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Japanese bosses need to beware the wrath of Kana-chan, and Meiko the Merciless

Nikkan Gendai Mar. 13
Nikkan Gendai Mar. 13
When a company issues an order for an employee’s transfer, there’s no refusing it. Or at least that’s the view of the middle-aged salaryman.

But as Nikkan Gendai (Mar. 13) reports, young staff members may see things differently.

“Several weeks after they’re transferred, they may say to themselves, ‘I can’t stand this new posting’ and stop coming to to work,” says labor expert and author Yukiko Takita. “Recently some young workers have tried to wreak vengeance against the boss who they feel was responsible for their transfer.”

Take Ms. A., age 26, who worked for a systems engineering firm. Infuriated because she was shunted off to a subsidiary, she emailed every person in the company that she’d been engaged in an extramarital affair with her former boss.

She then resigned and headed for school in the United States “to boost her career opportunities.”

What complicates the story is that the boss targeted by A’s scurrilous accusations had not actually bedded her. Rather, he was collateral damage when she blew herself up, in an act of “self-destructive terrorism.”

Then there’s the story of Ms. C., who, after her transfer, began issuing a stream of Twitter messages, under a pseudonym, cursing her former boss. Actually the messages were unclear as to the target, but they set off all sorts of office rumors. Until the former boss was confidentially informed by a colleague of Ms. C., he had no idea it was he who was being mentioned.

“When an employee is transferred, it’s essential to communicate with him or her in a direct manner,” says Takita. “Even then, there may be no way of avoiding hurting the sensibilities of a young worker. As long as the company regulations and labor laws are followed, the worker’s superior should be blameless. If he’s targeted by some irrational act of payback, he should consider taking retaliatory legal measures.”

The other day, Nikkan Gendai’s writer rented the DVD of the 2011 American movie “Horrible Bosses,” about three friends who plot the respective murders of their overbearing, abusive bosses.

“It was intended as a black comedy, but I didn’t find it funny at all,” he writes. (K.S.)

Source: “Tobashita buka no hofuku ga kowai!” Nikkan Gendai (Mar. 13, page 11)