Ludicrous Working Conditions

He suddenly stops talking, looks at me apologetically, and says, “Sorry, Mr. Onoe, I’m talking too much, and it seems to me that I myself have only been talking so far. I’m worried whether I’m boring or tiring you, perhaps?”

I smile at his innocence and say, “Don’t worry, Mr. Yano, I’m enjoying it. My ears are all yours. Go on!”

“Ms. Yamada’s attitude toward me and my colleagues makes me mad beyond my control,” he is fuming, “she thinks we are not human beings, just a cog of a gigantic machine. I’ve tried to be patient and tried to ignore her, but it’s beyond my limit. Only heaven knows how she is able to sleep at night after sharing her malevolence with telephone operators, so atrociously. Everyone hates her and can’t stand her, which is the universal truth. Do you know, Mr. Onoe, why I’ve asked to transfer to another position? I just don’t want to see her anymore and can no longer endure hearing her hysterical voice. She always comes to me and yells at me because of my slowness. I always try to do my best and want to work my own rhythm, but she constantly pressures me. She always tells me that average telephone operators pick up twenty-five phone calls per day, but I always pick up ten to fifteen phone calls a day. Therefore, I‘d better work harder; otherwise, she can’t let me stay here. It’s impossible for me to enjoy working under her constant threats. Every morning, I feel so depressed going to work. It’s not the life I want. Five days ago, a terrible incident happened. Of course, you know, sometimes clients demand too much from us and complain about our services with a shower of insulting words. That happened to me five days ago.”

Pause.

“The clients always get angry when they can’t receive services they expect. My client was complaining about our services with angry words, and I simply couldn’t endure being insulted so much. Therefore, I was starting to pretend not to hear clearly what he was saying and said to him that it was impossible for me to hear what he was saying due to disturbed noise on the phone, so he had to call us back, and I hung up. Of course, I heard every single word he uttered as clearly as a church bell, but I just couldn’t be insulted and agitated over the phone anymore. But the worst part came later. Ms. Yamada happened to listen to my conversation with my client over her telephone at her desk. As soon as I hung up, she came to my desk, scowled at me in a hysterical fashion, and made me write an apology letter to her boss. I tried to explain why I hung up the phone, but she didn’t listen to anything and even didn’t give me a chance to open my mouth. She was just screaming, screaming at me with hysterical threats. You know, every company in Japan has the same ludicrous working conditions. Your bosses don’t listen to what you think and don’t care about your feelings, because they only comprehend the things that are written on a company’s manual. If I say something that is not written in the manual, they will be angry and threaten me to be mum. When the situation is required to control employees, they will just become angry and threaten employees to do this or that. They will never have a human talk. Their behaviors are so silly to me. They are like a five-years-old child who always screams and cries whenever he wants something. I sometimes wonder if I can find a workplace with decent people in Japan who have an ability to talk about any sort of circumstances, without losing temper. But it’s a sheer dream to me now. Mr. Onoe, tell me, in the world, can I find a job with decent people and a friendly ambiance? I really want to try to find a job in Canada or another country.”

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