a 3D computer generated “museum” for showing the art that we’d put on CD. Back then it was either ugly, low-resolution, real-time 3D graphics, or high-quality, hours rendering for seconds of video, pre-rendered 3D, so we went with the latter. Our Japanese boss often had the 3D team, graphic artists, and myself go back to “tweak” little aspects of the 3D museum, program layout, or program interface, respectively, meaning many delays. This caused many delays due to repeated work and such. Eventually he had the nerve to ask us what was taking so long, and we had to explain what should have been obvious: constant changes mean constant delays, especially with the 3D stuff, where making the molding an inch smaller meant hours of work and rendering time to redo all of the pre-rendered videos.
    I had started work there straight out of college, but after doing all of the programming there for a year, by myself, at $8/hr. and not seeing that rate going up, plus having to deal with his constant changes and delays, I realized that the company wasn’t going anywhere. I’m not certain exactly how long it took, but the company apparently collapsed only a few months after I left.
    So, that was my bad Japanese boss experience. Not as bad as yours, I mean, my boss was basically a nice guy, he just wasn’t suited to run a company like that.
    (Amusing side note: I hid in the code a way to see a special video that showed the names of everyone who had ever worked at the company, thanking them for their efforts. Only the 3D guys and myself knew about that easter egg.)

  33. Polaryzed said, on November 4, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Man, this story is getting juicier and juicier. I feel like a bored housewife watching my afternoon ‘stories’. MORE!
    (Coincidentally this is very similar situation to a job I had and wasted 5 years of my life at. Everything is different, yet also the same. Shitty jobs are international!! **Shocked/sarcasm**)

  34. Joe said, on November 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I’m guessing this boss was the entrepreneurial type who isn’t happy with anyone who he doesn’t think is working as hard to build up the company as he is (even if they’re definitely not paid to do that)? Not that that’s an uncommon trait among bosses in general, but it seems like the entrepreneurs have it in spades.
    I’m guessing he liked you because you were working so hard without complaints and that it came crashing down because you wanted to ease up on the work for some reason?

  35. Jane said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for typing up the story; I’ve enjoyed your blog for a couple years now.
    Sadly, it seems that the phenomenon of horrible company presidents/bosses isn’t limited to Japan!

  36. Justanothermom said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Yep. Just like I figured. I’ve heard similar stories from folks coming and asking how to get a hold of the labor board or the labor commissioner here (folks like to vent when they come to our office), plus I have actually been the victim of a “prove your family member just died” situation. I still work for the same department within the state, but at a different location. In my personal experience, I was losing a lot of time from work because of other stress factors that weren’t being addressed at my former location, plus I wasn’t getting proper medical care for other issues, due to the HMO I was covered by caring more about their “bottom line.” During this time, my husband’s grandfather was dying. I was called away from work when his final hour came, and as I left, I was told I would have to bring a note from the doctor proving that I was present for the death of a family member, or my pay would be docked. You should have seen the look the doctor gave me when I explained my situation. He grumbled something about managerial heads having the shape of penises as he wrote the note for me.
    In the office where I currently work, a similar work environment began to develop, but the majority of the staffers here have too many years of state employment under their belts to take that sort of stuff. They complained to higher-ups enough that, they actually brought in a consultant to help resolve the conflict issues. Now, the work environment is totally different and worth being in.
    The president of this company you worked for is going to find himself without a company at all, if he continues as he is. I predict you’ll be telling us that company has folded no more than a year from now, if not sooner.

  37. vasca said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    The man is an idiot. FYI, a child starts retaining memories when they are only 1 year 1/2 old. The douchebag should stop thinking he knows zilch about medicine and leave the medicine stuff to people who actually know it. ¬¬
    Currently taking a pediatrics course BTW.
    Great story (sucks for you though), I’ll be anxious to hear the finale.
    BTW, a company pet?? WTF??? I wouldn’t be surprised if this man has Alzheimers or something.
    I agree with the comments that he was only semi nice with you because he was a fraid you’d punch him in the face.

  38. :yb detsoP said, on November 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I want a fucking company dog.

  39. Raye said, on November 4, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Company Dog/Cat?!?!? What the hell, LOL! Who the hell who want to take time out of their day to take care of that!?!?
    Man, your ex-boss is such a jerk. Just because he is bossman doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have to respect A-san’s feelings of being disrespected. Good luck running a successful company with people that don’t respect you and your decisions as boss…

  40. russian pineapple said, on November 4, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Im studiying economics and bussines management
    and this guy is more than a jerk, he is a complete failure as a director!
    you only told us little details, and its better this way, because knowing the exact decisions this guy makes for the company should be in the management museon of horrors!
    im actually offended! moreso because his bad management affected you
    what a jerk!
    (excuse my lame english)

  41. Patrick said, on November 4, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    See, I would have just bitten the guy. From what I read on the net, if you don’t kill someone and admit you did it, the Japanese legal system will slap you on the wrist and let you go.
    Of course, I would have just bitten the guy on principle, but that’s just me. I say it’s the panther in me.

  42. Jacob said, on November 4, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Sounds alot like a boss I once had. He seemed very nice at first but after a while you could see how he was taking advantage of his workers. I’ve never looked back from that place.

  43. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    you reserve the right to kick him in the nuts. it worked on “My Name Is Earl.” Who knows, maybe you’re meant to be Karma’s foot and give him what you rightly deserve.

  44. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    you reserve the right to kick him in the nuts. it worked on “My Name Is Earl.” Who knows, maybe you’re meant to be Karma’s foot and give him what you rightly deserve.

  45. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    You are safe, Az. Barack Obama won – I’m watching John McCain concede right now. You may return to your country, lol.

  46. Anonymous said, on November 4, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    You are safe, Az. Barack Obama won – I’m watching John McCain concede right now. You may return to your country, lol.

  47. SweetieRD said, on November 5, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Az I enjoy reading the post. 🙂 Also I’m worried, you seem to have revealed your company’s issues too much.

  48. Kenny said, on November 5, 2008 at 12:55 am

    WOO!!!! OBAMA/BIDEN!!!! ’08

  49. well said, on November 5, 2008 at 5:52 am

    “You know, babies don’t actually remember anything until they’re about 3 years old”…
    You should punish him by translating “the cat’s in the cradle” into Japanese appropriately (rabbit in moon, etc) and making him cry.

    Or maybe Japanese ppl wouldn’t take it as a cautionary tale?

  50. Valhar2000 said, on November 5, 2008 at 6:18 am

    Interesting. My father worked for a guy just like this several years ago. In fact, it seems that your situation and my father’s situation were quite similar.
    That guy did a lot of the things that your former boss did, including putting down employees, making them do unpaid overtime, denying them their paycheck for spurious reasons, and other stuff like that (none of the electricians in the city would come to that office because they all knew that guy never paid, and he got away with it by bribing judges). Of course, he was very nice to everyone at first, until he knew that he had them firmly in his grasp, and then let them have it.
    He never did anything like that to my father, because my father always had the option to leave and do something else without too much difficulty, but my father, like you, saw what was going on and found it difficult to trust his boss, in spite of the apparent friendlyness.
    Then, one day, when my father began to feel that his boss was attempting to close in on him (by convincing him to sign contracts that would give the boss more power, and things like that) my father just picked up his coffe-maker machine from the office, and left, never to go back.
    It sounds like you had fewer options than my father did, and therefore you got screwed by your boss when he thoguht he could get away with it. I’m sorry to hear that.

  51. J said, on November 5, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Jesus freaking CHRIST. How can an utter douchebag like that become president and treat his employees that way?!? 0_o

  52. Aaron B said, on November 5, 2008 at 10:37 am

    1) Ms. Shocker…every time I saw that, Silkk the Shocker kept popping into my head.
    2) That prez guy is VERY lucky. I’d like to see him say that to an American male about “the first 3 years” of a child’s life and not get his teeth kicked in.
    3) Your suspicions were correct,obviously, but it’s wise that you realized that if he’s treating others that way, it’s only a matter of time before you get the shaft, as well. Kind of like a “Hitler” situation, eh?

  53. Al said, on November 5, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Your president sounds like a kid.
    Did he actually started that company with money he raised or was it his daddy’s money?

  54. Eric said, on November 5, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Is Japan even worth it?

  55. Kirielson said, on November 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Wow, things seemed to go from good to bad to worst with your boss.
    But in other news, I thought you should get a heads up about this:
    It’s a job position and I thought you might want the heads up.
    Good luck man.
    (Az’s Note: Thanks for the heads up. Already applied, didn’t get it.)

  56. Corey said, on November 5, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    Wow, seems like a complete douche. Though I almost always give people the benefit of the doubt and/or try to understand their side of the story, I really can’t think of anything to help his case.
    I don’t know how people like that gain so much power over a business. I’m assuming he started it. Keeps up like that though and I can see the business being a flop. I know someone who honestly has the worst work ethic I have seen, EVAR. And yet he’s managed to become a manager where he works. He constantly comes up with any excuse imaginable to get out of doing any work what-so-ever. I don’t see how that happens.

  57. miru said, on November 13, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Hmm.. some parts of your experience in this article seem to be similar to my situation.
    I joined this small company im working at about 4 years ago. They started with 4 people. Since then i have noticed a lot of new workers come and go, even the business partner of the boss left. And oddly i am left as the only senior member.
    There were times when we were severely understaffed and the boss would bug me about getting things done faster. When in fact we both know that getting more people in would help. Seems like he wanted to save every bit of money he can, while pushing the current staff to do more work. I used to think that because we were a small company, he might just be trying to save on operating costs. But i found out later that after we had done any major project, he would ‘claim’ some money from the project’s earnings as a ‘bonus’. While the staffs who had done 90% of the work got nothing.
    Also my boss likes to take on new projects and leave current ones half done. At one point i had to work till 1AM for a project which he had promised to the client in 2 day’s time. While the current project had to be finished in 3 days time.
    Although he tries to be friendly with me in the back of my mind i would always remember those things and a whole lot more i haven’t mentioned. And i know that if i weren’t still ‘useful’ to him i would have been fired a long time ago.

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