Japanese are known for their remarkable punctuality and often it makes headlines for it. Remember the time when country’s train company apologised for leaving the train few seconds early? Now, another company is back in news for their strict sense of time and Netizens aren’t quite happy about it. Recently, a Japanese employee was shamed and punished for leaving his desk to buy lunch early – only by three minutes. Yes, an employee working at the waterworks bureau in the western city of Kobe left his desk few minutes before the actual lunch break started and was thus fined for his actions.
According to a report by AFP, not only half a day’s pay of the 64-year-old official was deducted as punishment but also the bosses called a TV news conference where they bowed to apologise.
“It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry,” a bureau official told reporters, bowing deeply.
In the company’s defence, they noted that this was not the first time he left for lunch early and had taken early lunch breaks “26 times over the space of seven months.” The worker was in violation of a public service law stating that officials have to concentrate on their jobs, according to the bureau.
The news quickly went viral on social media and left a lot of Japanese fuming. “Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we cannot even go to the bathroom?” asked one on Twitter. “It’s tough life nowadays. No tea break, no cigarette break, no chatting,” remarked another. While people from other countries couldn’t understand the need for a news conference and called it “over reaction.”
A city employee in Kobe, Japan, was docked half a day’s pay for repeatedly breaking off to grab lunch three minutes early.
The fine reflects larger ongoing issues within Japan’s relentless work culture.
— Carolyn Doyle (@CarolynDDoyle) June 22, 2018
I applaud e high standards that Japanese hold themselves to but is this a bit much? What if its a matter of accuracy of e watch? 3mins is really cutting it a bit close.
— ToughCookie (@SaveOurSharks81) June 21, 2018
I would be executed in Japan https://t.co/lx3GOFHC25
— Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) June 21, 2018
Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early https://t.co/IcWP7XIhZI
Why do you need a news conference apology just for this
— Dizzy Ziddy (@dizzy_ziddy) June 22, 2018
There’s a reason Japan has a word for working to death: Karoshi (過労死).
When a Japanese company makes TV apology on behalf of worker who left his desk for just THREE MINUTES each day to buy his lunch, that’s part of it. https://t.co/mwXtIyqoaa https://t.co/KPqzGKQ476
— Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) June 21, 2018
What do you think about this punishment? Tell us in comments below.