A funny but REAL Japanese meeting

Why Japanese people work "hard" and long? This blog archive may unveil the mystery.

The meeting that I listened to next to my desk:

Telephone conference between a project management team in Japan (JPN) and the same team in Sweden (SWD). Japanese are on Japan site, Swedish are on Sweden site.

JPN1: coworker under JPN2
JPN2: Boss
SWD: people in Sweden

At 18:03
JPN1: “Sorry that we are late. (# 2-3 minutes, seemingly) The last meeting was extended to now…”
SWD: “Okay, let’s start the discussion quickly. JPN2, did you go through the document that I sent to you yesterday?”
At 18:06
JPN2: “Oh, to me?”
SWD: “Yes”
JPN1: “To me too?”
SWD: “Ah… yes I think so.”
The two men are searching for the Email.
JPN1: “Yes I found that”
JPN2: “Good job!”
At 18:13
SWD: “Now we can start. About the page 3,”
JPN1: “Wait wait wait please. I haven’t had time to go through the document. We are so busy.” He answered so very proudly.
SWD: “Okay, then let’s discuss this issue tomorrow instead.”
JPN1&2: “Wait wait wait, please! We are reading it right now!”
SWD: “JPN, I don’t want to stress you, push you. Sit back, and read it calmly please. The way you are doing won’t be so efficient.”
JPN1&2: “It’s okay, we can manage it! Well… what is this diagram explained?”
SWD: “… that is on page 5. Hey, JPN 1 and 2, please sit back and think deeply. Discuss it tomorrow. Please.”
JPN2: “Alright, do it so.”
SWD: “I’ll explain some remarks on the document. If you see the page 10,”
JPN1: “Sorry, we have to go cause another meeting is waiting for me! Bye!”
SWD: “Oh I see…”
End the meeting at 18:32

Nothing is made, nothing is determined! That is the Japanese unconstructive meeting, this is very typical.

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One thought on “A funny but REAL Japanese meeting

  1. Fun to read (maybe not so much fun to experience)! I thought that the meetings and processes are still more efficent in the industry than in academia, but this might be an illusion …

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