It’s an underappreciated nuance of Japanese culture that the public employment office is known as “Hello Work.” It’s an incredibly cute and festive name that you could easily imagine Rip Taylor shouting as he fires puffs of confetti into the air.
Although it’s a superficial feature of the institution, it probably does help to promote a more positive atmosphere on a subconscious level among staff and clients who are faced with the sometimes bleak business of unemployment assistance.
For one office in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, it is sometimes bizarre too. According to police, from about 2:30 in the afternoon of Jan 31, Hello Work received 159 phone calls over the course of two and a half hours. However, every time they picked up the phone there was nothing but silence on the other end.
The police were contacted and traced the source of the quiet calls to an unemployed man in nearby Hagashi Matsushima City. Considering both the man’s mobile phone and Hello Work’s phones had detailed records of the calls, it was an open-and-shut case. Naturally, the 41-year-old suspect admitted making the calls, telling police “There was something I wanted to say.”
While that might seem like a cryptic motive, many online took it to mean that this “criminal” was really nothing more than a big old nervous Nelly.
“He just has trouble communicating. He needs counseling not an arrest.”
“Poor guy. He tried to reach out, but when he heard the person on the other end the words didn’t come to him.”
“I admire him for keeping at it 159 times, even though it was hard for him.”
“I know how hard it can be to summon the courage to call Hello Work.”
“That’ll do, man. That’ll do.”
“SAY IT THEN ALREADY!!!!!”
“Maybe 159 silent pauses was what he actually wanted to say?”
Sources: Sankei News, My Game News Flash
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