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Shortest job ever?


I finally handed in my notice at work after being offered a new job. It was a very strange feeling. I had to go into the office in Shibuya and explain to my boss why I was leaving.

He’d been very supportive of me since before I entered and had taken me under his wing. He’d even interviewed me directly, which was apparently unheard of. Moreover, I was to work directly for him after one year in the field and help with liaising with the US and setting up a new office somewhere in Europe. As such, it came as a complete shock to him and his personnel.

He seemed very disappointed and upset, which is natural, I suppose.

Being the first foreigner to work at that company, I can’t help but think that somehow I’ve tarnished our reputations and that, not only would I be the first foreigner to work there, but I’d also be the last! Still, I have to be realistic, pragmatic, and practical and put myself and my family first.

The last three months have not been the very positive ones I’d anticipated, jobwise. What started off as a great career move was starting to look more and more like a slow crawl up a corporate ladder to some mediocre management position. I felt constantly that I was not able to achieve what I wanted, none of my ideas were considered and my skillset was largely being left unused.

I’d turned into a pencil pushing helpdesk clerk in a lower position than I was eight years ago at university when I was a helpdesk manager.

I also had the strong feeling that I was a square peg being forced into a round hole and that I’d never adjust to the atmosphere of the company. It wasn’t the Japanese language barrier, or the culture per se, but rather the claustrophobic corporate weight and idiosyncratic supervisor that broke the camel’s back.

The rules, regulations, paperwork combined with the Sarbanes Oxley paperwork gallows which Enron and the like have forced American corporations (to which I was being outsourced) to bow down to really puts the clamp on creative thinking.

The strange and arbitrary rules thought up by a well meaning but misguided supervisor also doused any remaining spark of interest this job may have held. After this experience, knowing that in a year’s time I’d be shipped back to HQ to start their drive into Europe and send punters out there to be outsourced as I was sounded hollow and hypocritical. Yes, I’d be working for a boss who had treated me with respect and kindness from day one, but seeing the haggard expressions on everyone’s faces at 8pm on a visit to HQ and related stories of catching the last train home every night was enough to steel my resolve.

And so it is that I enter my final one month as a large corporation employee.

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