This is just a rambling, worrying post concerning my dear Japanese guy friend who has been both blessed and cursed with a managerial job here in the States, under the ever-watchful eye of his boss back in our parent company’s Japan office.
The guy has only been here 6 months (the duration of his work visa is 3 years) and I’ve already noticed the emergence of more than a few grey hairs on his otherwise jet-black head. Did I mention that he’s only 26? He’s 26, terribly stressed, overloaded and overwhelmed.
Japanese culture is known for being about “us”, as opposed to the West, which is more likely to be all about “me”, and so it is surprising when I hear him speak of a time when he will become head honcho and do his best to eradicate the working custom expectations of his native country. He once told me that Japanese working custom prefers “manpower over efficiency”, which I believe means that they are more apt to work hard, not work smart. I could only hope that he was joking. Sometimes he speaks of quitting, or just running away, but he never does. Hey, it’s a tough ecomony. I think we all put up with bs at our jobs that we normally wouldn’t if we had a choice. He’s not going anywhere soon, but I suppose he needs to get his frustrations off of his chest.
Since he came to me this morning to blow off some steam, he’s been on my mind. After telling me how his weekend went (he slept and slept), he then confessed that 2 nights out of last week he actually stayed overnight in the office because he had so much to do and couldn’t even think about going home. There wasn’t much that I could say, except, “oh you really should rest” and the like. What do you say? I hadn’t a clue. So I just listened.
I hope that one day he will be able to get a grip on himself, his life and his job. I also think he needs to seriously consider what he can actually do, compared to what others expect of him. What is the point of this post? Absolutely nothing. There is no solution I have come up with to help my friend, as I can only be a listening ear. I just thought I’d share with you all.