Managing Under Uncertainty

Managing Under Uncertainty

Assignment Two: Case Study Analysis (2000 words)
Decision making may be viewed from a number of different perspectives such as psychological, sociological or personality and values based perspectives. In this assessment item you are required to draw on any ONE of these three perspectives, analyse the critical decisions evident in the case study in terms of relevant theories, models and frameworks and critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the decisions. You are also required to propose recommendations for the case characters in terms of how they might improve their decision making in the future.

Assignment Task You are required to write about Sick Leave Case study (this case will be attach)
“Sick Leave”
Lewicki, R. J., Saunders, D. M., Minton, J. W. & Barry, B (2003), Negotiation: Reading, Exercises and Cases, McGraw Hill/Irwin: New York – pages 681 to 690

This assessment requires the student to engage in critical case study analysis and to engage in some research drawing on one of the following disciplinary perspectives:

• 1-Personality/Values
• 2-Psychology
• 3-Sociology

From “Negotiation : readings, exercises and cases / [edited by] Roy J. Lewicki .. [et al.]”, 4th ed.,Case 7, c2003,
CASE 7

Sick Leave

 

Kelly tried to control her angel as she thou-eht about her supervisor. She couldn’t under-
stand why he rvas being so unreasonable. Maybe to him it lvas only a couple days of
paid leave and not worth tighting over. but to her it meant the difference between being
abie to go on vacation during Golden Weekr or having to stay horne. She looked at her
contract and the phone number of CLAIR on her desk. She u,asn’t the only person in the
ofTice aff’ected by this. She sat and thought about horv she should proceed.
KELLY
Kelly was 22 years old and had been rvorking for the past six months at the Soto
Board of Education office in Japan. This was her first job after graduating from college
with a degree in rnanagement. and she was reall,v excited to irnally be in the real r.vorld.
Kelly rvas born in Calgary and had spent most of her life in Alberta, Canada.
Kelly’s father was a successful larvyer in Calgary, and her mother was a high school
English teacher. Kelly had an older sister, Laurel, 27 , who had just passed the bar exam
and was working fbr a corporate law firm in Edmonton.
Kelly had studied Japanese in high school and in university and spoke and wrote
the language quite well. When she was 15 years oid, Kelly spent tbur months in Japan
on a school exchange. She had enjoyed the time she spent there and ahvays planned to
return one day. Upon graduating tiom high school. Kelly lvent to the University of
Alberta, in Ednonton, to stucly nlarragement.
During her final year at the universitv, Kelly heard some of her friends talking about
the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She rvas told ihat it rvas quite easy to
get accepte(l-all an applicant needed was a university deglee and an interest in Japan-
and that it rvould be a great way to rnake rloney and see another part of the world. Kelly
would have her degree by the end of the year and thought that having lived in Japan and
knowing the language shorved enough interest to have her application considered. Kelly
thought that a year or lwo in Japan after her n.)anageilrent degree would improve her
This case u’as u’ritten bv Laura Turek. Coprnghr C1996 br Laura Turek. Used u’ith permission. This case
w’as prepared as a basis lbr classroom discu:.ior. lrol to illostr&re either the etfective or ineffective nlanagement
of an administrative sitLration.
rGolden Week is the period lrorn Apr:i lr) :,r lr) 5. in rrhich there are four
-lapanese national holidays.
{an1’Japanese erlp}ot’ees and their lanri;ie. :-r,:: ;rrjran[lge ofthis period to go on t,acation.

681
Case 7

 

Japanese alld give her r.nore of a competitive advantage when she retllrned to Canada to
begin her career. She also thought that it u,ould be a great way to make money and have
some fun before she came home to staft a real job. She asked her fiiencl horv she could
apply to the program and returned home that ni_uht to u,clrk on her r6sum€.
THE JAPAN EXCHANGE AND TEACHING (JET) PROGRAM

Before the JET Program
The ori-sins ofthe JETprogram can be traced backto 1982. In that year. the Japanese
Ministry of Education (Monbusho) initiated a project known as the Monbusho English
Feilorvs (NIEF) Prograrn, rvhich hired Americans to rvork at the iocal boards of education
in order to assist Japanese English teaching consultants who acted as advisors to the
Japanese teachers of English in the public schools. The task of the MEFs was to oversee
the junior and senior high school English teiichers and to assist them rvith their training. In
1983. the British English Teachers Schenre (BETS) was inaugurated by the Ministry of
Education. However, from the outset the British teachers were statiolred at schools, and
the goals of the program did not only concern English instruction but also sought tcr
increase mutuai understanding and improve friendly relations between the peopies of
Japan and Britain. While there were solne dil}’erences betrveen the two programs, both
shared tr common goal: inviting native English speakers to Japan to assist in improving
lbreign-language instruct ion.

The Birth of the JET Program
The realization that Japan lnust open itself nrore fully to contact with international
society began to foster an awareness of the iniportance of promoting internationaliza-
tion and international exchange at the local level. This brought about not only
expanded Engiish instruction, but also a rapid increase in exchange programs. Taking
these new circumstances into account, the Japanese Ministry ol Horne Atlairs in 1985
reieased a paper entitled “Plans for International Exchange Projects” as part of its pli-
ority policy of local governments for the tbllowing year. In the paper, the Ministry of
Home Alfairs proposed a definite course for the internationalization of local govern-
ments, which ideally would lead to smoothly functioning cultLrral exchanges. All of
these ideas were linally implemented in a concrete project: the Japan Exchange and
Teaching (JET) Program.
The Ministry of Home Allairs abolished the two projects curently in effect (MEF and
BETS) and created a new one that was entrusted simultaneously to tluee niinislries: the
N{inistry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education. and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
However, the concept of appointing local authorities to implement the prograrn and act as
host institutions was preserved. While discussions were held rvith each of the local author-
ities to rvork out the details and ensure the smooth inrp)ementation of such a massi.,,e pro-
gram, the formation of a cooperative organization for all local government was expedited.

The Creation of CLAIR
CLAIR, originally the Conierence of Local Authorities tbr Intemational Relatr,.:-
rvas established in October 1986 b1 r.heTodoJilketi (the 47 prel’ectures of Japanliinu ii:
Sick Leave

 

Seircishiteitoslil (the lthenl l0 designated cities) as a cooperative organization respon-
sible for implementing the JET program in conjunction with the three Japanese rnin-
istries narned above.

CLAIR’s Role in the JET Program
To ensure smooth irnplementation of the JET program, the three ministries, the
local authorities. and CLAIR rvere all given speciiic functions. The functions that the
confelence atternpted to fuifill for implenenting the JET program wet’e as follorvs:

1. Advice and liaison during recruitment and selection.
2. Placement of participants.
3. Participant orientation, conf-erences.
4. Guidance for local authority host institutions.
-5. Participant weltare and counseling.
6. Tlavel alrangements for participants coming to Japan.
7. Liaison rvith related groups and institutions.
8. Publications and reference materials.
9. Publicity for the program.
The larger goal behind these functions of the conference was the promotion of
international exchange at the local level. Independent of this development, the Council
of Local Authorities for International Relations (a public endowed foundation) was
inaugurated in July 1987. The council’s main duty rvas to study and survey participat-
ing nations’ local authorities overseas r.vith the ultimate objective being to support local
government programs for the promotion of internationalization. By fostering interna-
tionai exchange at the regional level, the councii came to assume the same duties as the
Conf-erence of Local Authorities for International Relations. It was suggested that both
organizations merge since they held information relevant to each other’s work and
shared the goals of improving rvork efficiency and performing their tasks more effec-
tively. Moreover, the annual growth of the JET program led to an increased number of
interrelated duties and tasks. Thus, it was necessary to strengthen the structure of the
Conference of Local Authorities for International Relations.
It was decided that the operations and financiai assets of the conference would be
assumed by the council, and in August 1989 they were amalgamated, under the
acronym of CLAIR, to form a joint organization of local pubiic bodies in Japan to sup-
port and promote internationalization at the regional level.

Counseling System of JET (Figure 1)

l. Role of the host instirution. Baiicalir problems which JET participants
faced dr-rring their stay in Japan * ere ad,j:e .:ed by’ the host institution. If a JET had
a complaint or a probleni at uork or in his or her private life, the JET could alert
his or her supervisor, who took up ihe nratter and attemptecl to solve it.
2. Role o.t CIAIR. Problerns or dittrculties rvhich JET progranr participants
facecl u’ere as a ntle dealt rritn ii ::,’.i ir.r.titutions. Horvever. if the issues rvere
684 Case 7

 

FIGURE I Counselins Svstem

 

Ministry of Foreign
Special Committee for
Affairs, Education and
Counseling and Training
Home Atfairs

 
Association for
the Japan
Exchange and
Teaching (AJEI)
program

 
diffrcult to solve at this level, or ifthey concerned grievances between the JET panic-
ipant and the host institution, CLAIR employed a number of non-Japanese program
coordinators who rvould intervene and respond directly to participants’ needs.
CLAIR rvould then step in on behalf of the JET parlicipant and work to solve the
problems with the host institution.
3. The Speciol Comtnittee Jor Cowtseling wd Truittittg. The Special Comnrittee
for Counseling and Training consisted of the staff members of the three ministries
(Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, and Education), embassies of the participating
countries, and host institutions. It took charge of orientation, cont’erences. public
welfare, and counseling. If necessary, it answered the questions and concerns of the
JET participants.
AJET
The Association tbr the Japan Exchange and Teaching (AJET) Program was an
independent, self-supporting organization created by JET program participants, whose
elected officers were all volunteers. Membership in AJET was also voiuntary. AJET
provided members with infonnation about rvorking and Iiving in Japan and provided a
support network for members at the local, regionai, and national levels. Many Japanese
and JETs considered AJET to be the union of the JET program participants.
THE FIRST JOB
Kelly looked over the information she received liom JET. There were two difTerent
positions avaiiable: ( 1 ) the coordinator for internationaj relations (CIR) and (2) the Assis-
tant Language Teacher (ALT). The first position sounded quite interesting to Keliy since
Sick Leave

 

applicants were required to ha,e a tunctional knowledge of Japanese. ALTs, on the other
hand. were not required to know an),Japanese belbre aniving in Japan. She realized that
her odds of getting accepted were greater if she applied to the second position since
almost 600 ALTs were selected across Canada, compared with only 25 CiRs. Kelly was
chosen for a CIR interview but in the end was offered a position as an ALT. At first she
u’as a little disappointed, but then she reminded herself that her original goal was to per-
fect her Japanese. and she started to look tbrward to her trip to Japan,
Kelly received a lot of information about rvorking and living in Japan fr”om
CLAIR. CLAIR also olTered several predeparture training sessions and orientations
about lif-e in Japan and its potentiai problems, but she decided not to attend. because
after lbur months in Japan she already knew what to expect.
THE PLACEMENT
Kelly r.vas sent to Soto, a medir.rrrr-sized city on the island of Shikoku. Kelly found
the area a far cry fror.n Osaka, where she had stayed the previous time she rvas in Japan.
Soto was, in Kelly’s opinion, “a srnall provincial town. stuck in the middle of nowhere.”
She had enjoyed the activity and night life of Osaka and, except for sports, her only enter-
tainment options in Soto were one movie theater’, several pachinko2parlors, and scores of
karaoke b’ars. Kelly very quickly developed the habit of going away on the weekends to
tour dift’erent parts ofthe rsland. She would also use her holidays to take advantage ofvis-
iting pats of Japan that she might never again get a chance to see. After a few rnonths,
Kelly decided that Soto was at least a good place to improve her Japanese since not many
people spoke Engiish very well, and only a few other foreigners lived there.
Kelly worked at the board of education office three days a week and visited
schools the other trvo days to help with their English programs. There were three other
JET participants u,ho worked in the same oftice: Mark. 27, another Canadian; Andrea.
26, an Americanl and Suzanne, 25, flom Britain. Like Kelly, Suzanne had been in Japan
for only the past six months, while Mark and Andrea had been working there tor a year
and a half. Kelly was on good terms rvith the other JETs in the oft-ice, aithough she rvas
closest with Suzanne sitrce they had both arrived in Japan at the same time and had met
at their orientation in Tokyo.
Atthough Kelly had lived in Japan befbre, this was the first time she had rvorked in
a Japanese ofhce, She had learned about Japanese work habits in a cross-cultural man-
agenrellt class at the university, yet she was stili surprised at how committed the Japa-
nese ’ere to their jobs. The workday began each morning at 8:30 with a staff meeting
and ofticially ended each night at 5:00 p.rt., yet no one left the office before 7:00 or 8:00
p.rt. The Japanese also came in on Saturdal,s, which Kelly thought was absurd since it
lett the erlployees with only one day a week to relax or spend time with their families.
Kelll’ and the other JETs in the ofllce had a standard North American contract
given to them by CLAIR rvhich stipulated hours. number of vacation days, amount of
lPichinko ir a Japanese-sryle game ol chance that resemble a cross betri,een pinball and a slot machine
It is it r el popular pastinre antong certain groups and. Iike anr forrn of gambling. can be quite lucrative.
686 Cast 7

 

sick leave. and so on (Figure 2). The co,ltract stated that the JET participants only
u,orked frorn lvlonday to Friday until 5:00 p.:ut. and did not mention working on Satur-
days. Neither Kelly nor the other tbreigners ever put in extra hours at the office, nor
were they eYer asked to do so.

 
FIGURE 2 Contract of English Teaching Engagement

Article 11: Paid Leave
Sectiotr I
During the period of ernployment and rvith the approval ol his/her supervisor. the JET participant
may use 20 paid holida-vs individually or consecutively.
Set’tiort 2
When the JET participant wishes to niake use ol one ol the above-rnentioned paid holidays. heishe
shlll infi>rm his/her supervisor three days in advance. Should the JET participant rvish to use more
than three paid holidavs in succession. he/she is required to infbrm hislrer supervisor one nionth
in advance.
Article l2: Special Holidays
SeL’tion l
The JET participant shall be entitled to special holidays under the follorving circurnstartces:
l. Sick leave-the period of serious illness or injury resulting in an acknorvledged inability to
rvolk.
2. Bereaventent-the period of l4 consecutire days. including Sundays und natioual holidays,
inrnrecliately atier the loss of tather’. nlother. or spouse.
3. Natural disaster-the period the boald oleducation deems necessary in the event ol’destruction
oi or selit>us danra-ue to the JET participant’s place of residence.
4. Tlanspoltation systenr tailure-the period until the said problem has been resolved,
Set-tiur 2
Under the conditions ofArticle 12^ Section I (1). above, the JET participant uray take not nlore
than 20 days of consecutive sick leave. Moreover. ii tlie interval between two such periods of
sick leave is less than one rveek. those two periods shall be regarded as continuoLls.
Secti<ttt -l
The special holidays noted above in Article 12. Section l. are paid holidays.
Article 171 Procedure for Taking (Sick) Leave
Sectiotr l
When the JET participant rvishes to nrake- use of the special holidays/leave specitied in Article
12. Section l. he/she mr-rst apply and receive couseni froni his/hel supervisor before taking the
requested holidays. If circumstances prevent the JET participant ii’om makirrg necessary appli-
cation betblehand, he/she should do so as soon as conditions perrnit it.
Section 2
In the event of the JET participant taking three or more consecutive days of sick leave, he/she
must submit a doctor’s certiticate. Thc board of education nay require the JET parricipant to
obtain the said medical certificate flour a nredical practitioner specified by the board.
Sick Leave 687

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Kelly’s supervisor was VIr. Higashi. At first Kelly thought that he was very kind
and helptul becanse he had picked her and Suzanne up frorn the airport and had
arranged their housing belbre they arrived in Japan. Mr’. Higashi even took rhe two
women shopping to help them buy necessary items like bedding and dishes so they did
rlot have to be without. even fbr one night.
MR. HIGASHI
IvIr. Higashi was born and had lived all of his life in Soto. He ‘,vas 44 years old and
had been teaching high school English in and around Soto for more than 20 years. Two
years ago. Mr. Higashi was promoted to rvork as an adviser to all English teachers at the
Soto Boarcl of Education. This tvas a career-making move, and one that placed him on
the track to becoming a school principal.
This nerv position at the board of education made Mr. Higashi the direct supervisor
o/er the tbreign JET participants in the office. as well as making him responsible fbr
their actions. He had workecl rvith them befbre rvhen he rvas still teaching in the schools,
but since thel,only came once a rveek to his school, he had never had the chance to get
to know any of thern really rvell.
Mr. Higashi tound it very difficult to work with JETs. Since they rvere hired on a
one-yi:ar contract basis, renewabie only to a maximum of thlee, he hacl already seen
several come and go. He also considered it inconvenient that Japanese was not a
lequirement for the JET participants because, since he was the only person in the office
who could speak English, he found that he wasted a lot of his time rvorking as an inter-
preter and helping the fbreigners do simple everyday tasks like reading electric bills and
opening a bank account. Despite this, he did his best to treat the foreign assistants as he
wotrld arry other kohcti, or subordinate, by nurturing their careers and acting as a father
to them. since he knew what rvas best tbr theni. NIr. Higashi was avare that his next
prornotion was due not only to his orvn perfbnnance btit also to how rvell he interacted
with his subordinates, so he r,vorked harcl to be a good mentor.
lvlr. Higashi took ar.r instant liking to Kelly because she spoke Japanese well and
had already hved in Japan. Although she was the youngest of the four ALTs, he hoped
that she would guide the others and assumed that she rvould not be the source of any
problems for him.
THE ALTS’OPINION OF NIR. HIGASHI
At frrst. Mr. Higashi seemed fine. All of the ALTs sat in two rolvs ‘ovith their desks
facing each other, as they used to do in grade school. with Mr. Higashi’s desk facing
Kelly’s. The foreigners ali agreed that Mr. Higashi actecl more like a father than a boss.
He continually asked Kelly and Stizanne how theli,rvere enjoying Japanese life and kept
encouraging them to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. He left brochures on
Kelly’s desk for courses in flower arranging and tea ceremony and even one on Japanese
cooking. At first Kelly found tiris rather aurusing. but she soon tired of it and stafied to get
fed up with this constant pressure to “sign up” ibr Japanese cuiture. What she resented
the most was that Mr. Higashi kept insisting she try activities that were traditionally
Clse 7

&nbsp;

considered a woman’s domain. Not that she had anything against flou,ers, but if she had
been a man, she knew that Mr. Higashi rvould not have hassled her this nruch to flt in. She
knelv that Japanese society rvas a male-dominated one. On her t’irst day at the office,
Kelly had looked around and noticed that there were no Japanese women who had been
promoted to such a senior ievel within the board of education. The only rvornen rvho
worked therc rvere young and single “office ladies” or secretaries. Although they were all
very sweet young women, Kelly was not about to become one of lhem and “retire” if ancl
rvhen she found a husband.
Kelly had been very aclive in sporls back in Canada and bought herself a mountain
bike when she arived in Japau so that she could go fol rides in the country. At Si.tzanne’s
encouragement, Kelly joined a local Kendo club. She had seen this .lapanese style of
i’encing betbre back in Calgary, and had always been attracted to the fast mor.ements and
interesting unitorms. Keily hoped that Mr. Higashi rvould be satisfred that she u,as finally
getting involved in sornething traditionally Japanese and leave her alone.
On top of his chauvinistic attitudes. Kelly didn’t think much of Mr. Higashi as a
supervisor. If Kelly or any ofthe other tbreigners had a problern or question concerning
livrng in Japan, he would either ignore thern or give them intbrmation that they later
tbund out was incorrect. Andrea told Kelly that she stopped going to N{r. Higashi when
she had probierns and instead consulted the oftlce lacly, since she was always able to
help her. Andrea had even joked that the office lady should be their sr.rpervisor because
she u,as by fhr more efl’ective than Mr. Higashi.
As i-ar as Suzanne was concerned, Mr. Higashi rvas utterly exilsperating. He was
forever arranging projects and cont’erences tbr the ALTs to participate in. then changing
his rnind and cancelin-v at the last minute rvithout bothering to tell them. He rvould also
volunteer the ALTs to work on special assignments over the holiday periods and then get
angry when they told him that they had previous plans and were unable to go. Suzanne
lecalled that one week before the Christmas vacation, Nfr. Higashi aunounced that he hacl
ar:ranged for her to visit a junior high school. Suzanne infbrmed him that while she would
love to go, it rvas impossible sir.rce she had ah’eady booked the time off and had arranged
a holiday to Seoul, Korea. Mr. Higashi got angry and told her that he and the board of
education would lose face if she didn’t attend. Suzanne told Mr. Higashi that iosing face
would not have been an issue if he had told her about the visit in advance so she could
have prepared fbr it. As a result, Suzanne lost all respect fbl Mr. Higashi as a mana_ser
and continually challenged his authority. Whenever a problem arose. she rvas quick tir
remind hirn that things were very different and much better in Britain.
Mark also had ditlculties rvith Mr. Higashi. Mark rvas not lnuch of a group player
and resented IvIr. Higashi’s constantly telling hirn what to do. He pret’ened to rvithdrarv
and work on his own. He didn’t like Mr Higashi’s paternalistic attitude. He just rvanted to
be treated like a normal. capable employee and free rein to do his ,uvork. As a show
-siven
of his independence, Mark refirsed to join in on ally of the “drinkrng meetings” atier work.
THE JAPANESE OPINION OF THE ALTS
The other Japanese empkrl’ees in the ofllce found it difticult to rvork with the ALTs
because, as t’ar as they rvere concerned, the ALTs were llever there long enough to
become part of the group. It seemed like just atter they got to knorv one ALT. he or she
Sick Leale 689

&nbsp;

left and was replaced by another. Another problem was that since the foreigners usually
did not speak Japanese, communication with thent was extremely frustrating.
The biggest problem that the employees at the board of education office had with
the ALIs was that they were so young and inexperienced. A11 of the men in the office
had rvorked a minimum of 20 years to reach this stage in their careers, oniy to find
themselves rvorking side by side with foreigners who had recently graduated frorn col-
lege. To make rnatters worse, these young foreigners were also hired to advise them how
to do their jobs better. The employees were also aware that the ALTs earned practically
the same salary as their supervisor each month.
The Japanese employees did not consider the ALTs to be very committed rvorkers.
They never stayed past 5:00 p.lrr. on weekdays, and never came to work on the weekends
even though the rest of the office did. It seemed as though the ALTs were rarely at the
office. The ALTs also made it very clear that they had a contract that allorved them vaca-
tion days, and they made sure that they used every single day. The Japanese employees,
on the other hand, rarely ever made use of their vacation time and knew that if they took
holidays as frequently as tl’re foreigners, they could return to find that their desk had
been cleared.
THE INCIDENT
‘Kelly il,oke up one Monday rnorning with a high fever and a sore throat. She
phoned Mr. Higashi to let him know that she wouldn’t be coming in that day and possi-
bly not the next. Mr. Higashi asked if she needed anything and told her to relax and take
care of herself. Before he hung up, Mr. Higashi told her that when she came back to the
office, to make sure to bring in a doctor’s note. Kelly rvas annoyed. The last thing she
rvanted to do was to get out of bed and go to the clinic for a simple case of the flu. As
she rvas getting dressed she thought she was being treated like a schoolgirl by being
forced to bring in a note.
TWo days later, Kelly returned to the office with the note from a physician in her
hand. Andrea infbrmed her that Mark and Suzanne had also been sick and that she had
been by herself in the ofhce. She also said that Mr. Higashi was suspicious that the three
of thern had been sick at the same time and had commented that he knew that toreign-
ers sometimes pretended to be sick in order to create longer weekends. Ke1ly was glad
that she had gone to the doctor and got a note so she could prove that she was really
sick. Kelly said goocl morning to Mr. Higashi and gave him her note. He took it from her
without so much as looking at it and threrv it onto a huge pile of incoming maii on his
desk. He asked her if she rvas t’eeling better and then went back to his work.
At midmorning, the accountant car.ne over to Kelly’s desk and asked her to sign some
papers. Kelly reached fbr her pen and started to sign autornatically until she noticed that
she was signing lbr two days of paid leave and not sick leave. She pointed out the error to
the accountant, rvho told her that there had not been a mistake. Kelly told the accountant
to come back later and went over to speak with Mr. Higashi. To her surprise, Mr. Higashi
said that there had been no mistake and that this rvas standard procedure in Japan. He said
that typical Japanese employees norn.rally did not make use of their vacation time due to
their great loyalty to the company. If an employee became sick, he often used his paid
vacation first out of respect for his entplovers.
Case 7

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Kelly responded that this was fine for Japanese enrployees. but since she was not
Japanese, she pref-ered to clo things the Canadian way. Mr. Higashi replied that since
she was in Japan, maybe she should start doing things the Japanese rvay. Kelly turned
away and looked at Arrdrea, not believing what had just happened.
The next day, both Mark and Suzanne returned to the olI-rce only to find themselves
in the same predicament as Kelly. Suzanne called Mr. Higashi a iunatic and Mark chose
to stop speaking to him altogether. Kelly rvas furious that they were being forced to waste
two oftheir vacation days rvhen they were guaranteed sick leave. She threu,the JET con-
tract on Mr. Higashi’s desk and pointed out the sectioll that stipulated the number of sick
days they were entitled to and demanded that he honor their contract as written.
Mr. Higashi looked extremely agitated and said that he had to go to a very inrpor-
tant meeting and would discuss the situation later. The accountant reappeared with the
papers for the three ALTs to sign. but they all retused. Suzanne started to courpiaiu
about Mr. Higashi’s incompetence, rvhile Nlark complained about the Japanese style of
management. Suzanne said that it rvas a shame that none of them had bothered to join
AJET. tbr wasn’t this the kind of problem that unions were supposed to handle? Kelly
stared at the contract on her desk and said that they could take it to a higher ievel and
invoh,e CLAIR. Andrea said that things could get ugly and people could lose lace if it
went that tar. Kelly took her agenda out of her desk and started looking for CLAIR’s
phone number.

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