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Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:17 PM

Japanese woman dies from working too much after clocking up 159 hours overtime in a month

A woman in Japan died from overwork after logging 159 hours of overtime in the month leading up to her death, labour inspectors have ruled.

Miwa Sado, a political journalist at the country’s national broadcaster, suffered heart failure in July 2013, though her employer only made the case public this week.

Officials in Tokyo deemed the 31-year-old had died from karoshi – death from overwork – after taking just two days off in the 30 days before she died, reports The Japan Times.

As a journalist for NHK, Ms Sado covered the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, dying just three days after reporting on a local election in the House of Councillors.

Masahiko Yamauchi, a senior official at the broadcaster, said Ms Sado’s death was a “problem for our organisation as a whole, including the labour system and how elections are covered”.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/japanese-woman-dies-from-working-too-much-after-clocking-up-159-hours-overtime-in-a-month/ar-AAsYnMH?li=BBnbfcL

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Reply Japanese woman dies from working too much after clocking up 159 hours overtime in a month (Original post)
yuiyoshida Oct 2017 OP
Thomas Hurt Oct 2017 #1
Dirty Socialist Oct 2017 #13
ProudLib72 Oct 2017 #2
yuiyoshida Oct 2017 #3
Blue_Tires Oct 2017 #4
Ms. Toad Oct 2017 #5
stevenleser Oct 2017 #7
Ms. Toad Oct 2017 #9
angrychair Oct 2017 #6
stevenleser Oct 2017 #8
Ms. Toad Oct 2017 #10
miyazaki Oct 2017 #11
Ms. Toad Oct 2017 #12
LittleBlue Oct 2017 #14
Willie Pep Oct 2017 #16
tammywammy Oct 2017 #17
ansible Oct 2017 #20
JoeStuckInOH Oct 2017 #15
Judi Lynn Oct 2017 #18
Xolodno Oct 2017 #19

Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:22 PM

1. What do you think the odds this arouses the 1%s in this country.....

green with envy and stiff.

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 09:30 PM

13. Good Point

If there was a workaholism gene, many corporate suits would be demanding everyone should have it.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:23 PM

2. This is disturbing

There is a word for dying from overwork, and it is common enough to become part of the lexicon. That indicates a serious problem.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:26 PM

4. Doesn't a huge broadcaster like NHK have a

deep reporting staff? Why the overwork?

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:28 PM

5. Hmm....

It takes me about 3 weeks to log that much overtime.

As I tell anyone who asks. I love my work - but I would love it just as much with only half of it.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:38 PM

7. I was going to say, that is "only" four weeks at 80 hours a week. Lots of folks work more.

 

I've done that plenty of times in my life.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:46 PM

9. I've been working between 80 and 100

since last December.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:34 PM

6. I would have to say it was more than that

I only say that because I, as well as many others, that do wildlands wildfire firefighting often work 14-16+ hours a day, 7 days a week for 14 days or as much as 21 days in a row without a day off.
Many take a day or two off and do it again. But that is only for a couple of months out of the year, not all year long.

I think she worked a lot more frequently like this than is suggested. I would suspect that she was worked like this, month after month, and no one stopped her and eventually your body can’t take anymore.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:41 PM

8. Everyone's body is different of course, but your average lawyer in a top 30 law firm works 80-100

 

hours a week every week. So they are exceeding this woman's total every month for their whole careers.

Lawyers in those firms have to bill 2000 hours a year just to stay employed. that's billing 40 hours a week 50 weeks of the year. And as we all know, a lawyer has lots of non billable time, has to drum up new business, etc. They really cant do it without 80 hour work weeks.

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Response to angrychair (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 08:49 PM

10. Does month after month since last December count?

Last edited Tue Oct 10, 2017, 09:23 PM - Edit history (1)

I had it "easy" for the 4 months before that, since I was in the middle of cancer treatment and only managed 60-80 hours a week because of radiation, surgery, etc., and I'm 61.

I'm having a hard time believing 159 hours of overtime in 30 days killed her - especially since her job does not appear to be a manual labor job.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 09:22 PM

11. Physical labor aside stress can kill you. Like the unfortunate victim here I also worked in

a high pressure media position. Two of my co-workers had nervous breakdowns and had to be hospitalized. I felt I was next. I eventually received a pink slip from that outfit, probably a blessing in disguise.

It's also an interesting phenomenon that the media industry employs a high degree of sociopaths, which of course doesn't help matters.

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Response to miyazaki (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 09:26 PM

12. True.

I took a 65% pay cut and by now at least a 35% increase in hours for this job in order to get out of the stressful situation at my old job.

As long as I can stay away from the class politics here, my only stress is the number of hours on the job.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 09:40 PM

14. This doesn't surprise me. Never worked there, but from what I've heard and read

 

there isn't much separation between work and life for the salaried worker. You go to work, get your work done, then sit around for hours trying to look busy. You avoid being the first one to leave, but everyone is doing it. When you finally get to leave, you have to go to the bar and drink with your coworkers or the boss. Hence why you see pictures of stuff like this happening around the subways.



This inefficiency is partly why an otherwise highly efficient nation falls below Italy and Spain in work efficiency (GDP per hour), and is only at 70% of value-added per hour that the US has (despite much higher proportion of the US concentrated in a low-VA field like agriculture)

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 10:55 PM

16. I think at some point more work doesn't help.

I have worked for long hours before but invariably the output became very poor. When you are tired and operating entirely on caffeine you don't do very good work. At least that seems to be the case for most people.

I once had a professor tell me that at some point, more work doesn't pay and it is just better to get some sleep and start again the next day.

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Response to Willie Pep (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 11:05 PM

17. Law of diminishing returns applies.

Work longer hours and you'll be less productive in this last hours.

I work with a lady that's been doing 70 hours a week for over a year. They hired me to take over some of her work to get her down to 40, but she's such a micromanager that double checks everything I do that she's still working 70 hours a week. That and she doesn't follow the philosophy of "your lack of preparedness doesn't constitute an emergency on my part." She gets a request for something that day and instead of telling them it'll be two days will work until midnight to get whatever that's not an emergency done.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 03:38 AM

20. Japanese work ethic is something that westerners won't be able to understand

That's just how it is there and stories like these have been happening for decades, you face social stigmatization if you don't put in more hours.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 10:20 PM

15. Wonder what work she did. I used to work 12 hours a day, no weekends (190+hrs overtime).

 

We would do this for months on end, too.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 12:16 AM

18. So very, very sad. If only something could have saved her before it was too late. n/t

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Response to yuiyoshida (Original post)

Wed Oct 11, 2017, 12:57 AM

19. Note...those are "logged" hours...not actual.

I've worked a shitload of hours on salary...but the stress level was minimal... We don't know the stress level of her job. Nor do we know the work "culture".

1. Actual vs. Logged.
2. Job Stress
3. Work Culture

She could have been slamming 20 hours a day and only reporting half.... Stress could be off the charts.... Culture says "I put in 14 hours everyday this week....badge of honor!" But a company I once interviewed with stated...if you are putting in those hours, your doing it wrong.

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