There are only so many hours in the day, and in Japan it’s not all that unusual for salarymen to end up spending half of them or more at the office. But hey, in Japan responsibility to the group always takes precedence anything else, right?
So when Internet portal My Navi News polled Japanese business men and asked them “If your wife or girlfriend asked you ‘Which is more important, your job, or me?’” you might imagine that work would be the landslide winner. However, it turned out that the majority of the salarymen said they value their sweetheart more than their profession, with 60.2 percent declaring their wife/girlfriend is more important to them.
Their reasons for picking their lady loves included:
“The connection between two people is stronger than any business ties.”
“I don’t want to work so hard that it destroys my family life.”
“Family comes first.”
“In the end, it’s not your company that’s going to take care of you.”
However, almost one in five men, 18.7 percent, felt no shame in saying “Don’t come between me and my business, babe.”
“I think they’re both important, but if I had to pick one, it’s my job.”
“Can’t keep myself fed and clothed without a job.”
“If she’s asking me which is more important, I feel like she’s not being considerate enough about my economic situation, so I’d say ‘my job.’”
“I don’t really feel any affection for my wife anymore.”
Of course, what with “Sorry, I can’t do overtime tonight because I want to go home and be with my wife” being a statement you’ll pretty much never hear in Japan, the survey’s numbers don’t quite tell the whole story. Even among the 60-plus percent who said their wife/girlfriend is more important, odds are many of them regularly sacrifice large chunks of their personal/family time for to work-related reasons, since romantic partners tend to be more understanding and flexile about appointments than taskmaster bosses and demanding clients.
Maybe that’s why 21.1 percent of the surveyed salarymen said they couldn’t simply pick one as more important than the other. “They both have to be important to you,” said one respondent, with another adding “I couldn’t support my wife without my job, but if I didn’t have her support, I wouldn’t be able to keep doing my job,” showing that even when they accept the harsh realities of working life in Japan, a lot of salarymen wish they could be spending time with the woman they love.
Source: My Navi News via Livedoor News via Jin
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