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Japanese companies urged to OK seated cashiers to spur job motivation


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Mynavi Corp is offering specially designed stools to spur companies to rethink the requirement for retail employees to stand for hours during their shifts.

More last gasp Late Stage Capitalism as it is still cheaper to hire minimum wage, now many foreign staff, to do service work than invest in automation.

Most convenience store cashier work is already automated.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Sadism is common among Japanese bosses. My wife worked in a Tokyo restaurant while younger. She said the boss used to make the waitresses all stand at attention and remain silent between orders, and that included when there were no customers in the restaurant. No surprise that the average turnover among the foreign staff was like around a month. LOL.

Whatever goes through Japanese boss's minds?!? What is the point of inflicting unnecessary hardship on your staff to the point they leave and new staff need to be hired and trained? Is it an ego thing, giving them a sense of power and control?

-5 ( +22 / -27 )

33.8 percent said it was to prevent giving customers a bad impression

I've never really thought about it but it doesn't give me a bad impression if someone is happier in their job. The point is that many of the justifications for work practices seem to actually take no account of what the customer thinks or wants. The obvious one is the constant shouting in restaurants. It's like it has always been done that way so that's the way it should be, with a dose of sadism thrown in.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

My wife worked in a Tokyo restaurant while younger. She said the boss used to make the waitresses all stand at attention and remain silent between orders, and that included when there were no customers in the restaurant. 

Being brainless and endure the pain it just part of Japanese work culture. However since now Japan have labor shortage but not willing to pay some more, now Japan willing to relax ridiculous rule. That includes endure standing and drinking water, during summer. Which some workplace finally make exception for that.


-14 ( +13 / -27 )

An online survey of 300 employers conducted by Mynavi showed 20 percent barred their part-time workers from sitting when attending to customers, while 24.3 percent said they did not set a clear rule but workers still stood. Only 23.3 percent allowed their workers to sit.

Finally 23.3 % come to their sense.

As for why employers did not allow workers to sit, 33.8 percent said it was to prevent giving customers a bad impression, while 25.6 percent answered "just because" without stating a reason.

25.6 unable to state a reason? These employers make people enduring long standing without giving out what are the reason, of course this is Japan, no reason are necessary.

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

Walmart is doing away with self checkout,lots of cashiers will check out my groceries at the self checkout for me sometimes

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I didn't know this was a thing - I've never seen a cashier sitting here in NZ except in Asian food marts.

It makes sense, to allow cashiers to sit.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I agree too, keep staff happy, especially if you have nationwide shortage.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

the food chain aldi, which is killing sales with prices 1/3 to 1/2 less than the supermarket conglomerates, let’s their cashiers sit. very efficient and rational. they’re faster than the standing robots.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Sadly, cashiers are now being replaced by 'self-service' in UK supermarkets.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I don't care if they stand on their head, lie in a bed, stand, sit, etc... as long as I don't have to deal with self-checkout!

I shop regularly at around closing time and it is almost guaranteed that there is going to be a problem because someone didn't properly program the cash registers and the discounts or sales prices haven't been updated.

If dealing with an actual person, the problem is quickly fixed as soon as I look at the price on the screen!.

But with self-checkout, there begins the nightmare.

First try getting a staff member to help, then you have different solutions depending on the place.

One they cancel the whole thing, have you move everything to the service counter and the staff checks you out!

Two, they say continue and then pay and then go to the service counter where they calculate the amount you over paid and reimburse you in cash.

Three, they cancel everything have you move to the one open staffed check-out and the cashier will manually incert all discounts not programmed .

90% of the time the cashiers immediately notice the discount wasn't registered and add it manually without my needing to say anything!

So as long as a real live person is there, and they are doing their job properly, they can pick whatever position is more comfortable for them while doing it.

And I thank every cashier for their work because they nearly all do a great job and save me a lot of frustration!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )


Today 09:23 am JST

Sadly, cashiers are now being replaced by 'self-service' in UK supermarkets

Don't know about the UK, but in Canada and the USA, they are now reverting back to cashiers!

The reason is simple and as expected! Theft!

Even in Japan.

2 popular convenience store chains outlets (different companies) had self checkout in a certain area I work, but have since removed them do to theft.

The managers of both places said that Thieves are clever, they program the sound of the scanner in their phone, pretend to pass the item get the phone to beep maybe pay one out of 2 or 3 items by fake scanning most!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

More last gasp Late Stage Capitalism

Well, that is not going away anytime soon thankfully.

as it is still cheaper to hire minimum wage, now many foreign staff, to do service work than invest in automation. 

That is just everywhere, this is what happens when you spend more than you take in and don't invest properly in the things you should where you could see a long-term return.

Most convenience store cashier work is already automated.

Depends where you go, there will always be a human person needed.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

25.6 percent answered "just because" without stating a reason.

sounds familiar

definitely one of the most irritating answers to any question in Japan.

“Just because” or “that’s the way it always has been”

……..then, make changes

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

First, I think in a free society they should in principle decide themselves how they prefer or like to do their job the most convenient and effective, sitting or standing or in a changing manner of both. Second, we have a completely other service culture here, where the customer is the main issue, followed by nothing and then maybe at the very last end come some own interests , convenience considerations or health issues of the store's staff. While in other countries they really can sit because they don't do anything else than operating the register, here in Japan they have or at least potentially have a lot of other things to do, which could make the job quite difficult or impossible if being seated all the time. That could be for example helping impaired people or kids, showing a way to a certain shelf, checking unknown prices at the shelf, counting or searching coins if elderly people don't see well what is in their wallet, going to the office for a form or membership card if a new customer wishes to take part in store benefits , refilling packaging materials , cleaning up floor when spilled sth, and a lot of other such similar extra works. I guess it's a job that cannot be done while sitting all shift long, which is btw not any healthy either.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My previous business, I had a traditional cash register.

I found working it fully seated a bit inconvenient.

The other thing was being lower than the customer, basically they looking down on you, this didn't bother me but some people would find this intimidating or even degrading.

I eventually raised my counter and replaced my chair with a bar chair (not a stool a high chair with backrest).

This gave myself and staff the comfort of sitting or standing at the same level as customers and operating the register at a more comfortable position.

The other advantage was that when seated low on a standard chair, when we had to get up to do something else, or leave the register to serve a customer, we would have to lift ourselves up, but the high chair meant just putting our feet down and standing, far less strain on the body!

Note that the raising of the counter and having a high chair wasn't my idea, but that of 2 part time workers that felt looked down on especially since they were a Sr high school student and University student which older customers already seemed less respectful towards.

Perhaps it was just their perception but they felt far more comfortable being eye level and as many pointed out here already, finding staff even back then was difficult, today even harder, so best to keep them happy!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

My Japanese wife is a cashier in the US and can't sit down even when there are no customers. She prefers it most of the time.

I'm a desk worker but have a standing only setup. I much prefer it - I've tried sitting but find it very unhealthy and unnatural. When I was working in Japan I had a good boss who let me work standing up. I was the only one in the crowded office (no partitions) doing so.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Walmart is doing away with self checkout,lots of cashiers will check out my groceries at the self checkout for me sometimes

Totally understandable. People dont want to be prompted to "tip" some machine the did nothing other than read the bar codes.

And from my experience, compared to self-check out's here in many supermarkets, the US one's are a royal pain in (Forest Gump accent here) buttocks!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think it's good to have an option to sit or stand while working the register. I think the same for security guards at stores. They just stand while observing people. I've never worked as a security guard but I think they should be able to sit. Standing still for eight hours must be tiresome.

Deviating from the topic for a moment, I worked for a few weeks at an amusement park one summer. I was all by myself, selling popcorn and drinks at a stand outside under the umbrella. I had on glasses with transition lenses and my supervisor told me that dark lenses were a no no because it makes the customer feel uncomfortable. I, inwardly rolled my eyes, Japanese are uncomfortable with cashiers/security guards sitting down on the job, tattoos (I don't have any, by the way) and dark lenses. So tiresome. My glasses when dark were not so dark that you couldn't see my eyes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gone are the days when customer service workers had pride in their job, focused 100% at their work and served every customer with respect, professionalism and friendliness. Now these lazy workers whine whine and whine! From complaining about wages to being rude to customers. Then on top of it all many of these workers have their focus on their cellphones ( social media apps running and being accessed ) during work time instead of providing a better customer service. You’ll notice them checking their cellphones every now and then during work time! Japan used to pride itself with perfection when it came to customer service but the way things are they will soon become like other Asian nation with standard level of customer service.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Is that even a question ?

it depends the pain suffered while working.

If no standing moves, then better to remain seated.

With common sense, everyone should try to limit strain to the bodies.

I know Japan is "sadistic" in some ways, just gaman. Personal example I suffered : wearing a suit/necktie even if heat and humidity is high before cool days, because the date is more important than the weather !

A high stool is enough.

Just remember empathy is not a Japanese common trait, part of the culture.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Seated cashiers has been the normal practice in European grocery stores for 50 years. Japan and the USA are slow to change and care about the health and well being of employees. Don't let the rah, rah meeting at the beginning of the shift fool you. It is just a reminder to the employees of their rank and importance.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Companies that care about the health of their workers should ban sitting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

proxyToday 06:59 am JST

Companies that care about the health of their workers should ban sitting.

Does your workplace also ban sitting for your benefit?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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