Work, work, work

It’s late, and these days, no real energy for a long post.  Plus my Mum is visiting, so bit rude to run away for blogging XD  Anyway, everyone is in bed, and I am about to go to the land of nod, but just wanted to write a little about my hubby’s job.  He is a civil servant, which means that although his salary is average, his job is stable, he gets to move to a new department around about every three years, we get lots of benefits (including a better mortgage rate), AND his working hours are supposedly shorter and involve very minimal overtime.  When we first met, he was working in the tax department.  This DID involve fairly long hours, where he came home at around 10p.m. (about the same time as I did), had to deal with threats from non-taxpayers, and was generally hated by his “clients”.  Because of this, there was a supplement to his pay, and of course he claimed overtime.  His last department was also pretty busy, and he was discouraged from claiming too much overtime, which sucked, but he was home at around 8 or 8:30 on average. 

This new department had promised to keep him there until around 11p.m. every night.  Understanding the Japanese work ethic (although not really agreeing with it), I suggested him telling himself that he should finish at 9p.m. every night, trying to push himself to get his work done by then.  I considered this a compromise, although I knew that there would be times when he would be home later, and that at the beginning, he might be home later quite a bit.  He has been in the department for almost two months now.  Although he is still relatively new, he has been coming home at midnight, Fridays at 2 or 3a.m., and this morning, when I came downstairs, he was just home, and ready to go out again for another day’s work…

I know for a Japanese wife, this would be irritating, but accepted (generally speaking, of course).  But I am not a Japanese wife, and I feel that I am quite tolerant.  However, it’s not the fact that he doesn’t spend time with me.  It’s the fact that his children hardly get to see him (he spends most of the weekend sleeping to recover), and most importantly, that although he can physically keep up with it now, there will come a time, when he gets ill from it, and then where will we all be?  He already looks tired and skinnier. Work sucks…


4 thoughts on “Work, work, work

  1. Ah~~ Japan. I’m sorry you have to deal with one of the sad things about this culture we chose to be a part of *hugs* Does it look like he’ll always be stuck so late, or is there a chance after her gets used to the department things will calm down a bit?

    Tetsu is home by usually 7-9 (though if it’s past 8 Missha’s in bed), but he only gets maybe 2 days off a month… so he doesn’t get too much time with her (or me). Even that bothers me because growing up I spent SO much time with my dad: he was always home before dinner at 5ish, helped coach our sports teams, and took us out on the weekends. I wonder how much time Missha will get to spend with her daddy… Japan can suck, ALOT in that sense.

    Hope you have a great time with your mom though! I’m sure you’ll all have tonnes of fun, which I can’t wait to hear alllll about in good time. Take care!

  2. Thanks. Yeah, it might calm down a bit when he gets used to his new position, but it kind of looks as if coming home after 11 is going to be a regular thing. He is a perfectionist, so wants to do a GREAT job all the time, however long it takes. From my experience of working in a Japanese office, I know that staff don’t want to leave before everyone else, so this is also a bit of a bind for him. My two go to bed at around 7 or 8 as well, and he is off to work at about 7a.m., so they sometimes rush downstairs only to say “bye” or to find him already gone 😦 I’ve kind of got used to looking after the children alone, but I do feel sad for them when they want to see their Daddy. Hannah sometimes thinks that “Daddy lives at kencho”, which makes me feel really sad!

    On the bright side, it’s great that my Mum’s here, and the childrens’ English has already improved loads with hearing us nattering away! I’m hoping that we can get our summer holiday in July too and have some family time for a few days far far from work 😉

  3. That really sucks. I feel your pain.

    Shun luckily gets paid for his overtime but it still sucks. He sees Noah in the mornings but never at night- Noah is too little to realize much at the moment and it is me that is worried about it more than anything but I know the older Noah gets the more he will be disappointed that he doesn`t see his daddy at night before bed.

    Shun gets weekends off but his hours during the week vary- he usually starts at 10am and works til 8 or 9pm (and gets home an hour later)- sometimes he will work right through though or come home last train OR sleep at work and then just continue working after an hour or twos sleep. I hate it.

    I knew when I married him it would be like this but it still sucks 😦

    Perhaps us foreign wives should start a revolt?

    • Thanks Lulu, it sounds as if we have similar situations, aside from the different working times. I know that the children are fine, but when Y used to come home before the childrens’ bedtime, they were so so happy to see him, so I know that they would love to see him more often. I don’t slate Y for coming home late, I know he’s tired and fed-up as it is. I also knew it would be a bit like this, but hadn’t really expected such extremes, especially for his line of work. Sounds tough that Shun sometimes sleeps at work too 😦 He must be exhausted. Thank goodness little Noah’s sleeping more and more, eh? Ooh, “revolt of the foreign wives”, sounds good 😉

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