Japanese markets in everything

Stressed out, overworked, or just over it: Workers in Japan who want to leave their jobs — but don’t want to face the stress of quitting in person — are paying a company called Exit to tell their bosses that they won’t be back.

People hoping to never set foot in their workplace again pay Exit $450 to help them quit their full-time jobs; those who have had it with part-time work can pay around $360. And as Alex Martin reports for Japan Times, “Repeat clients get a [$90] discount.”

Here is the full NPR story, via Andrea O’Sullivan.


$450 to a avoid a totally degrading episode of shame = bargain!

They also avoid threats of retaliation, bosses appealing to social obligation to plead them to stay, counter-offers that may be difficult to refuse, and so on. Basically the same principles as employing an agent in negotiations.

And they also successfully avoid any chance of parting on good terms, I would imagine.

Although, if you are choosing to use this service, the chance of that was probably already low.

If you were worried about what you might say when the boss starts haranguing you about your decision, this might avoid parting on really bad terms, though.

"After informing bosses that they've lost a worker, Exit relays basic requests, but it doesn't get involved in complicated matters such as possible severance payments."

I thought there was a legal counseling angle but no. It seems the company only helps to avoid face-to-face interaction.

Some employers pay professionals to fire employees because the employer doesn't want a face to face meeting with the poor sap being fired. I have fired many highly paid employees on behalf of clients. Some of the poor saps have sobbed uncontrollably. It takes steely determination to just look at them and say nothing, because, when firing someone, the less said the better. Why? The client who, in a well-intended effort to soften the blow, tells the poor sap "I thought you have been an excellent employee but my hands were tied" is laying the foundation for a lawsuit.

Are you George Clooney?

My good friend, a CPA (now retired) with whom I shared many clients, started calling me the terminator. He was the one who first suggested to a client that I fire the poor sap. Next thing I knew, I was the go to terminator. I absolutely hated the role. When that woman started sobbing I wanted to crawl under the table because I knew not to say anything. This was someone who only knew success in her life, a graduate of Harvard medical school no less. And there I was firing her. I posted this comment only to provide a contrast, the employer's perspective. Employers (and their advisers) enjoy firing people about as much as employees enjoy quitting.

Those experiences could not have been easy. But it probably also teaches one how fickle life can be.

Such is the life of a terrorized populace under rhe daimyō. Japan-China-India is the Evil Empire of our time.

With a suitably large surcharge, will they handle Yakuza clients?

As an expat living in Japan, I really hate these spurious "those crazy Japanese" stories. Japanese pundits don't blog about, say, an American break-up-with-your-girlfriend service and then characterize the whole country based on it and draw deep cultural conclusions. When there are 100 break-up-with-your-girlfriend services, and they stay in business longer than six months, wake me up.

These Exit guys are not representative of anything, are running out of a coworking space in Shibuya, and are organized as a minimal LLC capitalized at less than $10,000.

TC never lets facts get in the way of a good "crazy Asia" story.

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