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YAAAP so I just ruined my career

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
I told a senior Japanese manager that the entire place is systemically racist and the only way to get ahead is to be Japanese.

Well, maybe not the best topic to bring up at an all-you-can-drink buffet.

I think I hit a nerve. He was... really.. not very happy with that discussion.

But I'm sure other people have worked in Japan and other places in Asia.. what do you think?

-jM
A&D
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
I think it's true but probably doesn't need to be said. Especially to some traditional Asians who don't like to directly confront elephants in the room.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Well now that it's 8am on a Saturday and I'm not completely hammered...

Underneath all the niceties and politeness of Japan is a rampant racism. In fact their racism is so... I don't know... OBVIOUS.... that I'm surprised it isn't discussed more in tourist books and other literature.

Oh the Chinese know it, they HATE the Japanese.

The Koreans, well I don't have enough experience with them to comment but I imagine they don't have many happy thoughts after Japanese colonialism and you know that whole little "comfort women" thing.

Demographics of Japan: 98% Japanese, 2% Other. Most of that 2% is Chinese or Philipino.

2%.

This strange, insular country is the world's (now) third largest economy and yet only 2% of them are non-Japanese. This proves there are "forces" that ensure the place remains insular. This applies not only to their country but also to their companies.

Any foreigner (ie non-Japanese) who makes any attempt to stay in Japan quickly realizes that the place is designed to keep foreigners OUT. Meiji restoration my ass. You can't own property. You can't "really" get a job. Your children no matter what will never be considered Japanese and you and your kids will never be able to vote.

So, take this mentality to the work place. HR seems to have two sets of rules, if only because it is impossible to change the Japanese culture. There is one set of regular HR rules that apply to "everyone except Japanese", and then there are the Japanese, who can basically do and say whatever they want. Granted, their rules are usually regulated to themselves, so nobody generally complains, but the hypocrisy is both stunning and obvious.

Need someone to work 20 hours a week of unpaid overtime? Ask the Japanese lady.
Need someone to work a Canadian holiday? Ask the Japanese.
Feel the need to berate someone in public? Well do it in Japanese and it's A-OK.

And Boss Hog yes it does need to be said because their racism and sexism is extreme and affecting regular Canadians. I know first hand of how Japanese have coached their fellow Japanese to lie to consular officials and border agents in order to secure visas that are undeserved and put regular Canadians out of a job. These are mainstream Japanese companies that actively subvert the laws we have in place to protect our own sovereignty. You bet your ass HR is going to check, say, an American who wants to work in Canada, but hey if it's a Japanese person somehow it's "ok whatever you want".

I personally know two Japanese girls who used to work at a restaurant in Mississauga. A senior manager thought they were hot and BANG they suddenly work for us. Qualification?

NEEDED: Young attractive Japanese women who will do whatever we ask

A couple bows and a sumimasen and BANG they're hired. Where's HR in all this mess? Isn't HR supposed to, you know, interview or screen people like they did me? No no, not if you're Japanese.

Whatever apologies have been given, and apologies are a BIG THING for Asians, they amount to a bunch of horseshit when you can continue in your ways nonetheless; I mean western Europe realized this eons ago -- ie. apology means nothing.

Look I may come across as sounding jaded, but I've worked for several Japanese companies on as many continents and it's always the same. And in particular living in Japan, as opposed to just visiting Japan, showed me a world of insight.

Basically I need to move to Germany.

-jM
A&D
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
I just can't let this topic go...

Yes Chris, "the Elephant in the room".

Is it culturally insensitive to address a behaviour that I find reprehensible? A I just supposed to go on showing up to work and pretending that racism and sexism is OK? How long am I supposed to do that? Am I supposed to do that because I'm Canadian and tolerant of cultures? Tolerate racism and sexism because I'm a nice docile Canadian who works for a foreign culture?

I say no. Fuck no.

It'll probably cost me my job but it will enhance my career. Someone needs to stand up and say THIS IS WRONG.

I'm not trying to change Asia, they can do whatever they want. It's the influence they ("they" being foreign senior managers of large multinational corporations who happen to also operate in Canada) are trying, and are doing, that needs to be refused.

TOPIC ADAPTATION

I can only imagine how many unfortunate people are being abused in Chinatown in Toronto, say. How many people are working under the table for less than minimum wage and thinking "OK I'm happy enough because at least I'm in Canada". Exploit labour. You, the reader, me, myself, we've been to these places where they put on a dreary cheer and serve us chicken balls with red sauce. Is it fair?

There's a much larger point here and now that I've shot my career with this company in the foot I may as well drink some beers while I can still afford it and prepare for unemployment again with the company of internet pseudostrangers.

-jM
A&D
 

RumRogerz

TRIBE Member
I don't think you can get fired for what you said. They will however find another avenue to get back at you.
 
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octo

TRIBE Member
jeffsus everything you're complaining about happens all over the place all the time.

it's not a japanese thing.

persians do it, russians do it, spics do it, polacks do it, jews do it. everyone!

who complains that their company hires hot japanese girls that will do whatever they're asked to do?

you want to move to japan, buy property, have kids and vote? why should you be entitled to this? because the country you're from allows it?

just because you're a white male and are used to getting preferential treatment doesn't mean you're entitled to whatever you want.
 

Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
Weird. I don't do this racist thing. My fam is Canadian going back many generations. A little dabble of UK roots on one side or another, I guess. Also other folks, too.

Then again I'm not a manager, nor do I have the desire to do so at this point.

And I agree that the racist style is pretty pervasive beneath a shoddy little layer of multiculturalism in many places I've worked, but I don't know that I would say anything.

The reason being, by saying such, what am I expecting to achieve? It isn't likely that my pointing it out will actually effect any desired change. Perhaps if I had a solution that was reasonable and viable, I'd look into presenting it to management.
 

newstyle666

TRIBE Member
You sir are living in a world of ignorance.

Source: I live in Japan.

1) Property. Last time I checked, foreigners are able to purchase land - and the depreciating assets built on it. As long as you have legal resident status (Resident Card) and a registered Inkan personal stamp you can buy and sell as the Nihonjin do. Source: I own investment property here.

2) Racism. See the thing is, every country harbours biases and certain cultural insensitivities. Japan is no different. Japanese are often surprised to learn I live here and yet have never taught English. In fact, aside from the word they use for the private English school industry (Eikawa), I know nothing about this industry at all.

3) Insular. Yes it is. Guess what? Not always a bad thing. It comes with many advantages too. I mean taking a local bus here is a fucking dream... its like a luxury private coach. For what I consider to be one of the most uncomfortable forms of public transportation, you would be shocked at the peace and quiet. But then again, driving or the Shinkansen is my transportation method of choice.

4) 1%. See, foreigners in Japan have it all wrong. Stop whining and stop trying to conform to the Japanese standard. If you think you can never rise up in the Japanese corporate world -- you never will. That is largely because most gaijin position themselves incorrectly from the start. You have to sell yourself as a foreign expert imported from abroad and be hired as a disruptive game changer. Need proof? Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment Global is one of many examples. Carlos Gohn of Nissan, or the short-lived Michael Woodford of Olympus. The secret is to recognize your unique features and sell yourself as something exotic -- something they cannot find within their own borders. The entire Meji Restoration was built with imported foreign experts. Don't believe me? Medical terminology is still written in German. Or German katakana depending on the hospital... and this dates back 100+ years.

Personally, I think of Japan in terms of a permanent vacation. See the thing is, you can be whoever you want here -- the checks and balances that your peergroup place on you back home are lifted in Japan. You are entirely left to your own devices. You dont have to conform, and since this logic is missed by most Japanese, it gives you incredible freedom. I mean just go to the seaside. Its epic. Hundreds of kms of completely unspoiled stunning beaches w / fantastic sailing and surfing. Yet the Japanese are mostly unaware of this fact for various reasons. You can rent an apartment with a stunning ocean view for a discount due to its proximity to the ocean and perceived risk. Even if its located in a protective bay or perched 200m up on a hill.

If you spend time trolling the internet for answers, you will have a bad time. People who are killing it in Japan are not posting their resumes on Gaijinpot or commenting on forums. Fuck the stereotypes. Many are forging new paths here. This is what motivates me. It's an opportunity cost, and really -- this place is worth it.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
You sir are living in a world of ignorance.
Thank you for naming me "sir". Otherwise, you are completely wrong.

Source: I live in Japan.
Yes darling if you read further you'd know that I did too. In four prefectures and paid quite handsomely. Not merely for being an English teacher, which was quite rewarding, but also an engineer. What do you do?

2) Racism. See the thing is, every country harbours biases and certain cultural insensitivities. Japan is no different.
Yes so I suppose that is OK.

Japanese are often surprised to learn I live here and yet have never taught English. In fact, aside from the word they use for the private English school industry (Eikawa), I know nothing about this industry at all.
Well that's just great. You know what the French say about you and your awesome Japanese accomodations? "THEY LIVE LIKE ANTS". You probably live in Leo Palace.

ncomfortable forms of public transportation, you would be shocked at the peace and quiet. But then again, driving or the Shinkansen is my transportation method of choice.
Seriiously, the bus? The Japanese bus? The only places where a Japanese bus operates is the places where the train does not operate. The trains are awesome in Japan, but, you're trying to talk to me about the BUS?

And then the Shinkansen? Really buddy? I'm quite sure, whatever you're job is, that you do not commute on the shinkansen.

1%. See, foreigners in Japan have it all wrong. Stop whining and stop trying to conform to the Japanese standard. If you think you can never rise up in the Japanese corporate world -- you never will.
A brief review of my post will clearly show "2%"

Nonetheless, you have it right "foreigners in Japan" will always be foreigners. I think that was the general jist of my point.

"Stop trying to conform to the Japanese standard" well sir I believe that's what I posted about. Do we agree?

As far as what you're saying about rising up in the Japanese corporate world, well my dear, I've already done that, and I don't like it, and that's why I'm complaining.

I really have no idea what you do there in Japan, but I suppose you're resting on your gaijin laurels, pretending that you're a lot hotter and more successful than you really are, and globally no one gives a shit. What are you then, a model? A white guy in Japan? 2%

-jM
A&D
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Wait, is this the guy who irons his suits on airplanes or whatever?

Ah, I think I was trolled.

-jM
A&D
 

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
It is. The funny thing is that many of the people that jumped down his throat in that thread probably wear a suit 50 hours per week now. At the time they owned nothing but modrobes.
 

Bumbaclat

TRIBE Member
I know I've found myself in a hotel ironing my suits, wishing there was a way to travel without wrinkling them.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
It is. The funny thing is that many of the people that jumped down his throat in that thread probably wear a suit 50 hours per week now. At the time they owned nothing but modrobes.
Ah man, well at least I responded seriously. But I am laughing at myself right now. 11 am? Time for a beer and probably a shower but I'll take my chances.

You know, some people look at me weird(ly) because I wear safety boots with a suit.

My company, Madrigal, will buy me new safety boots/shoes every year. But I cling onto the ones I've had for like 7 years.

Oh, they stink. They really fucking stink. "steel toed" and "breathable" are not compatible. I can only wear fresh socks in these shoes once and they are contaminated.

Sometimes, I'm sitting at work, estimating the value of robots or the current market price of copper, and I can smell my stinky feet. From those stupid fucking safety shoes.

Someone, somewhere, onetime, said it's impossible to wear a suit with safety shoes. Well sir I am that exception.

What I find curious is that in Japan, if this is still a thread about Japan, when you go into any factory, you have to immediately take off your shoes and put on slippers.

Slippers!

Little felt things that slide off unless you walk in the Japanese way. Hey Newstyle666, the bitches you bang, do they do the Japanese shuffle? The ingrained way that will keep slippers on their feet even if they're not wearing slippers? I don't think other Asians do this. On the shinkansen, I find it reprehensible.

-jM
A&D
 
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newstyle666

TRIBE Member
Tribe's biggest troll is accusing me of such behaviour. Quite amusing frankly.

Funny you would assume I live in a 1DK Mansion just because that was your experience Japan-side. No good sir, that would be incorrect. A custom built house actually, but thanks for the hate. In fact, the parking pad would already be finished by now, but due to the likes of your company - in all likelihood and/or other large physical trading houses here - the price of Portland Cement has skyrocketed over 450% due to the LDP raising consumption tax. The building boom was put into overdrive. Now the paving company cannot make good on its contract at the price we negotiated.

And yes, as shameful as it is to admit -- I do commute by Shinkansen. Which is rather obscene and I am fully aware of this fact. You obviously did not pay attention to my point. Show your employer unique expertise and negotiate beforehand. That is tip #1. If my travel allowance is high enough to support a high-speed train commute, and reduces travel time from my city to the office from 1h down to 26 minutes, would you not do the same?
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Tribe's biggest troll is accusing me of such behaviour. Quite amusing frankly.

Funny you would assume I live in a 1DK Mansion just because that was your experience Japan-side. No good sir, that would be incorrect. A custom built house actually, but thanks for the hate. In fact, the parking pad would already be finished by now, but due to the likes of your company - in all likelihood and/or other large physical trading houses here - the price of Portland Cement has skyrocketed over 450% due to the LDP raising consumption tax. The building boom was put into overdrive. Now the paving company cannot make good on its contract at the price we negotiated.

And yes, as shameful as it is to admit -- I do commute by Shinkansen. Which is rather obscene and I am fully aware of this fact. You obviously did not pay attention to my point. Show your employer unique expertise and negotiate beforehand. That is tip #1. If my travel allowance is high enough to support a high-speed train commute, and reduces travel time from my city to the office from 1h down to 26 minutes, would you not do the same?
Fair enough, i really have no means to contest you.

But I do wonder, why do you take the shinkansen to work? That would be like me taking the airplane to Calgary every day? If you're telling the truth, why not just moe closer to your work? And yes I do know that it's regular Japnese practice to pay for the salaryman's commute. But still... Why would you like that?

And Newstyle666, I am not a troll. I am just an interesting person who questions what you say. SAY MORE

-jM
A&D
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
. SAY MORE

Well, I will say more.

As much as Japan is a strange, racist, insular bunch of islands, it's their right to be so.

Pretty much every white foreigner: and I have to admit I had trouble distinguishing between Korean, or Chinese, until they spoke their language. I have no problem about it now.

But the white people were obvious. And for obvious reasons: they were white! 2%--

Several times I was stopped by the Jap police, basically because I was white, and they asked for ID and proof of ownership of my stupid bike. They asked more questions but honestly I couldn't understand what they wanted. I just showed them everything in my pockets and then they left me alone.

In the beginning, I lived with a really cool guy from Manchester.

He was a hard core cyclist and went through the rice fields with his gear like nobody's business. He was in fantastic shape and would bitch about me for smoking and drinking. Ah, but he drank and smoke heavy himself. We both came from money.

One night, we went to the convience store, and picked up about a dozen beers and a large bottle of whiskey. On the way home, we found some kids in a park so for whatever reason, we invited them to our place. They came. Good for them, bad for us.

You know, teenagers, of whatever society, don't really need much booze to get drunk. We obviously did not speak any common language, but strangely, once one's drunk, everyone seems to understand what's going on.

The guy from Manchester tried really, really hard to teach the Jap kid how to dance. I just gave up, considering it a lost cause. But the other kid came with me into my my bed, which I guess was nice, but lead to nothing.

To this day I'm not sure if that other kid learned how to dance in Manchester, or speak English, or Drink whiskey, but fuck I did make it to work the next day, which I can't say too about my friend, and those were good times.

-jM
A&D
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
Sorry I got lost in my memories. The point was that most white people in Japan are some kind of loser.

Me and the guy from Manchester would talk about it all the time. We did agree that the entire country, for the 2% and even less than that, the 0.005% white people, were strange losers who would never succeed in the west, and therefore somehow migrated to Japan. I don't mean this offensively, Newstyle666., but maybe you are one of those kids. Just strange losers who can't really make it in the West but can get along in Japan because you're white. I don't mean this in a bad way.

-jM
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
One thing I've noticed living as an expat in Asia for the past 4 years is that the expat community is largely made up of social rejects and weirdos who probably left home to try and fit in somewhere else. Except they don't. They just make the people of the country they move to believe that all Westerners must be as weird and awkward as they are.

And if that includes me, then so be it.
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
One thing I've noticed living as an expat in Asia for the past 4 years is that the expat community is largely made up of social rejects and weirdos who probably left home to try and fit in somewhere else. Except they don't. They just make the people of the country they move to believe that all Westerners must be as weird and awkward as they are.

And if that includes me, then so be it.
Ah Boss Hog you said more eloquently, what I intended to say.

My first expat experience was in California, which doesn't really count, because they look the same and speak the same language and frankly, "oot and aboot" aside, nobody could tell that I wasn't born in California.

Then Europe, Africa, Asia, good times. Berlin was the best. But you're right about expats, many of them are a certain type of loser.

I found it more prevalent in Asia, I'm not going to spend time thinking about why that was. In Asia it's obvious that you're a foreigner, well unless you're Asian. In Europe it's not obvious until you open your mouth or they look at your shoes. And in Africa well, pff.

I knocked up with a Swiss diplomat for a while. He was a good sport. I got drunk and walked barefoot through the jungle on some Island near Zanzibar, and he was like (well he said it in German) "Jeff, maybe you should put some shoes on, there are snakes and rocks and things." That gave me a moment of repose -- whatever.

-jM
A&D
 
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