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Japanese new recruit fired after one month for being partially out of frame during video meetings

22 Comments
By SoraNews24

There’s been a lot of talk about the “new normal” in the way society is being shaped by the global pandemic that has occupied 2020 so far. On the bright side, it’s resulted in some neat stuff like free sheet music, and learning how to make face masks about seven different ways.

On the other hand, Japan, like most of the world, is only beginning to slowly trudge into an economic wasteland with no end in sight. While bad news for everyone, this is especially horrible for the thousands of university graduates just entering the work force.

Japan is notorious for its extremely rigid and stressful transition from university to work, but the inclusion of a major recession brought on by a major disaster has only made the process harsher.

However, one graduate of the prestigious Hosei University in Tokyo thought he lucked out upon landing a job with a major IT firm. Speaking with website President Online under the pseudonym “Yota Yoshida,” he explained that not only could he become one of the 300 new recruits at the unnamed company but they even graciously allowed him to fulfill certain obligations late because he decided to do a bit of traveling after graduation.

That might not sound so amazing to those in other countries, but it’s quite an uncommon act of leniency for Japanese companies. Yoshida decided to join this company from among other offers partly because of this gesture and because he felt IT was a stable field to get into.

All new recruits were expected to attend a welcoming ceremony on April 1 of this year, but because of growing coronavirus concerns everyone was instead instructed to attend an online training course from April to July. The instructions included wearing a dress shirt and logging onto the company chat rooms from home every day, which Yoshida did through the month of April.

However, just before the Golden Week holiday was set to begin at the end of the month, Yoshida received a phone call asking him to come in to the office. This would be his first physical visit to the company since he was hired by them.

After getting dressed, Yoshida took the 40-minute train ride through peak state-of-emergency Tokyo and entered the company building. He was greeted by an H&R rep who said they would cut to the chase and notified Yoshida of his termination due to bad manners during online training.

Shocked and confused by the sudden news, Yoshida asked why. The rep explained that during online meetings he could be seen wearing a cardigan over his dress shirt, at times his chin was out of frame, and other times his knee was poking up into the frame. The rep added, “We are an IT company that attaches great importance to manners over technology.”

Yoshida was told that he would be paid for May if he voluntarily resigned at the end of that month, but he could no longer attend training. While the money was nice, it ultimately went towards Yoshida’s debts from tuition and traveling, leaving him with nothing. So, he is currently attempting to crowdfund tuition into a vocational school and the cost of a MacBook Air in order to learn programming and find a new career path.

Many wonder if this is the first case in Japan of someone getting fired for their online video etiquette. However, very few online were quick to condemn the company for doing what it did.

“I think that guy was flagged as a troublemaker the moment he decided to travel after graduation.”

“I’m suspicious about his decision to go immediately to crowdfunding rather than searching for another job.”

“Yoshida doesn’t seem to be very good with money. I can sort of see why they didn’t want him around in this economy.”

“Why not raise the tuition money through a part time job rather than crowdfunding?”

“I felt sorry for him when I read the headline, but after learning more, he doesn’t seem to take society seriously.”

“I wonder about Yoshida, but I’d also be very concerned if my IT company valued manners more than their IT.”

“He wants a MacBook Air for programming? LOL! Good luck kid.”

“I’d like to hear the company’s side of this.”

Based on that response, it seems unlikely Yoshida’s crowdfunding campaign will reach its target of 1,000,000 yen. But regardless of whether Yoishida wasn’t taking employment seriously enough or the company was too quick to judge him, his situation in Japanese society is bleak to say the least.

Part of the strict conditions of finding work immediately after university here is that those who cannot are potentially stigmatized and their employment prospects drop significantly. In that way, his plan to re-enroll in a school is probably a wise move, if not a terribly costly one.

It’s certainly a tough road ahead for Yoshida, but hopefully he can learn to keep his chin up, both figuratively and literally.

Source: President OnlineHachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- “Be a blank slate”: The way to get hired in Japan?

-- It’s all about the money: The best (and worst) paid student jobs in Japan

-- Meet the real Revolver Ocelot and check out his awesome Metal Gear cosplay/gunplay 【Videos】

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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The whole piece is totally one-sided, it's all from the fired guy's perspective.

Are we really getting the whole story here?

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Japan is notorious for its extremely rigid and stressful transition from university to work, but the inclusion of a major recession brought on by a major disaster has only made the process harsher.

It is mostly hazing and bullying. The same is true with making people stay until the boss goes home and forced all night drinking with karaoke!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

“We are an IT company that attaches great importance to manners over technology.”

And this, in a nutshell, is why Japanese business culture is losing ground on a daily basis to their competitors around the world.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

OTT

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The whole piece is totally one-sided, it's all from the fired guy's perspective.

Are we really getting the whole story here?

Given what I've seen in my time here, we probably are. So much petty triviality and little productivity

15 ( +15 / -0 )

I would like to know if there was a first warning or if he was in a probationary period where he could be released for no reason.

If not, and his claims true, he should be speaking to the government and possibly a lawyer.

This crap needs to stop for Japanese businesses to survive.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Letting situations develop and then boil over is poor management. If slovenliness is important to them, they should find enough time to mention it in "three months" of training. Not dealing with situations means workers grow to resent each other for avoidable things.

However "prestigious" Hosei University may be, I bet you can get in being quite good at a minor sport like ping pong. The more I hear about Japanese universities, the less I respect them.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Sounds made-up. A kind of Zoom-era Zeitgeist piece.

If it is true, the guy sounds like a bit of a mooch/ user. Nothing is ever his fault. I mean, crowdfunding your skill-upgrade?

Yeesh!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Im going to google that story in Japanese as I think that someone made it up.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In many countries, they've temporarily frozen rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic, been careful about firing people, etc, but from what I've heard about Japan, some have increased rent and fired people for trivial reasons. I wonder if Yoshida would have been fired for taking a 10 minute smoke break every hour and reeking of alcohol in the morning.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

We are an IT company that attaches great importance to manners over technology

Instead of great importance to manners, they should better set a great importance to improve the technology.

Maybe many IT companies have manners, but are unable to install a "Home Office System".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Now take a step back and ask yourself whether maybe this sort of reflexive authoritarian BS is not what you want to face every day for the next 35 or 40 years. Life is too short.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Do you want to hire a guy who doesn't have common sense and manners? It's a red flag, they were right to get rid of him.

Expat if you want him , go ahead and hire him and watch him do the same thing during a business meeting. You really want this young punk with no sense working for you?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I’d have to imagine that word got out that he got “special” treatment to go traveling while everyone else was going into work. (What was this traveling, for, exactly? Personal business? Academics? Just plain tourism? Doesn’t say.)

As mentioned in the article, this kind of special treatment is very unusual in Japan, and that probably started him off on the wrong foot with certain managers or colleagues. After that he was probably on a short leash, and if any other missteps, he was going to be out quickly.

Given what we know about Japanese work culture, this is the most likely scenario, but that assumes we take this guy at his word, which might be a bit difficult considering he’s asking strangers to fund his brand new Apple laptop.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Will reserve making any judgement, as what we are getting is only the guys side, the writer

of the story never bothered to check with the IT company to get what they had to say.

Unfortunately this type of poor reporting or journalism is becoming the norm here, which is

really sad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I find this article funny and sad at the same time, why? well, "wearing a cardigan over his dress shirt, at times his chin was out of frame, and other times his knee was poking up into the frame" if this is all your bothered about the company is a joke, here in the UK your lucky if your staff even bother to turn up on time! if you was to apply these rules like this in the UK I would say that your company office would be empty, the British work force would not stand up to this rubbish. as for holidays, we would just take them wether the company gave permission or not. I think Japan needs to lighten up little on these rules.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Expat if you want him , go ahead and hire him and watch him do the same thing during a business meeting. You really want this young punk with no sense working for you?

And yet you know nothing about his abilities or personal experience...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Silly company and poor Mr Yoshida...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I would to know the name of this super well ""mannered"" company....WTF!!!!

This guy should be glad he isn't working there, likely dodged a bullet!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If a japanese company wants to fire anyone, they will invent any excuses. From , it is my company, i am sacho to yr taste is not the same as mine and I am boss. I have seen such issues for 31 years of my life in japan. It is time ,poor minded Japanese open up their minds.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They were right to fire him, not most likely chose him only based on his educational background to begin with. They probably have a trial period for these cases.

At least he got fired outright early on.

I've worked with people that came from top schools but had no common sense whatsoever. They end up getting bullied for a year or more before quitting.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@therougou, they had a right to fire him, really? on what ground? that he would not conform? what they fired him on was so incredibly petty, could you imagine if all companies fired staff on a whim like this? there would be no one in the office! This is why I made my self self employed many years ago, and now I am a director of a company, I would never treat my staff like that, never.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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