The profusion of goofy "bakattaa" photos, shots by part-time restaurant workers in all kinds of disgusting poses uploaded on social network sites, are just the beginning of managements' headaches.
"The kid was from Kyushu, came up to attend college in Tokyo," relates a man named Hiraiwa, manager of a western style izakaya (pub) in Saitama Prefecture, to Shukan Taishu (Sept 23). "He seemed pretty serious. But after about two months, he'd was constantly chattering away with the female patrons. And I had to warn him when I caught him slipping his telephone number when returning change when they paid the bill.
"The same day two attractive female patrons came to the shop and he overheard them discussing snowboarding.
"'Next time you go, take me along with you, okay?' He interrupted, adding 'We can have fun together!'" He proceeded with a monologue about how he adored mogul skier Aiko Uemura. The customers never came back."
Management must also deal with naughty behavior between employees, particularly those of opposite sexes.
"After I took care of the cash receipts there were supposed to be two workers, one male and one female, still on duty, but I looked around and couldn't see them anyplace," says Osamu Kidokoro, operator of an izakaya (Japanese pub) in Kanagawa Prefecture. "I called out to them in a loud voice, and suddenly heard a rattling noise, and the two of them emerged from the men's lavatory, their clothing disheveled and faces sweaty from exertion. I was glad I hadn't opened the door and seen them..."
Such trysts between restaurant employees are said to be a fairly common occurrence.
"Once I walked in and saw a male and female bartender, wiping off whiskey bottles scattered around the counter while they were completely naked," says the operator of another shop. "They had flung off 'otsuyu' (bodily secretions) during sex and were in the process of cleaning up."
"Most of our part-time staff are girls who attend a nearby high school," says the manager of a Chinese-style family restaurant. "They all look cute wearing the abbreviated uniforms we provide them with. A thirtyish male employee had a hard time keeping his hands off, and got a 16-year-old pregnant. They wound up getting married. It's intolerable!"
Summer, of course, is the time when cases of food poisoning peak, and restaurant managers are expected to devote extra efforts to sanitation and control of foodstuffs. Imagine the manager's shock to learn an employee was taking unconsumed "goma dango" -- a Chinese dessert with sweet bean filling and an outer layer of glutinous rice sprinkled with sesame seeds that is deep fried in oil -- and "recycling them" because he felt it was "a waste" to throw them away.
Both the lunkhead who crawled in the freezer and another one who squeezed into an industrial-sized dishwasher at a Japanese-style noodle shop -- "Look, this his how I get clean, tee-hee!" he wrote -- have been soundly denounced by irate netizens for their repugnant, disgusting and unsanitary antics. But others steal from their employers, a practice that's also rampant.
"The part-timers rip off toilet paper and other supplies, shoyu (soy sauce) and miso (soy bean paste)," complained the boss at a seafood specialty restaurant.
"Since the shop's inventory system isn't very tight, we help ourselves to bottled beer to our heart's content," sneers a part-timer at a Korean barbecue restaurant. "We consider it as a fringe benefit."
"One part-timer I fired would rip off anything he could carry," says Takeshi Kurokawa, who operates a live house in Tokyo. "Vegetables like cabbages, eggplants and carrots; 10-kilogram bags of rice; 5-kilogram bags of frozen fried chicken... He even stole the kitchen knives and dishes.
"A couple of weeks afterward I saw him in the same neighborhood, working in the kitchen of a Turkish restaurant."
Before teaching part-time workers the ins and outs of their job, the magazine concludes, someone needs to provide them with lessons about simple human decency.
In a separate article, J-cast News (Sept 10) notes that the firing of such workers can also have undesirable repercussions, such as their posting revealing photos of dead rats trapped in their former employer's kitchen -- a phenomenon some media have dubbed "baito tero" (part-time worker terrorism).© Japan Today