Kevin (erf_) wrote,

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hooray for not working in japan

I was going to write a more personal entry tonight (after getting some work done), but...oh my fucking. This is some seriously twisted shit. Next time I visit Japan I am definitely not eating at Gyoza no Ohsho.

I don't know what makes me more disgusted, the company's training regimen itself or the shrill objections of Japanese people--and some foreigners!--who insist there is absolutely nothing wrong with what those managers are doing in the video and that perhaps we in the West could learn a thing or two about teaching young employees gratitude, loyalty, and respect, something we clearly don't understand these days.

I'll say this, after being lectured on such things by people who were not my parents for six years: Anyone who invokes gratitude, loyalty, and respect in the context of unquestioning obedience has no fucking idea what those words really mean. I refer not only to those English words, but but their analogues in kanji/hanzi. When Confucius wrote about these things, he never intended to create a world where the punishment for violating the social hierarchy involved the subordinate being carried away in a stretcher (and hating himself for it). Alas, that is precisely what the older generation over there has taken away from his teachings.

People. It's just fried dumplings (鍋貼). You roll the dough into little circles and wrap up some ground pork and scallion and fry it up, and it tastes delicious. As a lifetime gyoza lover myself I am utterly appalled that anyone would even think that their production should involve this degree of psychological abuse. I can deal with my gyoza being a little lumpier or a little less crispy if it means I can eat it without someone having to be broken and remade in the company's image. (My favorite gyoza place in Hsinchu had a scowling, irritable old lady as its sole cashier and waitress, and the gyoza was no less delicious. Probably better than Gyoza no Ohsho's, no less, considering it was authentic.)

To Japan's credit, this footage has sparked a lot of outrage over there, too, and some constructive soul-searching over the nature of Japan's various corporate subcultures. The sad thing is that this kind of bullshit isn't limited to Gyoza no Ohsho--lots of companies do it, and some fucktard commenter on Mutantfrog actually went as far as to say that Gyoza no Ohsho's only crime was getting caught.

Look, I know folks in the foodservice business have to put up with a lot of abuse on this side of the pond, too, but at least it's not systematized. There's a world of difference between the head cook who calls you a worthless piece of shit for not washing dishes fast enough because he's an asshole and the head cook who calls you a worthless piece of shit in front of 250 other employees in a ritualized brainwashing campaign because This Is Just The Way Things Are Done.

Is it just me, but is the whole This Is Just The Way Things Are Done mentality nothing more than an insidious way to ensure that things will never change? It's bad enough having that attitude at the bottom, but look how it perpetuates itself after those on the bottom climb to the top.
Tags: japan, work

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