Tuesday, January 24, 2012

culture shock

gmh3 About this time of year and again during the Fall, Satoshi's company has transfers.

If you are being transferred, they usually give you 2 weeks notice. Within that two weeks, you need to move and be able to report to work on February 1st or if it is in the Fall, October 1st.

Can you imagine packing up all your belongings and moving within 2 weeks? (If you are being transferred overseas the notice is about two months prior)

Oh, and you'll have to find your own housing. Sure the company will compensate you a little, but still.

Recently, Satoshi's co-worker, got transferred from Osaka to Tokyo. He has a family (wife and child) and a mortgage, so his wife and child will stay in Osaka.

This type of transfer is called "tan-shin-fu-nin" (tahn-shin-foo-nin = to work away from your family). Can you imagine paying your mortgage and paying rent?! Ridiculous.

You might ask why his wife and child don't move with him to Tokyo.

Well, depending on the age of the child, transferring schools will disrupt their "daily routines" and may even affect the child's study behaviors, maybe even risking bad grades (which will screw up everything for getting into college).

Anyway, that is the main reason why a lot of businessmen who get transferred often end up going to their new assignments alone.

And if you think 2 weeks is short notice, I've heard that banks in Japan give their workers notice on a Thursday and they must report to their new assignment by the following Monday. The reason for this is so that they can't "mess-up" accounts or do anything "bad" to affect the bank system (a.k.a. retaliation).

I guess the whole system is similar to the military, but I'm still thankful Satoshi has a job.

How do transfers work in your country or for your job?


KirkK said...

Wow, that's really tough. I think even the armed forces here give you more notice.

Lizzy said...

Yikes, I've never heard of that short of notice for relocation. Glad you two get to stay put!

jalna said...


K and S said...

it is Kirk :p

hope to get a transfer one day though Lizzy :)

I know Jalna...

Take care everyone.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Yeah tanshinfunin is very common in Japan. After living in the US I also don't understand how could family can live separately for such a long time. But people in Japan just do it...even you have complaints you still follow...I'm not sure if I can still "fit in"... :-(

K and S said...

I wouldn't mind Satoshi getting a transfer somewhere Nami, just wouldn't appreciate the 2 week notice :p

Take care.

Japan Australia said...

That must be a little scary and 2 weeks notice is very short indeed! I wouldn't mind a transfer if I was planning on one, but a forced move is another thing all together!

Japan Australia

Rowena... said...

I like how jalna put it [!!!!!!]. Even without checking with MotH, I am sure that transfers here would be a lot more lenient. 2 weeks...sheesh, that's mean.

K and S said...

most transfers at Satoshi's company aren't planned J-A, so they are almost always surprises.

when we moved from Hawaii to Japan Rowena, we had 2 months.

Take care you two.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Wow--I can't imagine such a short time. Where would you want to get transferred to? (with proper notice of course!) ;-)

K and S said...

I wouldn't mind being transferred overseas Deb, like Europe :)

Take care.