Little House In Ise

Bathroom Wind-Chill
November 20, 2007, 10:53
Filed under: Expat, Japan, Work | Tags: , , , , ,

I complain about the cold and report about the bathroom here too often but they are closely-linked, painful topics. The lack of insulation in this office building makes it very uncomfortable to work without several layers of clothes. Since corporate uniforms are mandatory for all, except upper management, everyone wears as many layers as can be made to fit under their polyester crap-wear. Fortunately, the clothes are so ugly that even the most vein among us have given up trying to look nice in these things and can concentrate on adding more lumpy layers of undershirts.

Adding to the discomfort is this company’s policy of not activating the heat until December 1st. This doesn’t really apply to me or my team as the heating ducts don’t reach to our end of the office so we froze our asses off all last winter. At any rate, for some, there will be relief in the next few days but for me, I am counting down the days until I leave this company (30 more).

Most people seeking employment are interested in salary, benefits, corporate position and office location. I am also interested in these things but I have found myself focusing on other details when visiting offices for interviews.

1) Is the place heated/air-conditioned?
2) How are rank-and-file dressed?
3) How do managers dress?
4) Are the desks/workstations made for computers or are they sharp cornered battleship gray 1950s style beasts guaranteed to leave creases in your forearms?
5) Is the bathroom ventilated?
6) Is there a ventilated smoking area?
7) Do I have to walk through the smoking area to get anywhere for work purposes?

These may sound trivial but every one of them has made my working life uncomfortable over the last year. Perhaps it is the combination but all, and worse, are fairly typical of Japanese companies so I am on the look out when interviewing. Another thing I should probably watch out for is harder to spot. Modernizing and improving the trivial while neglecting bigger issues.

An example of this here is the Mitsubishi Jet Towel installed in the visiting men’s rest-room. Since the bathrooms in my office are not insulated and windows are left open for ventilation, in winter they get very cold. Right now, it is about 8 degrees C. Given an airspeed of 90 m/s blasting out of the jet towel, the wind-chill on wet hands is about -2.6C. I salute the reduction of waste and the improved hygiene afforded by this tool but there are implementation issues that should be addressed. For example: WHY CAN’T WE TURN ON THE HEATING ELEMENT UNTIL DECEMBER FIRST????

GRRR! Of all the days to forget my hankie …


1 Comment so far
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thank you for some good comments and sharing your expertise.

have a look on thsi contains so much good stuff on bath remodeling etc.

Comment by lolita1

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