Not allowed to commute to work...

Sep 6, 2012
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Tsukumi
#1
I can't begin to describe how angry I am right now!

Just been told that I am not allowed to commute to work any more as it is "dangerous" as the road has corners and hills... I was told it was the Japanese custom.. Bullshit..:mad:

I thought this was a joke at first! I argued my case and said, I'm still gonna ride after school for exercise etc. Apparently that's fine! I don't understand! one of the school I commute to Isn't near any bus stops or train stations. I asked how I would get there, they said park a Mama chari at a nearby train station and ride there! bunch of ing hypocrites! just because the road there is flat doesn't mean its any less dangerous!

I'm not backing down on this one... gonna get someone high up involved.

What do you guys think about this?
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#2
Just been told that I am not allowed to commute to work any more as it is "dangerous" as the road has corners and hills...
I like the last part of that.

Yes, this is indeed normal.

The angrier you seem, the less chance you have of success. Once you've cooled down (outwardly, if not inwardly), my suggestion would be to have a legalistic Japanese friend draft a formal letter to the head of the school, absolving the school of any responsibility whatever for anything that might happen to you on a bicycle on the way there or back.

Well actually I'd wait till my own first suggestion was either improved by others here or rejected in favour of a proposal with a greater chance of success. The keywords for now are "wait" and "think".

In the meantime, see if you can actually thank your employer for its concern for your wellbeing. (Really! With a straight face!) It's all part of your medium-term strategy.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#3
I can't begin to describe how angry I am right now!

Just been told that I am not allowed to commute to work any more as it is "dangerous" as the road has corners and hills... I was told it was the Japanese custom.. Bullshit..:mad:

I thought this was a joke at first! I argued my case and said, I'm still gonna ride after school for exercise etc. Apparently that's fine! I don't understand! one of the school I commute to Isn't near any bus stops or train stations. I asked how I would get there, they said park a Mama chari at a nearby train station and ride there! bunch of ing hypocrites! just because the road there is flat doesn't mean its any less dangerous!

I'm not backing down on this one... gonna get someone high up involved.

What do you guys think about this?
Get a mama chari that goes fast or attach a shopping basket to your current bike...
I'd change jobs.
 
Sep 6, 2012
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Tsukumi
#4
That was actually what they said!

Yeah I guess that would be the best way to go about it.. I've already emailed someone higher up about it, they're Australian so I can express myself properly. Hopefully they can produce a formal letter of some sort... Just pisses me off because I can get to school faster by bike than the train.. there's a lot of walking and waiting about.. plus it costs! makes no sense!

grrr

Thanks though!
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#6
Ridiculous, considering where you are from, and how backwards it all is here regarding commuting; this is basically the opposite of the Bike 2 Work scheme!

I feel your pain. Never happened to me, but yeah, have heard of it.

If you can't convince them of their ridiculousness, how about riding 90% of the way, finding a good stash point and walking the rest?
 
Sep 6, 2012
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Tsukumi
#9
Haha, there is no way they can enforce it, that's why I'm in a pickle, they cant fire me over it! But I don't wanna ruin any relationships :s

Every other country in the world encourages riding to work, you're right, this just goes to show exactly how backwards Japan is! I'm just as likely to get injured in a car or a train. If I commuted by scooter, they wouldn't say anything!
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
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#10
It's about insurance. All employers must offer insurance that covers the employees on their way to work. Usually scooters and bicycles fall outside that coverage. They also probably pay you a transportation allowance.

So before you get too ranty and in their faces, you should consider those too things. One option, is that you can offer to pay the difference as there is insurance that will cover bicycles and scooters etc. 2 you should be willing to lose your transportation allowance.
 
Sep 6, 2012
28
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Tsukumi
#11
It's about insurance. All employers must offer insurance that covers the employees on their way to work. Usually scooters and bicycles fall outside that coverage. They also probably pay you a transportation allowance.

So before you get too ranty and in their faces, you should consider those too things. One option, is that you can offer to pay the difference as there is insurance that will cover bicycles and scooters etc. 2 you should be willing to lose your transportation allowance.
Yep, already talked about that.. already said that they didn't need to pay me for transportation. It just pisses me of how they go about it.. Obviously riding a bike is dangerous, doesn't mean you have to stop!
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,443
914
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#12
One option, is that you can offer to pay the difference as there is insurance that will cover bicycles and scooters etc. 2 you should be willing to lose your transportation allowance.
I think it's highly unlikely the extra cost of insurance to cover cycling would amount to as much as they would be paying for your train tickets. So it doesn't make any sense financially. More likely it's just a case of a stupid one-size-fits-all policy in a conformist society that frowns on the nail that sticks out.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#13
With these kind of things, I always get the feeling that the enforcer is the type of person who gets some kind of cathartic comfort from getting others to stick to illogical rules.

People have tried that kind of thing with me before. Usually only the once...
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
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tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#14
This was covered on other threads here. it's very common for Japanese Corporations to require suitable transportation for their employees for the reasons 'theBlob' mentioned.

You can choose to push a rope, or just work within the system. What I did in similar circumstances was just get my commuter pass and then proceed to ride my bike to work and walk from the station I would have normally gotten off at. There is no 'ride record' on the commuter pass - it's a monthly ticket and I couldn't care less if I used it or not, or they paid for a un-used ticket.

So, just take the bike out of the discussion. Now you dug yourself a hole and they'll be more suspicious of your commuting habits as well as anything else that might push the nail up. Tatemae...Tatemae.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#15
Might be true in other countries where mid-level HR managers rule their own petty tyrancy. But here in Japan the corporate governance is based on 'the rules' - and the mid-level manager or section chief will just follow the manual to the letter. Especially as a foreign worker you are not going to change anything. Unless your name is Carlos Ghosn.

Or you can just choose to work for companies that line up with your expectations and criteria. Or, if that's not in the cards, work for yourself!



With these kind of things, I always get the feeling that the enforcer is the type of person who gets some kind of cathartic comfort from getting others to stick to illogical rules.

People have tried that kind of thing with me before. Usually only the once...
 
Sep 6, 2012
28
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Tsukumi
#16
The whole purpose of my job is to promote "Internationalization" and increase awareness of other cultures... or so I'm told!

This completely contradicts these goals... what's the point in trying to encourage internationalization when I'm not allowed to be myself?

Anyway I have a meeting with the principle and some other bloke who thinks its funny to take away my main source of enjoyment during the week :s

I'll report my findings...
 

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
1,083
Tokyo (Nezu)
fudoushin.com
#17
I think it's highly unlikely the extra cost of insurance to cover cycling would amount to as much as they would be paying for your train tickets. So it doesn't make any sense financially. More likely it's just a case of a stupid one-size-fits-all policy in a conformist society that frowns on the nail that sticks out.
^This!
 

japanviking

Speeding Up
Jul 13, 2010
279
6
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Shinjuku
#18
The whole purpose of my job is to promote "Internationalization" and increase awareness of other cultures... or so I'm told!
Haha!
Did you just land here yesterday?
Just having a foreigner in the office probably means that the Internationalization goal is fulfilled. Actually trying to change things to be more effective or international will only make you bitter and tired.
You cannot fight things like this head on in this country......