Thursday, May 31, 2007

Just let me go!

Hm, operation Quit the Job is unfolding a bit worse than expected.
Unlike America, the polite time of giving notice in Japan is one month, and I had made the deadline. I thought I'd be totally fine, no problem at all. But...I knew I was going to be in for trouble as soon as I started drafting my resignation letter two weeks ago. It went kinda like this:

I regret to inform you that this July, my husband is being ...
"Hey Takeshi, how do you say 'transfer'?
...transferred to New York. Due to this unexpected occurence, I have to offer you my...
"And how do you say 'resignation'?!"
"Heh, how would you be able to quit your job without me?"

Anyways, a week after, I nervously met with the boss, re: my letter.
The company president was also there, just to make me even nervouser. (that is apparently a word now). He asked me to tell him why I was quitting. (naturally I had totally forgotten the word for 'transfer' during my interview. )
Also I wasn't counting on my boss and company president playing 'good cop, bad cop' with me.

"Yes. Um. My husband is... um..." (dammit what's that word?)
"er,..*going* to new york, *because of his company*. We're living in his company dormitory, so life in Japan would become difficult for me if I stayed here."

President:"A-ha-ha, 'difficult'? Well, I suppose we could do something. What if we made our own company dorm?"
Boss: "Right. You have a contract until September. We'll figure something out for you."

I started a mild panic sweat. But... I don't really want to stay here. I am really starting to look forward to New York! Plus it's boring and I'm being paid 'In & Out Burger' wages.

me:"Oh. But... I thought you said our customers were willing to let me go at the end of June.."
president: "I see, you want to be with your husband. Well, that's natural. SO you'll probably want a bit of time to pack."
Boss: (cringing)"but really staying until september would be best."

Luckily for me, the good cop had more authority. At the end of the interview my boss had given me leave to quit one week before the end of June in order to move.

Or so I thought!
my boss (Bad cop) called me monday. "Kyra-san, I have some bad news. The customer needs you to stay until June 29th."

Dude, no. My FLIGHT is on the 30th. I have to fit everthing in our huge apartment into boxes! All my things will be shipping overseas at that instant! I will be living out of suitcases!
I couldn't quite say anything but odd little yelp.
Boss: "I'm not trying to bully you, but contracts come first."

Wow. Um, but I'm QUITTING. not only that but I'm LEAVING THE COUNTRY. what are you gonna do, hunt me down?... no, probably just deduct from my wages an exorbitant sum as a 'breach of contract' penalty. Oh oh oh.. just let me go...

I realized this was gonna be a headache and a half, and to buy time, fell back on the 'ol reliable :"I see. I will need to consult my husband about this." "Of course, I understand. Please call me back at your earliest convenience."

Luckily for me, I was on friendly terms with the customer (the project manager at Canon), in this case. In search of assistance, I busted into his office (or, desk. nobody has private offices in Japan, except for the president) and announced:
"Hello! Sorry to bother you, but I thought I had permission to leave on the 22nd? My company said I was supposed to work until the 29th, and I have a flight to catch and a house to pack..."
He looked at me and furrowed his brows. "That's strange. All I requested was for another one of your company employees to come and cover for you that week."
..Oh. Reeeeallly.
Apparently, my company is trying to cover my remaining week with... myself! The friendly Canon PM immediately phoned the Bad Cop and called him out on it, and I cringed as I listened to the ensuing (in very polite japanese) quarrel... 'I told you to get someone to cover the gap!' 'No one else is available!''So look harder!'
You could cut the air in the room with a knife. Frustrated, both parties agreed to talk to their superiors and come to some conclusion next week.

Is this normal?
I mean, I'm sorry I'm inconveniencing everyone, but other people *have* quit this company before. But no conclusion has yet been reached, and now there will be a BIGGER meeting (involving the customer's boss) on Monday, where I have to state my plea again. Please wish me luck, because I will be at my nervousiest.

(because obviously...ten to one I'll forget the word 'transfer'.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading this I think I will always remember the word for "transfer". :-p

Wow, that's...well, I don't know if it's odd or not, but they're certainly making it hard for you. I guess at least it's a good sign (for future recommendations?) that they needed you!

Good luck!


10:24 AM  
Blogger Catherine Weaver said...

How did it turn out? Have the big bosses all met and decided your fate yet?

11:08 PM  
Blogger Kyra said...

yeah... guess I should update.
Stay tunes, captive audience!

PS mom, you guys got kittens?!

1:27 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Dude, sounds like your boss has a bone to pick or something. Get him a laxative, maybe he'll poop that stick out of his butt.

9:32 PM  

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