JAPAN’S SUICIDAL SALARYMEN ARE DYING FOR WORK
I recently took a trip to Brussels and met a Japanese woman on vacation in the hostel I was staying in. At 4 AM that morning, when I heard Sayaka—my new Japanese friend—quietly answer her phone and creep from her bed to the downstairs computer room, I was naturally interested in what she was up to. A mole, keeping tabs on guests for the hostel owners? A weirdo, relaying late-night messages about Brussels to her parents because she didn’t feel comfortable using the internet in daylight?
No, turns out it was the only holiday she had taken that year and the early morning computer visit was to finish off some “urgent” work for her boss, which is a pretty sucky way to spend your vacation. Then again, it’s still better than the 16-hour days at the office that awaited her at home.
Sayaka’s situation isn’t uncommon. A large amount of the population in Japan’s biggest cities have a destructive relationship with work, literally, with many grinding themselves away to an early grave. The social phenomenon has its own word, karoshi, and it isn’t death from digit-crippling labor in a sweatshop or accidents on a building site. It’s suits in corporate buildings dying from strokes, heart attacks, or committing suicide after being worked to their limit.
Earlier this year, the suicide of 26-year-old Mina Mori was accepted as karoshi after an investigation found she’d been clocking up 140 hours of overtime every month, working at a popular chain restaurant called Watami. Employees for numerous companies are expected to embrace a work culture that’s destroying their lives—a kind of worse version of the embrace through gritted-teeth I’d imagine David Miliband gave his brother when he got the party leader job—but a firm, necessary embrace nonetheless.
Karoshi was first recognized in the late 60s, when a guy in the shipping department of Japan’s largest newspaper company died after having a stroke, which seemed kind of unusual for a 29-year-old, until people realized that radically overworking a human can have negative effects on the body, which somehow managed to be a surprise. Since then, cases have become relentless battles between family members of the deceased trying to prove their relatives died from being overworked, and the company in question trying their hardest to sweep it under the ever-lumpier rug.
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How to Jerk Off at Work
Face it, work sucks. No matter how much you love your job, there are still a million things that you would rather be doing than wasting away in a cube, deleting countless emails where your stupid workers replied all when they didn’t need to, and sneaking away to websites like this for a little break to maintain your sanity. Know what you would rather be doing? Sitting at home in your underwear and watching Judge Judywhile you fumble with your naughty bits every so often. Well, you’re going to have to skip the Honorable Judge Sheindlin, but you should be able to go rub one out in the middle of the day to make the drudgery just a little bit more bearable. Here’s how.
Get in the Mood
No matter what you do—even if you’re a pornographer, artisanal dildo maker, Jessica Alba’s nipple-tweaker, or Victoria’s Secret dressing room security guard—your job is not sexy to you. In fact, it probably kills your wood faster than a naked grandma pooping on a kitten. If you’re going to sharpen your pencil in the company supply closet, you’re going to have to get it aroused first. Your work computer probably blocks porn, so try sending some dirty texts to a regular sex partner. They don’t have to respond (this is “How to Jerk Off at Work” not “How to Get Laid at Work”) you just have to get thinking about the nasty for your parts to do what they’re supposed to.
The Corporate Washroom
Obviously you’re going to head to the bathroom. Duh. Just make sure you lock the fucking door. If your place of business has a single operator rest room, then you’re in the clear. Pull it out and do what you learned inside that tent at camp in sixth grade. If there are a bunch of stalls, take the one furthest away from the door. Letting people think you’re dropping a deuce will give you that much more privacy. If you are a construction worker and your bathroom is a port-o-potty, please don’t jerk off in it. That’s gross. Just go do it in your pickup or something.
Know When to Say When
Sometimes, especially in a shared bathroom, you’re going to have to pull the plug on pulling your pud. You know, like if some asshole comes in and starts taking a really juicy shit in the stall next to you. Also, you have about ten minutes in there before someone suspects something kinky is going on. This isn’t one of your hour-long stroke sessions in your bathrobe. Go in there, get it done, and get back to your desk before people start sniffing around.