Sunday, November 02, 2008

"Going John Galt" in Japan (via Instapundit)?


Blogger Steven Givler said...

I have the best of both worlds, low pay, high risk, minimal authority, and all in the exciting environment of the Persian Gulf! Envy me, Japanese slackers!

11:07 AM, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am responsible for a major share of the business that comes into the company for which I work. And it's all my ass if sales don't reach expectations. My salary is no longer commensurate with the business I bring in and the hours I put in, considering today's economic mad house. The overall commission money (not however, salary scale) is split evenly between those of us in the sales department. Yet everyone involved knows I bring in the lion's share. It is requiring more travel again as well, more nights away from home.

Aside from making me seriously consider a "hodo-hodo" take on things, it is also why I am dead set against Obama's policy proposals. I've already had a belly full of it.

2:52 PM, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all you waiters out there, it's the same as if no matter how good or how bad you are as a waiter, all tips go into a single jar. At the end of the night, they are split evenly to all waiters. Even if you are the only one who earned a decent amount of tips that night.

Be honest. If you're the best waiter in the restaurant, how long are you going to put up with that bullshit? Why bust your buns when it won't get you anywhere?
But if you're the biggest slacker on the wait staff, you're in heaven. AS long as you don't get taken out in the alley behind the place, and get stomped by the rest of the waiters.

3:01 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger tomcal said...

100 years ago, we all had to work to survive. Women worked predominantly in the home, and men in the factories or fields. I don't imagine that very many people really enjoyed or found fulfillment in their jobs, but they were necessary for survival.

Now, it appears to most that survival is a given, and the primary motive to work a really demanding job is to acquire more money to buy more stuff. With the fancy stuff, they can impress friends with similar goals, forming networks and business partners to make more deals and buy more stuff still.

I think a lot of us are realizing that this endless pursuit of wealth and power is not all that fulfilling. Life with less stress is generally of higher quality, even if it means fewer toys.

Also, many of the power mongers are joining government - which, for those who enjoy that sort of thing, is the fastest and cheapest way into a position which wields arbitrary power over others. That won't last forever, because eventually no one will be left to pay the bill.

Where that will ultimately lead is anyone's guess.

6:21 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Weird Dr. Helen, I blogged about this in my latest post "More Scary Vampires."

Bottom line, without the reward of attracting women with extra power/status/prestige, guys will slack off.

Japan is ground zero for the "New Girl Order" with Japanese women in a global environment wanting both "nicer" and less traditional guys (who don't want them to make miso soup for them every day) and who are also taller and more testosterone laden.

The average Salary Man is not going to get much beyond a some-time girlfriend if that, so no he's not going to take responsibility. He's going to be a slacker.

Thats going to happen in the US too.

9:18 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Steven Givler, God bless you, and I wish I were there.

I have to disagree with tomcal; I would say it's less a question of wealth and power, than independence and self-sufficiency. True, many folks out there obsessively chase the lucre, but most of us want to leave something for our kids & grandkids, savor the zest of running our own business, or just enjoy the good result of hard work; br549 excepted. I feel for ya, bro. :(

That said, I really don't think that the linked article is very "John Galt;" say rather "John Slacker." The boys they discussed are over-aged whiners pretending to be men.

...I nearly didn't add this postscript, but changed my mind, for br549, and others who think like him. FYI, a successful restaurant doesn't have collection of separate servers who are only concerned with their own tally.

Instead, you'll see a group of people who work together to make sure that every guest in that restaurant has a great experience, even if it isn't their table. They're the ones who go the extra mile (or few minutes) to take care of a table which isn't their own.

They'll take care of the special requests -the little details and preferences- with a smile. They'll even be able to tell the cooks "Oh, Betsy's here with her friend, Jenny," and the cook will quite likely know what they'll order before the check even gets to the kitchen.

Which -segueing back to topic- is the exact opposite of the Japanese slackers in question. They remind me of the server who acts quite put-upon if you ask for a clean class of water when the first one is obviously dirty.

Never underestimate the power of dirty cutlery...

11:29 PM, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Steven Givler said...

Thank you Casey; you're very kind. I should point out that I was very much tongue-in-cheek when I posted my comment. I love being an American military man, long deployments and family separation not withstanding. I get to work with the greatest kids our country has ever produced, and I've seen them at their absolute best, despite very trying circumstances. I think of them when I read an article like this, and think of how grateful I am for people who take responsibility willingly, work long hours, and take great risk, just so others will not have to.

I'm not in a position to comment authoritatively on these folks in Japan, but I think their culture has overemphasized employee loyalty for a long time, and families have suffered as a result. Maybe I'm just projecting here, feeling a little guilty as I do, about having chosen a career that so often demands my absence from my family.

3:02 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger pst314 said...

"I get to work with the greatest kids our country has ever produced"

On occasion I have been at functions attended by both military people and academics/litterateurs, and for civility and character the military folks win hands down.

8:39 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

A better translation for 'hodo-hodo' would be 'moderately', working, but not working to the point of exhaustion.

Japanese companies have long demanded 12-14 hour days with unpaid overtime proof of company loyalty. Japanese company workers are all given two weeks' vacation by law but no one takes any, as it would 'inconvenience their co-workers'. They all vacation at New Years and Obon (a religious holiday 8/2-14) when everybody else does...the whole nation fits their vacations into these two holidays, creating 8-10-hour traffic jams on all highways and delays at the airports. Japanese company workers have had no personal lives post WWII. I know many men who say they leave so early and come home so late that they only see their kids when they're asleep on weekdays. Dads are too exhausted to do anything with the family on Sunday, a lot spend the day sleeping to gear up for the next 60-70 hour work week.

There is even a word for 'death from overwork', 'karoshi'.

So I don't blame these younger Japanese for wanting a more human existence. No one every wished on their deathbed that they had gone to the office a little more...

10:12 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger pst314 said...

"No one every wished on their deathbed that they had gone to the office a little more..."

Did you ever see the Wicked Traveler series of phrasebooks? There is a section in the Japanese book on phrases for salarymen, such as "my greatest desire is to be a tiny cog in a giant machine" and "when the company no longer needs me I will go quietly to my death".

11:40 AM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

No I haven't. I can believe it though...

12:28 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger jfxgillis said...

Correctly Political: What if John Galt had a Special Needs Child?

Money quote:

This is not, by the way, intended to argue that society should play even the slightest role in making the decision not to terminate. That is an area of intimate family conduct to which the state should have not the slightest claim. It is, however, to argue this: If Senator Obama is a Socialist, then so is Governor Palin. The difference is, his Socialism is the ordinary and banal sort ostensibly intended to support "poor people." Her Socialism supports "Those who hold to the doctrine that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder." Thus, the Special Needs children themselves are not the sole beneficiaries of socialized Special Education funding.

2:44 PM, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of "going John Galt in Japan", we should be "going John Galt ON Japan".

Rich people with discriminating tastes (like Heather Mills) should refuse to tip Japan.

Heather, as a rich person, should be off creating wealth.

5:02 PM, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, Heather Mills is an example of a rich person who doesn't create wealth. There are only about 1,000,000,000 of them in the world.

And Helen thinks she is also a rich person, but I doubt that she is ... not really ... even leeching off her husband. But she is going to withhold her forensic services and that is going to bring the world to a screeching halt ... either that, or she didn't read Atlas Shrugged correctly.

And I would bet on the latter. And it's really irritating, Helen, that you are basically a dumb-shit.

5:15 PM, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Galt and his buddies came up with the (fairly good) idea of cutting off their SERVICES from the world, of going on strike as non-labor people but instead as managers and surgeons and engineers, to theoretically show the point that producers also produce something (LOL) in contrast to the Marxist beliefs that only labor produces something.

But all of that blows right past Important Doctor Helen Smith, who thinks that "going John Galt" means not tipping waiters who may (or may not) have voted for Obama.

Not even close, honey. But she gets some other people to yuk it up in some other video (although they are a bit uneasy about it).

You ... are ... a ... stupid ... piece ... of ... shit.

Everything clear?

5:36 PM, November 03, 2008  
Blogger pockosmum said...

It's clear that you are without manners of any kind.

8:17 PM, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess one has to actually HAVE a brain for it to be able to explode.

1:54 PM, November 04, 2008  
Blogger Xiaoding said...

Heather Mill's money creates wealth, and that fufills her responsibility to society. Not everyone in the world was born to be a business leader. In fact, I can think of more than a few business leaders who should not be business leaders.

6:23 PM, November 04, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's do a thought experiment, Xiaoding:

Let's say that everyone in the world gets their "wealth" like Heather got it, they take it from other people with the help of laws and court procedures tilted towards their particular demographic group.

What would you spend it on? No one creates anything. There wouldn't be any products (because no one would create any) and there wouldn't be any services (because people would be getting their money by taking it from others).

In other words, everyone would be a millionaire, and all the money would be absolutely worthless.

6:33 AM, November 08, 2008  
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