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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Swarming hordes of part-time kids
Japan is so different.  There's no comparing the things that happen there to things here - the culture and environment is so wickedly different there's simply no common ground.  Consider the following:

...the Japanese youth behavior where less and less stuff is planned - the kids going out and using their mobile devices to meet up or deciding to do things while constantly keeping in touch with each other. These swarming bands of kids are now adults and many of them don't want to be tied down.

[snip]

With Otetsudai Networks, if you are willing to work, you sign up for the service with your skills and focus, take a GPS reading on your phone and then just hang out. If you are looking for someone for say... 3 hours to man a cash register or help wash dishes, you just send the request to Otetsudai Networks and within minutes, you have a list of people available. The list shows what each person is qualified for, how others have rated their work and exactly how far away they are. Typically you will receive a list of half a dozen or more people within a few minutes.

The businesses are rated too on a per-manager basis so when you're hanging out with your friends and you get a request to go help at the corner convenience shop, you know how your peers have rated that particular guy who's asking you to come and help. You can also counter the request and say you'd go if they paid you 2000 yen / hour instead of 1500.

From Joi Ito's blog
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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This does not surprise me at all. It took four or five generations, but there's finally a youth response to the unmoving, overworked salaryman. Given that these kids have seen their parents and grandparents work years for the same company, only to be laid off in the recent economic restructuring, who can blame them? They obviously don't trust that a job will be here tomorrow, or even later today.

I do want to see this in a positive light, though. With the rating system and documentation described, there's definitely an indicator of a level of trust on the part of the employers that you don't have in the western job market. In the US, a background check and a credit check aren't unusual, and for any job that handles money is almost compulsory. As a result, there's a two week lag time between asking for the job and getting the job, and this is because American's don't trust their unskilled laborers to show up, or not to steal. If Japanese employers are willing to bring in someone on super-short notice based on a third party rating only, then I feel strangely relieved about human nature.
This post was edited on 2007-11-24, 23:41 by Kendrick.
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