Interesting story, but terrible article. Filled with unattributed anecdotes from Twitter users. One story starts with "Here's a typical scene at..." Typical? Modern journalism.
I mostly never had these experiences in Japan. I was there for 7 years at 5-6 jobs teaching English and survived the 3/11 Great Tohoku Earthquake in Sendai, where I lived, as well as other smaller quakes. Classes were always cancelled, mostly because the trains had stopped. Once we were required to check in with the head office, a 10 minute walk away, just to get an update, but again, mostly because the cell networks were dead. All the bosses were former teachers, usually female. Awesome experience.
I had two or three great work experiences, one bad boss that I wanted to kill, and one truly terrible company experience. I will not redact the company name, the truly awful company was CocoJuku. A racist, conservative pathetic attempt at an English school with the same work environment mentioned in this article. So I quit.
They stuck me in an office in a brand new school on the 20th floor of an office tower, made me do paper work and sales campaigns, and taught zero lessons because they had zero students! But we wore full suits and made super lesson plans and had very clean and expensive electronic whiteboards. I walked out in the middle of a 9-hour shift after about 5 weeks of work. Filled my time with private tutoring and a part time job for 8 months after that while studying for a new online teacher certificate in prep for the next job!
Then again, I've had the exact same great and terrible working experiences in Canada with a dozen different jobs. I always quit and found the next one. The work climate in Japan, at least for ESL teaching is exactly the same as anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately Japan and Japanese people are not big on personal responsibility. There's a lot of people in Japan who could solve their own problems by finding new work. Maybe it's not possible in other fields, but change will only come from the workers and employees themselves.
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