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A mum to 3 kids (one of whom is almost 40 though ....)
Interests: food food food movies weblogs photography
Recent Activity
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Mar 15, 2010
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Feb 24, 2010
Hey Z, the new workplace is working out pretty well so far. Next thing I need to find out is to what extent they monitor employee's internet activity, what with it being an American company and all. The good thing about working for a Japanese company (although things are slowly changing) is that they don't do that stuff unless you have done something for them to fire you. Not that I am into porno stuff over the internet, but it won't be a good reflection on me if they see that I am always surfing Pagesix or E-Online! Or keeping this blog, although I by and large don't blog about workplaces. Too dangerous. Hi Bibi, yes I did tell them the reasons. Although to the Admin partner I emphasised more on the lack of work integration, including how the way they work with foreign lawyers is affecting me as I can't control my time at all. And also because of the way they use us, I am not learning as much as I would like to and therefore not growing professionally. I mentioned the social stuff like being left out of lunches thing (I mentioned only the firm-organised lunch, and not the personal gatherings, although he immediately picked up on the personal lunches given his prior experiences as a foreign lawyer in a US firm) to the partner in charge of foreign lawyers, who also spoke to me and tried to get me to stay. I thought that was more appropriate to be addressed with him. I did not mention the Tom Cruise movie thingey at all only because (i) the offending partner can easily be identified as we only have 1 entertainment lawyer and I don't want that to happen and (ii) the Japanese lawyers may not understand how incidents like that can make us feel very excluded and therefore I may come across as being whiney. I mentioned other things that the firm can do to improve things for foreign lawyers to him. The problem is that we have so many seconded lawyers from other law firms outside of Japan. Although most of them are upset about the way foreign lawyers are being treated (being left out of lunches always being the 1st complaint), and are bitter about it, none of them can say anything because of the secondment relationship. They are here to build a bridge between the firms, not break down the ties. We had 1 guy last year who was not a secondee and was very upset. He was ready to say everything when he left but unfortunately, he left within 3 weeks when something came up in Hong Kong for him, so he had no time to voice his views. And since I am probably one of the few who can do it since I am not a secondee, I thought I should do it. You are right, it sounds petty, but because it is so systematic, it really affects you. Besides for me, being transplanted to a new country with no social support that I grew up with, a big part of working is building up that social support. I don't expect to be good-old buddies with workmates, but some level of connection at a social level would be nice. So at the old place, the structure/attitude that they had did not make this happen easily. The foreigners who have long-terms plans in Japan and who stay there adopt the attitude (which is sort of like a self-preservation/defeence mechansim in response to the work culture) of I come here only to work and collect a pay-check, I don't want to socialise at all. Whilst that may work for them, it is very hard for me to live a life like that. It's funny isn't it, how a simple thing like being excluded from lunches or drinks after work snowballs and affects so many of us foreigners there. I hear this being complained about so often, as does our Japanese teacher whom everyone confides in. I actually told our Japanese teacher - half-jokingly -that I should get the partners to speak with her if they are serious about finding out the problems facing foreigners. Going for Japanese classes is like lying down on the psychiatrist's couch - we tell her everything and she is the one who keeps us sane!
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2008 on Finally Left! at Konnichiwa
Yeah, I love, love, love Jiyugaoka. Such a village feeling to it. Your husband bought you tea? And from St. Christopher's? Even though Tomo goes there almost everyday, he has never bought me tea from St. Christophers! Let's do a b'day celebration there (and it's good that you are open to breastfeeding in public cos I think Jiyugaoka is one of those places that you have to ....)!
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2007 on LaLaport, again! at Konnichiwa