Founder the great
The newly hired new graduates gathered together again for the weekend-long training before the job started on April first. We separated into two groups, one for the creators – artists and programmers, and one for other roles – sales & marketing, administration, operation, and management.
In training, we learned business manners. When you meet business partners for the first time, we start with exchanging business cards. You take out the card, hold it with both hands so that your name is read right from the person’s perspective. When you receive their card, you do so with both hands and with a little bow. You check their name and role and ask them how to read the kanji in their name if unsure. Once you are seated, place the card on the table. If there is more than one person, place the cards in the order of the seniority of their job title. The seating arrangement must also consider each person’s rank. The farther from the door is kamiza – the head, and the closer is shimoza – the bottom. As a guest, you may sit at kamiza, and when you receive guests, you’d be at shimoza. Within the same organization, the seating is decided by the hierarchy. I thought to myself, at least I’d be the first to escape in case of a fire.
All the trainees assembled in one big conference room in the afternoon. The session started with a video projected on a massive screen. It was not just an introduction of the founder/CEO of the company, whom I had not paid much attention to until that time, but it was a reenactment of his life in a drama format with actors. As the elder of two brothers, he had a great responsibility for his family. Having an entrepreneurial spirit, he started his business selling jukebox in the late ’60s. The drama showed an intense moment that the heavy jukebox almost squished him. We anticipated an injury which grueling recovery process would lead to his enlightenment, but the story moved on to the next scene where he was meeting his business partner in the US.
The narcissism of the chairman discomforted me. The idolization of a leader rarely did good to the mass in the history of international politics. And the more recent event in Japan traumatized us with the menace of religious cults. I was dispirited for a moment, but as soon as I started mingling with the peers and making friends with them, the gaiety suppressed the anxiety.