When I was working in a Japanese Restaurant, a foreign worker asked the manager for a day off because it was her birthday. As a Japanese who have get used to Japanese culture, I was quite surprised by my colleague using such reason to skip part time work, and it was natural for me to see my manager pissing off. It is really a cultural thing, but in Japan, if you say you want to take a rest because it is your birthday, it will not be accepted. Even if your manager allows you, I am sure some of your colleagues are not very happy to hear it.
In Japan, absence because of unserious personal issue is not tolerated. In this article, I will talk about how to take a day off, and what kind of excuse you need to make if you want to skip your part time work.
Why your birthday is not tolerated?
In Japan, only absence due to serious issues is tolerated, such as death of your family, wedding, etc. If you say you want to take a rest because it is your birthday, your manager will think that you are not really caring about your work, and he or she cannot put trust in you anymore.
You have the right to choose which day you work, but you also have the responsibility to work on days you promised to work! Leaving part time work because it is your birthday is not tolerated, as they consider it is your responsibility to attend the entire shift work that you have assigned yourself before. If you have promised that you are able to work that day, you are expected to work that day.
How to make an excuse if you want to skip your baito for any personal reason?
The only way to make a valid excuse is to inform a sick leave. In order to make your boss trust you, you should message your boss the day before your absence. This is because it makes the boss easier to find your substitute, so that even if you do not go to work, it will not cause too much trouble to your work place. Also, by asking someone to take your place, your boss may think that you are a trustworthy and responsible person, as you made an effort to find someone to fill in your place. Even if you are not able to find someone to take your place, you should mention that you did make an effort to find someone but nobody was able to help you. As you are causing trouble to your boss, make sure you try hard, or at least making your boss to think that you are trying hard to cover your absence!
If you plan to tell lie in order to skip your shift, be careful what to put on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It will become a huge issue if they see you partying hard through Facebook. Also, you should not tell anyone at your work place, as from my own personal experience, most of your friends in Japan will betray you! The safest way is not to tell anyone about it.
How to gain trust from your manager?
Also, if you have been absent for many times because of illness, your manager may probably think ‘mataka’ (again, in Japanese). Even if you were really ill before, it is hard to gain trust from your manager if you have been absent for several times.
So, what should you do in order to gain trust of your manager? First, you need to build up your hierarchy at your workplace. I think you have probably noticed, among the part-time workers, social hierarchy does exist. For example, you may notice some part time worker are really trusted by the manager because he or she is very skilled at working. Also, there are people who are not trusted; they tend to make silly mistakes, and those kinds of people are very hard to be trusted by the manager. In Japan, a leader tends to give more freedom to people he or she trusts more. That means that if your manager thinks you are trustworthy, and he or she is able to rely on you at the workplace, he or she is more likely to tolerate your absent. Therefore, you have to build up a good relationship with your manager. The easiest thing you can do is to teach your kouhai (people who enter before you) If you see people who came in after you, you should teach them, and give instructions to them. By doing so, the manager may think that he or she can rely on you. If you can make them to think that you are a reliable person, you have to appeal it to your manager.
After reading the passage, I hope you have understood that in Japanese society, people do not accept absence because of personal issue, such as birthday. Therefore, you have to give your manager a valid reason for you to take a day off. The usual way for Japanese workers to skip their work is to say that they are ill. You have to be super careful so that no one is going to realize that you are lying. This is very important because if they find out that you are lying, your trust is going to fall. However, there is a way that can make your every reason valid; try to build up a reputation in your workplace, and make people think that you are the boss of the par time workers! By doing so, even if you say you want to take a rest, they will tolerate it as you are making magnificent contribution at the work place! So, if you want to make your life easier at part time work, you have to work hard and make people think that you are a reliable person!