My life lol
To make a long story short and without giving away too much company information, my ex-company had a technology that they developed into Japanese, English, and Chinese versions. My ex-company also had a parent company. To best summarize the relationship between my ex-company and the parent company, if they were people, child services would have been called. Last Friday, the parent company finally made the grand decision to stop working on Japanese and English, and develop Chinese into something different that can be used by
On Monday morning, they pulled in everyone NOT working on Chinese (including sales staff and admin staff) and told everyone that they could learn to work in Chinese, or they could leave. And since they needed to get rid of at least 20 people (out of a 50 person company), it was highly highly suggested that we take the "leave" option. And if we could please call all of our clients and tell them that we were stopping services effective immediately, and if we could call the place exhibiting our product and tell them that we're taking our toys home, and don't bother finishing up current work because no one will ever need it again.
I should also mention that the "you're all fired" speech came with a PowerPoint presentation from the company VP, while the President sat outside working on his computer. (When asked, the VP actually responded with, "He's busy contacting future clients," because everyone had apparently stopped pretending to care.)
As you can imagine, people didn't take it very well. Two co-workers immediately got the phone numbers and locations of every single employment rights organization in Tokyo; my boss spent the rest of the day staring at his computer like he was trying to set it on fire with his mind. Meanwhile, my immediate reaction was, "Well fuck you too!" and the very first email that I made was to my old boss, Yagi-san, telling him that I was available for big translation work effective immediately. (More on that later.)
We all came in the next day to clean up our desks. The higher-ups told my boss that they had a position for him if he wanted it; he told them to stuff themselves and was in a very very good mood for the rest of the day. We all went out for a nice lunch and vented for a while, and when we came back, I was the first person to sign my forms and officially leave the company. Others were hemming and hawing about whether to try holding out for a better severance package, but I already had an 8000 character translation waiting in my inbox from Yagi-san, so screw my ex-company! I've got shit to do! I'm going home. (And I did. ^_^)
Anyway, if anything, this has reminded me how much I enjoyed working at my old company during the good days. It wasn't perfect by any means, and times without work were mind-numbingly boring, and I was really ready for a change of pace, but the people were great. Yagi-san has already given me schedules for translation projects through the summer, telling me that one of the projects (a twice-a-year regular translation project) went horribly wrong last time when I wasn't around to translate, and the customer actually requested me back on the job. The company president also already told me that he would hire me back if I wanted, even if I was only planning to stay in Japan another 6 months. (I'm not going to, but it was an awesome gesture.) So put together, it's really helped boost my ego and calm me down.
I'll probably still stay in Japan a while longer and use the time to seriously think about my next step. So if you think about it, it was almost a blessing in disguise. I get to return to translation work in a relaxing manner, enjoy my free time at the end of my stay in Japan, and have plenty of time to research and think about my next step. I have a tendency to have really good "silver lining" luck, so I'm feeling pretty good.
Since I'm back to translation a bit, I can even share a really funny mistake (even though it's not actually translation related). I was translating a short article about swimming, in which the writer claimed that a swimmer placed in the "Men's 100mm Butterfly." I... suggested they might want to change it to 100m. It made me lol.