business

Seven & i group welcomes new employees before start of business year

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sadly those youthful smiles will fade once the unpaid overtime starts to accrue and the slow slope of nenkou jouretsu (seniority promotion) kicks in...

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Soon they can start their training - how to fold bags, gesture at the till screen and smile even at the most obnoxious customer with armloads of smutty manga, girlie mags and stuff

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Representing the new recruits, Hiroka Harada, a 22-year-old worker at supermarket operator Ito-Yokado Co, said, "We promise you that we will look into the future and aggressively take up challenges."

Great attitude for a minimum wage shop assistant.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I think anyone looking for lifetime company work of any sort should first watch Kurosawa's brilliant movie Ikiru and Takashi Shimura singing Gondola no uta. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDjmDHiSTm8

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I got feeling that in Japan only service workers have high level of professionalism, from other areas most people just slack and pretending to work

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No one else picked on one major point. The fact that these employees and thousands of others are doing these employee orientations for free. I know a lady, whose kid is in Tokyo, or was for a few days, for training. WIll he, or the people in this article get paid for this? I doubt it. How is it that Japanese companies can continue? If they can't make money without tons of unpaid OT, or without faking data, what's the point of operating? This is a major red flag for me, as an investor. I doubt many Japanese companies can maintain competativness on the world level.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I'm sad, year after year...young people celebrate getting a job that at best offers a manager position that requires doing stupid hours. I wish things were so different.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I wish them the very best of luck. The customer is always right, even when the customer is drunk/intimidating and so on.

Not an easy gig.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I don't see why there's so much gloom about these new recruits? They are quite obviously not going to be working in the actual combinis and not sure where this silly idea came from, and are all on the grad track for 7&i corporate, which is one of the better jobs you could get in Japan.

Whoever is left out of this group in 10 years time will probably be on 8+ million besides those in management who will be over 10 easy.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

and do a fantastic job and should be paid double if there was any fairness here IMO

Well said, sir.

Some people take the staff for granted, which is fine but there's no need to sneer just because they haven't had the same breaks/privileges/education/networks as others have had.

It's as good a job as one which requires a tie. It may not have all the social kudos and glamour but their honesty and hard work is very much appreciated.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

PTownsend:

Ikiru - one of the greatest films ever made, and the Gondola no Uta scene never fails to bring a tear to my eye.

Let's hope these new recruits never end up feeling about their jobs the way Shimura's character did in that movie.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@BigYen: thank you, you have done me a great favor by pointing out the movie Ikiru which I have never seen. Sitting 8 hours or more each day in my company as a living dead man this may just be the jolt I need.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This photo only fills me with sadness. I feel no joy for these 'empty shells' being indoctrinated into a life of being told what to do by some senior who has not been in school for over 40 years.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This photo is so depressing!

20 years from now these same people will be being informed on how to stretch...and they’ll still be following, copying...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ikiru is a magnificent film.

Just imagine, a young graduate either in the actual store at the frontline or in the office watches it and gets inspired.

So much so that 20 years later, they have an entirely different career. Perhaps even a creative one thanks to masters like Kurosawa. But they never forget or hide their humble/humdrum beginnings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ikiru is a great film. The hero, the "mummy", is actually a civil servant in local government, not a salaryman. It adds an extra level because they workers in that town hall are shown toiling away their lives without actually trying to serve the public.

I hope the new recruits are there because they want to be and not because their parents have nagged them into choosing what they think is a stable company because that is all that is important. I also hope that Japan will change to a country where you can get a job anywhere and at any time based on talent and experience and not based on being fresh out of school and green around the ears.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's be honest, we also have plenty of silly team building activities in the west. Lots of cheering & clapping and other brainwashing/'we are one' stuff.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

'Happy for those kids for getting jobs straight out of school, but man, that picture has "depressing" written all over it...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"We promise you that we will look into the future and aggressively take up challenges."

Standard meaningless boilerplate Japanese corporate talk. If you asked her to explain that, she would probably be tongue tied. Just another line I have read in 1000 corporate brochures for unimaginative companies that live in the past.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let's be honest, we also have plenty of silly team building activities in the west. Lots of cheering & clapping and other brainwashing/'we are one' stuff.

You rang a bell there.

I had an absolutely insane one in the US about 20 years ago. Some fake-tanned, over-muscled rent-a-mouth in a polo shirt was telling us to create nicknames for fellow staff members. He helpfully suggested names like ‘the eagle’ and ‘Spartacus’ for some overweight lazy arse and felt this would help drag him out of his torpor. The thing ended with me putting my hands on a coworker’s shoulders and praising his ability at work.

Give me idiotic hand gestures and brainless chants any day of the week.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Something I admire in Japan is the mountain of pride even the smallest worker puts in his/ her work; i.e., service station attendants, janitors, cashiers, etc. It's one of the main reasons us foreigners are so transfixed by the level of customer service here in japan. It pales radically in comparison to the service one gets in my home country: "Excuse me, in what aisle can I find small kitchen wares?" After popping her gum and giving me the stink-eye, "Over there! Can't you read the sign?" "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't see the sign." Her rolling her eyes and returning to her stocking duty, "They don't pay me enough for this shi..." Yeah... I would think twice about ridiculing these recruits. They're more professional, calm, and courteous than their counterparts elsewhere.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am amazed at the numerous negative comments by presumably Western people on this - the Japan Today website. There are no doubt many Japanese that share some posters dim view of these new hires future. However this is how the Japanese chose to organize their economy and workforce. Relative to the prospects of the vast majority of people around the world they have it made. All the best to these eager young people. They have a bright future ahead.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@saba - yes, I agree with you there in some respects.

It's a job.

The sad thing is that, these are University Graduates... doing Shop worker employment. What does that say for the state of Japanese Universities ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Wolfpack - it takes one peg to be pulled from the utopic Japanese stack, before the whole lot falls down and then you're left wondering what happened.... take a look at the recent spate of Japanese Corporate Credibility scandals, and ask yourself ... why ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Jimizo

Those silly team building experiences came from Japan, the West thought for a time, that we should try to implement the JIT system and the Japanese Workplace structure. Both failed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Where the Western culture does succeed, is through flexibility, and adaptability. It's probably through the acceptance that younger people can have new, refreshing ideas to help the business succeed, which is on the opposite side of the scale from most Japanese Companies.

West : Youth = Ability

Japan: Youth = Liability

Perhaps explains, why the Younger population here in Japan seek going to Startups in order to break that mould.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not sure what's to be "sad" or "depressed" about. It's just young people starting their first full-time job.

Some will be happy in it, some will not and will move on... That's life.

If you want to see real depressing stuff, go to a factory.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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