While we are working, conversations must be something related with the work. Personal chatting among colleagues is basically considered inappropriate. For shops, sales persons should not take a seat. They’ll always stand and ready to bow when customers enter the store. Sales person sitting on a chair gives customers goofing impressions? I don’t know, but I have never seen any cashier sitting at a check out counter at supermarket in Japan.In this summer, I’ve traveled Sydney (Australia), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), Venice and Florence (Italy) but I have seen shop workers always chatting with colleagues even if there are customers in the store. I’ve seen many people from all these cities working much more relaxed than Japanese people.
Much of the post is about how hard it is for Japanese workers to take long vacations of more than five days. I started out feeling it was a uniquely Japanese problem, but it really isn’t too different here. At the very least, we aren’t prevented from having personal conversations in the workplace.