3 Bizarre Facts You Want to Know About Japan: Part 2
Here are other 3 weird things foreigners encounter in Japan.
For other 2 facts (part1), see Bizarre Facts Part 1
1. Announcement on Public Transportation
When I came to Canada first time, there was no announcement system on bus.
I had to keep looking outside and know where to get off exactly, or I would miss my bus stop. As of 2016, most busses and skytrain have announcement systems in Metro Vancouver area (depending on area and busses thought).
In Japan, you will hear announcement wherever you go.
You will hear on bus, train, Shinkansen and any sort of public transportation.
Operators usually announce something like “next stop is Tokyo. Exchange to Shinkansen at this station. Next stop is Tokyo. Please mind the gap as Tokyo station is under construction. Thank you very much for being on board.”
It sounds exaggerating but they actually say so.
2. Everything is on Time
If you’ve ever taken public transportation, you know its accuracy.
They would arrive and depart according to schedule and try their best to be on time.
If, for some reasons, they are behind for 1 minute of schedule, operators would sincerely apologize. Just 1 minute!
I’ve waited for a bus over 30 minutes in Canada. It just didn’t come and I didn’t know where it went… It happens sometimes in here…
Anyways, I think it’s great that everything is on time in Japan.
And I’m sure that it surprises and impresses foreigners.
I personally think they don’t have to be on time to the seconds and no need to apologize as if they commit a crime (they really repeat “we are very sorry for any inconvenience. Again, we are sorry for being late” etc).
Another situation can be seen in restaurant. The servers would say “Thank you for waiting.”, “We are sorry to keep you waiting.” or “Can we have another 5 minutes to bring your food?” It is customer service, so they are polite and try to serve quickly.
3. Overwork and Die
You probably don’t understand why so many Japanese die due to overwork. It’s not because they get injured while working. Why do they work that hard? Can’t they adjust and control the amount of work they do?
I wish all Japanese could manage their work and balance their personal life and work. But it seems difficult for some people.
The biggest problem here is of course company itself. The management teams. The structure of company.
Some companies might have unrealistic targets that people can never reach. As employees, however, they try to hit the target. They try day and night and might stay in the office overnight to get work done.
Likewise, managers might give them a lot of pressure and they feel trapped. Consequently, some get depressed and commit suicide.
Others might develop social phobia and become incapable to work anymore.
This is one of the very serious problems in Japan we need to solve.
Companies need to focus on employees not on profits. Employees are human not robots. They cannot be thrown just because they are worn out.
There are, of course, great companies in Japan. I definitely hope that all companies consider their employees and respect them so that they can make profits and develop company with their employees.
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