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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2006/07/26 12:58:49 (July 2006).

[Monday 24th July]
I think tonight may be my personal record for staying late at the office - I left at about 9:15.
Whilst this seemed tremendously late for me, at least one other person on my team was there,
with an air of complete routine about him, as though this wasn't late at all.

I spoke to TK about this - who incidentally keeps very sensible hours like I normally do.
The thing is, no-one will ever tell you directly that you must stay late.
Instead it is an insidious, subversive and self-perpetuating atmosphere.

Everyone who stays late contributes to this disease.

Comment 1

What did TK think about it though? I am sure he hates it but since he's an outsider to the company he can do as he pleases... (correct?)

Posted by Lox at 2006/07/26 08:17:37.

Comment 2

Ciao John!!!
Your experience of staying late at the office remembers me about my last trip to Japan with the Japanese lady I worked with.... We stayed in the office every night till 9.00, 9.30....and for me was terribly difficoult to stay concentrated on the job till that late.....
But it's true, for Japanese people this is preatty normal, cause, for example, in the office I worked during that trip ( that was the Agent office) there were so many employees who stayed till late....
I've tried several times to imagine the private life of those people, but actually if they do it every day I think that they had a very frustrating life...

I hope that it doesn't happen so often to you!

ciao ciao

Posted by Marta at 2006/07/26 24:40:12.

Comment 3

Sorry this post was a bit half baked - I wrote it using my mobile phone on the way into work, thinking I would go back and edit it a bit later, but didn't really get round to it! Well, never mind, it wasn't that interesting anyway - just churning over the same old issues!

Incidentally TK seems to be of a very like mind to me - he thinks if people work late then they are probably not going to get anything decent done in that extra time, and it must be just inefficient at doing their job within the normal working day. It is tremendously reassuring to hear these words of common sense from a Japanese person!

Oh and he said his boss back at his own company (he's a contractor) makes a point of keeping very tight hours - typically leaving at 5:30. This is to avoid the situation where his subordinates deliberately stay late simply because they don't want to lose face by leaving before their boss.

So it sounds like at least one company in Japan has got its act together on this issue!

Posted by John at 2006/07/26 13:05:05.

Comment 4

Marta: funny isn't it? To some people (i.e. most Japanese people) there is just nothing strange at all about being in the office past 9 at night.

It sounds like you have the same opinion as me though - staying late to me feels like throwing a part of my life away!

Posted by John at 2006/07/26 13:07:56.

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