Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Motivation: Man works himself to death
Old 12-10-2007, 03:19 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 168
Motivation: Man works himself to death

Wow, check out this story Big in Japan: Man works himself to death, company compensates wife - Gadling

The Japanese even have a word for working yourself to death and companies are being sued to provide compensation.

I guess they did not read the FIRE board
__________________

__________________
David

I get up at 7 yeah, and I go to work at 9. Got no time for livin yes I'm workin all the time. Seems to me I could live my life a lot better than I think I am. I guess thats why they call me the Working Man.
DJRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

karoshi
Old 12-10-2007, 05:59 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,020
karoshi

This has been a well known phenomenon in Japan for many years, unfortunately. There is tremendous pressure to conform and the work ethic is beyond anything seen in North America. Even high school students have been known to die of karoshi and suicides are relatively common due to the pressures put on them from parents and teachers.

It's better to have a balance!
__________________

__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2007, 06:13 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,079
What dedictated employees! If I was interested in auto companines, I would consider buying shares in Toyota.
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2007, 06:26 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
There is tremendous pressure to conform and the work ethic is beyond anything seen in North America.
I'm soooooo thankful that I'm a non-conformist with NO work ethic!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2007, 06:51 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,906
When I worked for MegaMotors, I worked 30 consecutive 18 hours days, once. It got so I was basically incoherent at the end of the day. Glad I lived through it.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2007, 07:33 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
jambo101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
When I worked for MegaMotors, I worked 30 consecutive 18 hours days, once. It got so I was basically incoherent at the end of the day. Glad I lived through it.
Ever read a book by Ben Hamper called Rivethead? Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line. - book reviews Monthly Review - Find Articles
Its about tales from the assembly lines at GM,basically how workers deal with boring ,monotonous,drudgery laden jobs,as a participant in this kind of job it had me laughing hysterically.Although in my job we move milk instead of cars the tricks games and antics the workers get up to are the same
__________________
"Second star to the right and straight on till morning"
jambo101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2007, 09:12 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Ever read a book by Ben Hamper called Rivethead? Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line. - book reviews Monthly Review - Find Articles
Its about tales from the assembly lines at GM,basically how workers deal with boring ,monotonous,drudgery laden jobs,as a participant in this kind of job it had me laughing hysterically.Although in my job we move milk instead of cars the tricks games and antics the workers get up to are the same
Yes, I've read it. In my case I was working on a design issue that was holding up a new vehicle launch - millions of dollars per day at risk. Just a little more stress than Rivethead.

This book is a good read to understand what it was like working in the assembly plants in the 1980s and 1990s. Things have changed dramatically, there, too.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2007, 11:06 AM   #8
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 36
That is incredulous. I can't imagine what type of conditions and pressure would make someone work themselves to death.
__________________
layla17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2007, 01:21 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
tightasadrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: athens
Posts: 802
A short related story.

In the late 1980's the company I worked for purchased an interest in a small manufacturing company in Yokohama, Japan. Not too long afterward I was part of a team that travel to the plant to launch a new product to be sold in the US market. We worked with our counterparts to develop the manufacturing plan that the new product would be manufactured, inspected and tested under.

One late evening, after exposing a number of problems that required additional work to complete, we broke for the evening. Our hosts insisted that we all go out to eat together followed later with riotous drinking and cavorting, carried out mostly by our hosts. Needless to say we were all very late getting to sleep.

The next morning the US team arrived at the plant around 8am, the arrival timed to miss the morning exercises in the parking lot. We met our Japanese hosts from the previous evening in the conference room where no one looked particularly chipper. Here's the shocker: when we opened up our notes from the previous evening, we were presented with a complete list of solutions to the problems we had left incompleted the evening before! Sometime between our departure from the bar and our arrival at the plant at 8:00am the following morning, our Japanese friends had solved all the problems and were ready to begin reviewing the next phase of the process. Needless to say, I was impressed.

We worked together several other times through the years with these same people, both in the US and in Japan, and I was always impressed with their intelligence and hard work. I asked one fellow I worked with a great deal why he smoked and drank so much. He told me that it was the only way to survive the stress of work. No doubt!

Although I haven't seen any of them in years, I really did like all of them on a personal level. I hope they have survived.
__________________
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
tightasadrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2007, 04:44 PM   #10
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 38
Why is this such a surprise? People all over the world work themselves to death all the time. Heart attacks, strokes, stress, etc... not to mention people who have dangerous professions (police, firefighters, military) or unhealthy workplaces (chemists, nuclear engineers).
__________________
LiveWell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2007, 07:02 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,079
Quote:
Originally Posted by tightasadrum View Post
The next morning the US team arrived at the plant around 8am, the arrival timed to miss the morning exercises in the parking lot. We met our Japanese hosts from the previous evening in the conference room where no one looked particularly chipper. Here's the shocker: when we opened up our notes from the previous evening, we were presented with a complete list of solutions to the problems we had left incompleted the evening before! Sometime between our departure from the bar and our arrival at the plant at 8:00am the following morning, our Japanese friends had solved all the problems and were ready to begin reviewing the next phase of the process. Needless to say, I was impressed.

We worked together several other times through the years with these same people, both in the US and in Japan, and I was always impressed with their intelligence and hard work.
Unless there was some true urgency, I don't understand the decision to work all night. And if there it was an urgent situation, I don't understand why they would choose to go out drinking the previous evening.

Hard work? Sure. Intelligence? Not apparent from this example.
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2007, 09:44 AM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
tightasadrum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: athens
Posts: 802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton View Post
Unless there was some true urgency, I don't understand the decision to work all night. And if there it was an urgent situation, I don't understand why they would choose to go out drinking the previous evening.

Hard work? Sure. Intelligence? Not apparent from this example.
I wouldn't say that it was urgent, other than the fact that we were only in town for about a week. I think the motivation came from their plant manager. When he whistled, they barked. I'm only guessing here, since we didn't witness any exchanges, but here is my mental picture of what probably happened.

At the end of the day PM called his engineering manager to his office for a summary of what was accomplished that day. EM told PM about the "problems" which would be looked at in their environment as an embarassment, losing face, for the EM and the entire operation. Mistakes and errors just were not acceptable. To save face, EM volunteers to have it corrected before the start of work the next day. That way, no time is lost, and their reputation is restored. All this goes on in the background. To the US team in just looks like uber-efficiency.

Of course the poor guys cranking out the solutions probably put in an 80-hour workweek. And I expect the fellows who went out to dinner etc. were not the same ones that worked on the problem, but I really don't know this for sure. They were all working hard by the time we arrived at 8:00am.
__________________
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
tightasadrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2007, 11:01 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,079
Quote:
Originally Posted by tightasadrum View Post
Of course the poor guys cranking out the solutions probably put in an 80-hour workweek.
Sooner them than you or me.

Personally, I'd rather lose face than lose sleep!
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2007, 11:45 AM   #14
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 36
People might indirectly work themselves to death, but I've never actually heard of someone working himself to death.
__________________
layla17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2007, 02:17 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 309
The article indicates that he worked 80 hours of OT a month...that is 20 per week or about a 60 hour work week....that is alot but I think at a manager level it is not that unreasonable...that is working one day on the weekend and staying until 7ish during the weekdays. Not something I would like certainly, but it's not enough to warrant a lawsuit. In my experiences alot of these workaholics are extremely inefficient at what they do and need to work the extra hours to keep up.
__________________
accountingsucks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2007, 05:06 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 463
It is interesting that time on task seems to be regarded more highly than results, doesn't it?
__________________
TickTock Rule Of Finance - heavily discount any promises of money/benefits to be paid to you in the future

"I've traded love for pennies, sold my soul for less" -Jim Croce, Age
TickTock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2007, 11:20 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BunsGettingFirm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,502
Sixty hours of work a week shouldn't kill anybody. I regularly put in 13-hour days, but 2.5 hours of those are for studying after work, and 1.5 hour is for exercise after the studying. I find the schedule long but not stressful because 4 hours of that schedule is self-directed.

The problem comes from the stress of having people harangue you because of the delay in project XYZ is causing "millions" of dollars lost per day. What they don't tell you is that the "millions" of dollars lost per day are based on the best-case assumption that the sales guys close every deal that they pursue and that the actual sales hit the most optimistic sales forecast. Yeah, that happens in real life on every project. It's funny that raises aren't calculated using the most advantageous inputs such as 15% inflation and your discovering cold fusion thus saving the company $500 million in electricity cost.
__________________
BunsGettingFirm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2007, 02:36 PM   #18
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 8
This sounds like the "Republican Retirement Plan for Non-Rich Americans".

Now I am off to the pharmacy to get my happy pills refilled so I can look forward to what happened to this poor schmuck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJRR View Post
Wow, check out this story Big in Japan: Man works himself to death, company compensates wife - Gadling

The Japanese even have a word for working yourself to death and companies are being sued to provide compensation.

I guess they did not read the FIRE board
__________________
RobertInOhio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 06:19 PM   #19
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New York City
Posts: 32
I doubt that 80 hours OT per month is the actual OT hours he worked. It is only what he documented. Unfortunately, there is peer pressure to stay late even though he himself may not have to work late and there is also pressure to not document how much time he actually stayed since no one does either. It is certainly getting better than it was 10 to 15 years ago but the pressure is still there. I know many colleagues who work regularly until 3am.

As for drinking after being told there was a problem, it would generally be considered rude to not entertain guests, certainly guests flying in from a different country. My guess is that they told their subordinates to get cracking on it and that it would be reviewed after they got back from dinner/drinking/karaoke/hostess bar, whatever time that might be. What is funny is that you could have realized that and declined dinner but that would also be perceived as rude, even though you are doing it for their benefit, so it is a dance to have dinner and drinks and leave at a reasonable hour without offending them, knowing that they are going back to work.
__________________
Buddha44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2008, 05:14 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
My motto is: Working is for suckers.
I certainly won't work myself to death!
__________________

__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Motivation happy2bretired Other topics 23 04-09-2007 07:18 PM
FSB or KGB~ It still works the same mickeyd Other topics 1 11-27-2006 04:33 PM
It really works! shelly Other topics 27 11-02-2005 09:26 PM
Dory's Cold Brewed Works! unclemick Other topics 5 05-16-2005 04:12 PM
Motivation Is Everything hocus Young Dreamers 32 11-16-2004 04:14 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:00 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.