In the early hours of last Sunday week I arrived home ravenous after a Saturday night out. I immediately switched on the kitchen hob, cracked three eggs in a pot and whipped them up. After I’d cooked and plated them, I turned towards the kitchen table to see a half plate of tortilla -Spanish Omlette- I’d cooked earlier that day. I’ve heard of some successful sports stars saying that hunger focuses the mind but I now have my doubts about that expression; and speaking of hungriness, I read the other week of a Japanese train driver suing his employer for ¥2.2 million yen -£14,347- due to mental anguish caused by having ¥56 yen -.36 pence- docked from his wages. The story, which I read on the BBC news website, reported that the reason for the deduction was the driver had arrived at the wrong platform to take over a train, resulting in a brief delay. The report goes on to say that the train company -JR West- initially docked the driver ¥85 yen -.55 pence- for a two-minute delay -one minute in the train’s departure, and one minute in warehousing the train at the depot- but reduced it to ¥56 yen -.36p- after the driver took a case to the Okayama Labour Standards Inspection Office. We are told that the train driver refused to accept this reduction and argued that as the train was empty at the time, there was no disruption to the timetables or the passengers. The train company countered his argument by stating they had applied their no-work, no-pay condition of employment to the matter. This has now resulted in the train driver taking the case to the Okayama District Court.
I’ve wrote before on the fastidiousness of Japanese Train companies to delays – some will refund their passengers the ticket price should there be any sort of delay to the timetable – so I can understand their train of thought – pun intended. But the train driver’s desire not to let the .36p go? That’s a hard one to fathom; and claiming £14,347 in damages for the loss of .36p must also be some sort of record – I’ll have to consult the Guinness Book of records later on.
I suspect though that after working under a no-work no-pay principle at the train company for some time, this employee has simply seen the .36 pence docked from his wages as an opportunity to maximise his earnings with minimal effort, or in layman’s terms board the gravy train.
(c) Poraic Cahill
About Odd Life:
From a German man accusing his ex-girlfriend of attempted murder by use of her 38DD breasts, to a 107 year old having a shoot-out with the Arkansas SWAT police, the author Poraic Cahill chronicles the strange & bizarre he encounters in Odd Life.
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