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Thursday, June 21, 2018

long hours occupation of crease ~ work culture !!


Afghans learnt it the hard way ~ that in Test Cricket – occupying the crease is one of the most important thing.  Have once seen Anshuman Gaekwad grind Pakis for 436 balls, 652 minutes,  making a double ton.  Gaekwad had stonewalled the vaunted WI pacers in their own backyard in 1976 and was recalled in 1983 when India toured Caribbean islands.  In an Ashes test, Len Hutton's technical excellence, stroke-making abilities and the ability to score big when set was in full show as he tormented the Australian bowlers at the Oval. He faced 847 deliveries and batted for more than 13 hours to bring up the then record score of 364.

As different as the countries' work cultures are,  not many have similarities – and one of them is  employees working  long hours and do not take many vacations ! Japan is notorious for its long work hours. There is even a phenomenon where people have died from working too much. It is called karoshi, which literally means "death by overwork."   However,  data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, states  American workers clocked in more average annual hours than Japanese workers in 2016.

In Nov 2017,  Cheteshwar Pujara achieved a rare feat, becoming only the third Indian and ninth overall to bat across five days in a Test match.  He joined ML Jaisimha and Ravi Shastri in the elite list. Incidentally they had also achieved the rare feat at the Eden Gardens.  He could achieve the feat thanks to rain interruption on day one and two. Pujara had come in to bat on day one after opener Rahul was dismissed in the first ball and went on hit a gritty 52 under testing conditions.  Pujara remained unbeaten on eight runs having faced 32 deliveries on day one. He added 39 runs in his unbeaten knock and faced 70 balls on day two. Pujara added five from 15 balls on day three before being cleaned up by Lahiru Gamage. Pujara faced nine balls on day 4 and on fifth day,  he added 20 to his overnight total of two, having faced 42 deliveries before being done in by Suranga Lakmal.  Incidentally Pujara’s aggregate of 74 runs (52 and 22) is the lowest among the nine players to bat all 5 days, going below 94 by Jaisimha (20* and 74).

The culture of Japan has evolved greatly over the millennia, from the country's prehistoric time Jōmon period, to its contemporary modern culture, which absorbs influences from Asia, Europe, and North America. Strong Chinese influences are still evident in traditional Japanese culture as China had historically been a regional powerhouse, which has resulted in Japan absorbing many elements of Chinese culture first through Korea, then later through direct cultural exchanges with China. The inhabitants of Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world during the Tokugawa shogunate after Japanese missions to Imperial China, until the arrival of the "Black Ships" and the Meiji period. The Black Ships  was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries.

MailOnline reports that a  Japanese water company has apologised to customers and docked a worker's pay after he was caught leaving his desk for a lunch break.

A 64-year-old male staff member at the Kobe City Waterworks Bureau on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan, took approximately 78 minutes of lunch break over the course of seven months.  But his employers took a dim view of his antics, arguing that he had frittered away company time in the pursuit of food. The trips a nearby store, which took three minutes each time, took place a total of 26 times between September 2017 and March 2018.

The man was only caught when a senior office worker looked out the window and saw him crossing the street to get himself a bento - a popular Japanese lunchtime box. A televised apology was staged by the Waterworks Bureau after the 'scandal' with company executives appearing on screens to bow in apology to its customers. The company also docked him a half-day's pay for good measure.  According to the man's superiors, the reason he gave for leaving the office to buy his lunch was because he wanted 'a change of pace'.

While the, high-ranking officials called the incident a 'scandal' and apologised  -  social media users leapt to the man's defence - calling the punishment 'absurd'. The incident throws the spotlight on Japan's torturous working conditions where many employees are expected to work overtime and not take holiday.  A twitteratti said it is workplace slavery while another   said: 'The punishment is totally absurd – 26 times over a six-month period means he only left the office once a week.' .. .. . Workers are entitled to 20 days leave a year but currently about 35% don't take any of it.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar                                                                      20th June 2018.

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