This story (via BBC via TheDailyWhat) is probably the most touching news I’ve seen in a long whoo-ile.
Retired Japanese engineers and other professional veterans are volunteering to take the place of younger emergency workers that are being exposed to radiation. Their logic being that cancer would take 20-30 years to develop, and being veterans with approximately 13 to 15 years of life expectancy, that the cancer would be an irrelevant danger.
When questioned if their endeavor is a “kamikaze mission,” Yamada simply replies that “Kamikazes were something strange. There is no risk management there.”
He states precaution would be taken and that they would be back after the work was done.
I found Yamada’s logic so familiar and also entertaining. One might think that the question is loaded enough to cause an emotional response, rather there is only a dry calculation of efficacy as a rebuttal.
The Japanese have such a pragmatic, group oriented philosophy… for the greater good, sacrifice for the whole, etc.
It makes me proud to have come from Japan, although I am not romanticizing that I am anything like the people from which I have long been disconnected.
ON WORK ETHICS
I was born in Japan, and my family moved us to America when I was only 5, so it would be safe to assume that I have been Americanized.
Still, in my work experience, I have found a majority of the American work force to be somewhat lazy and selfish, not at all contributing or participating in a team or group mentality. It’s been a blessing that I have found a way to work as a freelancer without much supervision or the need for collaboration to escape this circumstance.
In many of the jobs I’ve had in the past, I have absorbed more duties than was necessary. I would assume that it was because my tendency to value efficiency of workflow over the sacrifice of having to do the work of others myself. Whereas most American would tend to be like… “not my job, don’t give a crap”, I would be like… “the goal is to create X widgets, not completing this part of the system disrupts the efficiency of the the system, thus must be completed irregardless of whose responsibility!”
In my work history, I’ve actually had coworkers, and even a few of my bosses tell me to go home. In those instances, I felt as if their suggestion was not out of concern for me, rather so they would not feel guilty, or by contrast make apparent at their lack of participation in the success of the company.
I worked for a now defunct company that made it mandatory that artists work extra hours since they were salaried. At times, we would end up being the first and last at the job. I’m not surprised the lack of self sacrifice from the topmost level caused the business to fail.
“The higher you get up in a company, the less you should have to do,” a former coworker said to me. He acted as he stated, even though he had only been with the company less than 1-2 years, and he wasn’t really in a position of high authority. Another comment by him epitomized the disgusting selfishness that seems to pervade American work culture, “if everyone was as greedy as they could be, and asked for more than what they were worth, prices would become fair.”
I have no doubt that type of greedy mentality is what helped to spur the recent financial crisis.
In my opinion, Jobs are a privilege, not a right!
I have no respect for people who are selfish, and I despise laziness. They are one in the same.
Still, those are the norms of the American work culture in which I reside and operate, so I have found a solution by circumventing those scenarios in which I am unable to operate efficiently because of others. I became a freelancer.
Are You Right For Freelance?
I believe that if you are looking to become a freelancer, one of the main traits that would be indicative of possible success is that you have great disdain for the typical work culture. Whether it be in it’s inefficiency, the lack of decision making powers, nepotism, or just plain lazy, annoying coworkers, I think you must be somewhat rebellious in spirit to be successful in freelance.
Do you hate your job? Sorry that’s not enough. Everyone or a majority of workers hate their job.
Do you willingly absorb and learn news tasks at work because you’re curious, want to be efficient, or some other deranged atypical reasoning? This is a key to potential success, because as a freelancer, you will have to learn and execute many different tasks. Networking, finances, marketing, etc. You do stuff because you are curious and a leader not a sheep that likes to be told what to do.
Are you an asset to the company you work for? And by asset, I mean, if they fired you, or you quit, would it be difficult to replace you? And by difficult, I mean a serious detriment and a OH SHIT FREAK OUT scenario for the bosses in which it would seem as if they just amputated a leg. If so, you might want to consider amputating yourself, or asking for a raise. Most workers are replaceable. Although there would be a slight bump in the road and inconvenience in hiring and training a new employee, most cogs in a machine are easily replaced by the next dummy. If you are an uber valuable asset, it probably means that you’ve likely got the skills, brains, and initiative to be successful as an independent.
Are you an efficiency freak? One of the main reasons I left the salaried the 40 hour work week (actually 40-55 hour work week) was that I HATED how inefficient being a desk jockey was. Not only do you have to drive back and forth from work, my schtick was, if I compressed the actual work done in the 40 hours, I’m efficient and hard working enough to bang out QUALITY work in a third or half of the time. I was pretty naive so when I told the last bosses this, they gave me more work and downgraded my pay.
The thing is, if someone is paying you $$K a year, it’s likely that you are worth at least that much in revenue and profit. More likely, you are worth several times that. How else would the owners be driving around in a fancy car and taking vacations to Hawaii every year?
You maintain good finances. If you have less than $5000 in the bank, or at least 6 months of living expenses in your savings account in general, forget about going freelance… for now. Go save some money and figure out how to be wise with your money. Cause whether you freelance or work for someone else, living a successful life is also about being a good steward with your money. If you want to run your own business, it’s alot more crucial you know how to manage your finances.
Do you get lonesome? I’m introverted and seem to have an aversion for … PEOPLE!!!!!!!….. in general, so it’s no skin off my teeth to work alone in solitude for days on end. Several times in my freelance career, I worked tirelessly for days at a time without even uttering one word to another human being. Although I communicated through email, blog, social, there was no audible sound from my being except maybe the occasional fart or burp. My experiences are somewhat on the extreme because I lived alone, and I didn’t participate much in online chat, etc, but yes, unless your freelance job is consulting or some other interaction based business, you will need to be ok that you don’t have a coworker to banter with about the important topics of the day like how you would like to bang Suzie.
So, do you think you are ready?
Before you consider going off and doing more work, here’s a nice writeup.
I’ll give you a hint… #2 is that people wished they didn’t work so hard.