Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

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bakubo
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Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:49 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/17/business/global/layoffs-illegal-japan-workers-are-sent-to-the-boredom-room.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Shusaku Tani is employed at the Sony plant here, but he doesn’t really work.

For more than two years, he has come to a small room, taken a seat and then passed the time reading newspapers, browsing the Web and poring over engineering textbooks from his college days. He files a report on his activities at the end of each day.

Sony, Mr. Tani’s employer of 32 years, consigned him to this room because they can’t get rid of him. Sony had eliminated his position at the Sony Sendai Technology Center, which in better times produced magnetic tapes for videos and cassettes. But Mr. Tani, 51, refused to take an early retirement offer from Sony in late 2010 — his prerogative under Japanese labor law.

While details to the government plans are still being determined, Mr. Tani’s managers at Sony are already upping the ante. Starting this month, the company has ordered him to work 12-hour shifts on an assembly line at a Sony plant in Toyosato, more than an hour’s drive away. He says he will comply.


I guess Sony buyers should hope that poor, 51-year old Tani-san is not assembling their new camera or lens. :lol:

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KevinBarrett
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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:08 pm

Hey, work is work, an hour commute isn't much for many North Americans. I'm just amazed it took Sony two years to come up with such a simple solution for, you know, employing a person that is under their employ.
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bakubo
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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:27 pm

Kevin, I hope you get one of the cameras that Tani-san builds on his 12th hour on the assembly line. :lol: Maybe someone like him built my A700 on his 12th hour on the line. :lol:

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Greg Beetham
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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:18 pm

I suppose there isn’t much point in keeping an expert in floppy disks (or similar) around, Tani san was not alone in the Sony chase-out room, there were 40 others in there with him, many had been with the company for 30 years or more.
It’s hard to say where the middle ground is on that whole deal, Japan with its ‘employment forever’ culture and the high overhead of an outmoded workforce vs. the demands of shareholders and a lower take up of new young qualified professionals that would improve the company’s competitiveness with latecomer lean and mean companies in country’s with sink or swim economies.
Funny thing though, did those people who worked in electronics technology sector think the world and technology would stay the same forever? That new tech they had never heard of wouldn’t come along and make their knowledge and skills redundant?
Working in that sector one would think they would be well aware of the likelihood and come as no surprise when it happened.
I saw some stuff about new batteries on the horizon now that will shake things up when it happens, batteries that have vastly more power than today’s Lithium’s, and devices that don’t even need to have a battery, part of the outer case is a special new material that supplies the power without ever needing to be recharged.
Today’s cameras could be outmoded soon, (and not by a little bit) especially when you couple the new developments in batteries with sensors that can see in the dark like it was day, the only problem with those is getting them to work in the daytime too.
One thing is for sure in the tech sector these days…nothing is a sure thing anymore, and a long term career isn’t either, if it ever was.
When it comes to Tani san I bet Sony has a rewarding and responsible position in mind for him to fill for 12 hours on the assembly line…good old uncle Sony.
Greg

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bakubo
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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:44 pm

Greg, the big question though is: Do you want to buy one of the Sony cameras that Tani-san has built on his 12th hour on the assembly line? :lol:

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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby Atgets_Apprentice » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:17 pm

Maybe if they do manage to get rid of all the surplus staff, they can reduce the price of their cameras....... :twisted:
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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:22 pm

What is Sony thinking putting an older, probably unhappy, probably with no assembly line experience employee on the assembly line for 12 hours a day making products for their customers? :shock: A company that cares about producing quality products doesn't do this. Of course, this is punishment for Tani-san but no matter what you think about that why in the world would Sony punish him in a way that has such potential for punishing their customers with faulty products? Probably Tani-san and people like him won't deliberately sabotage the stuff they are building, but 51 years old, unhappy, and 12 hour shifts on the line, etc. is not a recipe for quality assembly.

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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:12 pm

bakubo wrote:Greg, the big question though is: Do you want to buy one of the Sony cameras that Tani-san has built on his 12th hour on the assembly line? :lol:

I believe your friend Tani-san find more valuable having a job than leaving the company with a (big?) paycheck, probably because on his mind "Work" and it's dignity is more rewarding than "Money". Otherwise I can not understand why he haven't quit the company yet. If this is the case, Your friend Tani will be happy building cameras or any other Sony product.

I understand that you know Japanese culture quite well (way better than me in any case...), and this is a great example of how Japanese people function, you can probably explain it to us, neophytes.

Regards

Pako
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bakubo
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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:27 pm

To everyone: Your concern over whether Tani-san has a fulfilling life, concern about the Japanese employment system, etc. is admirable, but so far everyone has carefully avoided the relevant question for customers:

Do you want to buy one of the Sony cameras that Tani-san has built on his 12th hour on the assembly line? :lol:

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Greg Beetham
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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:59 am

bakubo wrote:To everyone: Your concern over whether Tani-san has a fulfilling life, concern about the Japanese employment system, etc. is admirable, but so far everyone has carefully avoided the relevant question for customers:

Do you want to buy one of the Sony cameras that Tani-san has built on his 12th hour on the assembly line? :lol:


I’d have to say no to that question Henry, but then I think there is little danger of me becoming exposed to a Sony camera that Tani san had built.
Actually I doubt that Sony will have Tani san building any camera from start to finish, the last thing Sony would want is any kind of accomplishment or sense of worth being bestowed on him so I’d imagine there would be some almost meaningless menial task in mind and it might not even be with building cameras either it could be with some other product line perhaps, although with 40 or so people in the same situation who knows where they will all end up.
In any case I have a suspicion the purpose is just a chase-room MkII, in effect. :roll:
Greg

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Re: Sony Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:38 am

Maybe they should have sent them to the camera division development team, they'd probably be doing a better job than the current bunch ;-)
Or better still get them to work on some firmware! :mrgreen:


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