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Old 2012-09-25, 16:26   Link #2501
DonQuigleone
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaler View Post
^ I think you just proved why bullying is so hardcore over there.

But yeah, I can understand what they mean when they say that working with the company and its customers in mind is better than just thinking of your own personal achievements. But just because I show up to work with a green shirt instead of the usual blue shirt doesn't mean I'm trying to screw everyone over. It's my own thing.
Indeed, nobody is perfect. Personally, I'd like to see more of the Japanese emphasis on teamwork and customer service, while perhaps losing it's restrictive prescriptivism on personal choices like clothing. That said, I think dressing professionally is a good thing, and part of that is not drawing inordinate attention to yourself. You should be drawing attention to yourself with great thoughts and ideas, and not just how you look. I think restricting hair style or colour of shirts is going a bit far though. But I'm not against Uniforms either (my school had a uniform, albeit not too restrictive in terms of hair style, I personally found it liberating, as I wasn't judged for my fashion sense [or lack thereof]).
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Old 2012-09-25, 19:49   Link #2502
willx
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@DonQuigleone

I don't think I misunderstand their corporate culture.. We had classes dedicated to it in business school. What you're describing about loyalty and lifetime employment however are mostly a thing of past or at least fading, well at least in the news, Forbes and other publications. Job security worldwide, including in Japan, is at an all-time low.

And, what I'm describing is actively pursuing personal achievements and initiative, with feelings, status and position completely set aside. It may sound reckless, but we're not talking about minor wage increases and menial promotions, gotta fight for that next step up the ladder..

I was being a tad facetious about the whole "Fired in Japan" comment, cause I'd arguably be potentially fired at other companies in North America and Europe too if I were ever under the supervision by typical middle management

EDIT: And no one has responded on what the costs of good suiting is in Japan yet!
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Old 2012-09-25, 20:04   Link #2503
Sumeragi
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Starting from around 70,000 yen for a "low"-end quality suit. Anything below looks too cheap.
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Old 2012-09-25, 20:26   Link #2504
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
And, what I'm describing is actively pursuing personal achievements and initiative, with feelings, status and position completely set aside. It may sound reckless, but we're not talking about minor wage increases and menial promotions, gotta fight for that next step up the ladder..
While I don't see anything wrong with desiring promotion (we all want to earn more money, and gain more responsibilities and more interesting work), I think the primary motivation should always be towards serving the customer first, and pursuing promotion second. If I do good work, it's first and foremost because I want to do a good job for the company, and for my customer. That I might gain advancement is a neat bonus. Of course, if word were to start circulating of a potential promotion into a role I find interesting, I might "highlight" some of my achievements when I put my name forward. But it has to be in the right order. Achievement(satisfying customer, improving the organisation) first, reward(promotion, accolades, bonuses) second. You work towards the achievement, while the reward is a pleasant recognition of your contribution. The reward is important, as employees who achieve in the service of the company without ever receiving any reward might feel like they're being exploited.

If you put promotion first, it means you're just as likely to use more nefarious means to get ahead as just. I don't think an organisation should reward such naked ambition. Employees need to be primarily driven by the company mission, while the company compensates them well enough to lead satisfactory and secure lives, in proportion to the success of the company as a whole(and not to the seniority of the employee within the company).

Employees primarily motivated by wage increases will work to increase their own wage, not to improve the service the company provides.

Though, I might be something of a radical...
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Old 2012-09-25, 20:32   Link #2505
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Employees need to be primarily driven by the company mission, while the company compensates them well enough to lead satisfactory and secure lives, in proportion to the success of the company as a whole(and not to the seniority of the employee within the company).
Hm.. How many Fortune or Global 500/1000 companies have you worked for? Have you ever worked in an environment with a union workforce? Have you ever worked with incompetent middle management?

I'll tell you, and it may be horrid to hear, but sometimes you have to go around your own managers/supervisors/bosses even to accomplish your "customer first" philosophy.

Heck, forget bureaucracy.. I've worked with incompetent CEOs and CFOs for companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars that belittle their own employees, drive their companies into bankruptcy and still collect a "parachute" of several million dollars.

EDIT: Getting back on a topic more directly Japanese related, hm.. 70,000 yen so.. About US$900 for a low-end "quality" suit is actually not much different. That's +/- what a Boss suit goes for around here. Is that made-to-measure or off the rack?

Last edited by willx; 2012-09-25 at 20:45.
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Old 2012-09-25, 20:37   Link #2506
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
Hm.. How many Fortune or Global 500/1000 companies have you worked for? Have you ever worked in an environment with a union workforce? Have you ever worked with incompetent middle management?

I'll tell you, and it may be horrid to hear, but sometimes you have to go around your own managers/supervisors/bosses even to accomplish your "customer first" philosophy.

Heck, forget bureaucracy.. I've worked with incompetent CEOs and CFOs for companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars that belittle their own employees, drive their companies into bankruptcy and still collect a "parachute" of several million dollars.
And that is why so many modern companies are dysfunctional...

They're all GMs in the making.
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Old 2012-09-26, 02:54   Link #2507
aohige
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaler View Post
I'm not defending American culture or anything. I'm just saying they gotta chill, take it easy.

Though to be quite fair, from what I know of Japanese Culture (and I admit it's not much), I can't really respect it. Way too conservative and organized for my tastes.
I agree with you, and stuffiness of peer pressured society is the reason why I don't go back to Japan to live.
I'm very content with the laid-back casual feel of office life in US.

However, you don't have the right to diss my own people, only I do!
Else I'll start calling you Spanish! (isn't that the worst insult to a Brazillian? )
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Old 2012-09-26, 10:54   Link #2508
Metaler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
I agree with you, and stuffiness of peer pressured society is the reason why I don't go back to Japan to live.
I'm very content with the laid-back casual feel of office life in US.

However, you don't have the right to diss my own people, only I do!
Else I'll start calling you Spanish! (isn't that the worst insult to a Brazillian? )
Haha, well, around here we just end up making fun of the people who think we speak Spanish.

But I didn't mind to diss your own people. I'm just not fond of how things work over there. But then again, I'm not very fond of large organized societies as well.
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Old 2012-09-26, 13:25   Link #2509
willx
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So, a couple of pages back we were talking about Japanese Food and a dearth of good non-sushi Japanese restaurants around. So, just to make you all jealous (other than those who live in Japan ), here's some pictures of my lunch!

This cost me all of about US$15.00. The owner gave me a small complimentary appetizer (salmon skin and sea cucumber marinated in soy sauce and mirin) and I ordered the teishoku


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Old 2012-09-26, 13:33   Link #2510
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what is that?
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Old 2012-09-26, 14:15   Link #2511
SaintessHeart
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
Hm.. How many Fortune or Global 500/1000 companies have you worked for? Have you ever worked in an environment with a union workforce? Have you ever worked with incompetent middle management?

I'll tell you, and it may be horrid to hear, but sometimes you have to go around your own managers/supervisors/bosses even to accomplish your "customer first" philosophy.

Heck, forget bureaucracy.. I've worked with incompetent CEOs and CFOs for companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars that belittle their own employees, drive their companies into bankruptcy and still collect a "parachute" of several million dollars.
Very true. I worked at the bottom end of such companies before and I resigned out of disgust for the accounting incompetency (having 3 machines for different credit card companies to save on swipe rates on their end, and a whole mess of accounts at the bottom end), uncreative slipshod products and HR (with the customer service and helpdesk bearing insults to retain their customers, no wonder we got the best helpdesk award) and of course, bureaucracy (the politically correct term for using accountability as an excuse for not getting anything done expediently).

I stick to freelance at SMEs, although there are a number who undercut employees to retain profits, they aren't as slow and incompetent as the leaders of the Big Corps I have worked for.

And it is utterly pathetic to see their offices laced with cliched posters.

Quote:
EDIT: Getting back on a topic more directly Japanese related, hm.. 70,000 yen so.. About US$900 for a low-end "quality" suit is actually not much different. That's +/- what a Boss suit goes for around here. Is that made-to-measure or off the rack?
When it comes to dressing good, here is a tip; buy your suit at a country where you can leverage your currency. Most of the grooms where I live get their "quality" suits from Batam.
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Old 2012-09-26, 14:28   Link #2512
Sumeragi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
EDIT: Getting back on a topic more directly Japanese related, hm.. 70,000 yen so.. About US$900 for a low-end "quality" suit is actually not much different. That's +/- what a Boss suit goes for around here. Is that made-to-measure or off the rack?
Low-end made-to-measure.


That being said, my suits cost around $1,500, being made by family friends.
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Old 2012-09-26, 18:23   Link #2513
DonQuigleone
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I have a pretty good suit I got from Syms for ~ $150. Though admittedly, I can't say it's necessarily the most comfortable thing ever, but it looks fine.

Sad they went out of business, perhaps that suit was too good value.

Personally, I'd be pretty freaked out to be wearing something so expensive. Would have to be careful next time I eat a burger...
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Old 2012-09-26, 19:00   Link #2514
willx
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@RRW - Set meal with grilled mackerel, pickled veggies, steamed egg, pickled radish cubes, rice and miso soup! I had to ask to be served the soup with my meal, otherwise they bring it out with the appetizer salad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Low-end made-to-measure.

That being said, my suits cost around $1,500, being made by family friends.
Oh my, that's about the pricing on Canali. I think I have one suit that cost that much. I used to get 2 per ~$1600 as some relatives were I the business.. I spent a year working for them at a factory that made custom suits and military dress uniforms

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I have a pretty good suit I got from Syms for ~ $150. Though admittedly, I can't say it's necessarily the most comfortable thing ever, but it looks fine.

Sad they went out of business, perhaps that suit was too good value.

Personally, I'd be pretty freaked out to be wearing something so expensive. Would have to be careful next time I eat a burger...
There are places to get polyester and cheaper suits here for like $100, it just depends on your clients and industry. I get my shirts for $60 each made custom to my measurements shipped to Canada from HK .. They bear the brunt of burger sauce and other stains..

PS: I'm typing away on an iPad at a bar, so pardon inaccuracies! Apparently I'd rather talk to all of you! (than drink!?)

Last edited by willx; 2012-09-26 at 22:34.
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Old 2012-09-29, 16:34   Link #2515
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Tokyo Akiba Shop Lets Visitors Sleep (Platonically) With a Woman

YouTube
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

Quote:
possible first in Tokyo's Akihabara (Akiba) district, the Soine-ya (lit. Sleep side-by-side) allows customers to sleep side-by-side (platonically) with the female staff members for a price. The new establishment opened on the 20th of this month.
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/inte...y-with-a-woman
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Old 2012-10-02, 13:21   Link #2516
willx
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So, coming home to the massive condo developments here in Toronto and being a high-rise condo dweller myself .. I was struck at the amount of older and low-rise apartments in Tokyo.

What's the reason why there are no massive condo farms there?

It would significantly increase average living space per capita.. Common answer I hear is earthquakes, but there ARE high-rise condos in Roppongi Hills and high-rise office buildings elsewhere?
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Old 2012-10-02, 13:30   Link #2517
Sumeragi
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1. Banks are being stingy with loans, meaning unless one is going to shell out big money from their own pockets, building such high rise buildings would be prohibitively expensive, especially with the unstable economic situation.
2. Maintenance/taxes are much higher for high rise buildings.
3. Given that the birth rate is rock bottom, do you really need the extra living space?

The above are the more important reasons, with various lesser ones including supposed mental problems associated with high rise buildings and such.
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Old 2012-10-02, 13:40   Link #2518
willx
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^ Hm, I guess it's simply not economically feasible then if you can't get project financing.

The way it works here is that developments are generally marketed intensely prior to financing and permits ever being issued and banks don't fund until the projects are ~70-80% pre-sold. That being said, property values were much lower here and developments were usually in re-zoned lands that had otherwise been neglected: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CityPlace,_Toronto

I was just musing on these thoughts and was wondering how much people would pay monthly to live in ~600-700 sq. ft and have amenities like a concierge and a pool? Bring down the cost of "urban yuppie living" as it were, since even relatively poorly paid staff accountants live that lifestyle here. It could be a profitable venture depending on what the cap rates are in Japan currently.
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Old 2012-10-02, 13:43   Link #2519
Sumeragi
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Another thing to consider is that Canada has a stable growth rate from immigration, thus making it economically viable for there to be high rise condos in the first place. Immigration is concentrated in the BC Lower Mainland and Southern Ontario, so there is a strong demand to build relatively cheap high rise buildings to accommodate the population and leave room for other amenities.
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Old 2012-10-02, 13:56   Link #2520
willx
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
Another thing to consider is that Canada has a stable growth rate from immigration, thus making it economically viable for there to be high rise condos in the first place. Immigration is concentrated in the BC Lower Mainland and Southern Ontario, so there is a strong demand to build relatively cheap high rise buildings to accommodate the population and leave room for other amenities.
I understand that, I moved from BC Lower Mainland to Southern Ontario actually! That being said, my >700 sq. ft condo in a building less than 3 years old that has a massive pool, garden, concierge and relatively nice amenities costs US$1600 a month. More inexpensive buildings in the core of downtown cost sub-US$1300. If you could bring reasonable pricing to Tokyo, I'd think there would be some demand?

My vague musings/thoughts were surrounding the fact that:
1) interest rates in Japan are low if you can actually get financing;
2) there's a dearth of affordable modern condo buildings;
3) savings rates in Japan have declined but there is still a significant amount of accumulated assets generating negative real returns, and
4) those assets would seek investments offering safe stable positive returns if possible

If you could get financing to build such a development, and if there's demand, the real investment "bang for the buck" in this thesis would be to convert the project and fund it via a REIT structure for those seeking positive yield. With cap rates in the 7's (I think) a tax-efficient investment structure offering even 4-5% returns should be pretty attractive I would think.. Or maybe not, who knows? Just random thoughts..
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