Japanese Gift Rage

A Japanese man went nuts and smashed stuff after feeling that his boss didn’t appreciate his gift

Reuters: “Gift rage” lands worker in court

TOKYO (Reuters) - A disgruntled Japanese worker smashed up his employer’s office in a fit of pique after his boss ignored his gift of jelly desserts, a national paper said on Thursday.
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When the employee realized that his boss had left the box of jellies unopened under his desk, he smashed 22 computers in the office with a truncheon, the paper said. No one was injured in the incident.

This incident kind of shows some differences between US and Japanese culture, doesn’t it?

First, we usually don’t give gifts to the boss and secondly, we kind of expect them to be ignored or unappreciated if they’re given. You can see that in movies like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Mr. Destiny.

And, as for office violence, when we have a violent incident you can expect the SWAT team to be called because it’s likely to involve a gun given our level of personal firearm ownership whereas the Japanese general population has been largely disarmed since the 1600’s. Fortunately, I suppose violent incidents like the one above are rather rare in both our nations. Most people just suffer in silence when snubbed by the boss.

What do you think? Have you ever seen workplace violence? Any other observations between US and Japanese culture?

 


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2 Comments »

2008-08-14 22:45:35

My friend taught English in Japan right out of college and she reported to us that a student got so mad at his teacher that he picked up his chair and threw it at the teacher. A teacher from a neighboring classroom had to come in, and the student was removed from the classroom.

 
2008-08-14 23:21:04

Wow that is weird. No kidding. I didn’t know the Japanese could be so violent. Maybe this guy was actually mad at the company and wanted to do some damage and just used the gift thing as an excuse.

 
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