Monday, November 7, 2016

"karoshi" -- death by overwork

As the saying goes, "No one ever lay on his deathbed saying, 'Gee, I wish I had spent more time in the office.'"

Those who mark their lives in accordance with income and possessions may take umbrage at such a wry observation (isn't it obvious that I am better than you are if I have more money?), but there appear to be limits beyond which this rubber band cannot be stretched.

In Japan:
Several offices of Japan's biggest advertising agency have been raided over suspicions its employees are being made to work excessive hours.
The raids come after the suicide of a 24-year-old Dentsu employee - the labour ministry ruled it to have been "karoshi", or death by overwork.
Dozens of ministry officials entered Dentsu's Tokyo headquarters early on Monday morning, said broadcaster NHK.
And in France the death-by-overwork had a slightly different twist:
French women are being urged to walk out of work at 16:34 on Monday to protest against being paid less than their male colleagues.
Women’s rights campaigners at the feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses suggested that downing tools until the end of the year – in effect taking 38.2 days off – would highlight the global wage disparity that experts say will not disappear until 2186.
“From 7 November at 16.34 (and seven seconds) women will be working ‘voluntarily’. If women were paid as much as men, they could stop working on November 7 at 16.34,” Les Glorieuses wrote.
For some reason, the issue puts me in mind of the U.S. military services, which were not integrated until 1948. There you are, hiding in a foxhole with enemy bullets flying and your life on the line when someone, somewhere, somehow eliminates the source that is firing on you. When you look around to identify your benefactor, you discover it is a black (wo)man or a Latino(a) or an Asian. Does anyone in their right mind give a hoot about the source of salvation or accomplishment? Isn't it the salvation or accomplishment that counts? Besides being stupid, isn't it really tiring to parse and separate and demean and raise up those wearing blue pajamas?

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