Monday, March 14, 2011

The stupidity of the working culture in Japan


The Board of Education insisted we attend work today (JET), and do absolutely nothing. We stacked the books that had fallen on the floor in the office, and were thanked for our help. And then told to sit there and do nothing more.

We left the office this afternoon, sick of playing cards, when we needed to get in line for water/food. And the Board of Education insisted on docking vacation leave for half a day.

It would be fine if we were helping with relief efforts at the evacuation centers, but we were told we must travel to the office, stay in the office for a normal work day, get lunch and water ourselves (from where?!?), and do absolutely nothing. And they did not care one bit about the rain/snow later (which may or may not be mildly radioactive -- unconfirmed sources), and despite the government officially issuing warnings to stay inside and covered (no concrete area specified once again), for the Fukushima area.

Of course, the only information we get is through one JET here that can speak / understand enough Japanese, because we are not getting any information in English from the higher ups, or much from any of the JET support agencies.

Can you tell I am absolutely livid!?! My employer is insane, flagrantly ignoring safety, not to mention toying with psychological health, purely for the sake of social face. Why else would they put us in a less safe, less healthy environment, told to do nothing, rather than let us stay safe, warm (under bedclothes), and out of the way, when they so obviously don't want us to help them in any way?

I am grateful for being alive and reasonably safe, albeit with chronic illnesses flaring and causing massive amounts of pain. I feel terrible about the human cost of this compound disaster. And of course, there's a large amount of a typical 'survivors' response -- the combined guilt and relief that it could have been much worse, and guilt for 'taking care of self' while others are suffering.

This is the 3rd natural disaster I have been through - I am shaking all the time, compounding the aftershocks, and it's made much worse by constant sirens and uncertainty about the reactors.
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